Community and Professional Education

Winter/Spring 2017 Offerings: Center for Creative Retirement

Medicare 101
Medicare can be very confusing. There are many options and factors to consider. It is important to understand how Medicare works and what you need to know to make the most informed decisions possible. Medicare Parts A and B will be explained, including what is and is not covered. This session will also cover what a person's fiscal responsibility is and the ways to mitigate the potential copays of Medicare. Learn how Medigap plans work and what Medicare Part D (prescription drug insurance) is. In addition, learn about federal and state assistance programs for those who are income qualified.
2 Sessions, DCC B06
Thurs., 4/27 & 5/4, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

2 Sessions, DCC B05
Mon., 5/1 & 5/8, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Janet Kiffney, Instructor

A Trilogy of Childhood
This three-part series will open a window into the past and shed light on a child's world over a 400 year period. We will begin in the 16th century and continue up through the beginning of the 20th, at first focusing on how children were dressed and their overall treatment. We will also stress the differences in our two early local cultures - English and Dutch - to learn their conflicting attitudes in child care. The second class will be a history of children's toys. The earliest toys were created as teaching tools to prepare children for the roles they would assume as adults. Little boys were instructed on the proper way to ride a horse, using rocking horses even before they learned to walk, and little girls were given dolls to nurture their maternal instincts. The final class will emphasize the girl's eventual role as housekeeper by giving her elaborate doll's houses complete with furnishings and accessories. Also included in this final class will be a look at the restoration of the Yate's Doll House built in Schenectady in 1834 for the granddaughter of Schenectady's first mayor and 7th governor of New York State.
3 Sessions, WIL 113
Thurs., 4/27 - 5/11, 10 a.m. - Noon
Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

First Church: 375 Years and Still Counting
The Dutch Reformed Church on North Pearl Street is the oldest building in Albany still used as originally intended. It is Albany's oldest institution: the first church, first school and first bank. Its history is woven into the fabric of this city and the lives of its residents. A hoard of documents and artifacts discovered walled up in a basement room in 1931 made big news and The History Room was born. Tom Allison returns again with a privileged opportunity to see the church's artifacts and to hear some of its customs and lore. Phillip Hooker, First Church architect, will be featured after our morning break.
1 Session, WIL 113
Mon., 4/3, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
J. Thomas Allison, Instructor

Learning the "Ins and Outs" of your Digital Camera
This two-session offering will concentrate on learning how to effectively use your new (or not-so-new) digital camera. You will learn about exposure, white balance, macro-mode, portrait settings, landscapes, bracketing – all complex techniques that can be easily explained and mastered. Gather your favorite photos, organize your questions and bring along your camera and owner's manual to these classes designed to inform in a relaxed, comfortable format. Remember to have the camera's battery fully charged and have an empty memory card.
2 Sessions, WIL 113
Tues., 5/2 - 5/9, 1 - 4 p.m.
Kevin Sarsfield, Instructor

Antiques and More
Come and spend an engaging morning that will touch on history, geography, the arts and society. Owners Andrew Geller and David Ornstein of New Scotland Antiques will appraise a treasure that you bring to class. Bring in two items that you are curious about, set it on the table and when class begins, Andy and David will discuss each and every object! They'll cover the history of the items, its popularity and what it's worth in today's market. To be fair to everyone, please remember to limit your items to two.
1 Session, WIL 113
Thurs., 3/16, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Andrew Geller and David Orstein, Instructors

"Troy Is My Hometown" The Life and Times of Maureen Stapleton
"There's a place called Troy on the east bank of the Hudson River. If you want to know me, you have to know where I come from, and Troy is my home town."
For Troy native Maureen Stapleton (1925-2006), there was no question that Troy was her home town. Even though she had to leave at an early age in order to become an actress, she returned to Troy often to touch base with family and friends throughout her career and long life. Kathryn Sheehan, Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian, will present an illustrated lecture on the Oscar, Emmy and Tony-award winning actress's connection to Troy, celebrating her gift of acting in theater, film and television for almost 50 years.
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 4/19, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Kathryn Sheehan, Instructor

