Solas Nua's 2016 arts program, Solas Rising, is part of the Global Diaspora strand of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Program. It offers an opportunity to mark the Easter 1916 Rising as seminal moment on Ireland's path to independence, to explore and examine Ireland's place in the world today and to share its unfolding story and its cultural heritage with Americans.

Although history is irretrievably past, its meaning is still being created.  Our programming reflects the stirrings in the country that lead to The Rising and the place  that The Rising holds in our cultural memory.  It examines how Ireland has used its 100 years of independence, how the country lived up to the visionary, idealistic and aspirational elements in the 1916 Proclamation; how past choices and events have shaped how Ireland has developed as a nation.

Finally what does it mean to be Irish today and what horizon are we aiming at.  Solas Nua's multidisciplinary programming in 2016 will present the unique perspectives and insights of the best contemporary artists in Ireland to create a new sense and new understanding of the past 100 years and to project new possibilities and aspirations for the nation for the next century.

Here is our evolving program for this centennial year:


1-4          Wild Sky (extended, tickets on sale now)

3 -25       Contemporary Irish Visual Arts – Art Exhibit

                     Repression-Resurgence-Re-emergence: 100 years of Re-possessing and Re-appropriating Irish identity.  Visual Artists

3              Repression-Resurgence-Re-emergence: Opening Reception at Hillyer Art Space

8             Art in Context: Ireland's Foreign Policy for Arts Leaders. Panel Discussion

11              Contemporary Irish Dance – Performance: Attic Projects/Luke Murphy : On Triumph and Trauma

16              Cultural Blast: poetry reading by Bart O'Reilly. Also, learn Ogham script through the art of tattooing. Hillyer Art Space

20           Contemporary Irish Theater – Play Reading

                   The Cambria by Donal O’Kelly       


15           Contemporary Irish Theater – Play Reading

                   Bogboy by Deirdre Kinahan

27           Artist Talk with Jacqueline Hoysted. Luce Foundation Center at the Smithsonian American Art Museum


19            Contemporary Irish Theater – Play Reading

                  The Dark Things by Ursula Rani Sarma, directed by Rex Daugherty

TBD        Contemporary Irish Literature – Readings, Discussions and Workshops

Declan Meade, founder and global editor of The Stinging Fly, accompanied by two contributors to In The Wake of The Rising, will conduct a series of discussions, readings, workshops and events that respond to the principles of the Proclamation, the story of The Rising, its place in our cultural memory, the current state of the country and the horizon that Ireland is aiming for.


TBD        Contemporary Irish Music – Performances

Drawing from the writings and words of the 1916 leaders, Lorcan MacMathuna, singer, composer and arranger, interprets the vision of the revolutionaries and explores their legacy and contemporary resonance in a performance of his acclaimed Visionaries and their Words.

MacMathuna and Daire Bracken, perform as Preab Meadar, building on 1000 years of Irish musical tradition to create a sensational new style with complex rhythms and elaborate lyrics.


10-27            Little Thing Big Thing - See theater page for details


6                      "Irish Popcprn" - Broken Song(see home page for details)