Communal Spirit: Upcoming Lecture Series at the North Country Arts Council

Over the summer I started volunteering on the North Country Arts Council’s education committee. After seeing a few classes get canceled due to lack of enrollment, I had an idea to host an inexpensive lecture series that would get locals in the door without breaking the bank. My thinking was that once they saw what was going on at the Arts Council, they might be more apt to sign up for a full class. Thus, the Lucky 7 Lecture Series was born!

While the original idea was mine, everyone on the education committee helped enormously by booking a wide variety of interesting, local speakers. I am so excited about this upcoming series and hope that if you live in the Watertown area that you stop by for at least one of the lectures. Besides the opportunity to learn something new from fascinating members of your own community, there will also be door prizes donated by local businesses – the more lectures you attend, the more chance you have to get lucky.

For more info, and to purchase tickets online, visit the NCAC website. Below is the full line-up for the Lucky 7 Lecture Series:

March 1st: 
Dr. Laurie W. Rush, RPA, FAAR – Cultural Resources Manager, Public Works,
Environmental Division, Fort Drum
“North Country Roots: Native Americans of the Eastern Lake Ontario Region”
As soon as the ice began to melt, people began to enter the northern New York region.  From 10,000 years ago through the present, Native Americans have been a part of these lands and waters.  Using examples from archaeological finds at  the Fort Drum Cultural Resources Program, Dr. Rush will describe the changing people and cultures of the area and how we learn from the objects and features that they have left behind.

March 8th:
Yvonne Reff – Supervisor, Genealogy Department, Flower Memorial Library, Watertown
“The Flower Family Effect: Facts, Inspiration and Scandal”
Emma Flower Taylor was the only daughter of one of the richest men in the country. But her riches didn’t protect her from life’s unhappiness. She lost her two brothers and a son, and she fell in love and married a handsome man only to divorce him for his roving eye. Blackmail and murder touched her life as well. In spite of her personal unhappiness, Emma Flower Taylor was charitable to every organization that needed her, and this legacy of kindness lives on in the Watertown area.

March 15th:
Jake Tibbles – Assistant Director, Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT), Clayton
“Exploring the Thousand Islands Through Conservation”
Jake Tibbles of the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT), will be examining the question “what is land conservation?” and illustrating the different ways members of our community can become involved, through preservation, restoration, recreation and education. He will also give us an overview of the Land Trust and explain how we can explore the natural beauty in our own backyards through the TILTreks & Talks and the Volunteer Program. He will also be available to answer any questions and provide additional information for those interested in learning more.

March 22nd:
Stephen Conaway – President, Thousand Islands Winery, Alexandria Bay
“The Art and Science of Wine”
Join Stephen Conaway of the Thousand Islands Winery as he helps us to explore wine as both a science and an art – since the art side of winemaking is a crucial step in the winemaking process. He will share his experiences with the natural relationship between wine and art and its impact on local culture. He will also explain how New York law affects the sale of art at NY wineries and local art is an integral piece of winery marketing.
**Wine-tasting included – Please RSVP by March 15

March 29th:
Louise Psarras-Bly – Owner and Soapmaker, Les Savons Des Loulou, Carthage
Co-partner, An Eclectic Boutique, Carthage
“Soapmaking: A Passionate Perspective”
Louise will talk about the difference between commercial and natural lye soap, and why you should use the natural one. She will also show the different steps of the soap making process, with a video or slides. She will then answer any questions you might have about soap making and using natural essential oils and additives in the soap.

April 5th:
Sue-Ryn Burns – Herbalist, Owner, Hillwoman Herbs, Wellesley Island
“Exploring Herbal Options for Mind, Body and Soul”
Join herbalist and author Sue-Ryn Burns and explore the possibilities herbs can bring to your life. Learn some old and new ways to use herbs to enhance your well-being. Sue-Ryn has over 35 years of experience working with herbs in many different ways, from growing and foraging in zone four to crafting and creating all manner of herbal products. Spring is just around the corner, it’s time to start contemplating your journey with the plant people…from annuals to weeds, we’ll check them all out. Sue-Ryn will be offering a tea tasting & some other herbal treats. Join in the “make & take” activity and make your own custom blend or tea or an herbal bath to take home with you after the lecture.

April 12th:
Matt White – Director, Photographer and Editor, 4th Coast Productions
“The Art of Visual Storytelling through Documentary Film”
Behind the scenes of a director, editor and photographer who shares his experiences of creating documentaries, news and advertising videos.


19 thoughts on “Communal Spirit: Upcoming Lecture Series at the North Country Arts Council

  1. I wish we lived closer. This lecture series is sure to be a winner! The subjects are varied and interesting and so should draw many North Country folks out on the wintry evenings. I wish you success.

  2. I am SO excited about this lecture series – especially Sue-Ryn’s contribution. Very excited about the workshop element to it. I wish I could work more closely with her. She has so much wisdom to share! The others are very interesting too and I will let people know!

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  4. You have such great ideas, they are lucky to have you on the council. I want to go to the herbal one on April 5th, that is the weekend I am planning on coming up. So far at least. I hope this series is a big hit for you.

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