By Kerri Bartlett, Assistant Editor
Irish Gift Immersion Weekend Postponed
Dear Irish Gift Supporters,
After careful and painful consideration, The Irish Gift has determined that due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances out of the organization’s control, we must postpone the Ireland Immersion Weekend 2013 to a future date.
Organizers have put in over a year of planning for this highly anticipated weekend and we intend on having this on a date to be announced in the near future.
This was not an easy decision but a necessary one based on the circumstances presented before us. The intention of The Irish Gift is to share our Irish Culture with Middle Tennessee and for the weekend to be both a resounding success and one that continues to lay the groundwork for the future growth of our organization, we could not ensure that this goal would be met based on the situations before us at the current time.
We ask that you keep the faith in The Irish Gift and what we are doing and please show up in 2014 to support us. We have worked so hard this past year to fulfill our vision; we were so near and now we get fight another day.
We sincerely apologize for any inconveniences this may cause and hope to be back up and running very soon with the great event and the announcement of a new date. Information regarding ticket refunds is forthcoming very soon.
Thank you for your support.
The Irish Gift
Ireland-native Eilis Crean is organizing Ireland Immersion Weekend Nov. 15-17 at Mountview Mansion in Brentwood. An avid fiddle player of East Galway Music, Crean is passionate about bringing Irish culture to the area. Submitted
Next weekend, Brentwood will immerse into the cultural fabric of Ireland with Celtic music, dancing, food, whiskey and informational classes. The woman, who brings a piece of her homeland to Mountview Mansion for Ireland Immersion Weekend Nov. 15-17, is Ireland-native Eilis Crean, a Brentwood and Franklin resident over the past three years.
“I feel like this is where I am supposed to be, and this is what I am supposed to be doing,” Crean said.
Crean has met many people in the area who have Irish roots, and are interested in learning about and celebrating their heritage.
“When people hear my accent and ask where I am from, it opens conversation about Ireland, and people just light up,” Crean said. “I wanted to provide a way to promote traditions that are in danger of dying out.”
Crean grew up in Ireland amongst rolling green hills in pastoral Roscommon County where she studied East Galway music under the instruction of world-renowned, legendary fiddle player, Eddie Kelly.
Kelly moved to her county when Crean was young, and it was then that she developed a passion for the rare form of regional Irish music, which only several musicians in the world play.
However later in life, looking for a new experience as well as a new job, Crean moved to Boston for a job in the healthcare technology field. There she experienced rich Irish culture in America and enjoyed many opportunities to celebrate her Irish roots.
After about nine years of focusing on her career in the northeast, she decided to make a sudden change.
After watching a TV program that reminded her of the South, she was suddenly struck with overwhelming, indescribable inspiration to move to the South.
“My soul spoke to me. After I watched the program, I knew that I had to move down South,” she said.
Although Crean felt compelled to follow her heart, she met resistance among friends who thought she was “crazy.”
“I felt like I was having a spiritual awakening, but I also cried for six months,” Crean said. “I felt like I was having a nervous break down, but the heart knows what it knows. It took a lot of courage.”
A friend took her on a tour of the South to help her decide on the ideal place to reside. The open space and scenic setting of Williamson County reminded her of her childhood home.
“When I saw the square and downtown Franklin, I knew that this was the place,” Crean said.
“Franklin loves history. People are proud and patriotic. Many don’t have a place to go to celebrate Irish culture. They are proud in a quieter way [compared to places in the northeast], but it runs just as deep.”
Crean began the nonprofit agency The Irish Gift recently to help promote the traditions of Ireland by offering culture, language and music classes.
This is the first Irish Immersion weekend event, one of the only of its kind in Middle Tennessee and the nation Crean said.
People from all around the area in multiple states and cities are contacting her about the event. The ticket price for three days is $150. Entertainers will be flown in from Ireland, and the group The Mockingbird Sings will perform. History and Gaelic language classes will be provided for interested participants as well as authentic meals, tastings and drinks.
“No matter how the event works out, I feel like I am in the right place, doing the right thing. There’s value in doing,” she said.
Posted on: 11/7/2013