Superstorm Sandy: Learning from Our Neighbors Roundtable


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Photograph of  Prattsville by Sue Clark.On Sunday, November 12 at 2 pm, the Long Island Museum, in collaboration with Long Island Traditions, will host a roundtable discussion: Learning from our Neighbors, looking back on the five years since Super Storm Sandy and how communities come together following other historic storms.

Nancy Solomon, Director of Long Island Traditions will facilitate a panel discussion with storm survivors from upstate New York, North Carolina, Long Island and Staten Island on coping and rebuilding after Mother Nature’s wrath. Following the discussion, visitors may visit In Harm’s Way, on display in the Art Museum through December 31, 2017.

Panelists include Billy Reed, a full time commercial fisherman from Hampton Bays, who lost his boat, “The Providence” as the storm surge entered Great South Bay during Sandy; Ernie Foster of North Carolina who has fished the waters off Hatteras professionally for 54 years and is the subject of Hatteras Blues (UNC Press) by Tom Carlson; Adisatu Kabba, a native of Sierra Leone and resident of Staten Island. Adisatu will share her extensive traditional knowledge of storms and hurricanes, both from her native country and more recently during Sandy on Staten Island. Also on the panel is Lillian Spina-Caza, a resident of Schoharie in upstate New York and a survivor of Hurricanes Irene and Lee during 2011, who was instrumental in founding SALT: Schoharie Area Long Term Development. She credits recovery from Hurricane Irene to the number of volunteers working together. Lillian is a professor of communications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Ellen McHale, Executive Director of the New York Folklore Society in Schenectady, NY, and curator of “In Harm’s Way” at the Schenectady Historical Society; Karen Amspacher of Harker’s Island, North Carolina, Executive Director of the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center founded in 1992; Naomi Sturm of Staten Island, Director of Public Programs for the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, and curator of “Working Waterfront: Memories Hold,” which examines the Superstorm Sandy experiences and maritime traditions of Staten Island.

Nancy Solomon is the executive director of Long Island Traditions and curator of the Long Island Museum’s current exhibition “In Harm’s Way.” Solomon has spent years documenting the experiences and traditions of resident and maritime tradition bearers during storms and hurricanes on Long Island.

Funding for the In Harm’s Way exhibition is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Humanities New York and The Gardiner Foundation.

Photo of Prattsville by Sue Clark.

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