Year-long Irish festival planned

Year-long Irish festival planned The College of Fine Arts at The University of South Dakota is planning a symposium titled "Ireland and the Americas" throughout the entire 2001-2002 school year that will include a variety of activities educating students about Irish culture.

The symposium has been put together by the College of Fine Arts and is being sponsored by various groups, organizations and individuals on the USD campus, according to Dean of Fine Arts John Day.

"Basically, the concept is to engage the whole campus in a multi-faceted investigation of the kind of cultural partnerships that characterize the complexity of the Americas," Day said. "A lot of different cultures have combined to create a unique and very diverse American culture. It made sense to us to look at those partnerships, through the arts particularly, but also politically, economically, philosophically ? any place where we can find meaningful ground for academic and cultural exploration."

The festival will be mixture of activities and displays from groups within the university and external organizations bringing aspects to the campus. There will be speakers on Ireland and artworks on display from Irish artist Alan Montgomery. One of the year's theatre productions will be on an Irish theme, and various groups and artists will perform Irish music, including the Baltimore Consort, which will be performing in the spring. Day said that organizers are trying to create programs within the English, political science, and other departments.

This is not the first symposium on other cultures at USD. In the past eight years, the university has done similar programs on Spain and the Americas, Islam and the Americas, American Jewish World, Africa and the Americas and Native Americans and the Americas.

"The goal is to highlight the diversity of American culture in some kind of significant way by taking an individual culture and looking at it in several ways," Day said. "A lot of times when we celebrate a culture we do it in a one shot deal, we do it fairly superficially � we bring a dance group and say, 'OK, we've seen that.' This symposium is a more in-depth examination."

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