Crowley Helps to Bring Bronx's Keltic Dreams to the White House St. Patrick's Day Celebration

Mar 17, 2010 Issues:

Washington, D.C. —At the request of Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), the Keltic Dream Irish Dancers will perform tonight at the White House’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The Keltic Dreams Irish Dancers are a group of young men and women between the ages of 7 and 12, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, who attend Public School 59 in Bronx, NY.  The Keltic Dreams dance troupe provides these children, most of whom come from low-income families, with a valuable extra-curricular activity, keeps them engaged in their community, and introduces them to another country’s culture. 
 
“I am so excited to watch the Keltic Dreams Irish Dancers perform at the White House’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration,” said Congressman Crowley. “Tonight’s performance will be such an achievement, and I congratulate the dancers and their director, Caroline Duggan.  I know I share the community’s pride in saying that the Keltic Dreams dancers are ‘made in the Bronx’ and will showcase the best of our community.”

The dancers’ upcoming performance at the White House comes after the strong encouragement of Congressman Crowley – who requested in 2009 and 2010 that the Keltic Dreams dancers be a part of the White House’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities (text of letter is below). The Keltic Dreams were also featured at Congressman Crowley’s annual Black History month celebration in February at Co-Op City’s Dreiser Loop Auditorium, where the children performed before a crowd of more than 1,000, including former President Bill Clinton (photo above). 
 
“A big thank you to Congressman Crowley for his support of the Keltic Dreams and helping us achieve a performance at the White House.  Also, special thanks to Stella O’Leary, the American Ireland Fund, Declan Kelly and the Irish Embassy for their efforts as well.  We are tremendously grateful to the White House for this opportunity and the invitation to perform.  This is an absolute dream come true and we hope to make everyone that supports us very, very proud,” said Caroline Duggan, Founder and Director of the Keltic Dreams Irish Dancers.
 
Congressman Crowley is currently serving his 6th term representing New York’s 7th Congressional District, the most ethnically diverse community in the United States.  As the Chief Deputy Whip, Congressman Crowley is the highest-ranking New York member in the leadership of the House Democratic Caucus and sits on the prestigious House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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FULL TEXT OF LETTER

January 15, 2010
 
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
 
Dear President Obama,
 
It is my hope you will incorporate the Keltic Dreams Irish Dancers into the White House’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  The Keltic Dreams have performed marvelously at a wide variety of large public events previously, including The Plaza at Lincoln Center in New York City, The New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Irish Connections Festival in Boston, Massachusetts, and they would be an extraordinary addition to this year’s event.
 
The Keltic Dreams Irish Dancers are a group of young women between the ages of 7 and 12 who attend Public School 59 in Bronx, NY.  All of the students are African American or Hispanic, and most come from low-income households.  The Keltic Dreams program provides young girls with a valuable extra-curricular activity, and it has exposed the Bronx community to a cross-cultural experience.  The girls who have participated in Keltic Dreams have gained confidence, developed a greater understanding of another culture, and learned the importance of being able to work as part of a team.  A performance at the White House will not only allow the girls to share their dedication, teamwork, and talents with others, but it will give them additional encouragement to continue working hard.

Thank you for considering the Keltic Dreams Irish Dancers’ participation on St. Patrick’s Day. I know that a performance at the White House will further the Keltic dancers’ belief that anything is possible.