Ireland - Land of Song, Land of Love
Join Irish folk singer Don Kelly on a two-hour journey through Irish love songs. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, Don will provide song background and maybe tell a joke or two. Opportunity for audience participation (sing-along) will abound. Stories of love gained and lost will fill this class. If you missed his class in the fall, you won't want to miss this new performance.
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 3/14, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Don Kelly, Instructor

Richard Rogers and his Contributions to the American Musical Theatre
Richard Rodgers, with Oscar Hammerstein, is responsible for creating the American musical as a literary art form. From his first song, "Manhattan," written with Lorenz Hart to his final score for "I Remember Mama," Rodgers was responsible for many classic American musicals. The course will feature Rodgers before Hammerstein and Hammerstein before Rodgers and Rodgers after Hammerstein. Background information and interviews will enhance the songs from the famous musicals.
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 4/26, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Richard Feldman, Instructor

An Introduction to Music Reading
If you've always wanted to learn to read music, this is the perfect opportunity for you! If you are in a group where everyone has a songbook, the words are written underneath the treble clef staff. If you want to know the melody you need to know how to read the notes on the staff. I will teach you an easy way to be able to do that. Instructor Janine Budesheim has been an elementary music teacher and director of the Averill Park Community Orchestra for many years.
1 Session, WIL 113
Fri., 5/5, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Janine Budesheim, Instructor vs. Utilizing the Genealogy Giants and are two giants of internet genealogy. These online destinations offer vast resources for researching your family's history, but how do you sift through all that information and find what you are looking for? Lisa Dougherty, a professional genealogist with over 20 years' experience in online research, will explain the content of these websites, their similarities and differences, and how to search them effectively to get to the "roots" of your family's story.
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 3/28, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Lisa Dougherty, Instructor

Sources for Researching your New York State Family History
Having ancestors from New York state poses unique challenges for the family historian. Learn how to effectively utilize two of the state's most valuable resources - New York State Vital Records and the New York State Census. Professional genealogist and longtime New York State researcher Lisa Dougherty will show you strategies for effectively locating, accessing and interpreting these records to document your Empire State ancestor!
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 4/25, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Lisa Dougherty, Instructor

The Irish Bridget
Who was the Irish Bridget? What relevance does her story have to the history of Irish immigration to America? Learn the answers to these questions in Dr. Margaret Lynch-Brennan's presentation "The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840-1930" which is based on her book of the same name. Dr. Lynch-Brennan will use photographs and personal letters the Irish Bridgets wrote to one another to give insight into the lives of these young immigrant girls. She will discuss their work life, their social life, the impact they had on Irish-American life, and their contribution to American ethnic history, labor history and women's history. Dr. Lynch-Brennan will also explore the relevance of the Irish Bridget's story to contemporary American life, in which domestic service is again populated by female immigrants, and immigration is once more controversial.
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 5/3, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Margaret Lynch-Brennan, Ph.D., Instructor

A Fascinating Morning with Two Local Town Historians
First, town historian Jim Greenfield will give a lecture on Defreestville and Wynantskill, two hamlets in North Greenbush. Jim will discuss the hamlets' naming and growth from the 1600's to the 21st century.

You'll meet some interesting characters:

  • A congressman and friend of George Washington
  • An unconventional Justice of the Peace
  • A West Point Army man with a deep secret
  • The "Sam Walton" of Wynantskill

You'll re-live some intriguing events:

  • The night Wynantskill was "bombed" in World War II
  • A murder most foul
  • A national athletic event
  • ...and much, much more.

Next, the East Greenbush Town Historian Bobbie Reno will relate her fascinating research about a local execution of Pvt. Samuel Helms, a young man in his early twenties serving as a soldier in the War of 1812.
1 Session, WIL 113
Mon., 5/1, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Jim Greenfield and Bobbie Reno, Instructors

Lucy Larcom: A New England Mill Worker in the 19th Century
Lucy Larcom, later to become a noted poet and educator, began her working life in a New England textile factory in the 1830s. As a young mill worker, Lucy will relate the working and living conditions many young farm girls experienced in the early days of America's Industrial Revolution. With props and hands-on activities for the audience, she will demonstrate the tasks involved in textile production, the development of mechanization, and the structure of a mill. The industrialization of America changed ordinary life for everyone, creating the modern consumer society in which we live today.
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 4/12, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Phyllis Chapman, Instructor

