Researching Newburgh's Historic Buildings: Tools, Methods, and Resources
In this lecture, we will discuss how to discover information regarding Newburgh's historic buildings from both: architectural history and residential genealogy perspectives. Discover how individual buildings fit in to Newburgh's rich architectural lineage, how buildings evolved to meet changing tastes and needs, and how to gather information about the people who lived and worked in our historic buildings.
Monday, May 6
Everything Mushrooms: An Introduction to Fungi
From the largest living organism on the planet to the first life on land, fungi are essential to life as we know it. This lecture will cover the life cycle of fungi, the functions they serve in our environment, their uses throughout history, cultivation of mushrooms, medicinal potentials, and present day innovations which utilize fungi to solve problems we face today. Join John Michelotti of Catskill Fungi to get your questions answered and explore the fantastic Kingdom of Fungi.
Thursday, May 9
Antigone on Robben Island: Mandela Takes the Stage
Antigone on Robben Islandis based on the true story of Nelson Mandela and other apartheid era political prisoners’ extraordinary production of Sophocles’ play, Antigone, while incarcerated in the notorious South African prison, Robben Island. The play explores how humans, in the most difficult circumstances, reconcile fidelity to self, family, government, and social justice movements. During his research, playwright Samuel Harps realized that despite his initial surprise about the anti-apartheid activists’ choice of Antigone, it was the perfect play to be staged on Robben Island because of its themes of political struggle and loyalty to country. Join Mr. Harp as he reads from the play and follows with a participatory exchange of thoughts on how it relates to the current times we are now living in.
Monday, May 20
Faith Before Creed: The Private and Public Religion of George Washington
George Washington's personal religious beliefs have been hotly debated. Some have claimed he was a devout Christian, while others have suggested that he was a Deist. There has been little consensus on this subject because Washington seldom spoke of what he believed, and his outward actions were seemingly contradictory. In this lecture, learn a new interpretation of Washington and religion, which helps illustrate both his personal and public religious beliefs.
Tuesday, May 21
Sleightsburgh Barge Graveyard: The Changing Mouth of Rondout Creek
This lecture charts the changes to the mouth of Rondout Creek over the course of two centuries, including the construction of three separate lighthouses, breakwater jetties, and the abandonment of two generations of boats to the "graveyard," as well as the ecological repercussions of these human-made changes to the land.
Tuesday, May 21
S. Wassberg Johnson
Captain Dixie Kiefer was a US naval commander during World War II who saw so much action that his men joked that the ship's compass needle always pointed to him on account of all the shrapnel in his body. He acquired much of that metal during a kamikaze attack on the USS Ticonderoga, when he stayed on the bridge overseeing defenses and damage control for 12 hours despite having sustained 60+ shrapnel wounds and a badly broken arm. He was the last man off the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown when she sank in the Battle of Midway, having previously commanded her in the Battle of the Coral Sea. While awarding him a medal, the Secretary of the Navy dubbed Kiefer "the Indestructible Man." Shortly after the war ended, however, Kiefer perished, along with five other Navy men, in an airplane crash.
Wednesday, May 22
Newburgh, 1783: George Washington and the Eloquence of Character
An examination of Washington's famous Newburgh Address and what it might teach us about the politics of character in times of crisis.
Wednesday, May 22
Tunneling Around Us
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection operates the largest drinking water supply in the United States. Its network of reservoirs, dams, and aqueducts that deliver water to 9.6 million people every day is considered a marvel of modern engineering. Adam Bosch will talk about the City’s work to operate, maintain, and protect its vast water supply. He will also share information about the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel project — the largest repair project in the 176-year history of the water supply. It involved building a 2.5 mile-long tunnel 600 feet under the Hudson River from Newburgh to Wappinger. He will share images from the project and talk about Newburgh’s vital role in fixing the longest tunnel in the world.
Monday, June 3
Hudson Valley Homicides
What do you get when you take the tranquil Hudson Valley and add four serial killers, a mass murderer, and a handful of other men and women with guns, knives, and axes, who have homicidal tendencies? You get a fascinating history of unthinkable criminal acts perpetrated against spouses, family members, and complete strangers in a region where, still to this day, some people don't even lock their doors. Join Linda Zimmermann as she presents her new book Hudson Valley Homicides and discusses cases in this book that span over a century and occur in quiet, rural areas and in bustling town centers. The next murderer or serial killer could be anyone: your boss, your neighbor, your brother, your best friend, or your wife. Perhaps after reading this book, you'll make sure all of your doors are locked.
Friday, June 7
The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills
Join us for a talk (bring your own wildlife tales to share!) and book signing with naturalist and author Leslie T. Sharpe, who will discuss her award-winning book, The Quarry Fox: And Other Critters of the Wild Catskills. Perfect for hikers, bird watchers, and lovers of all things nature, The Quarry Fox is the first in-depth study of Catskill wildlife since legendary nature writer John Burroughs first chronicled the area in the 19th century. Through her lyrical prose, Sharpe weaves her experiences with the seasons, plants, and creatures with their natural history, revealing their sensitivity to and resilience against the splendor and cruelty of nature. Sharpe will sign copies of The Quarry Fox, which will be offered for sale at the event.
Saturday, June 8
Mysterious Monuments of the Hudson Valley
Hudson Valley contains numerous extraordinary structures that reflect spiritual consciousness and mystical understanding. We shall examine these monuments and their symbolism and how it connects to the history of the valley. Discover the extraordinary energies that come from these locations and how to experience them yourself.
Wednesday, June 12
Faces of Rembrandt
Rembrandt Van Rijn is known today as one of the great oil painting masters of the Dutch Golden Age. Over the course of his life, he painted about 80 known self-portraits, which is the most self-portraits produced by one artist. Each one is masterfully painted with the colors reflecting the state of his glorious and tragic life. In this class, you will learn about the life of Rembrandt through the analysis of his self-portraits.
Thursday, June 13
Journey on the Nile
On our journey on the Nile River in Egypt, we will visit the famous and awesome ruins of ancient Egypt, including the pyramids and sphinx at Giza, the ruins of ancient Memphis, where a huge statue of Ramses II is well preserved; the earliest of the monumental Egyptian pyramids, the step pyramid at Saqqara; the massive temples of Karnak and Luxor; the temple of Kon Ombo, devoted to the crocodile god Sobek; the burial grounds of the pharaohs located in the Valley of the Kings; the reconstructed temple of Abu Simbel; and the beautiful temple of the goddess Isis located at Aswan. A highlight of the presentation will be a visit to the famous tomb of King Tut, excavated by the archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.
Monday, June 17
Hiking in the Hudson Valley
Storm King Mountain, The Catskills, and Mount Beacon are some beautiful and challenging hiking trails in the Hudson Valley. These are just a handful of areas rich with local history and wildlife. In this class, we will discuss the types of birds and other animals that fly over and slither under the historic ruins left on these trails.
Wednesday, June 19