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US dinner party raises $400,000 for Lyric Theatre Belfast

US dinner party raises $400,000 for Lyric Theatre Belfast

A fundraising dinner held at the Manhattan home of Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairman of the American , has raised nearly $400,000 for the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.

The dinner was hosted by Lyric patron Liam Neeson and special guests included actors Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn and Ciarán Hinds. Many leading philanthropists from the Irish American business community also attended.

Meryl Streep also hosted a major fundraising dinner in 2008 for another Belfast arts project, The MAC.

The theatre is trying to raise a total of £800,000 by June of this year to complete its capital campaign and secure a £500,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation in Michigan. The total cost of the new theatre will be £17 million.

Support for the project has come from a wide range of sources, including the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, private trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual philanthropists.

Loretta Brennan Glucksman is well known for her philanthropic work supporting Irish causes and she and her late husband have had a long association with the American Ireland Fund.

Paul Artherton has a BA (Hons) Degree from Queen’s University and a MA Degree in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University. He has worked in PR and fundraising for over 27 years. Previously assistant director for fundraising and public relations at the Simon Community Northern Ireland for seven years, for the last 17 years he has run his own fundraising consultancy business specialising in fundraising, sponsorship, public relations and recruitment. His clients have included charities, private sector and public bodies. Examples include the Ulster Cancer Foundation, Simon Communities of Ireland, NI Hospice, North and West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust, Aiken Promotions, the Industrial Development Board and the Ulster Museum. He has lectured on voluntary sector management at Queens University Belfast Institute for Continuing Education. Since 2010 Paul has been a lay member of the NI Charity Tribunal.

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