Women of the Revolution - Backstage Heroines
The American Revolution was a civil war in many ways, in which the female half of the American populace participated willingly and unwillingly. Conventional history has been remiss in not adequately noting the exploits of women as battles raged in their towns, and foreign invaders threatened their homes and way of life. The ride of Paul Revere is well known and embellished but what about that of young Sybil Ludington? Who was the woman whose writings gave voice to the revolutionary spirit, and whose concerns about the new Constitution later took form as the Bill of Rights? Known and unknown, patriot and Tory, find how women were key players in the Revolution.
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 3/29, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Phyllis Chapman, Instructor

The Fabulous Cushing Boys
This course examines the lives of four brothers and their exploits before, during and after the Civil War. One was comparatively nondescript; one was much more brave and daring; one earned the Medal of Honor at Gettysburg; and one led a virtual suicide mission (involving two men from Rensselaer and Albany) and became the "American Idol" of his day. Two of the men are buried in Beverwyck Cemetery in Rensselaer and one is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery. Our presenter, Jim Cochran, is a retired literature teacher and a part-time amateur American historian.
1 Session, WIL 113
Thurs., 3/30, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Jim Cochran, Instructor

Liberty vs. Authority: The Supreme Court and the Bill of Rights
The Supreme Court is the least understood branch of the federal government. What is its jurisdiction? How does it operate? The class will examine those questions and trace how cases get to the Court. Some it its most controversial cases have involved interpretation of the Bill Rights. We will review the historical origins of the first ten amendments to the Constitution and then focus on the history of First Amendment cases to see how the Court has dealt with the controversy between liberty and authority. Ken is a former instructor from Highland Community College in Illinois.
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 3/15, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Ken Kiser, Instructor

Introduction to Folk Music Using Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar and Song
Come whet your musical appetite while hearing the history and sounds of various foot-tapping traditional and folk styles. Listen to music from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, New England and Appalachia. Instructor George Wilson will also "visit" the music of some historical folk music personalities like Uncle Dave Macon and Huddie Ledbetter. Combine this with a discussion of how these sounds developed and George's off-the-cuff commentary and you have one rousing presentation. George is a talented multi-instrumentalist and singer, folk music educator and performer.
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 4/4, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
George Wilson, Instructor

The Flowers of Spring: Their Design, Color and Texture
Spoil yourself by spending a morning with a versatile floral artist, who can design a classical look but make it follow the latest design trend? Take advantage of Michele Peter's 30 years of experience and let her show you how to put creativity and energy into your own designs and events. If you've been with us before, you know Michele brings a passion for what she does. Many return because they know she always brings fresh ideas and demonstrates what is "hot" in the flower world. Come join us as we "ohh and ahh." You may be one of the lucky students who carries one of her creations home! Course fee includes $13 materials fee.
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 3/8, 9:30 a.m. - Noon
Michele Peters, Instructor

Saint John Honeywood, Post-Revolutionary Jokester
His name was odd and so was the way his mind worked. In the 1790s, Yale graduate Saint John Honeywood appeared in the little Washington County village of Salem. Salemites, most of whom were uneducated farmers, didn't know what to make of him. Mr. Honeywood painted, wrote poetry and sometimes spoke in Greek. He published a newspaper and held curious views about the social roles of men and women. An amateur historian, he got to know many of the locals who had fought at the Battle of Bennington and never tired of re-telling their stories. A satirist, he took great pleasure in skewering pompous politicians, Congressmen in particular. Steve Trimm who will be portraying Mr. Honeywood, is a tour guide at Grant Cottage State Historic Site.
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 5/10, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Steve Trimm, Coordinator

Cradle of America: the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys
Author Jack Casey, who has set his four historical novels in the Hudson-Mohawk region, will discuss how its residents built America from a wilderness into an international power. From Deganawida, who formed the Iroquois confederacy after a vision at the Cohoes Falls, to Thomas Edison who brought his General Electric Company to the banks of the Mohawk, Jack will discuss this area's rightful place in the history of the United States.

