Blogs > Millennial Traveler

New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September in the City Art Fair in Tricentennial Park Wednesday

The free art show series, held 11:30am to 2pm every Wednesday in September, returns this week
ALBANY, NY - The City of Albany presents the 2014 September in the City Art Fair series, September Wednesdays in Downtown Albany’s Tricentennial Park. A midday showcase for local art, music and culture, September in the City features exhibits and work available for purchase from regional mixed media artists and crafters, with a different live musical act providing the soundtrack each week. The September in the City Art Fair is sponsored by Albany Center Gallery and Exit 97.7 FM.

This week’s September in the City Art Fair features live music by:
Holly & Evan: Sept. 17<>
Holly & Evan are the blues. Both from long, rich musical backgrounds, Holly Taormina and Evan Conway have updated the tradition of the barrelhouse with their unique style. Together, they showcase a wide range of original and cover material, in the styles of blues, jazz, and soul. The originals, which are often featured on local radio, are catchy, full of personality, and can appeal to audiences everywhere.

 For more information on the September in the City Art Fair, call 518.434.2032, visit<> or follow on Facebook ( or Twitter (@albanyNYevents).

E-Vehicle Charging Stations Now Available at Albany-based Hampton Hotels

Several Albany-based Hampton hotels are making eco-conscious travel more of a reality with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations now offered upon booking, just in time for National Drive Electric Week.
 The program, called Green Electric Vehicle, launched as a pilot at four Hampton hotels in Albany and is in the process of branching out to other Hilton Worldwide hotels in the U.S.  The initiative allows travelers to book a room at a participating Hilton Worldwide hotel and reserve a parking space with a Skychargers-managed GE charging station. For travelers renting a car during their stay, Hertz provides a broad EV fleet at the Albany International Airport. More Hilton Worldwide hotels within the Albany area will be installing the charging stations early next year.

“Hilton Worldwide is committed to living sustainably, and helping our guests maintain their sustainable habits while on the road,” said Brad Freet, senior director, Product, Quality & Innovation, Hilton Worldwide. “This EV program provides the means for guests to choose a more eco-friendly travel option and is a natural extension of our current renewable and energy efficiency initiatives. Our hotels are fortunate to have GE, Hertz and Skychargers on board to help power this initiative for EV enthusiasts visiting the Albany area.”

Hilton Worldwide hotels currently offering EV chargers as a part of the program:
Coming soon:
  • DoubleTree Schenectady – 100 Nott Terrace, Schenectady, NY 12308
  • Home2 Suites Albany – 10 Metropark Road, Albany, NY 12205

“Hertz has been a leader in offering electric vehicles to our customers and we’re pleased to add Albany to the list of cities where EVs are offered,” said Louis Scarpelli, Region Vice President, Hertz. “By working with our partners, we’ve created local area infrastructure to make renting an EV a reality for travelers to New York’s Capital Region.  Environmental sustainability is important for Hertz, and we’re committed to moving forward the development of EV options.”

Skychargers provided funding for the pilot, which rolled out at the end of 2013. The project is part of Charge-NY, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's initiative to accelerate the use of electric vehicles in New York State by promoting the demonstration of EV charging equipment. Additional support came from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Now, in partnership with Skychargers, GE, and Hertz, any Hilton Worldwide hotel that is seeing an influx of electric vehicle use in their area is able to install EV chargers.  With the U.S. Department of Energy estimating one million EVs to be on the road by 2015, the demand for electric charging stations will ultimately see growth in the coming months.

“Driving an electric vehicle fulfills a personal green commitment, and I encourage first time EV drivers to use the program as a test drive,” said Skychargers’ President David McGann.  “The program is both environmentally and financially shrewd. I booked the program with a Chevy Volt for two days and experienced tremendous gas savings.”

For more information about the program or to book a stay a Hilton Worldwide EV-friendly hotel in the Albany area, visit or visit  To learn more about Hilton Worldwide’s corporate responsibility initiatives, go to

The "National Wild Turkey Federation" is actually a Thing....

Who knew?

Humphries Appointed NWTF Chief Conservation Officer

For more information, contact Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698.

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) recently appointed Becky Humphries its new chief conservation officer.
"I am excited to lead NWTF's conservation efforts in this new role," said Humphries. "Our staff is working hard to conserve the focal landscapes we have identified across the country. We also are focused on the future site of the Palmetto Shooting Complex, ensuring we continue to lead by example when it comes to wildlife and habitat management plans."
Humphries' promotion comes just one year after joining the conservation organization's management team. Under Humphries' leadership, NWTF conservation staff has identified habitats across the nation requiring immediate attention, developed partnerships with conservation agencies and groups to improve the areas with urgent needs, and worked with state chapters to develop and implement management plans that advance the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
Humphries' reputation as a respected professional extends beyond the NWTF's walls. She is a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America's Fish and Wildlife Resources of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, and she also chairs the Association's Fish & Wildlife Health Initiative Steering Committee. Humphries serves on the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports, the Conservation Leaders Advisory Team for the Berkley Conservation Institute and the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council.
Humphries' impressive résumé details more than 35 years of experience in wildlife management and conservation. She previously served as the Director of Operations in Great Lakes/Atlantic Region for Ducks Unlimited, focusing on conservation delivery, policy and science. She also served the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment for 32 years, including seven years as department director.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
National Wild Turkey Federation
770 Augusta Rd., Edgefield, SC, 29824

Festival of Nations Planned October 26 in Watervliet

Watervliet, NY – A celebration of cultures and art will take place on October 26 during the Festival of Nations event held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in downtown Albany, NY.

“With such division taking place around the world today, it is nice to have our community here in Upstate New York unify to appreciate one another’s culture,” shared Rafi Topalian, President of the Capital District Armenian Cultural Organization.

Nations participating in this 43rd annual Festival of Nations include: Argentia, Armenia, Bangladesh, Burma, China, Dominican Republic, Ethipoia, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Korea, Liberia, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine.

The day will begin at 12 noon with a parade of the 27 nations represented.  In addition to a stage full of native dances and music, the convention hall will be sprinkled with unique crafts and delicious ethnic foods to savor.

The highlight of the day will be the crowning of the Miss Festival of Nations.  St. Peter Armenian Church’s own Renee Dearstyne will represent as Miss Armenia.  Renee, daughter of Rebecca & Michael Dearstyne and granddaughter of Victor Khachikian, is a multi-talented 14-year-old prepared to take on the task of proudly representing the Armenian community in the Capital District.

“We have always been fortunate to have beautiful and intelligent young ladies participate as Miss Armenia, and this year we are very pleased to have the talented and poised Renee Dearstyne as our representative,” expressed Topalian.

Renee, a freshman, is enrolled in the Schalmont High School honors curriculum and is also a member of the National Junior Honors Society.  She has studied the piano for eight years, and is part of the Capital District Youth Choral.  Other interests include volutneering at the Schenectady City Mission store, competivie dance and cheerleading, and participation in several school clubs as well as a member of the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) and a St. Peter Sunday School student.

