History Happenings    Late April 2019
The History Center's Electronic Newsletter 
The Corner
Settling into our New Location

The History Center in Tompkins County is delighted with our new location on the Ithaca Commons.

We still have lots of work to do with unpacking the research library and setting up the exhibit hall but we are already experiencing a wonderful sense of vibrancy. We have been hosting programs and meetings throughout March and April here at the Tompkins Center for History and Culture. So far we have held the trainings for the third class of Tompkins County Heritage Ambassadors, the second annual  "Exploring Science, Imagination and Culture in Tompkins County" program focusing this year on the Taughannock Giant, the Generation to Generation oral history interviews, HistoryForge data entry bees, and the fourth annual Celebrating History Awards Gala. The Cornell Historical Railroad Historical Society, Second and Third Generation of Holocaust Survivors, and The History Center's Youth Ambassadors have begun to meet here as well.

We expect to open the exhibit space May 7 and the research library sometime in June. As partners have started moving in it has been rewarding having discussions and planning collaborative events, especially with the CAP ArtSpace and Downtown Visitor Center now open to the public.

Be sure to mark your calendars for Friday evening, May 10 for the Tompkins Center for History and Culture ribbon cutting and community celebration. The Tompkins Center is spectacular. The atrium is a great place to meet up with friends. We can't wait for you to visit.

Rod Howe, Executive Director
 Unpacking Update
Taughannock Giant and Ithaca Kitty

Two larger-than-life county residents are now at home in The History Center's new  location, the Tompkins Center for History and Culture.

For the Taughannock Giant programs in March, Annemarie Zwack's interpretation of the famous hoax arrived in the Tompkins Center's garden behind The History Center's exhibit space. The sculpture is not a permanent fixture as it will soon be relocated to a local public park. Until then, check out the 2019 Taughannock Giant, which kids maintain looks "less scary" than the original.

Taughannock giant replica

Ithaca Kitty, our beloved stuffed animal mascot, is based on an actual 19th-century tabby cat named Caesar Grimalkin. He is exploring his new digs and showing up all over the building. For the next two weeks, the Ithaca Kitty is participating in Words on the Street, organized by the Children's Reading Connection. Can you spell "polydactyl"? When you walk by the building, look up! Then visit the Downtown Visitor Center to purchase an Ithaca Kitty or a sewing pattern to construct your own. Unsurprisingly, Ithaca Kitty is glad to have a fellow stuffie-mascot in the building, who was featured in the last unpacking update. "Meow," says Ithaca Kitty to Tommy Teddy, which we can only imagine means "Welcome aboard!"

Kitty in Visitor Center

Kitty on shelf

Kitty in atrium

Upcomin g Events

Tompkins County  Genealogy  Society Meeting
 Wednesday, April 17, 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Tompkins County Public Library, BorgWarner Room, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
The History Center in Tompkins County and the Tompkins County Public Library support this local genealogy society with the goals of building and supporting a network and making relevant resources discoverable. Society meetings are open to anyone interested. The program will begin with a presentation by Kent Scriber. A retired Ithaca College professor of exercise science, he researched his family history around the Civil War. With this information, he wrote Three Oswego County Brothers in the Civil War and After: A Review of the Scriber Family and the 24th, 110th, and 184th NYS Volunteer Infantry Regiments. The book can be read here via the website of the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. Following the presentation, there will be an open discussion session for attendees to ask questions about his work, genealogy in general, or to talk about their own research. Individuals wanting email reminders of upcoming meetings of the Society are encouraged to contact Community@TheHistoryCenter.N et.

Re-visioning: Harriet Tubman in Visual Culture
 Saturday, April 20, 2:00 to 3:30 PM
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, CAP ArtSpace/Program Room, 1st Floor, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
This presentation by Kimerly S. Cornish, a Trustee of The History Center and descendant of Harriet Tubman, is a consideration of Harriet Tubman in visual culture from her time to the present. This talk will also reflect on how the 2017 re-emergence of a photo of the younger Harriet Tubman, as well as the Women on 20's campaign to have her image on U.S. currency to commemorate the centenary of women's suffrage, has impacted the way we view her as a cultural icon. Representations of Tubman across variou s media will illustrate how her legacy has been framed and re-framed over time. Kimerly was born and raised in Cambridge, Maryland. She has a degree in English from Oberlin College.

Lucy as docent
Docent Organizational Meetings
Wednesday, April 24, 9:00 to 10:00 AM OR 
Tuesday, April 30, 3:30 to 4:30 PM
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, Large Conference Room, 2nd Floor, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
The new space's opening fast approaches. Thanks to those who have responded to our call for docents. Take a moment to fill out the interest form if you have not already. (This form is not a commitment, only a gathering of information.) If you want to learn more or you are ready to sign up, please attend one of these two organizational meetings. We'll discuss roles, responsibilities, perks, scheduling, and more.

