Special Events

Annual Luncheon: Celebrating the Women of Irish Arts

An afternoon at the Metropolitan Club honoring the women of our community


Tickets starting at $500

Mon, May 9, 2022



Amanda Talarico


The Metropolitan Club
One East 60th Street, New York City


Join us at the Metropolitan Club.

It is such an important time to bring everyone together to celebrate the arts, culture, and the inspiring women who make it all possible—women everywhere who embody the tenacity, the indomitability, and the humor of the Irish. To honor the incredible spirit of women everywhere, we are hosting our fourth annual Irish Arts Center Luncheon: Celebrating the Women of Irish Arts on Monday, May 9 at the Metropolitan Club. The event is a wonderful afternoon in the company of amazing women, including our two honorees, producer and curator, Ellen O’Brien Kelly, and actress Elizabeth McGovern of Downton Abbey.

View the invitation

Dress code: Business, festive, or cocktail attire


Classically trained vocalist Ellen O’Brien Kelly began her career as a concert artist with performance credits across New York, Nashville, and Europe. As a founding board director of National Sawdust, Ellen launched its inaugural Irish Origins Music Series curated to promote Irish roots music and presented in collaboration with Irish Arts Center. Together with Teachta Dála, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Ellen also served as co-producer of Irish Stand, a multicultural philanthropic advocacy event created to inspire inclusivity through music, poetry, and song.

Ellen’s earlier years were imbued with the ardent Hibernian pride of her grandparents – 1920s immigrants from Cork, Clare, Mayo, and Offaly – each of whom embraced the traditional music, dance, and culture of Ireland. This instilled a deep sense of passion for her Irish identity, which has blossomed into her devoted sense of support and inquiry in the Irish diaspora today. Ellen completed a Master of Arts degree in Irish Studies from New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House and contributed an essay to its 2018 publication, Being New York, Being Irish. Her academic research on the intersection of Irish music practice in the U.S. inspired a documentary film, From Ballinakill to Boonton: Irish Traditional Music in New Jersey, which she conceived, directed, and produced. Ellen has most recently completed an Irish arts intensive through University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance program, Blas.

Ellen’s enthusiastic support for the New Irish Arts Center finds its roots in her mother’s enamored and frequent visits, as early as the company’s inception in the 1970s. She and her husband, Pete Kelly, live in New Jersey; they have two sons, Conor and Declan.

Elizabeth McGovern’s career spans theatre, film, television, and music. Most recently she adapted and starred as Ava Gardner in the play AVA: THE SECRET CONVERSATIONS, based on the book “The Secret Conversations” by Peter Evans and Ava Gardner. Prior to that, she starred as Lady Cora in the feature film adaptation of the multiple award-winning television show DOWNTON ABBEY, a role for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy and won a SAG Award. She can next be seen reprising the role of Lady Cora in the highly anticipated sequel, DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA.

2017 saw Elizabeth produce her first feature, in which she also starred, THE CHAPERONE, written by Julian Fellowes and based on the book by Laura Moriarty. The film debuted in March 2019 and was released theatrically by PBS Films. Prior to that, Elizabeth was featured in Bjorn Runge’s Oscar and BAFTA nominated THE WIFE, with Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce.

Elizabeth received an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination for her role in RAGTIME, her second feature film, following her debut in Robert Redford’s ORDINARY PEOPLE whilst she was still a student at Julliard. She has worked with John Hughes in SHE’S HAVING A BABY, Curtis Hanson in THE BEDROOM WINDOW, and Steven Soderbergh in KING OF THE HILL. Other major film roles have included starring opposite Robert De Niro in ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA and Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage in RACING WITH THE MOON.

Elizabeth has performed in the theatre in America and the U.K., winning the 2013 Will Award from the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Other notable productions include Alexi Kaye Campbell’s SUNSET AT THE VILLA THALIA, Lindsay Posner’s GOD OF CARNAGE last year in Bath, THE MISANTHROPE at the Young Vic, THREE DAYS OF RAIN at the Donmar and David Mamet’s THE SHAWL at the Arcola Theatre. 2017 saw her return to Broadway in J.B Priestley’s TIME AND THE CONWAYS.

In 2019 Elizabeth was seen on the stage in the West End Premiere of Kenneth Lonergan’s THE STARRY MESSENGER, with Matthew Broderick. She also starred in WAR OF THE WORLDS, with Gabriel Byrne, for Canal Plus and Fox, which aired on EPIX in the US.

McGovern also fronts and writes the songs for the band ‘Sadie and the Hotheads’ and has performed globally with them. Her first solo album THE TRUTH was released by Universal on their Mi5 label on March 21, 2019.

Our Supporters

Irish Arts Center programs are supported, in part, by government, foundation, and corporate partners including Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; Howard Gilman Foundation; Jerome L. Greene Foundation; the Charina Endowment Fund; the Ireland Funds; the Shubert Foundation, Inc.; the Irish Institute of New York; the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, New York; the Charles Lawrence Keith & Clara Miller Foundation; Northern Ireland Bureau; the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate of Ireland in New York; British Council; Morgan Stanley; Tourism Ireland; and thousands of generous donors like you.


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