Jack will touch upon the War of 1812 and the Civil War, the digging of the Erie Canal, the building of the New York Central Railroad, as well as inventors George Burden and Joseph Henry, authors Henry James and Herman Melville, educational pioneers Amos Eaton and Emma Willard, and assorted abolitionists and political leaders whose performed far-reaching work on the national stage.
1 Session, WIL 113
Fri., 4/28, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Jack Casey, Instructor

The Tragedy of Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton led the Federalist Party for over a decade, and served as Secretary of the Treasury, inventing fiscal policy that laid the foundation for a prosperous modern commercial nation. Yet shame over his humble origins dogged him and made him hypersensitive to criticism.

Jack Casey, an author, attorney and former political leader, who just completed his historical novel, Hamilton's Last Clash, will explore this uniquely American tragedy. While showing why Hamilton is the most influential of the Founding Fathers upon our way of life, Jack will share his views on the darker side of American adversarial politics, and will also acquaint attendees with Revolutionary-era songs he will play and sing.
1 Session, WIL 113
Fri., 4/28, 1 - 3 p.m.
Jack Casey, Instructor

Russell Sage, the Money King
Born into poverty, Russell Sage was a self-made man, although the man he made himself into was the quintessential Robber Baron of the Gilded Age. After leaving his home in Troy for the richer pickings of New York City, his financial manipulations of the Wall Street stock market, the banking industry, railroads and other major corporations became the stuff of financial legend. Along with his primary partner, Jay Gould, Sage pillaged and plundered the American economic marketplace for almost 40 years. He was probably the wealthiest American at the time of his death in 1906, and his wife's reaction to his passing is one of the greatest stories of philanthropic retaliation in American history.
1 Session, WIL 113
Fri., 4/7, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Michael Barrett, Instructor

Two Popular Programs from the Rensselaer County Health Department

Tick Safety
We will hear the latest data available about ticks and Lyme disease. A health department educator will cover topics such as, who gets Lyme, how it is transmitted, symptoms, and prevention. Tick life cycle, how to remove a tick, creating a tick free zone around your home, tips on insect repellent, and the effect of ticks on pets also will be discussed.

Nutrition for Seniors
We all know that nutrition is a cornerstone in establishing and maintaining health. This program will be an opportunity to discover why variety, balance and moderation are the keys to healthy eating.
1 Session, WIL 113
Fri., 3/31, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Rensselaer County Health Department, Instructor

America's Constitution
This is a historical review of the United States Constitution that will cover how and why it was created; the principles and political realities motivating it, and the concerns and objective of the players who wrote it. We will highlight how the founders viewed the crucial issue of power, its necessity and dangers, along with how the document has evolved over 228 years.
2 Sessions, WIL 113
Mon., 3/6 - 3/13, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Henry Bankhead, Instructor

Please note: several of these trips and tours include a materials fee for admission and/or meals. This fee is non-refundable five business days prior to the start of the course. Directions and additional information about off-campus tours and trips are posted at

The Best of Oakwood
Did you know the Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel and Crematorium at Oakwood Cemetery is a National Historic Landmark? We will hear the story behind the creation of this opulent 125-year old building, resplendent with Tiffany windows, marble mosaics and carved oak features. Oakwood was one of the first "rural cemeteries" in the country, with serpentine roads and lovely landscaping, and on our tour we'll be surrounded by daffodils, if we're lucky. We'll enjoy fascinating stories as we visit beautiful monuments for some of the influential citizens of 19th century Troy.

Dress appropriately for the weather and wear good walking shoes. You might want to bring a bottle of water as well. This slow-paced walk is approximately 1 and ½ miles round trip and is on mainly level paved roads with one or two dirt paths. Course fee includes a $15 materials fee.
1 Session, Oakwood Cemetery
Tues., 4/25, 1 - 3 p.m.
Heidi Klinowski, Guide
Marie D'Entrone, Coordinator