(Renee Dearstyne, 14, of St. Peter Armenian Church in Watervliet, NY, will represent the Upstate New York Armenian community as Miss Armenia during the 43rd annual Festival of Nations.)

Plan to attend and support Renee in her bid for Miss Festival of Nations while taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of a wonderful afternoon appreciating the cultural diversity of the Upstate New York community.

General admission is $5 for adult and $2 for children ages 3-12.  For further information about the Festival of Nations, please call 518-371-3737 or visit www.festival of, or contact Rafi Topalian directly at 518-272-2000 or email

“I strongly encourage you to take the time to attend and enjoy an afternoon of delicious international foods and wonderful cultural entertainment,” concluded Topalian.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Accomodations for the Cooperstown Farmers Museum Fall Festival

Just as Cooperstown has a long history of baseball, my family has a long history of going to festivals in Cooperstown.

We no longer attend their Winter Carnival annually but we've managed to continue to make the trek to the Farmers Museum for the Fall Festival - which happens to be this weekend and coincides with my dad's 70th birthday.

As with most festivals, our family seems to like the tradition behind it. We go, look around at the interactive exhibits, and enjoy the food and entertainment. There was a juggler that my siblings always especially liked as kids, and he was there even last year. The chili is always fresh and meat-filled. The yellow corn is salted and buttered to perfection.

Not much has changed there, except us.

(from our 2013 trip)

We'll be going there again this year but, instead of making it a day trip, which it can be very comfortably from Troy, we're staying overnight at a place called the Lake N Pines Motel just about a mile from the museum.

When I was looking around at hotels and motels, this seemed to be the best option and bang for our buck. The $85-$95 rooms (since it's off-season now) include access to the waterfront of a lake, paddle boating, inside/outside pools, a jacuzzi, a sauna, and the size/type of rooms that we were looking for.

And, though I don't remember, my sister informs me that we likely stayed there a long time ago when we went for the same festival.

I'll let you know how the overall stay is but it's shaping up to be a fun, nostalgic time.

Free Outdoor Movie in Troy September 12

It's getting colder but it's still warm enough for watching (free) movies outside.

The Contemporary Artists Center (CAC Woodside) in Troy hosted free movies on their lawn on the second Friday of every month, something that I'm assuming will end after this month - unless they want to be hardcore and encourage coats in October.

And, yes, they're the same folks who bring you the Rest Fest annually.

Their September movie is Fantastic Mr. Fox. It's at 8 p.m. at their 71 Mill St. site in Troy. If you've never been, it's a reused old church on a hill.

I'm hoping to go tomorrow.

Here's a bit more from their Facebook event:

Bring a blanket, (& sweater) 
...and food and drinks if you like!

FANTASTIC MR FOX: A great film for adults and children alike!

SEPTEMBER: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) is the story of a clever, quick, nimble, and exceptionally well-dressed fox. A compulsive chicken thief turned newspaper reporter, Mr. Fox settles down with his family in a new foxhole in a beautiful tree-directly adjacent to three enormous poultry farms owned by three ferociously vicious farmers. Wes Anderson's adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's novel is a meticulous work of stop-motion animation featuring performances by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, and Bill Murray.

Dining in the Dark, Blindfolded Dinner, Benefits Guide Dogs Organization

What an interesting idea for a fundraiser to benefit a guide dogs organization.
Dining in the Dark - where the diners wear blindfolds - is Oct. 25 in Glastonbury, CT (about 2 hours away from the Albany area). Tickets are $50, and you also get to meet some of the guide dogs. (I'm assuming you do that without a blindfold)

(a photo from a past Dining in the Dark event)

This will benefit Freedom Guide Dogs.

Learn more here.

Foreign Service Speaker in Guilderland September 17

Interested in a Career in Foreign Service/Diplomacy:Author Sherry Mueller to Present

In collaboration with the International Center of the Capital Region, Author Sherry Mueller, will be coming to Albany on Wednesday, September 17th, 7:00 PM to present her book “Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, 1475 Western Avenue, Albany.  Ms. Mueller was the President of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV) from 2001- 2013, a partner of the U.S. Department of State in the implementation of the International Visitor Leadership program (IVLP) – one of the programs through which the International Center of the Capital Region receives its visitors. Before coming to NCIV, she worked for the Institute of International Education (IIE), served as an Experiment Leader to the former Soviet Union, an English Language Officer for the U.S. Department of State, and a lecturer at the University of Rhode Island.
The event is free and open to the public. For further information please call the International Center at (518) 708-7608.

First Ever Bluegrass Jam Takes over Lake Placid October 25

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. --- It’s been said that Bluegrass is a music genre that is more interacted with than listened to, and Lake Placid is ready to join in on the fun. The first-ever Lake Placid Bluegrass Jam is Saturday, Oct. 25, in the 1932 Rink at the Olympic Center, and discounted pre-sale tickets are available now.

This year’s co-headliners are Grammy winners Sam Bush and The Del McCoury Band. Sam Bush, a bluegrass mandolin player, is considered an originator of the Newgrass style. He has taken home Grammys for Album of the Year, Best Country Performance by a Duo and Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has named Sam Bush Mandolin Player of the Year four times in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 2007.

Delano Floyd McCoury is an American bluegrass musician. As leader of the Del McCoury Band, he plays guitar and sings lead vocals along with his two sons, Ronnie McCoury and Rob McCoury, who play mandolin and banjo, respectively. In 2004 they were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for It's Just the Night, and in 2006 they won that category for The Company We Keep.

Amy Helm, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys and the Gibson Brothers are also a part of the star-studded lineup. Amy is a singer-songwriter and daughter of The Band drummer Levon Helm and singer Libby Titus. She is a past and current member of the Levon Helm Band, the Dirt Farmer Band, the Midnight Ramble Band, Ollabelle, as well as her own touring band, Amy Helm & The Handsome Strangers. Helm wields a powerful voice and is also a gifted musician on both mandolin and drums.

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys is a bluegrass music trio from Lebanon Township, New Jersey. It is composed of the Mizzone brothers: Jonny, Robbie and Tommy. The trio's debut album, America's Music, was released in October 2011. Their third album, By My Side, was released in June 2014 with one instrumental song and five vocal songs. Check them out on YouTube, where their videos have been viewed over 20 million times on their YouTube channel sleepymanbanjoboys.

Originally from Ellenburgh Depot, N.Y. (near Plattsburgh, N.Y.), the Gibson Brothers, Eric and Leigh, were voted 2013 Entertainers of the Year at the IBMA World of Bluegrass 24th Annual Awards Show in Raleigh, N.C. for the second year in a row. Help My Brothertheir 10th album, won the prestigious 2011 IBMA Album of the Year Award.

Other confirmed bands include: Big Leg Emma, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Hot Day at the Zoo, Eastbound Jesus and The 52 Pick-Up.

Doors open at noon and music will play from 12:30 – 11 p.m. General admission is $55 in advance and $65 at door.