Exploring Ithaca's Heritage Through Song
 Saturday, May 4, 4:00 PM
First Baptist Church, 309 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
VOICES Multicultural Chorus explores early settlement of the Ithaca area through songs representative of native and immigrant populations up to World War I. The event will include Irish and Finnish folk dancing and images from The History Center's archives. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance from any chorus member or online  here.

Go Tell It on the Mountain book cover
James Baldwin's America Reading Group
 Wednesdays May 15 & 29, June 12 & 26, July 10 & 24, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, CAP ArtSpace/Program Room, 1st Floor, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
For the second year, Eric Acree, a Trustee of The History Center and Director of the Cornell University John Henrik Clarke Africana Library, will facilitate a discussion group focused on the themes and context of James Baldwin's work. Books read across the six sessions will include Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin, Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing by William Barber, and Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman. Books will be provided at no cost to participants. Please register here before May 15. This program is supported by a grant from Humanities NY.

From Cornell University Library...

European Novel cover
Reading the Modern European Novel Since 1900
 Tuesday, April 23, 4:30 to 5:30 PM
Cornell University, John M. Olin Library, Media Classroom/Room 106G, 161 Ho Plaza, Ithaca, NY 14853
In a Chats in the Stacks book talk, Daniel R. Schwarz, Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, will present his new book, Reading the Modern European Novel Since 1900: A Critical Study of Major Fiction from Proust's Swann's Way to Ferrante's Neapolitan Tetralogy (John Wiley & Sons, 2018). A sequel to his Reading the European Novel to 1900, the work adheres to Professor Schwarz's mantra, "Always the text; always historicize," to discuss recurring themes and techniques in modern European fiction within the contexts of significant historical events such as the two World Wars and the Holocaust. Professor Schwarz, author of eighteen books and a legendary teacher at Cornell for fifty-one years, will also discuss the relationship between modern European fiction and other art forms. Sponsored by Olin Library. Light refreshments will be served.

From fellow Tompkins Center partner, the Wharton Studio Museum...

Launch of the Finger Lakes Film Trail
 Thursday, April 25, 7:30 PM
George Eastman Museum, Dryden Theatre, 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607
The  Wharton Studio Museum, Eastman Museum, and Case Research Laboratory launch The Finger Lakes Film Trail with a screening of The Exploits of Elaine at Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. Find more information on the screening here. Tickets are $8 for general admission, $6 for members and students; April 29 matinee free for seniors, 1:30 PM. The Finger Lakes Film Trail is a new and evolving collaborative effort by these three Central New York institutions that affords a fresh and exciting opportunity to interpret the singular history and culture of the Finger Lakes Region by highlighting some of its greatest motion picture innovations.
Sign Up Now for Summer Camp 2019
Crankie Camp:
Local History through Storytelling

August 12-16, 2019
2:00 to 3:30 PM
Held at the Eight Square Schoolhouse in Dryden

All youth ages 9-13 welcome 
In partnership with LilySilly Puppets

Explore local history through the art of the crankie! The crankie is an old form of storytelling, sometimes called a "moving panorama." In this week-long camp, kids will create their own crankies, which will include theater, storytelling, puppetry, and visual art, about local history.

Lunch will be provided at the start of each day.

Click here  to register online.

Contact Youth Educator Julia Taylor at eightsquare@thehistorycenter.net with questions or concerns.
Tompkins Center for History and Culture 
Ribbon Cutting &  Community Celebration

TCHC Exterior Photo
The  twelve partner organizations of the  Tompkins Center for History and Culture invite the people of Tompkins County, the Finger Lakes, and New York to explore our new heritage tourism center, located on Bank Alley in the Ithaca Commons.

Join us Friday, May 10 at 5:00 PM for remarks from local dignitaries and project leaders, performances by the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, refreshments, informal tours, and, of course, a ribbon cutting!

The event is free o f charge and open to all.  It is made possible by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program.  All guests will receive a complimentary copy of  The Towns of Tompkins County  by Jane Dieckmann.  See you there!

110 North Tioga Street,  Ithaca, NY 14850

Rod Howe | Executive Director | Director@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 222
Donna Eschenbrenner |   Director of Archives & Research Services | Archives@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 224

Julia Taylor | Youth Educator | EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone  extension 229

Lucy Walker |  Community & Visitor Outreach Coordinator | Community@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone  extension 227

Dave Dier | Bookkeeper and Office Manager  | Admin@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension  225

Cindy Kjellander-Cantu | Curator and Design & Support Specialist | Design@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 223

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