Cultural Village (Ballyfest)

Immerse yourself in Irish art, literature, history, sports and theatre in the recently redesigned Cultural Village. There’s a lot to see in the Village! Hear lectures at the Hedge School, hear the beautiful sounds of Ireland's national symbol at the Harp Stage, see international productions at the Theatre Pavillion, shop the artisans at the Moore Street Marke, meet your favorite authors at the Literary Corner, or stop at the Village Pub, where you can experience a diverse cross-section of music before you visit the rest of the festival.

Harp Stage

The Harp Stage is the place to hear the music of the harp, the only musical instrument to be the symbol of a country. The mix of music marries the ancient to the modern, in an often electric manner, with some of the best harpers in the world.

Hedge School

The Hedge School will offer a series of lectures by leading authorities in Irish history, literature, language and culture.

Literary Corner

Authors featured in 2014:

  • Dr. Sean Duffy, “Ireland 1000-1250: Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf”
  • Dr. Martin Dowling, “Traditional Music and Irish Society: Historical Perspectives”
  • David McDonnell, “Clan Donnell, a Story of the History of Ireland"
  • Monica Dougherty, “Rose’s Ring"
  • Joe Murphy, “Echoes in a Gangway”
  • Rex Owen, “Murphy’s Troubles”
  • Sharyn Barrett Wyllie, “Scotland...Through the Eyes of an American”
Also here: Rainbow Books for Children, Chicago’s IBAM, and a Coffee Shop. Enter the Limerick Contest or the children's Leprechaun Contest, catch up on brilliant books and great authors, and visit The Autograph Tree and buy an author-signed book.

The Literary Corner is sposored by Little Read Book of Wauwatosa. Milwaukee's Rainbow Booksellers for Children will again be a vendor in the Literary Corner.
 
Featured authors in past years have included:
 
  • Derek Mulveen, "Oisin the Brave"
  • John Liam Shea, "Cut and Run in the Bronx"
  • Jeri McCormmick, "Marrowbone of Memory: Ireland's Great Famine"
  • Cynthia Neale, "The Making of an Irish American Woman in NYC"
  • Karen McCarth
  • Jackie Maggiore & Donald J Mueller
  • Matt Flynn (Amy & Mary Flynn for Matt), "Pryme Knumber"

Ward Music Archives

The Ward Irish Music Archives presented "Casey at the Bat: The Irish in Baseball" and "The Fighting Irish: The Irish in Boxing" in 2014. Stay tuned for 2015's archives exhibits! The photo contest will also be held in the Archives Gallery.

Gaeltacht - Sponsored by Shamrock Club

Steeped in tradition, brimming with talent and sweetened with native speakers, the Gaeltacht line-up is sure to hit the spot. The Gaeltacht, or Irish speaking area, will showcase the Irish language and traditional Irish culture. You can learn simple Irish phrases or challenge yourself with some flirty chat-up lines! Don't miss the sean-nos, or "old style," dance lessons, or the amazing performances by Ireland's Oireachtas Winners. You can stop in any time and enjoy traditional Irish humor, song, dance and language. The Gaeltacht is where the Irish go to feel at home. Check out the Gaeltacht schedule.

Irish Language Workshop (Ceardlann na Gaeilge)

Irish language books, games, DVDs and CDs for adults and children are for sale, plus games to play and Irish speakers to help learners practice the language. Newin 2014: Bitesize Irish Gaelic from Limerick takes part in the workshop, featuring their Irish language learning system and offering free beginner and intermediate/advanced lessons. Lou Harper Memorial Scholarship applications are available. Some translating possible. Failte Romhat!

Cultural Exhibits Pavilion

In 2014, the Cultural Pavillion looked back to 1014 and Brian Boru’s Battle of Clontarf. This significant cultural presentation featured four Counties associated with Boru - Clare, Tipperary, Dublin and Armagh, with representatives presenting music, crafts, history, genealogy, literature and archeology in conjunction with the High King’s last battle. There was also an exhibit on The Irish in World War One, Irish films at the Volta Theatre, and several other cultural presentations.

Genealogy

Enjoy exhibits showcasing local history resources and Irish research findings. Discover your family surname history, find townlands and start your family tree on Ancestry.com. Work with our genealogists online, check out military records and Civil War resources, view our Faces of Ireland photo exhibit and see detailed maps of Ireland, Scotland and Canada.

Meehan Boat House

The Meehan Boat House displays Currach's for fest goers to see. Learn about the history of Currachs and sign up to join the Irish Currach Club of Milwaukee.

Waltons Music Shop

Looking for a bodhran, music books or other instruments? Waltons is back! Learn how to play the bodhran at the Celtic Groove School: Friday 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday 1 to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

Moore Street Market

Located in the Cultural Village on the South End of the festival grounds, the Moore Street Market is where you will find unique handmade items and be able to chat with the artists that made them. In 2014, we welcomed the Galway Bakers, Shard Art Jewelry from Liam Hughes, Rathlin Knitwear from Donal Sweeney, Nature and Nurture Soaps from Justin Theese, Art Glass from  stained glass artist Micky Oliver, Studio Donegal hand-woven goods from Tristan Donaghy, Irish Imports' irish coins and beleek from Mary Teahan, Aran Island basket weaver Vincent McCarran and coffee and tea service from Paddy's Cafe.

Theatre Pavilion
The Theatre Pavilion offers some of the best Irish plays written by Irish playwrights and performed by Irish (and honorary Irish) players. The Theatre is rich in Irish theatre tradition and Milwaukee Irish Fest brings a nice assortment of Irish plays for all fest goers to enjoy. In 2014, groups included Kincora Traditional Music Group, Chicago’s Wildflower Theatre, Milwaukee’s In Tandem Theatre, The Armagh Rhymers, The Bangor Drama Club and Milwaukee Irish Arts.