VIP admission is $80 in advance and $90 at the door and is limited to just 300 tickets. VIP’s will receive a special viewing area, VIP only bar, t-shirt, limited edition poster, complementary water and sports drink. To purchase tickets, visit

For more information about the Lake Placid Bluegrass Jam and all of the activities taking place on ORDA’s Olympic venues, log

One Airline Charges a Fee if You're Not in the Same "Compartment" as Your Child

I found this story interesting about a airline fee policy which states that a child and guardian must be in the same "compartment" (aka airline class) or face a $100 fee. The airline which charges this is Hawaiian Airlines.

In the story highlighted in a post I read today, the woman was just a few rows away from her children but still had to pay the fee, despite reaching out to the airline.

Here's the story with her emails about what happened and emails to the business.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mountain Coaster and Zipline Coming to Catskill's Holiday Mountain

In local-ish travel news:

Mohegan Sun Announces New Partnership with Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun Park
Mohegan Sun at the Concord Proposal to invest $1 million to redevelop one of last two remaining ski areas in the county.

Thompson, NY – September 3, 2014-- Mohegan Sun announced today a new partnership with the locally owned Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun Park that will include a $1 million investment to create a mountain coaster and zipline. This partnership represents the fourth economic development destination that will be part of the proposed Mohegan Sun at the Concord – additional developments include the revitalization of the world class 18 hole Big “G” golf course at the Grossinger County Club, the redevelopment of Grossinger’s in Liberty with a spa, hotel and vacation homes, and the redevelopment of three-acres in downtown Monticello.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Holiday Mountain, a local treasure that has been a staple of the Catskills for more than 50 years,” said Mitchell Etess, CEO of Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. “Our proposal, unlike any other, is based on a true regional approach because we understand it is going to take multiple sites and multiple projects to have the greatest long-term economic impact on the Catskills and return this region to the top tourist destination that it once was.”

In addition to the redevelopment efforts at the ski area, the partnership between Mohegan Sun at the Concord and Holiday Mountain will extend benefits to all guests and employees of the proposed $500 million destination resort casino, including a 25 percent discount on all activities at Holiday Mountain.

“As one of the last remaining ski areas in the Catskills, we look forward to working with one of the most successful brands in the world,” said Craig Passantes, owner of Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun Park, which employs more than 80 local residents. “Hands down, Sullivan County is the best choice for a resort casino in New York and Mohegan Sun at the Concord provides the best opportunity for local businesses, like myself, to have a real chance at economic growth.”

Founded in 1950, at its peak Holiday Mountain employed more than 120 residents and was one of as many as seven ski destinations in the region. Today, the ski area and fun park is only one of two remaining in the Catskills.

“More than any other location, the Catskills needs this, it’s a matter of survival for these residents and local businesses,” said Passantes. “I know I speak for a lot of area business owners in saying that without a doubt, an Orange County casino would cripple this already distressed region.”

Sullivan County has the highest unemployment rate among nearby counties at 8.9 percent, the lowest per capita income level at $24,462 per year, and the highest historical unemployment level at 6.73 percent. Neighboring Orange County, where six other operators are competing for a license, in contrast, has been the second fastest growing County in New York over the last two decades.

Additionally, according to a recent study released by Capacity Business Consulting a resort casino in Sullivan County will likely generate the most money the fastest and have the biggest impact on the New York economy and a recent poll found that New York voters believe Sullivan County is a better location for a casino than Orange, by a wide two to one margin.

"Sullivan County businesses and residents have waited long enough for their chance at real economic development,” said Sullivan County Town of Thompson Supervisor William Rieber. “Sullivan County is not only equipped to get to market faster, but also has the overwhelming local support that is needed to create a successful and sustained casino gaming industry and carry out to the true intent of the gaming legislation.  Anything that can be done to create more employment and keep the Ski Area open and viable is a plus for the Town of Thompson and the Hudson Valley”

Mohegan Sun at the Concord is expected to produce $3 billion to $3.7 billion in total economic benefits over a 20-year period, with approximately $1.5 billion to $1.86 billion of those gains to be realized in Sullivan County.
One of Mohegan Sun at the Concord’s key project differentiators is the operator’s industry-leading and first-of-its-kind Momentum Points Partnership program, which will allow guests – including the five million already established momentum club members – to redeem their earned points at participating area businesses and destinations outside the resort. With traditional industry points programs, such as those in Las Vegas, patrons are only able to redeem their points at businesses located within the resort casino.
“This legislation is intended to help not hurt our local businesses, particularly those that are already in distress,” said Etess. “That’s why our entire proposal is based on an outwardly facing business model that drives guests to sites all throughout the Catskills including Holiday Mountain, Grossinger’s, and especially to the hundreds of struggling local restaurants and shops.”

Mohegan Sun is planning an approximately $500 million resort casino on the site of the historic former Concord Resort Hotel in Thompson, which is expected to create at least 3,000 construction jobs and more than 1,200 permanent jobs.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority is an instrumentality of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut and the owner and operator of a gaming and entertainment complex located in Uncasville, Connecticut, known as Mohegan Sun, and a gaming and entertainment facility located in Plains Township, Pennsylvania, known as Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. For more information, visit:

About The Cappelli Organization:
The Cappelli Organization has developed more than 10 million square feet of mixed use, retail, waterfront, single and multi-family residential, hotel, office, industrial laboratory and parking facilities, with a portfolio value exceeding $3 billion. Among its prestigious developments are: Renaissance Square - a $700 Million, 900,000 square foot development that is anchored by a full service Ritz-Carlton Hotel with two 43-story Ritz Residence towers, a 60,000 square foot Triple A office building and a 900 car multi-level underground parking structure; and City Center at White Plains - a $500 million, 1.1 million square foot mixed use complex containing a regional retail complex, 15 multi-plex movie theater and 3 residential towers containing 500 rental and condominium homes. These two developments have been hailed as the catalyst for the revitalization of downtown White Plains.

Improv at the Confectionery in Troy September 10

I do love me some improv...

Grilled Cheese, Beer and Laughs at Troy Wine Bar

TROY, N.Y. (9/4/14) -- A Troy wine bar will host an evening of improvisational laughs, grilled cheese and beer next Wednesday.

The Mop & Bucket Company (MopCo) is the Capital Region's premiere improv comedy group. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the group will play at two-act show in the garden patio of Lucas Confectionery.

Audiences can expect an evening of short form improv games and scenes and music based off of suggestions they write down or call out. They will also be able to create Play-Doh figures for a Play-Doh theater segment that works like shadow puppets on a screen. Michael Burns, artistic director of The Mop & Bucket Company describes the skit as "television you won't get on your cable box."

Improv has gained mainstream popularity with shows like "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" but the performance art form is also the most accessible and communal theater, according to Burns.

"We're co-creating an evening of laughter with our audience," said Burns. "We're saying 'Yes' to their ideas, and delighting with them with the results of our collaboration."

MopCo will perform two sets on the garden patio at Lucas Confectionery, on Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Both unique shows are free, and patrons are welcome to attend one or both sets, but seating is limited and on a first come, first seated basis. The indoor/outdoor space has a retractable glass roof, and connects to the Lucas Confectionery wine bar at 12 Second St. and The Grocery at 207 Broadway. Patrons will be able to order wine, beer and food from either business but are encouraged to arrive early for "Grilled Cheese and Beer Night" at The Grocery, starting at 5 p.m.