Tour and Lunch at The Skene Manor
Enjoy a visit to The Skene Manor, Whitehall's Castle on the Mountain, which is one of the few remaining castles in northeast New York. The castle was constructed of stone blocks cut right out of the mountain that frames the manor. This magnificent structure shows turn-of-the-century craftsmanship rarely duplicated today. We will enjoy a tour of the Skene Manor where we will experience the grandeur that exemplified turn-of-the-century wealth. In addition, a lunch of homemade soup, sandwiches, beverages and dessert will be served in the tea room. You will be contacted prior to the trip for your sandwich order. All who visit rave about the lunch and the dedication of the volunteer staff who run the manor. Now, experience it for yourself! Course fee includes $20 materials fee.
1 Session, The Skene Manor
Thurs., 5/4, 11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Linda Muller, Coordinator

The Doane Stuart "Green Roof"
Come and see the Rensselaer school's 22,000 square foot green roof – a living science lab. This "green roof" is the only one of its size in the Capital Region and it serves each division of the school. We will learn about the different species that were planted and how the green roof was installed. This living science lab not only educates the students of the school but also serves to educate the Capital Region.
1 Session, Doane Stuart
Mon., 5/15, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Jean Chenette, Coordinator

A Morning at the MiSci Museum
During our morning together, we will spend 45 minutes viewing the digital planetarium show, "Earth's Wild Ride." Here you will explore the Earth as you've never done before – as observed by a fictional family relocated on the moon! Discover crashing asteroids, erupting volcanoes, roaring dinosaurs, electrifying lightning and booming thunder. The show includes a live segment about the current seasonal sky. We also will view one of MiSci's most popular interactive science demos, "Dry Ice," which explores the states of matter and sublimation using the fun and excitement of dry ice. Later, you will also be free to explore the museum on your own. Course fee includes $9 materials fee.
1 Session, The Museum of Innovation and Science
Wed., 3/22, 10 a.m. - Noon
Jean Chenette, Coordinator

The Saugerties Lighthouse
Join us at the Saugerties Lighthouse, an 1869 landmark on the Hudson River that now stands proudly as a living museum and a renowned bed and breakfast. Step back in time over a hundred years to experience the charm and rustic simplicity of life in the middle of the river. Furnished as it may have looked in the early 20th century, the lighthouse contains a small museum, gift shop, parlor, kitchen, keepers' quarters, and two guest bedrooms. The operational light-tower offers a panoramic view of the Hudson River Valley and Catskill Mountains. Because of its location on the river, tours must be scheduled with tide schedules in mind. The lighthouse can be reached via a half-mile nature trail of dirt and rock paths with wooden bridges and boardwalks and sandy trails. It is at the end of Lighthouse Drive in the village of Saugerties. Suitable, comfortable shoes are recommended. Course fee includes $8 materials fee.
1 Session, Saugerties Lighthouse
Thurs., 4/20, Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Mel Witkowski, Coordinator

Cooking for One or Two - Part III
If you thought Part I & 2 were fun and informative, then join us for Part III and all new tastes. Get fun fast ideas for one-pot cooking, tips and tricks for getting small meals on the table fast and with minimum ingredients! We will even throw in a few healthy hors d'oeuvres! No fuss meals at home can save you time and money, and these meals will be so great, you will want to share them with a friend! Bring your time saving ideas to our table and share while we nibble on our creations! Course fee includes $40 materials fee.
1 Session, The Eatery at Carol's Place
Tues., 3/21, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Anita DeCelle, Instructor
Jean Chenette, Coordinator

Spring Sensations - Exploring Nearby Nature Preserves
As the snow melts and the ground thaws, nature springs to life and puts on a glorious display. The spring palate includes a bounty of wildflowers like trillium, dog toothed violets, and lady slippers. An upward glance reveals the flowering shadblow and cherry. The first class at the college is really important and will include preparation, along with a presentation illustrating what we might see. In the following weeks, we will explore four of our favorite local preserves taking time to observe, learn about and enjoy the plants, wildlife and natural beauty around us.
5 Sessions
Fri., 4/21, 10 a.m. - Noon, WIL 113
Fri., 4/28 - 5/19, 10 a.m. - Noon, Selected Preserves
Betty and John Nickles, Instructors

