T.j. english

Special-edition salon to benefit librarians

Best-selling author and former IAW&A President T.J. English will read at the event supporting urban librarians.

PHOTO: PETER MCDERMOTT

By Karen Daly

Irish American Artists & Writers will hold its first fundraising, “special edition” salon, entitled “The Amazing Library Variety Show, with Readings, Music, Performance and More!” on Tuesday, May 19 at The Cell Theatre.

As part of its mission to encourage full participation in and access to the arts and education, IAW&A has selected the New York City-based grassroots advocacy group, Urban Librarians Unite to benefit from a night showcasing many of IAW&A’s talented members and special guests.

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The show’s producer Mark Butler, who has recruited a stellar group of artists and musicians to donate their time and talent says, "We're calling it the ‘Amazing Library Variety Show’ because the lineup is amazing and so is this organization. ULU works tirelessly to help libraries thrive and survive."

Hammerstep, the innovative dance troupe which combines Irish and contemporary dance into an explosive new style is scheduled to make its first IAW&A appearance. Among the headliners scheduled to appear are raconteur and salon founder Malachy McCourt; Black 47 founder and IAW&A president Larry Kirwan; Irish tenor Karl Scully; singers Cathy Maguire and Maxine Linehan; and traditional musicians Tony DeMarco and Don Meade.

Best-selling authors T.J. English and Mary Pat Kelly will read from their work. More fan favorites include jazz saxophonist Jon Gordon; actor and writer Honor Molloy; accordionist and singer Marni Rice; novelist/poet John Kearns; off-Broadway star Richard Butler, and comedic performer Sarah Fearon.

IAW&A will give all proceeds from the show to support the work of Urban Librarians Unite. Among its initiatives, the group operates a Save NYC Libraries Campaign and Volunteer Library Brigade that brings books, maps, Wi-Fi and free eBooks to city sidewalks and parks. Their Hurricane Sandy Children’s Book Campaign distributed over 20,000 books through free mini-libraries in areas of Brooklyn and Queens where libraries were damaged by the storm.

Urban Librarians Unite’s popular “24 Hour Read In” celebrates the written word and the role of the public library in New York City. This year’s Read In will be held at City Hall on June 9 at 4 p.m. to June 10 at 4 p.m.

Irish American Writers & Artists Board Member and Treasurer, John Kearns says, “We’re very proud to mark the 4th anniversary of IAW&A Salons with this very special event that will benefit a dynamic organization that is focused on helping the community.”

“The Amazing Library Variety Show with Readings, Music, Performance and More!” will take place on next Tuesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. The Cell Theatre, 338 West 23rd St., Manhattan. $25 Suggested Donation. Reservations at amazinglibraryshow@hotmail.com