Vic Christopher, co-owner of the Lucas Confectionery, The Grocery and the in-progress Tavern Restaurant, said the improv performance is a good fit for the venue, which is constructed using reclaimed materials in an improvisational style.

"Spiritually, improv is a good fit for our space because it's all about working with what you’ve got and making it up on the fly. That's pretty much our construction style through the use of reclaimed materials," said Christopher.

Christopher and his wife Heather LaVine opened Lucas Confectionery at 12 Second St. in November 2012 as a community gathering space featuring rare and unique wines by the glass and bottle; along with craft beer, artisan coffee, cheeses, small plates, confections and desserts. In November 2013, the couple opened The Grocery in an adjacent building at 207 Broadway. The Grocery is a micro neighborhood grocery shop featuring artisanal cheeses, meats, fresh local produce and draft beer. Wednesday nights at The Grocery feature grilled cheese and beer specials.


In the tradition of Second City, the skilled improvisers of The Mop & Bucket Company create stories, scenes and songs based on audience suggestions. Think "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Because the ideas come from the audience, each show is totally fresh.

MopCo delights audiences every Friday night at the Underground at Proctors in Schenectady. The company also teaches classes on improv for performance, business, writers and educators and for creativity in everyday life.

[Note: This Sept. 18 through Oct. 9, The Mop & Bucket Company will be teaching Improv basics in a weekly Thursday night class at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. Info: ]

What people are saying about MopCo:

"If you've never seen a mop & bucket performance, be assured they're laugh-to-you-cry funny." -- Kristi L. Gustafson, Times Union

"From its humble beginnings, this troupe has morphed and grown into a top-notch unit capable of all kinds of theatrical gamesmanship, much of their own invention." -- Michael Eck, Albany Times Union

"I have seen improv before and I'm sure you have too, but these actors are ready for prime-time. Have you ever watched a performance so brave that you wanted to shake the performer's hand or kiss her cheek after the show? That's how i felt..." -- Susan Arbetter, WCNY radio


For information about The Mop & Bucket Company, visit

For information about Lucas Confectionery & The Grocery, visit:

Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival Saturday, September 6

The City of Albany’s 13th Annual Jazz Festival takes place on Saturday, September 6 at Jennings Landing* from 1 – 9 p.m.
ALBANY, NY – The City of Albany presents the 13th Annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival this Saturday, September 6. This all-day, FREE concert event takes place at Jennings Landing from 1 to 9 p.m. *In the event of inclement weather, the festival will be moved to the Corning Preserve Boat Launch under the 787 overpass at Water & Colonie Streets; a rain call will be announced by 5 p.m. Friday.

For over a decade, the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival has featured a veritable “who’s who” of jazz greats, critically acclaimed up-and-coming artists and local favorites at one of the area’s most spectacular venues. Great food, beverages and a fireworks show make the Jazz Festival an event for all ages- and admission is still free!
Riverfront Garage at Broadway and Columbia Street is the official parking location for the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival, with a connection to the pedestrian bridge to Jennings Landing. $5 flat fee and handicap parking is available at this garage. Find more parking options at
For more information on the Jazz Festival, please call 518.434.2032 or visit
The lineup for the 13th Annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival is:
1:00 - 1:45 p.m.
Maria Zemantauski is one of the world’s most heralded female flamenco-style guitarists and composers. She’s brought her nylon-string guitar fusion to Spain, Italy and across the continental United States to great acclaim. Naming her the Capital Region’s best acoustic guitarist, Metroland wrote, “Zemantauski has continually pushed the boundaries of the possible with her trusty 6-string, blending genres that have little or no business appearing on the same bill, much less in the same song. It's rarely less than electrifying to watch her do it." She believes that the expressive possibilities of the guitar are limitless and pursues her music with passion, confidence and grace.

MICHAEL BENEDICT JAZZ VIBES[website] [press contact]
2:15 - 3:15 p.m. 
A unique project from celebrated local vibraphonist and drummer Michael Benedict, Jazz Vibes features a wealth of Capital Region talent melding Brazilian, bossa nova and straight-ahead jazz sounds. The group has released two albums, The New Beat and The Next Phase, and has quickly become one of the most popular jazz groups in the Capital District. Nationally renowned bandleader Michael Benedict has extensively toured the United States, performed in Europe and Africa, and collaborated with jazz luminaries like Gary Smulyan, Ralph Lalama, Bruce Barth and Nick Brignola.

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.Led by Australian reedman Adrian Cunningham, "a young jazz artist who plays as if he has been playing for over a century" (All About Jazz), The Professor's syllabus is taken from the finest New Orleans repertoire, from Sidney Bechet to Fats Domino. Since forming in 2012, the NYC-based band has quickly become a favorite at clubs and festivals throughout the land, inspiring spontaneous Lindy Hop parties wherever they roam. “Professor” Adrian Cunningham is widely recognized as one of his home country's best jazz exports. With fluent command of the saxophones, clarinet, and flute, he is one of the finest multi-instrumentalists in contemporary jazz. As well as performing in every continent but Antarctica with his own groups, Adrian has become an in-demand freelance musician, working with everyone from Bucky Pizzarelli to the Cat Empire to Men At Work’s Colin Hay.
CATHERINE RUSSELL [website] [press kit] [press contact]
5:15 – 6:15 p.m.
The Wall Street Journal calls Catherine Russell “one of the outstanding singers of our time,” her voice “drenched in emotion, drama, experience and pure swing.” Russell’s rich career began as an in-demand background singer working with stars like Paul Simon, David Bowie, Steely Dan and Roseanne Cash. Since launching her solo career less than a decade ago with the stunning Cat, Russell has built a reputation as one of the foremost interpreters and explorers of mid-20th century American music. Her latest album, Bring It Back, follows 2012’s chart-topping Strictly Romancin’, and finds Russell fronting an expanded 10-piece band and covering her widest artistic ground yet – from the early days of jazz through the swing era and into the R&B explosion – but with her most personal stamps. That takes extra inspiration and depth from her mother, pioneering jazz musician Carline Ray, who passed away shortly after the album was finished, as well the very strong presence of her father, long-time Louis Armstrong bandleader and arranger Luis Russell. Most profoundly, the album features the first-ever recording of “Lucille”, a song of her father’s, recently discovered in the Armstrong archives. Through it all, she makes the most of what NPR calls “a voice that wails like a horn and whispers like a snake in the Garden of Eden”.

featuring Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison  
[website]  [press kit] [press contact]
6:45  – 8:30 p.m.
“Generally regarded as one of the finest living jazz drummers” (Los Angeles Times), NEA Jazz Master & Grammy winner Jack DeJohnette’s career spans five decades and includes collaborations with some of the most iconic figures in modern music. DeJohnette’s unparalleled drumming has fueled 50 years of innovation, and his creative associations read like encyclopedia of jazz history: he helped change the direction of jazz in Miles Davis’ monumental late ‘60s/early ‘70s group (describing that period in his autobiography, Miles said, “Jack DeJohnette gave me a deep groove that I just loved to play over”), and has performed with John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Esperanza Spalding, among many others. As a bandleader, he’s a tireless creative force, recording a diverse array of acclaimed albums with some of the music world’s finest players. Along the way, he has developed a versatility that allows room for hard bop, world-music, R&B, avant-garde, and just about every other style to emerge in the past half-century. Twenty years ago, DeJohnette brought saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and bassist Matt Garrison together for the first time, forming a historically significant trio representing the prestigious lineage of today’s great jazz families while exploring open improvisation and their own compositions.
FIREWORKS at 8:30 p.m!

