Young people will take a walk on the wild side this February as the Fenimore Art Museum presents “Virtual Vacations.” Each day, children (ages 5 to 8) will be transported to faraway places using the Museum’s advanced video conferencing technology. The Museum will connect “live” with professionals from the Life Science Education Center at Marian College and The Toledo Zoo for entertaining and educational programs focusing on various types of animals. After each lesson, children will participate in a hands-on activity based on the theme of the virtual visit. Each “Virtual Vacation” will feature two live animals via video conferencing.
“Virtual Vacations” programs are designed for children ages 5-8 and take place from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day (February 16, 17, and 18) at the Fenimore Art Museum. The cost per program is $15 for NYSHA members and $20 for non-members. Or attend all three – $40 for NYSHA members and $50 for non-members. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. To register, please call Karen Wyckoff at 607-547-1410.
Tuesday, February 16 – Catch Me If You Can: Why do some animals have scales, stripes, stingers, or spines? Join the Life Science Education Center at Marian College to explore how some of nature’s most amazing creatures protect themselves. We’ll even see some of the animals!
Wednesday, February 17 – Desert Dwellers: The Toledo Zoo takes participants to the desert! We’ll learn what a desert is and explore some of the fascinating animals that live there. Discover how living things have adapted to the arid conditions and temperature swings.
Thursday, February 18 – Animal Coverings: Join the Toledo Zoo and play a game to discover how animal groups are formed using similarities and differences. Live animals will help us learn the differences between the 5 classes of vertebrates: fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown will provide an entertaining way for kids to spend part of their February break by offering a 3-day, circus-themed workshop entitled “Under the Big Top.” The workshop is designed for kids ages 10-14 and will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day (February 16, 17, and 18) at the Museum. This workshop will help kids discover the fascinating background of circuses and sideshows in New York State and throughout America.
Each day will feature history, art, games, and a chance for children to express their acting talents! Participants will see actual pieces of circus history, learn about clowns and their acrobatic antics, and even take part in a performance.
The cost for the 3-day workshop is $150 for NYSHA members and $200 for non-members. To register or to get more information, contact Karen Wyckoff at 607-547-1410. Circus-themed snacks will be provided but participants are asked to bring a bag lunch each day.
Otsego 2000 has joined forces with The Farmers’ Museum to screen the critically acclaimed film “Food, Inc.,” with special appearances by representatives from local food and agricultural organizations. The film will be shown in the Fenimore Art Museum Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20th.
“Food, Inc.” a Robert Kenner film, features interviews with experts such as Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto), along with agricultural entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farm’s Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farm’s Joel Salatin. “Food, Inc.” reveals surprising — and often shocking truths about what we eat. It exposes the highly mechanized workings of our nation’s food industry that are kept hidden from American consumers. The film stresses the idea that the nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health.
Speakers for the evening will include Chris Harmon, Executive Director of the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) in Oneonta; Shulamis Giordani, General Manager of the Foodshed Buying Club in Utica, New York; and Lyn Weir Manager of the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Each will talk about creating and supporting a vibrant agricultural and food economy here in Central New York.
For information, please call The Farmers’ Museum at 607-547-1450 or visit our website at www.FarmersMuseum.org.
In observance of the 200th anniversary of the classic work of literature, A History of New York by Washington Irving, the New York State Historical Association’s Research Library will have its copy of the first edition on display from December 2009 through February 2010. Commonly known as Knickerbocker’s History of New York, the book was published in December 1809 and was an immediate success.
Irving, in his satirical history, poked fun at the early Dutch governors of the colony of New Netherlands and their “reigns.” He drummed up interest in the book before its publication by having an announcement published in a New York City newspaper asking for anyone with information regarding the disappearance of an old man named Diedrich Knickerbocker to contact the Columbian Hotel – stating that he had left without paying his bill. Subsequent notices said that if Mr. Knickerbocker was not found, a manuscript that he left behind would have to be published as a book and copies of the book sold to pay off his debt. Finally, a notice appeared advertising the book, A History of New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker.
New Yorkers, who had become interested in the disappearance of the old man, bought up the book. Most realized the story of Knickerbocker’s disappearance was a hoax since there was no Columbian Hotel in New York, but they went along with the fun, purchased the book, and found it to be highly humorous. Irving’s history became a classic. The book is still in print and the humor within is still appealing today.
The NYSHA Research Library is located next to the Fenimore Art Museum on Route 80 in Cooperstown, N.Y. and is open from 10 – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is no charge to see the display featuring Knickerbocker’s 1st edition and subsequent editions. Also on display is the exhibit Doubleday and the WPA, which details the creation of Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field as a WPA project in the 1930s. The library will be closed for the Christmas holidays from December 23 to January 10. For more information, please call 607-547-1470 or visit www.NYSHA.org.
Candlelight Evening, a regular holiday tradition now in its 30th year, will be held Sunday, December 20, from 3:00 to 7:00 pm at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. During the event the grounds of the Museum take on a magical appearance, decorated in greenery and illuminated by thousands of candles. Visitors can ride through the museum in wagons pulled by draft horses with full sets of harness bells. Complimentary wassail, warmed in kettles over open fires, is served throughout the afternoon and evening. Caroling is scheduled throughout the event. Visit with Saint Nicholas at the Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse from 4:30 to 5:00pm and again from 5:30 to 6:00 pm. Members of the Congregation of the Christ Episcopal Church will present “A Living Nativity,” with performances at 5:00, 5:20, 5:40 and 6:00 pm at the Morey Barn. (Seating is limited.)
An array of seasonal musical programs will take place at the Cornwallville Church including performances by the Catskill Chamber Singers, the Catskill Choral Society Girls’ Choir, and the Northern Comforts Men’s Quartet throughout the evening. Enjoy caroling with Ron Johnson in the More House. The Cooperstown Central School Band will perform on the porch of Bump Tavern and Leatherstocking Brass will entertain at the South End of the Main Barn.
At Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse, children will enjoy arts and crafts activities from 3:00 to 4:15 pm. The Empire State Carousel will be open for rides throughout the event. Todd’s General Store and The Farmers’ Museum Shop will be open with holiday-inspired merchandise.
Hearty, warm chili and soups, gingerbread cookies, brownies, and a variety of hot beverages will be on sale in the heated Louis C. Jones Center in the Museum’s Main Barn and also in the Williams Carriage House next to Bump Tavern.
Candlelight Evening visitors should dress warmly and wear boots. The use of the shuttle system system is encouraged, as parking is very limited on the museum grounds. There will be free shuttle service from The Otesaga Hotel on Route 80; the Elementary School parking lot; the Red Trolley Lot located off Route 28 (Glen Ave.); the Yellow Trolley Lot, on Lake Road, Route 80, above the Fenimore Art Museum; Doubleday Parking Lot, and a pick up point near the entrance to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, to The Farmers’ Museum throughout the evening.
Admission is $11 for adults; $9.50 for seniors; and $5.00 for children ages 7-12. Members and children under 6 years of age receive free admission.
Photo: Candles by Alan Lincourt; courtesy The Farmers’ Museum.