Historical Hike: Discovering Past Land Use
Journey back in time on a two-mile hike to read the history written in the landscape. By looking for clues that explain changes in forest composition, we'll discover how people used the land over the last 300 years and evidence of past climatic changes. We'll find evidence of old farms, roads, pastures, logging and how these activities have changed the forest we see today. The forest holds many clues to past use, and this class will have you acting as a detective to unearth the history of the land. Wear sturdy walking shoes and dress for the outdoors. Course fee includes $5 materials fee.
1 Session, Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center
Mon, 5/8, 1 - 3 p.m.
Lisa Hoyt, Instructor
Paula Johanssen, Coordinator

Tour and Book at the Batcheller Mansion
Participants are treated to a first person tour of the Batcheller Mansion by Mr. George S. Batcheller (portrayed by local author and Victorian historian Hollis Palmer). The Batcheller Mansion is an icon of Saratoga. Built in 1873-74, the house had to be finished in time to host a reception for President Grant. Anyone who has ever been by the house considers the outside to be imposing and those who have been fortunate enough to be inside have experienced the house's true magnificence and warmth. The entire experience takes about 90 minutes and allows guests to appreciate what it was like to live in the Victorian house the New York Times called "Saratoga's Crowning Glory." Course fee includes $20 materials fee.
1 Session, the Batcheller Mansion in Saratoga
Tues., 4/25, 1 - 3 p.m.
Vera Weiss, Coordinator

Knickerbocker Family Mansion - Ghosts, Tour and Lunch
The Knickerbocker Historical Society will be our hosts as they tell us about the history of the Knickerbocker Mansion, which dates from about 1770. They will arrange for historical 'ghosts' to give moving first-hand accounts of their lives and experiences, and they will explain the renovations – the not-for-profit historical society rescued the mansion from certain demolition and has continued to restore it. Our visit concludes with a chance to tour the mansion and to a colonial lunch cooked with authentic recipes, a delicious side to the history of the mansion! Course fee includes a $25 materials fee.
1 Session, Knickerbocker Family Mansion
Wed., 5/17, 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Jean Chenette, Coordinator

Saratoga's Great Ladies Walking Tours
Join local author and Victorian historian Hollis Palmer as he relates infamous incidents from his books. He tells stories much the same way your grandfathers did; oh that's right, he is a grandfather. See and hear about the Great Ladies (the original name for Victorian houses) of Saratoga through a series of walking tours. The tours will tell about the families who built the houses and made them homes. The presentations include stories about the man who was so mad at the city he turned his back on it; the son who took his mother's jewels from her safety deposit box and what he did with them; the man whose father saved the Union in the Civil War with a simple invention - all while gazing upon the beautiful mansions they each called home. All tours offered area loop, ending close to where they started. Each course fee includes $10 materials fee.
1 Session, Meet at Crafter's Gallery
Tour of North Broadway
Tues., 4/18, 1 - 3 p.m.
Lea Darling, Coordinator

1 Session, Meet at Crafter's Gallery
Tour of Saratoga's Oldest Neighborhood - Franklin Square
Tues., 5/2, 1 - 3 p.m.
Mel Witkowski, Coordinator

1 Session, Meet at Congress Spring
inside Congress Park
Tour of Union Ave. & Congress Park
Tues., 5/9, 1 - 3 p.m.
Cynthia Serbent, Coordinator

Ukrainian Eggs, Pysanky Eggs
This is a fun new craft to try! Well, it may be new to you but is a long tradition to many others. Create one neat hole in the egg. No more blowing! Then you will learn how to use a traditional wax tool called a kistka to "draw" with wax on your egg. Using layers of wax and brightly-colored dyes, you will create intricate designs on your egg. The final step is so exciting! You melt off the wax and reveal the many beautiful colors hiding below. This may sound difficult but it is not. Even children who scratch squiggly lines on their eggs end up with bright and beautiful results. Course fee includes $15 materials fee.
1 Session, The Albany Art Room
Thurs., 3/23, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

1 Session, The Albany Art Room
Tues., 3/28, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Karen Schupack, Instructor