Food and beverages will be available to purchase.

Ground rules: No glass, animals or recording of performances.

The 13th Annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival is brought to you by:Capital Bank
Saratoga Eagle Sales & Service

Barefoot Wine
Clough Harbour & Associates
Public Employees Federation

Green Mountain Energy
Silver Leaf Resorts
Waste Management

A Place For Jazz

Albany Hilton
Albany Parking Authority
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Hodgson Russ
Mohawk Ambulance
Whole Foods

Media partners:
Berkshire Homestyle
Magic 590
88.3 The Saint
Spiral Design Studio
Times Union
Gain experience, meet new people and have fun while volunteering at City of Albany Events! Many positions and flexible hours are offered. Plus, get an official Jazz Festival Volunteer t-shirt! Call 518.434.2032 or email for more information.

For more information on the City of Albany’s FREE festivals and events, visit, call the City of Albany Special Events Office at 518.434.2032 or follow Albany Events on Facebook ( and Twitter (@albanyNYevents). 

New York Rower Set to Complete Trans-Atlantic Trek

I found this to be kinda neat....


In Route To Puerto Rico, Mooney Departs From The British Virgin Islands Before Embarking On The Remaining Leg To New York City

NEW YORK- September 3, 2014 – This morning, Victor Mooney of New York departed the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in his 24-foot boat, “Spirit of Malabo,” in the hopes of completing a transatlantic row from the coast of Africa to New York. This journey marks Mooney’s fourth and final attempt at the Goree Challenge to raise AIDS awareness and encourage voluntary HIV testing in honor of his late brother who died from AIDS in 1983.

The first leg of Mooney’s expedition abruptly ended in St. Martin when violent currents overpowered his boat, alarming St. Martin rescue vessels. The rescue mission concluded after a 128-day ordeal in which Mooney faced a distressing shark encounter, as well as an 80-pound weight loss. On August 18thafter gaining strength and supplies in St. Martin through an outpouring of humanitarian support, Mooney set out toward the BVI. Only two days later, he suffered a cracked oar and damaged rowing seat due to turbulent currents caused by a tropical storm, requiring him to alert officials for towing assistance to shore. Upon arrival, Mooney was welcomed by local officials and the British Virgin Island Tourism Board, who helped coordinate his transportation, lodging at Scrub Island Resort Spa & Marina and Nanny Cay, as well as meals for the duration of his two-week stay. While there, he was invited to speak to students at H. L. Stoutt Community College about his plight and the importance of never giving up.

“Despite all obstacles, I am adamant about continuing this mission in my brother’s honor,” said Mooney. “There have been quite a few hurdles along the way, but I refuse to let them hold me back. With the incredible support and generosity that I’ve received, I have faith that I will finally complete the journey that has taken nearly a decade of my life.”

To document the daunting 5,000-mile row, Mooney will be communicating via Twitter (@goreechallenge) and Facebook.

The Goree Challenge has also been made possible with support Mooney’s friends and family, Lloyd Tackling, (U.S. Consul Warden, St. Martin, St. Barth & Anguilla) GlobeComm Maritime, TNT Express, Electec and Custom Fit Marine, Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Nanny Cay, Durham Boat Company, Inc., as well as his official Goree Challenge sponsors including, Rubenstein Public Relations, The Republic of Equatorial Guinea,  Island Water World, Bel Air Beach Hotel and Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino. 

Fall Calendar of Events at the Albany Institute of History and Art

AIHA exhibitions, programs and events: September–December 2014

The following is a listing of current exhibitions appearing at the Albany Institute of History & Art from September through December 2014, as well as a listing of family programs, special events, lectures, presentations, book signings and other related activities. All dates, times and details are subject to change and should be confirmed prior to publication or broadcast. 

SUMMER EXPOSURE: Photographic Works by Martin Benjamin, Carolyn Marks Blackwood, Tom Fels, Dana Hoey, and William Jaeger
Works from five regional photographers come together this summer at the Albany Institute. The exhibition offers five uniquely different ventures into photographic vision, media, and artistic conception. Each photographer was given the freedom to select the content for his or her own exhibition. For Hoey and Fels that meant focusing on a single series, and for Blackwood, the single theme “elements of place.” The content selected by both Benjamin and Jaeger offer retrospective overviews of each photographer’s work. In total, the variety of subject matter and photographic media makes for an exciting summer of discovery. Main Floor Galleries

SMALL + SEDUCTIVE: Contemporary Art from the Albany Institute’s Collection
Sometimes intimate, occasionally intricate, but always intriguing, small works of art invite us to step close and peer into their spatially bounded world. This exhibition is the third in a series to highlight the contemporary art collection. It features artwork of small proportions by some of the Upper Hudson Valley’s most ingenious and talented artists- paintings and sculpture that captivate within limited dimensions. Lansing Gallery

SEPTEMBER 27, 2014JANUARY 19, 2015
The Albany Institute of History & Art is pleased to present the 78th Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region. Established in 1936, this annual, juried exhibition pays tribute to the many talented artists working within a 100-mile radius of the Capital District and Glens Falls. As one of the longest-running regional art exhibitions in the country, it occupies a significant role in documenting contemporary art activity in the Upper Hudson Valley. This year’s juror, Stephen Westfall, is an internationally-known painter, writer, and professor. He was born in Schenectady, New York and is currently an Associate Professor and Graduate Director at The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and Painting Co-Chair at The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Artist selections and prize winners will be announced at the Opening Reception on Friday, September 26, from 5PM-8PM. A complete listing of pieces and prize winners will be available in an exhibition catalogue. Main Floor Galleries

UNDERCOVER: Revealing Design in Quilts, Coverlets and Bed Hangings
OCTOBER 11, 2014MARCH 8, 2015
In the private space of the bedroom, the world takes center stage. There, on the elevated platform of the bed, matters of politics, international trade, social events, religion, and cultural affairs come alive in the elaborate designs and patterns displayed on American quilts, coverlets, and bed furnishings. Bed covers of all types are the perfect canvas for displaying ideas about the world beyond the bedroom door. They make connections to foreign lands and fabricate realms of fantasy and childhood whimsy. This exhibition investigates the designs and patterns that decorate American bedcovers of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. More than thirty bed covers and complementary objects reveal a variety of imagery used by American women and men to decorate their bed covers.  Due to the light-sensitive nature of these textiles, these pieces are rarely on view and many have not been on public display for over thirty years. We are pleased to present them in this exhibition. Lansing Galleries

