Promoting Irish-American Culture
and Preserving Local Histories
Through Year-Round Programs

The 2024 Irish American Crossroads Festival

2024 Scheduled Events

Gerry O’Connor and Don Penzien in Concert
Saturday, March 9th, 9pm

This promises to be a wonderful evening of music featuring Gerry O’Connor, founding member of Lá Lugh, Skylark and Oirialla, and Don Penzien, long recognized as a top-flight performer of Irish traditional music.

Gerry O’Connor, considered one of the greatest fiddlers of his generation, was born in Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland, and won numerous All Ireland titles. He has played and recorded with Lá Lúgh, Skylark, Planxty, The Bothy Band, De Dannan and The Chieftains. Gerry will be performing with Don Penzien, who is frequently on the road with Gailfrean, The Máirtín de Cógáin Project, and others. Don’s dexterous work on DADGAD-tuned guitar provides solid driving rhythms to traditional tunes. A Michigan native, he founded and directed CelticFest Mississippi for 25 years. Join us for what promises to be a great evening of Irish music!

The Plough and the Stars Pub, 116 Clement Street, San Francisco

Admission:  $20  Tickets available at Eventbrite and at the Door.

Flynn Memorial Concert. Hillary Flynn was the guiding force behind the launch of the Irish American Crossroads Festival in 2004. She passed away in November 2020 following a courageous battle with cancer. Crossroads is proud to present this annual music event in Hillary’s memory.

Preservation and Innovation: Irish and Irish-American Arts, Culture and History in the San Francisco Bay Area 
Sunday, March 10, 1-3pm

Join us for a unique event where leaders of Irish community organizations discuss the motivations for their work to support Irish/Irish-American culture, arts, and history and share their visions for the future.  The panel includes:

Tony Bucher,  President of the Irish Literary & Historical Society, Columnist for the Irish Herald

Catherine Barry, Board member of SF Irish Film/ Co-Director of the Irish Oral History Archive of the SF Bay Area, Founder/Director of Irish Culture Bay Area

Susan Keith, Chair Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Cooley-Keegan Branch

Eileen Mize, Director of Keepers of the Steps,  Marketing Team of the United Irish Cultural Center (pictured)

United Irish Cultural Center, St. Francis Room, 2700 45th Avenue San Francisco

Admission:  FREE

Tony Bucher is President of the Irish Literary & Historical Society of San Francisco and a columnist for the Irish Herald newspaper.  He has presented talks on Irish Americana and the history of the 1970s at the Mechanics Institute as well as academic conferences and literary festivals in Ireland and the US.  He holds a BA in History from UC Berkeley and an MA from Columbia University.

Susan Keith was born near London to an Irish mother and an English father. She moved to California as a young girl and grew up listening to her mother’s endless céilí band records. She started Irish step dancing at 18 and became involved with the South Bay Irish music scene. She continued to dance as an adult and performed with her parents and sons at local events. She has taught Irish céilí dances at Lark In the Morning music camp and at children’s céilís at Lilly Mac’s in Sunnyvale. She is an avid set and sean nos dancer, a participant and sometimes host of the local monthly Irish singing session, and currently the Chair of the SF Cooley-Keegan branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. A retired elementary school teacher, Susan is also now a board member of The Celtic Society of The Monterey Bay.

Catherine Barry is founder and director of Irish Culture Bay Area and the Irish Arts & Writers Festival. She has an extensive background in publishing and is currently editor at SF/Arts magazine. Catherine was a founding managing editor of the Irish Herald in the late 1990s and has been involved with several Irish organizations over the past 25 years, including the SF Irish Film, the Irish Literary & Historical Society, the Ireland Funds, and her most cherished role is lead interviewer for the Crossroads Irish American Oral History Archive project.


Connecting Ireland and the Caribbean 
Sunday, March 24, 2.40pm

Join us to learn about literary and historical intersections between the Caribbean and Ireland.  Dr. Miriam Nyhan Grey, Assistant Professor of History, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, and Dr. Maria McGarrity, Professor of English at Long Island University, will present and engage in conversation about their research.  Presidio Theatre, 99 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco

Admission: FREE, book your seats here
In association with the 2024 Irish Arts & Writers Festival:

Dr. Miriam Nyhan Grey‘s current research agenda is animated by the intersections of race, ethnicity and imperial legacies in the Irish diasporic experience, with a special interest in the United States and the Caribbean. She has recently returned to Ireland after a decade and a half at New York University where she was Associate Director of NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House, Director of the MA in Irish Studies, NYU’s Global Coordinator for Irish Studies and co-director of the oral history collection at the Archives of Irish America. A founding board member of the non-profit organization African American Irish Diaspora Network in 2019, Miriam is also the originator of the innovative and ongoing Black, Brown and Green Voices program. She is currently Assistant Professor of History at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

Dr. Maria McGarrity is Professor of English at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York,  A 2023 Fulbright Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Center at Queen’s University  Belfast, her latest book, Modern Irish Literature and the Primitive Sublime, is forthcoming from Routledge in 2024.  In this new work, she links the poetry of Seamus Heaney and Eavan Boland to Caribbean cultural practices surrounding the colonial/postcolonial reanimation of the body into forms of “The Living Dead.” She has published widely in journals including the James Joyce Quarterly, Ariel: a Review of International English Literature, CLA Journal, and The Journal of West Indian Literature. She has previously published two monographs, Washed by the Gulf Stream: the Historic and Geographic Relation of Irish and Caribbean Literature (Delaware, 2008) and Allusions in Omeros: Notes and a Guide for Derek Walcott’s Masterpiece (Florida, 2015) and two co-edited collections, Irish Modernism and the Global Primitive (Palgrave, 2009) and Caribbean Irish Connections: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (University of the West Indies Press, 2015). She coordinates the associated public Facebook page, and is especially interested in how Irish diasporic communities in the Americas negotiate identity and belonging.


Crossroads Salon
Saturday, April 6, 2pm – 5pm

Bring your creative work about Irish/Irish-American culture, history or experience to share with this warm and appreciative audience. The Crossroads Salon is a convivial gathering where local writers, musicians, singers and visual artists gather to enjoy each other’s work.  Join us at a gracious home with sweeping views of San Francisco for this annual event.

Private Residence in San Francisco, Address provided with RSVP

Admission:  FREE, RSVP to:

Irish Sean Nós Singing Workshop with Amelia Hogan
Saturday, April 13, 1-2.30pm

This workshop introduces an overview of what Sean Nos Singing IS, some typical markers and regional differences, the feel and flavor. Workshop attendees will begin learning a traditional Irish song in Irish Gaelic (As Gaeilge) taught through a call and response, and informational approach.

United Irish Cultural Center, St. Francis Room, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco

Admission: $20 – RSVP to to secure a spot

Oral Histories at the Crossroads
Saturday, April 13th, 3-5pm

Join us to hear participants in the Irish Oral History Archive of the San Francisco Bay Area share their stories.

United Irish Cultural Center, St. Francis Room, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco

Admission: FREE