Community Education

Speaker Series

Join us for our Speaker Series at Desmond Campus

Remembering Storm King
Learn about how a local Hudson River struggle helped ignite and shape the American environmental movement. Lifset’s new book, Power on the Hudson: Storm King Mountain and the Emergence of the Modern American Environmentalism, focuses on the epic battle over Storm King Mountain, starting in 1962, between the newly-formed Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference and the Consolidated Edison Company, which sought to build a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant at Storm King on the Hudson River. Con Edison eventually gave up after 17 years, but early on in 1965, a landmark decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the case propelled a change in the law. For the first time citizens and citizen groups concerned with the environment were given access to the federal courts, a move that empowered others across the country to follow, igniting the national environmental movement and the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act.
Tuesday, Nov. 3; 1-3 pm; R . Lifset; Fee: $15

Wyeth’s Windows
The following lecture was offered last June but is being repeated due to the size of the wait list! Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) was born in Chadds Ford, PA and began training as an artist in the studio of his father, illustrator N.C. Wyeth. Over the course of a lengthy career, Wyeth produced a large and thought-compelling body of work that includes one of America’s most famous paintings - “Christina’s World” - created after having looked through a window at the Olson farm in Maine, seeing Christina in a neighboring field. Wyeth returned repeatedly to the subject of windows using various vantage points (far, near, inside, outside), curtains (still and flowing), reflections, and landscapes seen through windows: all through his personal, and sometimes private, visual language. This lecture will explore Andrew Wyeth’s fascination with windows, as well as the messages they can infer or convey to the viewer.
Wednesday, Nov. 4; 1-3 pm; L. Nicholls; Fee: $15

The Spiritual Power of Crystals
A fascinating exploration into the spiritual energies of crystals as used throughout the world from ancient times to the present. Discover how this energy is transformed into electromagnetism and connects with the natural energies of the body. Ultimately, this is seen to reveal the connection of the human microcosm with the unified whole and reveals the inherent connection of all things.
Wednesday, Nov. 4; 6:30-8 pm; N . Rosenblum; Fee: $15

Madonna in Art
Developed over the centuries, the Madonna is a link between heaven and earth, Mother and Child; and an active participant in the lives of those who revere her. In this two hour presentation, we will look at the way various artists, both female and male, conceptualized the subject of the Madonna, and how we can, in turn, understand the relationship between Mother and Child.
Wednesday, Nov. 18; 1-3 pm; L. Nicholls; Fee: $15

Prudence Crandall – A Teacher Ahead of Her Time
Prudence Crandall was a teacher who opened a school for girls in Canterbury, Connecticut in 1831 to educate daughters of wealthy local families. The school was very successful until the following fall when she admitted Sarah Harris, a 20-year-old black woman. Learn about this courageous teacher and advocate of education for all people, who bucked the prejudices of her time.
Thursday, Nov. 19; 1-2 pm; B . Crandall; Fee: $10

Dutch Influence in America
So much in our present society, in both our commerce as well as in our religious tolerance, we owe to the Dutch, who actually kick-started the America we know today. After only 40 years they were pushed to the side when the English took over their colony here, but their influence remains to this day. The Hudson Valley is rich with reminders of their culture and we pass many of them on a daily basis. How did it all start? Learn what they accomplished ... and all of it in only 40 years. Come find out how and why!
Monday, Nov. 30; 10 am-Noon; R . Ulrich; Fee: $15

Capturing Our Past: Visiting Washington’s Headquarters in the Mid-Late 19th Century
On July 4th, 1850, Washington’s Headquarters opened to the public as the first publicly owned historic site in the United States. What motivated the push to save Washington’s Headquarters before so many other important sites? What was visiting the site like 150 years ago? Hear more about the Headquarters’ early years as an historic site, and compare it to a visit today.
Friday, Dec. 4; 11 am-Noon; Fee: $10