Ancient Egypt
Egyptologist and Guest Curator Dr. Peter Lacovara has incorporated the research and scientific discoveries revealed in the GE Presents: The Mystery of the Albany Mummies exhibition into a new exhibition about Ancient Egypt that opened in August 2014. Visitors to the museum will continue to enjoy the story of the Albany Mummies, learn about the history of Ancient Egypt, and see how the intersection of new science, technology, and scholarship changes how we learn. In addition to the story of Mummy Ankhefenmut, themes and topics in the new galleries include: Egyptian History and Civilization; The Nile and the Environment; Crafts and Professions; Food and Drink; Gods and Goddesses; and Preparing for the Afterlife.
Jabbur and Heinrich Medicus Galleries

The hudson river school and the nineteenth-century landscape
Artists of the Hudson River School painted and sketched a variety of landscapes during the fifty-year period from 1825 to 1875. The American wilderness, which has now come to define the school, represents only one. These same artists similarly painted scenes of rural farms and gardens, manufacturing facilities and scenic tourist sites. Their works portray a visual history of the American landscape during decades of rapid change and transformation. This exhibition draws from the Albany Institute’s collection and includes paintings by several artists associated with the Hudson River School, including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey, James and William Hart, Alfred Thompson Bricher, and others. Third Floor Round and Square Galleries

Erastus Dow Palmer and His Proteges: Launt Thompson, Charles Calverley, and Richard Park
Designed to showcase the museum’s nationally known collection of mid- to late nineteenth-century sculpture, this exhibition features twenty plaster, marble, and bronze sculptures and framed bas-reliefs by Albany sculptor Erastus Dow Palmer and his three studio assistants and protégés, Launt Thompson, Charles Calverley, and Richard Park. Sculpture Court

Traders and Culture: Colonial Albany and the Formation of American Identity
The character and culture of Albany and the Upper Hudson Valley have roots in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the early inhabitants of the region, and their beliefs, relationships, and interactions. This exhibition looks at those diverse peoples who shaped colonial Albany, and the objects that reflect their interests, values, commercial and social interactions. Colonial Gallery

A GATHER OF GLASS: Selections from the Museum’s Collection
The exhibition includes a selection of blown, molded, pressed, and cut glass pieces from the Institute’s collection, many manufactured in the northeast United States. A selection of colored glass showcases the American predilection for both clear glass pieces, and vibrant, experimental glass of many hues. Atrium

ROBERT HEWSON PRUYN: An Albanian in Japan, 1862-1865
This small library exhibition features highlights from the Albany Institute’s collection of private papers from Robert Hewson Pruyn (1815-1882), the second U.S. minister to Japan appointed by President Abraham Lincoln. The papers include detailed weekly correspondence with family that recount Pruyn’s travels, his audience with the Japanese Tycoon, and the travails of his diplomatic mission in Japan during the Bakumatsu era. Included are some of the earliest photographic views of Yedo (Tokyo), 1863.  Lobby

TRIPLE PLAY: Baseball at the Albany Institute
FEBRUARY 7, 2015-JULY 12, 2015
Opening on February 7, 2015, the museum will be presenting three exhibitions celebrating our passion for baseball. Baseball: America’s Game is a travelling exhibition organized by the Bank of America. Drawn from their collection of nationally significant baseball materials, this multimedia exhibition features more than ninety photographs, illustrations, objects, and audio and video programs that bring to life the history of the American sport that has provided common ground and decades of enjoyment for fans across the nation. Funding for this exhibition is provided by the Bank of America Art in our Communities Program. Play Ball: Baseball in the Capital Region will highlight the area’s rich history of baseball and include materials from the Institute’s collection as well as loans from community members and public collections. From beloved pitcher Meldon Wolfgang and memories of Bleecker Stadium to the Albany Senators, visitors will discover our region’s deeply rooted love of baseball. The Locker Room: Baseball Memorabilia from the Community will borrow entirely from area collectors and will highlight baseball memories and memorabilia from coast to coast.

TUESDAYS | 10–11:30 AM (ages 3-5 with an adult)
‘Tute for Tots classes give children, and parents a chance to discover the Albany Institute, and the world of art together. In this program we’ll explore in the galleries, read stories, have a great time with sensory play exploration, and create our own exciting art projects. Each class builds upon the previous weeks, and registration includes all 7 weeks ($60 members; $70 non-members). Register on our website or by calling (518) 463-4478, ext. 405.

Early Fall Session: Color Join us for a bright and artistic time as we discover color within the Institute’s collection! We’ll create our own colorful artwork using methods like dip and dye, shaving cream painting, collage, and more!
September 9: Colors                       October 7: Green
September 16: Red                         October 14: Purple
September 23: Yellow                    October 21: Orange
September 30: Blue

Late Fall Session: Shape This session we’ll be discovering shapes and how they’re used in art. In the studio we’ll create our artwork using methods like simple printmaking, and painting. We’ll also watch things take shape as we practice our scissor skills, and make great pictures like tangrams!

                October 28: Shapes                         December 2: Diamond
                November 4: Circle                         December 9: Rectangle
                November 18: Square                    December 16: Heart
                November 25: Triangle

Enjoy a docent-led tour of the Albany Institute’s newest exhibitions and permanent collections. Schedule is subject to change, please call (518) 463-4478 to confirm. Free with museum admission.

                September 27, 28                            November 1, 2                                  December 6, 7
                October 4, 5                                       November 8, 9                                  December 13, 14
                October 11, 12, 13                            November 11                                    December 20, 21
                October 18, 19                                   November 15, 16                             December 27, 28
                October 25, 26                                   November 22, 23
                                                                                November 28, 29, 30
Bring your family to the museum and spend the day being creative. Activities include paper pieced quilts, yarn lacing designs, printmaking, collage, and more! Watch for guest Art for All appearances by artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Regional exhibition. Specific dates of appearances will be updated onto the website, and e-newsletters. Free with museum admission
                October               11, 18, 25
                November          1, 8, 15, 22, 29
                December           6, 13, 20, 26, 27, 29, 30

The Albany Institute will be open for extended hours. Free admission

Join us for the launch of Craig Gravina and Alan McCleod’s new book Upper Hudson Valley Beer, a 400-year history of brewing and beer-making in our region from the arrival of the first Dutch explorers and brewers, through the rise of the great industrial ale industry, past the dark years of Legs Diamond and Prohibition, to the renaissance of microbrewery movement in 1980s and the rise of a new crop of craft brewers in the twenty-first century.  The book, published in August 2014 contains nearly 100 images, 35 in color, and many from the Albany Institute’s collections. Remarkable Liquids, the area’s only craft-focused beer distributor, will also be on hand to provide samples of some of the best beer made in our region. $30 per person or $50 per couple (includes one copy of the book and samples of beer). For more information and to purchase tickets, call Andrew Alliger at 463-4478, ext. 412.

SPECIAL EVENT—Cocktails and Conversation
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 | 5:30–7:30PM
All 2014 Museum Gala corporate sponsors and their guests are invited to a private, behind-the-scenes collections tour with Executive Director Tammis Groft. This event is hosted by the Gala Committee and the Business Relations Committee. We hope to see you there. Thank you for your support! For more information, or to RSVP, call Nicole Peterson at 463-4478, ext. 414.