Cruise on the Hudson and Champlain Canal with Mohawk Maiden Cruises
Climb aboard the rustic M/V Caldwell Belle, the only authentic chain-driven stern wheel paddle boat on the Champlain Canal, for a tour filled with the rich history of the Champlain Canal. Our trip will be accompanied by historic narration and beautiful spring scenery throughout. Experience an afternoon of nature watching, education and plain relaxation! Be sure to bring your binoculars and a thirst for nature and history. Mohawk Maiden Cruises is a small family-owned and operated company. Wear sneakers or appropriate footwear for walking safely on the boat and climbing stairs. The Caldwell Belle has a small enclosed cabin on the bottom deck with tables and chairs for those who wish to enjoy the sights away from the elements. Water, soda and pre-packaged snacks are available for purchase for a small fee. The Mohawk Maiden Cruises dock is located next to Lock C5 on the Champlain Canal near the Village of Schuylerville. Course fee includes $23 materials fee.
1 Session, Mohawk Maiden Cruises
Tues, 5/30, 1 - 3:30 p.m.
Lea Darling, Coordinator

Walking Tour of Troy's Historic Washington Park, Surrounding Homes and Artists Studio with Tea
Enjoy taking a step back in time to see and experience the genteel living of the nouveau rich of Troy's Washington Park. You will be able to see firsthand, the loving care taken to rehabilitate and update many of these one of a kind homes of the emerging upper middle class of the 19th century and visit their own private park. A tea reception will be held in our last home visit on the tour.

There will be lots of walking on mostly uneven surfaces: sidewalks, grass, roads, and some home interiors with multiple flights of stairs, climbing up and down. Wear comfortable walking shoes as you will be on your feet for all of the tour. Meet in Washington Park across from the front of 195 2nd Street. Parking is along the bordering streets of Washington Park – Washington Place, Second Street, Third Street and Washington Street. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.
1 Session, Meet in Washington Park across from front of 195 2nd Street
Tues., 5/16, 10 a.m. - Noon
Lea Darling, Coordinator

Visit Historic Grant's Cottage
Guide Steven Trimm will provide a tour of the historic cottage and share little known stories about U.S. Grant. A walk out to Promontory Point on a clear day will provide views of the Berkshires, Green and Adirondack Mountains. We may even have a secret family member of Grant's with us to share more stories. This is a two and a half hour program with a lot of standing and walking. Please wear comfortable shoes, as you will be walking on paved and uneven surfaces and dress for the weather. We will meet at the Grant Cottage Visitor's Center to begin our tour. Course fee includes $15 materials fee.
1 Session, Grant's Cottage Visitor's Center
Tues., 5/9, 10 a.m. - Noon
Lea Darling, Coodinator

Volkssporting! The Best Kept Secret to Fun, Fitness and Friendship in the Capital District
Come and learn about Volkssporting, a German word for "the sport of the people." What is this welcoming physical activity that has over 300 members right here in our area? Throughout the US there are over 300 clubs. Some folks start as a better road to physical fitness, but then continue because of new found friendships and fun club activities.

Our first hour will be a presentation on what is volkssporting, with question and answer time. The next part of the course you will be given directions to the Best Western Franklin Inn in Troy. We will drive to the inn and begin a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) walk. Bring two return address labels for walk registration, a bottle of water to keep hydrated, and dress appropriately for the outside weather while exercising. You will been encountering some uneven surfaces throughout our Troy walk, so be prepared. Some folks like to bring a walking stick or ski pole. Following the walk, an optional restaurant visit for lunch, pay your own way, will be arranged for wrap up and conversation. Course fee includes a $7 materials fee.
1 Session, WIL 113
Mon., 4/24, 9 a.m. - Noon
Lea Darling & Eileen Skinner, Coordinators

Behind the Scenes Tour of WMHT
Tour the WMHT studios! You will get a chance to see the different stages of WMHT TV production, editing and broadcast and also tour the radio studios for WMHT 89.1, WEXT 97.7 and RISE. Finally, you'll learn about the educational and community programs and the online materials which further the public broadcasting's mission of lifelong learning and enjoyment of the arts.
1 Session, WMHT in Rensselaer Technology Park
Thurs., 3/23, 10 a.m. - Noon
Jean Chenette, Coordinator

