Baucus Announces $100,000 Grant for Recording of Irish Heritage
Irish Ambassador Delivers Check to UM during Viewing of Corcoran Art Exhibit at Butte-Silver Bow Archives
Posted: Monday, September 13, 2010
Posted: Monday, September 13, 2010
(Butte, MT.) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus stood with Ireland's Ambassador to the United States Michael Collins yesterday to deliver a $100,000 grant to support the collection of Montana's Irish Heritage through an oral history project affiliated with the University of Montana. Baucus hosted Ambassador Collins and other world ambassadors this week on a tour of the state to promote Montana agriculture, manufacturing and tourism before attending his Economic Development Summit in Butte today. Ambassador Collins presented the $100,000 check to UM President George Dennison during a viewing of the Corcoran art exhibit Baucus helped bring to the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives during the Summit.
"This generous donation delivered by Ambassador Collins from Ireland honors the rich heritage and strong family ties we share with Ireland here in Butte and across Montana. And this project will help us pass these traditions on to our children and grandchildren and preserve our Irish heritage for generations to come," said Baucus. "I look forward to building on Montana and Ireland's rich history by expanding our economic relationship."
Baucus and Ambassador Collins presented the grant to Dennison last night at the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives. The funding will support "The Gathering: Collected Oral Histories of the Irish in Montana," an interdisciplinary oral history project housed at UM that will record and archive the oral histories and folk traditions of the Irish in Montana.
"The Irish are integral to the history of this region, and the Gathering is an important program that will preserve that history to the benefit of both Montana and Ireland," Dennison said. "The University of Montana greatly appreciates the support provided for this program by the government of Ireland, which will produce a treasure trove of information for future scholars and members of the public. We also appreciate the ongoing support from Sen. Baucus and Ambassador Collins that made this unique partnership possible."
Part of the collected materials from the project will be stored at the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives to share with other academic and folklore institutions in Montana. This funding builds upon the Government of Ireland's long-term investment in University of Montana's Irish Studies Program, which over the past five years has totaled $210,000. Montana's Irish studies program is the only one of its kind west of the Mississippi River and includes history, literature, dance, music and language components.
Baucus helped bring the Corocoran art collection -- including paintings by renowned artists Pierre Renoir, J.M.W. Turner, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and John Constable - to Butte from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. for the Economic Development Summit. The Senator invited Summit participants to join him for a viewing of the famous works yesterday evening.
Among the artwork in the collection are pieces from the William Clark Collection. Clark, the late Montana Senator and copper baron, was a long-time Corcoran trustee and benefactor. After his death in 1925, Clark's collection of over 800 works was donated to the Corcoran.
The Economic Development Summit kicked-off today. Live webcast of the Summit is available online at: www.montanaeconomicsummit.org.
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