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING—New Netherland Connections: Intimate Networks and Atlantic Ties in Seventeenth Century America
Susanah Shaw Romney, Assistant Professor of History, University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Don’t miss this fascinating talk about the real women and men, soldiers, sailors, settlers, Native Americans, and enslaved Africans who drew on kin and social relationships to build new lives in the Dutch colony of New Netherland.  Sharing vivid stories from her recently published, award-winning book, Professor Romney will introduce us to some of the little known people who built these intimate networks as they struggled to survive, resist, or profit from the new connections linking the New World to the Old. Free admission

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING—Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City
Russell Shorto
Join award winning author Russell Shorto for an engaging exploration of the history of Holland’s capital city, including the little known artists, crusaders, explorers, eccentrics, and visionaries who helped Amsterdam grow into a world class city with far reaching global impact including, of course, the founding of colony of New Netherland and the spread of cherished ideals of freedom, equality and commerce in the new world. Free with museum admission

SPECIAL EVENT—Opening Reception & Award Ceremony
Mingle with artists and enjoy refreshments at the opening reception and award ceremony of the 2014 Exhibition of Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region. RSVP to Andrew Alliger at 463-4478, ext. 412.

SPECIAL EVENT– Community Conversation: Planning the Future of Your Museum
Please join Albany Institute of History & Art Executive Director Tammis Groft for an informal discussion about the future of the museum. Share your ideas for future exhibitions, lectures, family programs, art-making activities, special events, and museum amenities. Free admission

The Albany Institute will be open for extended hours. Free admission

LECTURE & BOOK SIGNINGThe Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy
Jacopo della Quercia
Join Albany historian and writer Giacomo Calabria (pen name, Jacopo della Quercia) for a lively talk about his recently published historical novel that is part sci-fi, part action adventure, and part comedy embedded in a narrative based on meticulous research. The result is an outlandish secret history that aligns perfectly with national as well as the city of Albany historical record. Calabria is an educator and history writer whose work has been featured on the comedy website, BBC America, CNN Money, and the Huffington Post. Free with museum admission

FAMILY PROGRAM—Be Inspired! Family Day
Come be inspired by the artwork of the Mohawk-Hudson Regional exhibition and create your own masterpieces.  Artists from the show will be on hand for multiple presentations throughout the day. We’ll discover the mediums, and techniques they use in their work and create some artwork of our own. Free with museum admission

This Columbus Day explore the galleries of the Albany Institute of History & Art for free! The whole family will enjoy drop-in art making activities based on the current exhibitions. Sponsored by M&T Bank. Free admission
                Drop-in Art Marking: 10AM–4:30PM
                Gallery Talks: 1PM and 3:30PM

TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT—Undercover: Revealing Design in Quilts, Coverlets, and Bed Hangings
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16 | 3:30PM Exhibition Tour; 4:30PM Math and Design in the Studio
Join W. Douglas McCombs, PhD, Chief Curator, and Erika Sanger, Director of Education, for a tour of the exhibition and a hands-on art making activity in the studio that will explore art and Common Core math curriculum integrations. Admission Free, Registration required. To register, call or email Barbara Collins at 518-463-4478, ext. 405 or

Saturday, October 18 | 1PM–4:00PM                                                                  
Take a look at the world of ancient Egypt with us and use the artifacts and symbols as inspiration for your own jewelry.  Junior level Girl Scouts will tour the Albany Institute’s ancient Egypt exhibit, and create their own jewelry using both everyday objects, and metal.  They’ll learn the tools of the trade as they create their own sparkling pieces! Registration is required and is available at or by calling the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York at 518-348-1413.

SPECIAL EVENT– 40th Annual Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair
Located at the Washington Avenue Armory. More than fifty dealers of books, photographs, manuscripts, and ephemera. Includes silent auction. Proceeds benefit the Albany Institute Library. For more information, visit $6 per person

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING—To Elevate & Adorn the Mind: Betsey Colt Foot and the Story Behind the Founding of Albany Academy for Girls
Louise Copeland Marks
Set in Albany in the early nineteenth century, To Elevate & Adorn the Mind, is a thoroughly researched historical novel about Betsey Colt Foot and her radical quest to establish the Albany Academy for Girls, one of the country’s oldest independent schools for the education of young women.  Louise Copeland Marks, is an academy alumni and Associate Professor Emerita of Sociology, Psychology, and Mental Health at SUNY’s North Country Community College.  Free with museum admission

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING—Albany History in an Alternate Universe
Frankie Y. Bailey
Booth, Lincoln, Houdini, and more . . . join SUNY Albany criminal justice professor and award winning mystery writer Frankie Bailey as she reveals how she draws on Albany's vibrant history in crafting her police procedural series set in a near-future version of the city.  Bailey is a Macavity Award winning mystery writer who has been nominated for numerous Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha awards.  She is also the author of Wicked Albany and numerous non-fiction books that explore the intersections of crime, history, and popular culture.  Free admission

MAKING IT AMERICAN LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING—America’s Eden: Thomas Cole and the Voyage of Life
Paul Schweizer, Director Emeritus, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute’s Museum of Art
Schweizer will discuss how Cole took the old master idiom of the history painting and put it into the form of American landscape painting to create his most iconic series, Voyage of Life. He will also be available to sign copies of his new book Thomas Cole’s Voyage of Life which we will have available for purchase. Free with museum admission

Members are invited to join Chief Curator, Doug McCombs for a “Behind-the-Scenes” tour of our newest exhibition, “Undercover: Revealing Design in Quilts, Coverlets, and Bed Hangings”. We’ll look at the textiles in the show and then go behind-the-scenes to see more! Space is limited. For more information, and to RSVP, call Andrew Alliger at 463-4478, ext. 412.

SPECIAL EVENT—1st Friday: Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region Gallery Talks
Artists whose work was selected for the 78th annual Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region will discuss their work in these informal and engaging gallery talks. Our website will be updated with the list of participating artists as we approach the date. Free admission

Saturday, November 8 | 1PM–3:00PM                                                                 
Daisy and Brownie scouts are invited to join us as we get “under cover” to explore the beautiful world of quilts!  We’ll discover dazzling patterns in the museum’s exhibition and use to create quilt patterns using paper piecing and printmaking techniques. Registration is required and is available at by calling the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York at 518-348-1413.

