Category Archives: Public History

I Love My Park Day May 2nd


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Andrew Cuomo at I Love NY Parks DayThe fourth annual I Love My Park Day will be on May 2nd.  I Love My Park Day is a statewide event that seeks to improve and enhance New York’s parks and historic sites. Volunteers clean up winter damage and other debris on park lands and beaches, plant trees and gardens, restore trails and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species, and work on various site improvement projects.

Nearly 90 parks and historic sites are expected to participate this year, from Montauk Point to Niagara Falls. The annual event is sponsored jointly by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Parks & Trails New York. Continue reading

Report: Erie Canalway Trail ‘Closing The Gaps’


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Erie Canalway Trail Progress 2014Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the Canalway Trails Association New York (CTANY) have released their fifth annual report, Closing the Gaps: A Progress Report on the Erie Canalway Trail 2014.

The report is intended to update canal corridor communities and national, state, and local decision makers on recent progress and current trail status as well as underscore the need for the resources and political support to ensure the 360-mile Erie Canalway Trail is finished. Continue reading

Historical Records Grants Available


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archives 2The New York State Archives has announced the application period for the Documentary Heritage Program grants for 2015-2016 is now open.

The Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) is a statewide program established by law to provide financial support and guidance to not-for-profit organizations that hold, collect and make available New York’s historical records. Funding is available to support projects that relate to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in New York’s historical record. Continue reading

Peter Feinman: Create Pathfinders In Your Region


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The PathfinderI attended The New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City in January, as a member of the press for The New York History Blog. The event included a special session, “Focus on New York State Destinations,” moderated by Tim Lewis, of Viator Inc.

The company apparently has been hired by ILoveNY to promote tours in New York State. Its website lists 19 tours in New York at present: 16 in Manhattan and three to Niagara Falls, including one-day trips from the New York City. There is a two-day bus trip to Niagara Falls from New York with a “Bargain shop at one of the large outlet malls on the way back to New York.” New York State history does not appear to be a prominent part of its tour packages at present. Again, it should be noted, the company was hired to promote New York State tourism not history tourism in New York State. Continue reading

Willa Skinner Recognized As 2015 ‘Woman of History’


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FSHSHH_WS_MtGulianGalaEach year, Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site sets out to recognize one woman’s demonstration of the character traits of Martha Washington. Throughout the American Revolution, including the time she spent with her husband at Headquarters, Newburgh, Martha Washington partook in activities displaying a myriad of traits that would cement her unique position as a woman of history.

Since 2003, fourteen leading women of the Hudson Valley have been chosen to receive the “Martha Washington Woman of History Award.” This year’s recipient was Town of Fishkill Historian Willa Skinner. Continue reading

Historic Hamilton and America’s Future


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Hamilton MusicalAlexander Hamilton is boffo at the box office. The heretofore unsung Founding Father best known for losing a duel is the subject of over two hours of song and dance in the new musical Hamilton. The Off-Broadway show is packing people in to rave reviews and reactions and is expected to move to Broadway this summer. Hamilton has become a bit of a phenomenon that has taken Manhattan by storm.

Hamilton also is of critical importance to health and future of this country. While that might seem like an over-the-top assertion, it isn’t. Continue reading

$900 Million Being Invested in State Parks


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NY Parks 2020Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has unveiled a seven-point framework of the NY Parks 2020 Plan that is expected to use $900 million in public and private funding to modernize the State park system.

The plan is part of a multi-year commitment since 2011 to restore facilities, enhance visitor experience, update signage and create better access for tourists at parks across the State. The 2015-16 Executive Budget adds $110 million toward this initiative. Continue reading

Boscobel House and Gardens Appoints Curator


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Jennifer CarlquistBoscobel House & Gardens in Garrison, NY has announced the addition of Jennifer Carlquist as its new Curator (effective February 4, 2015). Carlquist is expected to oversee the museum’s collection of New York furniture and decorative arts from the Federal period and organize annual exhibitions.

Carlquist is an art historian specializing in American interiors and 17th- to 21st-century decorative arts and designs made, collected and/or retailed in America. Her 15-year career as a museum professional includes curatorial and fundraising positions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Weisman Art Museum, and Glensheen Historic Estate and a fellowship at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. Continue reading

Fort Ti President Named 2015 ‘Distinguished Patriot’


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Beth HillBeth L Hill, President and CEO of the Fort Ticonderoga Association, has been named the 2015 Distinguished Patriot by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York. The award was presented to Hill for her years of service in the historical profession and her strong leadership at Fort Ticonderoga.

