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Sun, Apr 30


Irish American Heritage Center

Mother Jones May Day Birthday Party

Featuring World Famous Irish Fiddler Liz Carroll Brendan and Siobhan McKinney Mother Jones performed by Brigid Duffy Karen White, NEA Deputy ex. director Others to be announced Huge Birthday Cake supplied by Bakers Local 1

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Mother Jones May Day Birthday Party
Mother Jones May Day Birthday Party

Time & Location

Apr 30, 2023, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Ave, Chicago, IL 60630, USA


About the Event

other speakers to be added


Liz Carroll, Irish Fiddler

 Liz  Carroll is an Irish fiddler, composer, and recording artist. She is the  first Irish-American musician to be nominated for a Grammy, and the  first American-born composer honored with the Cumadóir TG4, Ireland’s  most significant traditional music prize. She has toured as a solo  artist and with The Green Fields of America, the group Trian,  as the duo Liz Carroll & John Doyle, String Sisters, and now as a  duo with guitarist and pianist Jake Charron. Featured on fourteen albums  and appearing on many more, her duet album with Jake Charron, Half Day Road, was released in February of 2019.

Brendan and Shiobhan McKinney on Pipes and Flute

We  are delighted that Brendan and Siobhan McKinney will also join us for  this event, on pipes and flute. The McKinneys are acclaimed musicians.  They’ve both won the All-Ireland Fleadh, the most prestigious Irish  music competition. Siobhan plays wooden flute and tin whistle and  Brendan plays uilleann pipes, Highland bagpipes, wooden flute, and  whistle.   Siobhan was born in the Sliabh Luachra area  in County Kerry Ireland, an area known for Polkas and Slides. She  learned to play music from her father who played the accordion.   Brendan was born in Michigan to Irish immigrant parents from Kerry and  Derry. He won the Senior All Ireland competition in the Highland Pipes  in 1973.   Siobhan and Brendan opened opened Chief O'Neill's Pub & Restaurant  in 1999, a place known as the mecca of Irish culture in Chicago.

Karen White, Deputy Executive Director, National Education Association

Karen White's  labor roots run deep.  In 1965, when her mother was a classroom  teacher, she was told she could no longer teach because she was pregnant  with Karen. Her mother used that injustice  as an organizing tool to help build the modern Michigan Education  Association, where her model contract language is still being used in  negotiations today. Karen's Dad worked as a union printer, and much of Karen's  organizing experience was leafleting and  walking the picket line as Local 13 fought Detroit's anti-union  newspapers.  After graduating from Michigan State University and student  teaching, Karen worked as a Regional Organizer and Trainer for the National Association of Letter Carriers. Karen also  honed her organizing skills as a Statewide Campaign Manager and Senior  Staffer for Maryland Governor Parris Glendenning.  In 2003 Karen became the National Political Director of Emily's List.  At Emily's  List, she was responsible for political, training, research,  and communications departments. She also managed the Women Vote!  Program and grew it into one of the nation's most extensive voter  mobilization programs.  In 2007 Karen returned "home" to become the National Political Director of The National Education Association,  the largest union in the United States.  Since then, Karen has also served as their Chief Information Executive, where she  developed an enterprise-wide online organizing tool for staff and  members (NEA360). In 2017, Karen became the  NEA's Deputy Executive  Director, overseeing the union's public affairs work, including  electoral campaigns, racial and social justice, government relations,  advocacy, partnerships, and communications.

Brigid Duffy as Mother Jones

Brigid Duffy, a native of County Longford, appeared at American Conservatory Theatre, Drury Lane Water Tower, Steppenwolf , Goodman, Irish Rep., Victory Gardens and Northlight. As a Sarah Siddons Scholarship winner, Brigid attended the Goodman School of Drama and has an M.A. in Theatre. She was a CPS teacher for 35 years and won the prestigious Golden Apple Award. Brigid appears in the film “A Christmas Movie Christmas,” “Chicago PD,” “Chicago Fire” and can be seen in the upcoming “Somebody Somewhere” and Toyota’s Christmas commercial. She brought fire to the Mother Jones character in our recent production of "A Table for Two".

Kathy Cowan

Acclaimed singer and actor Kathy Cowan has performed with The Paul Winter Consort, The Ruth Page Dance Foundation, Doc Severinsen, many symphonies, and at the Kennedy Center. She toured for more than a decade with her band Kiltartan Road, delighting audiences and garnering critical praise. A member of the faculties of the Old Town School of Folk Music and Northeastern Illinois University, Ms. Cowan’s most recent projects include From Ireland, a program about the Irish immigrant experience, and St. Jane and the Wicked Wicks, a musical play in which she portrays Jane Addams.

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