by America's Other Irish

AMERICA’S OTHER IRISH – A MUSICAL JOURNEY How immigrants from the north of Ireland profoundly influenced democracy in America with the same spirit reflected in their music.

Liberal democracy is under dire threat in the United States and around the world. Autocratic movements are aggressively trying to subvert enlightened representative democracy in favor of fascist authoritarianism. By exploring the important place of one ethnic immigrant group in America’s democratic history, our media project will enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the principles of freedom and equality underlying the constitutional republic our Founding Fathers  created in the U.S. as a model for all freedom-loving nations.

Long before the Great Famine, immigrants from the north of Ireland - mostly Presbyterians of Scots heritage - profoundly influenced American history, politics and culture. Our two-hour public television documentary will finally tell their vital but neglected story.

We are launching a production fundraising campaign, including crowd-funding. That’s where you come in. The $50,000 we seek through this Wedidit campaign will provide the seed money crucial to bringing this long-overdue project to fruition.


The Project:

AMERICA’S OTHER IRISH – A MUSICAL JOURNEY will be a two-hour public television documentary combining narrative and music performance to recount the little-known but vital role of the people known as the “Scotch-Irish" or "Scots-Irish" in shaping our country’s democratic traditions, values and conflicts. The content will not be ancestor-worship, but rather an objective history based on solid scholarship. Moreover, it will confound conventional wisdom by underscoring the common bonds between Irish Catholics and Protestants in Ireland and in the U.S., rather than dwelling on just the differences that have sometimes divided them.


The Music:

A unique creative feature of our approach will be the seamless integration of conventional documentary narrative with music performance. The film will interweave the narrative with musical performances -- mostly traditional ballads and some instrumental pieces -- that illustrate and emotionally reflect the stories told in the narrative. Some of the musical selections will be archival, but most will be performed by an ensemble of American and Irish singers and musicians organized for the project and led by legendary folk singer John McCutcheon, the film’s narrator. As the late Irish traditional singer and song collector Frank Harte wrote, “Those in power write the history, while those who suffer write the songs.”


The Production:

AMERICA’S OTHER IRISH – A MUSICAL JOURNEY is being produced by two Atlanta-based filmmakers – Chris Moser of Redwine Productions and David Hughes Duke of Duke Associates. The film will be offered to all PBS affiliates for broadcast as well as to public service television in Ireland, the U.K. and continental Europe, and exhibited on line.

This project has been exhaustively researched. Under grants from the Ulster-Scots Agency, Northern Ireland Screen, and four state humanities councils in the U.S., we have over many years enlisted as consultants some of the world’s most eminent scholars in Ulster-Scots/Scotch-Irish history, music, and culture. Production will take place in the United States, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Although ours is at heart an American story, we will devote significant attention to the history of this group’s forebears in Scotland and Ireland in order to provide context.


Make a contribution toward the documentary:

Your donation is tax-deductible! AMERICA’S OTHER IRISH – A MUSICAL JOURNEY is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions in support of AMERICA’S OTHER IRISH – A MUSICAL JOURNEY are payable to IDA and are tax-deductible, less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services offered is noted under each donation level. If you would like to deduct the entire donation, decline the reward at checkout.

This media project is dedicated to Presbyterians, Catholics and others of faith working for peace and reconciliation in Ireland, America and the world.

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