Past recipients of the Distinguished Patriot Award include Senator Barry Goldwater, General William C. Westmoreland, Colonel Edwin E. Aldrin, Normand Vincent Peale, D.D, Senator James Buckley, Hon. Jean Kirkpatrick, and Senator Robert Dole. The award is given for outstanding academic or service performance.

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Historic Saranac Lake Hires Programs Coordinator


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Historic Saranac lakeHistoric Saranac Lake (HSL) has announced that Chessie Monks will serve as the new Public Programs Coordinator for the Saranac Laboratory Museum. Monks has a master’s degree in Library Science with a concentration in Archives Management from Simmons College in Boston.

In a statement to the press HSL Executive Director Amy Catania said, “The addition of Chessie to the staff will allow us to better connect with the public through improved exhibits, additional programming, and increased hours of operation. We’re so pleased that Chessie is joining our team and know that her enthusiasm and experience will serve us well.” Continue reading

NY History and Upstate Tourism Development Awards


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REDC RegionsThis post brings to a conclusion the series on the awards granted by the Regional Economic Development Councils in December 2014. The purpose of the series is to provide the history community with information about what actually is occurring in New York State funding.

It provides readers of these posts with the opportunity to draw on the primary source documents about what really is being done. It examines furthermore what Empire State Development is doing with the new money it has received and to determine if the Path through History has substance. Continue reading

2015 Preservation Week Begins April 26


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Preservation Week 2015New York Times best-selling author, television host and library advocate Brad Meltzer will serve as 2015 Honorary Chair of Preservation Week, April 26 – May 2, 2015, a time when libraries throughout the country will provide information and expertise on how to archive and preserve individual and institutional treasures.

During Preservation Week, themed “Pass it on,” participating libraries will offer special programs and services to help connect library users with preservation tools; promote the importance of preservation; and enhance knowledge of preservation issues among the general public. Continue reading

NYS Humanities Council Seeks Public Scholars


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NY Council for the HumanitiesThe New York State Council for the Humanities invites applications for their new public engagement initiative, the Public Scholars program.

Public Scholars is an evolution of the Council’s longstanding Speakers in the Humanities program. The new program promotes public humanities engagement across New York State by offering a selection of presentations facilitated by trained public engagement scholars. Continue reading

The REDC’s Art Tourism Funding


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REDC RegionsThis is the seventh in a series of posts on the awards granted by the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC). The Path through History received short shrift in the awards process, but there were history-related awards nonetheless.

These awards tended to be issued by the New York States Council on the Arts and the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) in accordance with policies created before Path through History was launched. In this post, we focus on the awards for another type of tourism: Art Tourism. Continue reading

NYS History Commission Stalled


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nycapitolThe legislative bills creating a New York State history commission have been reintroduced in the State Legislature, but advocates of the law say that it is unlikely to be voted on in 2015.

The law would establish a state history commission with a range of powers and a mandate to produce a statewide cultural and historical resource heritage plan.The bill has the support of the Museum Association of New York (MANY); but outside a roundtable meeting last spring, no other organization has publicly expressed its support. Continue reading

Historic Huguenot St Appoints Advisory Board


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Historic Huguenot StreetHistoric Huguenot Street has announced that eleven historians have chosen to be part of its newly formed Scholarly Advisory Board. It’s expected that they will guide the interpretation of the National Historic Landmark District. The board is chaired by Dr. L.H. Roper, Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz.

The eleven historians share a knowledge for American, French, Dutch, Native American, New York, Atlantic, and Huguenot history – all of which are a part of the Historic Huguenot Street’s story. Continue reading

REDC’s Recreation Tourism Funding


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REDC RegionsThis post is the sixth in a series on the awards granted by the Regional Economic Development Councils. The series is intended to document what actually is being done, by following the money.

Empire State Development – Market New York (ESD MNY) is part of a new process applicants for state funding negotiate. ESD MNY has funded Path through History media projects, support for booze-related tourism, and some projects with “path” potential (although they weren’t identified as such). In this post, I’ll focus on another type of tourism touted by Governor Andrew Cuomo: recreation tourism. Continue reading