WESTERLY — Stonington residents Chris Kepple and Dale DeGroff will team up for a special pre-St. Patrick’s Day program this evening at the United Theatre.

The event will feature a screening of Kepple’s documentary film, "A Call to Arts," and a history and tasting of Irish coffee by Degroff, a noted mixologist.

Kepple's film, about Irish rebel and writer Ernie O’Malley and Connecticut artist Helen Hooker, was shot in Stonington, Newport, Dublin and Limerick.

Kepple said in an email that "A Call to Arts" — which premiered on the RTÉ Network in Ireland and Connecticut Public Television in 2020 — is a film about "love, art, revolution and Ireland." 

Kepple said "'A Call to Arts' is not only about Helen Hooker and Ernie O’Malley in Ireland, but also about their youngest son Cormac’s mission to discover their incredible legacy.

"The unlikely pair fell in love in New York and together they helped change the shape of the arts in Ireland in the 20th century," he said.

Sunniva O'Flynn, head of Irish film programming at the Irish Film Institute, said of the film, "It is a wonderful piece of work — fascinating for the political and personal histories it reveals; lively in its expert contributors and visually very rewarding — not least for Helen's beautiful and important photographic and sculptural works.”

DeGroff, who grew up in Westerly, is the author of "The Craft of the Cocktail" and winner of two James Beard Awards, the TOC Lifetime Achievement Award, and Wine Enthusiast's 2018 Cocktail Legend Award, among others.

O'Malley and Kepple will be on hand for the Q&A following the film.

— Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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