SPECIAL CURATOR GALLERY TALKUndercover: Revealing Design in Quilts, Coverlets, and Bed Hangings
Saturday, November 8 | 1PM
W. Douglas McCombs, PhD, Chief Curator and curator of the exhibition will discuss textiles in the exhibition and the meaning behind their patterns and designs. Free with museum admission

FAMILY PROGRAM– Mummy Birthday
Sunday, November 9 | Noon–4:30PM                                                                 
Celebrate the 105th anniversary of the arrival of the Albany Institute’s mummies.  Children are invited to bring a doll or stuffed animal to learn about the mummification process by mummifying their toy. Free with museum admission

Tuesday, November 11 | 10–5PM
Bring the whole family to enjoy the galleries of the Albany Institute of History & Art for free!
Sponsored by M&T Bank
In addition to our galleries and shop being open, we also have:
10AM-4:30PM  Drop-in Art Making: Patriotic Pennants in the Art Studio
Special activities related to the War of 1812, with Robert E. Mulligan, Retired New York State Museum Curator of Military History:
10AM-4:30PM  Special Display
In honor of Veteran's Day and the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, Mulligan will display his collection of miniature soldiers of 1812, recreating the Battle of Queenston Heights, and highlighting the roles played by Albany's Solomon Van Rensselaer of Cherry Hill and Troy's Captain John E. Wool, the hero of the battle.
1:30PM and 3PM  Lecture: New York State and the War of 1812 with Robert E. Mulligan  
Mulligan will discuss America's lack of preparation for the war, the role of the New York Militia, Albanians Philip and Stephen van Rensselaer, strategies, New York's anti-war politics, and who actually "won" the war. (It was our neighbor to the north).

FILM SCREENING AND COMMENTARY– The Catskill Mountain House and the World Around
Tobe Carey
Thursday, November 13 | 6PM
Spend the evening with award- winning filmmaker Tobe Carey as he takes us back to America’s first wilderness in the time of steamboats and railroads, and entertains us with the compelling history of the rise and fall of the Catskill Mountain House, the 19th century Catskill Mountain hotel that was a celebrated part of the American “Grand Tour”.   Bring your questions and your memories to share after the screening. Free admission

Join us for the third annual Work of Art held in the 2014 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region. Mingle among art and artists as you sip cocktails and delight in the savory fare of Mazzone Hospitality. This event is hosted by the Special Events Committee and sponsored by Nigro Companies. Tickets start at $75. For more information and to purchase tickets, call Andrew Alliger at (518) 463-4478, ext. 412.

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING– Women and Power in the Ancient World
Kara Cooney, Associate Professor, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA
Sunday, November 16 | 2PM
In conjunction with the publication of her new book The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt, Cooney will draw from the latest field research to fill the gaps in what we know about Hatshepsut – the longest reigning female pharaoh - and the obstacles that faced women who sought power and prestige in a society that equated authority with masculinity. Cooney will be available to sign copies of the book that will be available for purchase. Free with museum admission

MAKING IT AMERICAN LECTURE—A Promising Venture: Shaker Objects in the Index of American Design
Lesley Herzberg, Curator of Collections, Hancock Shaker
Produced between 1935 and 1942, the Index is a visual archive of American decorative arts that reflects the expanding interest in our nation’s material culture. Herzberg will illuminate the unique design characteristics of the Index’s Shaker Portfolio and how accompanying photographs created a record of their context. This lecture is co-sponsored by Partners for Albany Stories (PASt). Free with museum admission

SPECIAL EVENT– Free Thanksgiving Weekend
Come to the Albany Institute this Thanksgiving weekend for a variety of holiday themed programs and events. We'll be decked out in winter wonder and ready to welcome you and your out-of-town guests!
  • Enjoy a variety of trees showcasing one-of-a-kind, artist-made ornaments, and trees decorated by contributions from the community
  • Browse our special sale of handmade ornaments in our Museum Shop
  • Make your own ornaments in our Drop-in Art Making Sessions (Friday and Saturday 10AM-4:30PM, Sunday Noon-4:30PM)
  • Take in a Lecture & Book Signing by author Peter G. Rose for her new book Delicious December: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Treats (Sunday at 2PM)
  • Sample Dutch cookies and treats available at the Museum Shop
  • Shop for fun, old-fashioned toys, and handmade ornaments and gifts by area artisans
  • Admire community-made quilt blocks from our Quilt Wall Hanging Challenge, created to celebrate our current exhibition, Undercover: Revealing Design in Quilts, Coverlets, and Bed Hangings
  • Gallery Talks all three days at 1PM and 3:30PM
  • Demonstrations by the New York Capital District Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America (Friday and Saturday, TBD)

LECTURE & BOOK SIGNING– Delicious December: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Treats
Peter Rose
As part of the museum’s Thanksgiving weekend celebration, Home for the Holidays, renowned food historian Peter Rose will share stories and recipes from her newest book, Delicious December. Join her for a delightful exploration of the Dutch roots of many of our favorite holiday traditions as she tempts us with more than a hundred treasured recipes adapted for contemporary entertaining. Treats will be available to sample and purchase. Free admission

SPECIAL EVENT—1st Friday: Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region Gallery Talks
Artists whose work was selected for the 78th annual Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region will discuss their work in these informal and engaging gallery talks. Our website will be updated with the list of participating artists as we approach the date. Free admission

Saturday, December 6 | 1PM–3:00PM                                                                  
Brownie scouts are invited to join us and get creative! Puppets are a great tool to express yourself and tell a tale.  We’ll experiment with different art techniques and materials as we make our own characters come to life.  Registration is required and is available at or by calling the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York at 518-348-1413.

MAKING IT AMERICAN LECTURE– Under the Same Roofs: Slavery at the Ten Broeck Mansion in the late Eighteenth Century
Matthew J. Kirk, Principal Investigator/Cultural Resource Specialist, Hartgen Archeological Associates
Sunday, December 7 |  2PM
Recent excavations and research revealed outbuildings on Ten Broeck land likely used as summer kitchens and/or slave quarters, like those at Schuyler Mansion, Johnson Hall, and other prominent residences, particularly in the south. With a unique mix of archaeology and history these findings provide insight into the slave/master relationships shortly before abolition. They suggest we reconsider our modern concepts of slavery in the north at the end of the eighteenth century. This lecture is co-sponsored by Partners for Albany Stories (PASt). Free with museum admission

CHRISTMAS DAY– Museum Closed

Bring your family to the museum and spend the day being creative. Activities include paper pieced quilts, yarn lacing designs, printmaking, collage, and more! Watch for guest Art for All appearances by artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Regional exhibition. Specific dates of appearances will be updated onto the website, and e-newsletters. Free with museum admission

Bring your family to the museum and spend the day being creative. Activities include paper pieced quilts, yarn lacing designs, printmaking, collage, and more! Watch for guest Art for All appearances by artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Regional exhibition. Specific dates of appearances will be updated onto the website, and e-newsletters. Free with museum admission

Founded in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art is New York’s oldest museum. Its collections document the Hudson Valley as a crossroads of culture, influencing the art and history of the region, the state, and the nation. With more than 35,000 objects and one million documents in the library, it is an important resource for the region, giving our community a sense of the part the Hudson Valley played in the American story, and our own place in history. Permanent and temporary exhibitions are open year-round and create a sense of place, allowing visitors to meet the people who helped shape this region. Over 25,000 people visit the Albany Institute of History & Art every year, enjoying the collections, workshops, school programs, and lectures, helping to build an understanding of the history and culture of our region. Among the museum’s best-known and most-loved collections are the 19th century Hudson River School landscape paintings by artists like Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, the 19th century sculpture collections, and, of course, the famous Albany Mummies that came to the museum in 1909 and have been on view ever since. For more information, please visit and be sure to follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@AlbanyInstitute).