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Neeson Hosts US Fundraising Dinner For Theatre

Ballymena-born actor Liam Neeson hosted a private fundraising dinner last week in New York in aid of the Lyric Theatre, of which he is Patron.
Special guests who turned out to show their support included actors Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn and Ciarán Hinds.
The dinner was held at the Manhattan home of Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairman of the American Ireland Fund. The evening included a presentation in music and readings about the Lyric, with performances by Brian Kennedy and double Tony nominee Conleth Hill, and a menu designed by Paul Rankin.
Chairman of the Lyric, Mark Carruthers, joined Liam Neeson in urging guests to support the theatre’s fundraising campaign and help to transform Northern Ireland’s cultural landscape.
The dinner was deemed a "resounding success" and has raised nearly $400,000 (£250,000) so far. The theatre has to raise a total of £800,000 by June to complete its capital campaign and secure a £500,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation in Michigan.
The Lyric’s fundraising team has been working since 2003 to raise the funds to build a completed the redevelopment of the Belfast theatre. Support 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.
With nearly four times the floor space than in the original theatre, the Lyric’s new home will consist of a 394 seat main auditorium, a 150 seat studio theatre, a rehearsal room, extensive riverfront foyers and bar, dressing rooms, technical facilities and office accommodation.
Ciarán McAuley, Chief Executive of the Lyric Theatre commented: "We would really like to thank all the Lyric’s funders, sponsors and donors who have contributed to our fund raising campaign so far."

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