Irish American Cultural Institute

Providing leadership and resources to preserve, interpret, and promote Irish and Irish American Cultures


Founded in 1962, the Irish American Cultural Institute (IACI) is the leading Irish American cultural organization. The IACI is a federally recognized 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit national organization devoted to promoting an intelligent appreciation of Ireland and the role and contributions of the Irish in America. The IACI is strictly apolitical and nonsectarian, and is the only Irish American organization that has as its patron, The President of Ireland.

Over the past four decades, the IACI has carved an honored place for the Irish dimension in American life. No comparable body has such an impressive track record of achievement and sustained programming.

2016 Washington's Irish St. Patrick's Day Ball
Peter Quinn (right) receives award from Terry Golway

From the moment you arrived to the sound of bagpipes, you knew there was something "Irish" in the air. This was only a hint of what was in store for attendees of the recent IACI Washington's Irish St. Patrick's Day Ball, held on February 27th.  The evening began with a cocktail reception and a bagpiper leading the transition from the cocktail hour to the ball room. The Ball commenced with a re-enactment of George Washington's 1780 St. Patrick's Day proclamation, presented by the US Park Service Officers costumed in full Revolutionary War uniform.


Deputy Consul General Anna McGillicuddy offered her heartfelt sentiments and congratulations to Annie Moore Award recipient Peter Quinn and the IACI for their valued programs and contributions.   The award ceremony continued with lighthearted teasing from presenter author Terry Golway and return volley of remarks from awardee Peter Quinn. He also received a New Jersey legislative proclamation of the award and a letter recognizing the award from the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins.   


Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed dinner and dancing to the music of Celtic Cross, who provided the perfect blend of Irish traditional jigs and reels, American rock and roll and poignant songs, especially appropriate in this commemorative year. The wide assortment of items offered at the Irish and Silent Auctions created some lively bidding with a trip to Ireland being one of the most popular items.


The IACI would like to thank everyone who took part in what some said was "the best event they have ever attended." We look forward to seeing you all at the 2017 Ball!


2016  O'Malley Art Award

The O'Malley Art Award recognizes and promotes achievements in the visual arts, particularly those which have stimulated or guided other Irish artists. The award is given in the name of the family of the late Ernie O'Malley, who, in addition to his literary and patriotic activities, was also a notable collector of modern Irish art.   The annual award was first presented in 1989.


The 2016 award was presented to Locky Morris at the recent "Patrons, Prizes. Paradigms - The O'Malley Awards from the Irish American Cultural Institute, 1989 -2016" held at the University of Limerick.  Mr. Morris,  (born Derry, 1960 where he continues to live and work) has been exhibiting regularly since the mid1980s. He first came to prominence as a young artist in the 1980s when his work engaged with the political realities affecting his community in Derry, their connection to their history, to social upheaval and military control. His practice as an artist has been marked by fluid boundaries. Current work would confirm this: with a largely mobile phone generated project, informed in part, by his mother's recent dementia, an album of new songs (with him as singer) under the name of Redflare, with Undertone and That Petrol Emotion man John O Neill, and a large integrated public artwork for the new Museum of Free Derry and National Civil Rights Archive in the Bogside area of Derry opening in 2016.

Writing about Morris's artworks for Vol 1V of The Art and Architecture of Ireland (2014, p 248) Liam Kelly described them as 'made from the simplest materials, such as cardboard, masking tape and paint, (which adds to their sense of the ridiculous) explore the complexity of meanings and counter-meanings in the local situation. At the same time their economy of means carries a charge of recognition beyond the local resonances'.


Morris's work was included in the ground-breaking exhibition Directions Out, (Douglas Hyde Gallery and various venues in the United States) in 1986/7, in the British Art Show in 1990, L'Imaginaire Irlandais 1996 and in shows in Tate Liverpool, the Venice Biennale and more recently in Derry's Orchard Gallery and The Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast.

Latest News

Newark, NJ area Irish Organizations Plan 1916 Commemoration Events

New Northern NJ Chapter
The IACI is proud to announce their newest chapter.  Based in the Morristown, NJ area, this chapter will be working closely with the Jersey Shore Chapter and Drew University in co-sponsoring events.  Tentative plans include a day trip to the Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University and a concert featuring Mick Maloney at Drew University.  Chapter Officers will be:  President - Barbara Lyons, Vice-President - William Rogers, Secretary - Nancy Farrell, Treasurer - Carol Buck.  Should you be interested in joining this chapter, contact us

Join A Chapter


Were you once a member of a local chapter of the IACI? Perhaps you are new to our Institute and would like to meet with others in your area who are interested in Irish American Culture?

If you would like to help form a new chapter in your area, or if you were involved in one in the past and would be interested in reforming, please
contact us.



This informative e-newsletter offers members insights into Irish culture, history, and the latest happenings at the IACI. Besides providing updates on IACI programming, this publication offers feature articles, educational information, book reviews, and a wealth of other information.  It's Irish American culture, delivered straight to your e-mail inbox!  Click here to sign up!
We invite IACI members to share their stories, events, pictures, book/movie reviews, recipes, etc.    To submit material, click here.  

A Message From Our Patron

"I am delighted to be Patron of the Irish American Cultural Institute, an organisation that does such valuable work in strengthening and maintaining the important links that exist between Ireland and America.  Here in Ireland we are very proud of our wider global family, and feel a special connection with the United States who have welcomed so many generations of Irish emigrants into their communities.  We are deeply appreciative of all that the Irish American community contributes to our country, of the pride you still feel for your Irish heritage and culture and of your dedication to maintaining and showcasing that culture to other communities across the globe." 

MICHAEL D. HIGGINS, President of Ireland