The Ice Harvesting Industry
The Hudson Valley was once the world’s epicenter of the natural ice industry. Spring fed lakes supplied ice to the finest New York City hotels and luxurious ocean liners and it was prized across Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Wednesday, Jan. 6; 10 am-Noon; T . Englert; Fee: $15; Snow date: Jan. 20

Tugboats on the Hudson, Then and Now
The Hudson River was the great natural highway into the interior of New York State for centuries for the Native Americans, and then for the settlers from Europe starting in the 17th century. Sloops carried freight for over 200 years but were replaced by towboats and barges after the advent of the steamboat. A steam towboat could tow many barges, scows, and sailing vessels at once cheaply, albeit slowly. The growth of New York City in the 19th and 20th centuries created enormous demand for building materials and for food to feed the ever-growing population, including horses. Towing companies with towboats, and later the type of tugboat we see today on the Hudson, were established and prospered. Today tugboats still ply the Hudson but their numbers are much less than 75 years ago due to the advent of the super highway and large trucks. The cargoes now are different but the need for them, particularly fuel oil, is still critical, and shipping by water is still the cheapest way for large quantities of some cargoes and very large objects.
Tuesday, Jan. 19; 11 am-Noon; A . Lange; Fee: $10; Snow date: Jan. 26

Winter Wildlife Survival
How is it that deer, wood frogs, or even praying mantis survive the winter? Learn how our backyard neighbors endure the winter with no clothing, grocery stores, or furnaces!
Tuesday, Feb. 2; 1-3 pm; P. Cutul; Fee: $15; Snow date: Thursday, Feb. 4

Receiving the French: The French Role in the American Revolution
To assist the Americans in their war against the crown, the French gave them firearms, clothes and soldiers. Explore the reasons why they accepted an alliance and the role they played in victory.
Friday, Feb. 5; 11 am-Noon; Fee: $10

On Downing Park
This lecture will highlight the influence of Andrew Jackson Downing on the park’s original designers, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. Dr. McCarthy will trace the development of the park from its original design in 1897 through the present and describe the future plans for this City of Newburgh jewel.
Tuesday, Feb. 9; 1-2 pm; K. Eberle-McCarthy; Fee: $10; Snow date: Feb. 16

The Dutchess County and Orange County Regiments
Learn of the pivotal role played by the men and boys of the mid-Hudson Valley during the largest battle ever fought in North America. With the fate of a nation hanging in the balance, Orange County and Dutchess County answered the call. Hear the thrilling story unfold, as recounted by those who were there--from each side of the mighty river, to each end of the Union line.
Thursday, Feb. 18; 10 am-Noon; D. Topps; Fee: $15; Snow date: Feb. 25

Eleanor Roosevelt – Challenges and Triumphs
As First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt took on the most critical issues of any first lady in the history of the nation. Acting as the eyes, ears and legs of her disabled husband and President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, she traveled the country to inspect the working conditions of miners, the progression of the hundreds of WPA federal building projects and to speak at many highprofile functions and events. During World War ll, she spent countless days overseas visiting military hospitals, bases and airfields to meet and share the country’s gratitude with the men and women of the armed forces. Despite the fame and admiration that she earned during her public life, which continued through her death in 1962, Eleanor Roosevelt was a victim of berating, mockery, criticism and extra marital affairs from many of the people closest to her. As a child, she was filled with insecurity and overwhelming shyness, which stifled her public persona. Learn how she conquered the demons facing her to become one of the most beloved leaders in the history of the United States.
Wednesday, Feb. 24; 1-3 pm; A . Musso; Fee: $15; Snow date: Friday, Feb. 26

The Desmond Campus for Adult Enrichment offers non-credit, life-enriching education geared toward the adult learner. Browse our website to learn more about our Community Education, Day Trips, Speaker Series, Road Scholars, and L.I.F.E. programs (for 55+), or download our most recent catalog to browse courses. You can register online, mail in the registration form from the catalog, or call us to register at 845-565-2076. For more information, please email or call 845-565-2076.

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