New York State’s rich cultural heritage and historic waterways will be central to a new, unique grant opportunity available through July 29 in a first-time inter-agency collaboration between the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the NYS Canal Corporation.
The Erie Canal Bicentennial Grant Opportunity will award funds to organizations producing, presenting or exhibiting arts and cultural activities as part of the ongoing Erie Canal Bicentennial (ECB) Celebration 2017-2025. The opportunity is available through the NYSCA REDC program, which is dedicated to the promotion of economic development through the arts. Continue reading
Entries are being accepted through August 26, 2016 for the 11th annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest. The contest captures the beauty, history, people, and character of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
Amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit images in four contest categories: On the Water, Along the Trail, Canal Communities, and Classic Canal. Winning photos will be featured in the 2017 Erie Canalway calendar, which is available free of charge in December. Continue reading
Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the Canalway Trails Association New York (CTANY) have released their sixth annual report – Closing the Gaps: A Progress Report on the Erie Canalway Trail 2015 – detailing progress made in completing the statewide Erie Canalway Trail as a continuous, off-road route. With 288 of 360 miles open to the public, the Canalway Trail is 80% complete and well on its way to becoming the longest trail of its kind in the United States, and a significant tourist destination for Upstate New York.
On May 17, 1816, the State’s Canal Commissioners met in New York City. This was their first meeting since being reauthorized by the legislature on April 17th, just a few weeks earlier. Five commissioners were appointed by the legislature – Stephen Van Rensselaer, DeWitt Clinton, Samuel Young, Joseph Ellicott and Myron Holley. Several of them had been canal commissioners since 1810. During that period they had surveyed much of the route in person and had kept the dream of the waterway alive during the intervening dismal years of war on their frontier (War of 1812). At the May 17th meeting the commissioners initiated actions that ensured that construction of the Erie Canal would begin a year later. Continue reading
Michael Keene’s book The Psychic Highway: How the Erie Canal Changed America (Willow Manor Publishing 2016) takes a look at a time of intense individual focus and enlightened change in the ways in which people communicated along the canal.
It was as if a bolt of electricity struck western New York, lighting it up as fertile ground for ideas and lifestyles that had never been expressed or attempted before. It was a time of religious re-birth, ongoing social reform and making one’s life the best it could be in the present and in the future. Continue reading
The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation have teamed up to sponsor 28 festivals and events in 2016 to showcase the Canalway Corridor’s nationally significant heritage and the recreational appeal of the waterway and trails today. Events include cycling and paddling tours, canal festivals, and concerts at the waterfront. The canal system is scheduled to open May 1, weather permitting. Continue reading
The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor generates $307.7 million in economic impact to upstate New York’s economy, according to a newly released analysis of the economic impact of national heritage areas conducted by consulting firm Tripp Umbach. Erie Canalway supports 3,240 jobs and generates $34.9 million in tax revenue the study found. Continue reading
The 2016 Tenth Biennial Global Mural Conference is inviting historical societies, heritage groups and businesses along the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor to sponsor local and international artists who will be painting murals in Fairport, on September 18 – 25, 2016.
“Preserving Heritage Through Community Art,” will shine a spotlight on twenty artists who will create new dynamic historical murals (on panels approximately 7 x 16 feet) for sponsoring communities all along the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Possible themes for the murals in addition to Erie Canal heritage include: Women’s Suffrage, the Underground Railroad, and Native American history. Continue reading
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is hosting its annual Winter Writing Contest.
The contest organizers are asking for poems written by children as well as adults. Local judges will read, review and select winners for each of the three categories: Child (up to 12 years old), Young Adult (13-17), and Adult (18 and up). Continue reading
New York is fortunate in having a robust history and so many historians, over the years, preserving, writing about, interpreting, and presenting it. But sometimes we concentrate repeatedly on some aspects of history and under-emphasize others that are equally as important.
The history of the Erie Canal and other canals might be a good example. Continue reading