Cottage in the Snowy Woods: Painting in the Style of Impressionist Artist Camille Pissaro
There is something so cozy and romantic about a little cottage tucked among snow covered trees. Join Noreen Powell for a mixed media painting class using acrylics and water soluble oil-based paints on canvas. You will receive step-by-step instruction on how to create your own version of a cozy cottage. This class is perfect or beginner or intermediate artists. Learn to paint in a beautiful relaxed atmosphere - The Living Room Art Gallery located in the visitors center of historic St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands. All materials including paints, brushes, canvas and table top easels will be provided. Gourmet coffees and Schuyler Bakery baked goods also will be included. Course fee includes $35 materials fee.
1 Session, St. Agnes Cemetery
Fri., 2/3, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Noreen Powell, Instructor
Kelly Grimaldi, Coordinator

Van Gogh's Crazy Trees: A Lesson in Post-Impressionist Art
Van Gogh's trees are easily recognizable. He had a very distinct brush stroke and used color like no other artist of his era. Well known for his delusional behavior, Van Gogh's supposed craziness only enhanced his artistic expression. He was pure genius without ever having had the peace of knowing how beloved his paintings would be to the modern world. Noreen Powell captures his style perfectly and she will teach you step-by-step how to give your own "crazy" to Van Gogh-style trees! We will use acrylics on a large canvas to create deep and vibrantly colored trees that seem to sway with the wind.

Learn to paint in a beautiful relaxed atmosphere - The Living Room Art Gallery located in the visitors center of historic St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands. All materials including paints, brushes, canvas and table top easels will be provided. Gourmet coffees and Schuyler Bakery baked goods will be included, too. No experience necessary. Course fee includes $35 materials fee.
1 Session, St. Agnes Cemetery
Sat., 2/25, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Noreen Powell, Instructor
Kelly Grimaldi, Coordinator

Introduction to Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to stay active through the winter season, and is easy to do! We will cover types of snowshoes, how to dress in layers, equipment needed and all you need to know to get started on enjoying the outdoors in winter. After an introduction, we will take a leisurely snowshoe on the beautiful trails found at the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center in Grafton. Along the way, we'll look for animal tracks and other clues to what animals have been in the area. Equipment rental is for shoes only. If you have a pair of ski or hiking poles, bring them. Dress in layers and wear winter boots with a flat heel. Course fee includes $10 materials fee, which includes rental fee for snowshoes.
1 Session, Dyken Pond Environmental
Education Center
Mon., 2/27, 1 - 3 p.m.
Lisa Hoyt, Instructor
Marie D'Entrone, Coordinator

Small rural communities are perpetually redefining and marketing themselves, but it is probably fair to say that no place has come up with a concept quite like "Behold! New Lebanon," in Columbia County. This town in the shadow of the Berkshires is being reimagined as what it hopes will be a "living museum of contemporary rural American life." "Behold!," is the brainchild of Ruth J. Abram, the historian who founded the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York in 1968 and is credited with forging new conceptual museum ground by telling the stories of immigrant families within an original setting.

Elm Tree Mill Tour
When President Theodore Roosevelt lived in the White House, he insisted that his pancakes be prepared only from Elm Tree Mill buckwheat. A tour conducted by the family who now lives in the mill offers an unprecedented opportunity to look inside and back to the 18th century. Course fee includes $12 materials fee.
1 Session, Elm Tree Mill
Thurs., 4/20, 1 - 3 p.m.
Jean Chenette, Coordinator

What the Woof?
With her dogs at her side, Peg Munves explains how modern breeds were developed for work. She'll offer tips on how to live with and train these same dogs in our urban, suburban and rural homes. Course fee includes $12 materials fee.
1 Session, Peg Munves in New Lebanon
Thurs., 4/27, 1 - 3 p.m.
Mel Witkowski, Coordinator

Hops Farming: 101
Tour artist/writer Alex Olchowski's Spring Hill Hops, the only commercial scale hops farm in Columbia County. Learn how the hops are grown and how they're used. Encounter wildlife as you walk through the hops yard and learn how the ecosystem of the field has been transformed. Course fee includes $12 materials fee.
1 Session, Spring Hill Hops
Thurs., 5/11, 1 - 3 p.m.
Paula Johannesen, Coordinator