Winter/Spring Offerings: Center for Creative Retirement

We offer more than 60 educational and fun classes, trips and workshops to keep you active this winter and spring.

2020 Offerings

Please note: several of these trips and tours includes a materials fee for admission and/or meals. This fee is non-refundable five business days prior to the start of the course. Course registrations may not be transferred to another person. If you are unable to attend a class, you may not send someone else in your place. Directions and additional information about off-campus tours and trips.

Medicare 101

Medicare can be very confusing. 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. You’ll also learn about federal and state assistance programs for those who are income qualified.

Medicare 101 Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
2 Sessions, DCC B06
Wed., 4/15 - 4/22, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
60166 Janet Kiffney $12
2 Sessions, DCC B06
Thurs., 5/7 - 5/14, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
60197 Janet Kiffney  $12

The Baltimore Plot

In February of 1861, there were all sorts of rumors of plans to prevent Abraham Lincoln from attending his inauguration as the 16th president. This presentation explores the active plan to assassinate him in Baltimore as he made his way to Washington, DC. We’ll meet the cast of characters, including Lincoln’s inner circle, as well as the conspirators and the undercover agents who thwarted the plan. We’ll follow the sequence of events and examine the controversy surrounding this intriguing event in American history.

The Baltimore Plot Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 4/1, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60064 Jim Cochran $12

The Floors Still Hold Their Stories

This two-part class explores the history of floors. At the first class, we will begin learning about flooring in the 17th century, when rugs were far too expensive to place on the floor; the 18th century, when hand-loomed and imported rugs began to be used on floors; and the 19th century, when American factories began copying expensive imported rugs and made them available to the middle class through factories like those in Amsterdam, NY, which contributed to the wealth of the region. We will also learn about America’s woven, hooked and sewn carpets that were created either at home or by professional weavers.

The second class will present room settings, featuring the kinds of furnishings that were placed on the floors and carpets both for functional use and aesthetic appeal. They will begin with the first primitive homes in the colonies and end in America’s lavish Victorian period. Included will be both homemade and imported carpets, and the invention of linoleum.

The Floors Still Hold Their Stories Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
2 Sessions, WIL 113
Thurs., 4/23 - 4/30, 10 a.m. - noon
60218 Marilyn Sassi $29

Stephen Sondheim - Six Decades of Creating Musical Theater Masterpieces

At the age of 27, Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics for “West Side Story.” In 1962, he wrote music and lyrics for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He went on to pen such iconic classics as “Company,” “Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” and “Into the Woods,” among others. Today, at age 89, he still supervises revisions of his works, attends performances and supervises productions.

Stephen Sondheim - Six Decades of Creating Musical Theater Masterpieces Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 4/15, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60216 Richard Feldman $15

Proctors: A Man, His Theater, Our Heritage

Frederick Freeman Proctor was near the end of his life when he chose Schenectady to build the greatest of his 52 theaters across the country. He spared no expense, and when the doors were opened on Dec. 27, 1926, every seat was filled to watch the featured silent film “Stranded in Paris” and five separate vaudeville acts. Using slides copied from original photographs, the entire history of the theater and the man it is named for will be illustrated, revealing an amazing life and career full of surprises. Slides will also document and compare how the theater has changed over its 90 years of life, from glittering success in the 1920s and 30s to such hard times that by the 1970s, there was a real threat that it would be torn down. Learn about how the theater was saved, rehabilitated and expanded, and its recent major restoration. Proctors has overcome every obstacle and now continues to grow its entertainment schedule, with plans to expand even further.

Proctors: A Man, His Theater, Our Heritage Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Thurs., 4/16, 10 a.m. - Noon
60219 Marilyn Sassi $19

Wait, Wait, I Know That! Rediscovering Rensselaer County

We all look at historic images and wonder where a photograph was taken. Join Kathryn Sheehan, Rensselaer County and Troy city historian, for this illustrated lecture that will highlight new images recently donated to the museum. This will be an interactive who, what, where when and why class!

Wait, Wait, I Know That! Rediscovering Rensselaer County Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 3/11, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60221 Kathryn Sheehan $19

The Beauty, Design and Fragrance of Spring Flowers

How often do you get the opportunity to spend a morning with a versatile floral artist who can design a classical look but make it follow a modern trend? Take advantage of Michele’s 30 years of experience and let her show you how you can put creativity and energy into designs and events. If you have been with us before you know she brings a passion for what she does and many return because they know she always brings new ideas and demonstrates what is “hot” in the flower world. You may be one of the lucky students who carries one of her creations home! Course fee includes a $14 materials fee.

The Beauty, Design and Fragrance of Spring Flowers Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 4/28, 9:30 a.m. - noon
60222 Michele Peters of Ambiance Florals and Events $24

Butterflies

Many people are delighted by the sight of a butterfly landing on a nearby flower. Butterflies are beautiful, delicate and often elusive creatures. Their lives are unique and their skills are amazing. During this illustrated presentation, we will learn about their life cycles, favorite nectar plants (and why), host plants, camouflage and other ways of fooling predators, and winter survival.

Butterflies Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Fri., 3/27, 10 a.m. - noon
60223 Betty Nickles $12

New York Tales: Tall & True - Part IV

Some of New York State’s folklore is truly unbelievable, and some of its history is even more so. Learn how a song, written in 1908 on a New York City subway, surreptitiously shifted society’s stance on suffrage. We’ll see two New York governors competing for President of the United States and how their campaign songs contributed to the contest. We’ll reveal the New York roots of “God Bless America” and revel in the adventures of “Red McCarthy, Paul Bunyan of the Erie Canal.” Empire State history and folklore comes alive as never before with this collection of New York tales, tall and true.

New York Tales: Tall & True - Part IV Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost$20
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 4/22, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60226 Sandy Schuman

A Hard Battle: Peter and Clarinda Dumont’s Civil War

Peter Dumont was a Union soldier who was born in Schoharie County and had moved to Utica as a teenager. Over an 18-month period following his enlistment, he sent 80 detailed letters home to his wife, Clarinda, writing with candor about military life and sketching pictures. He chronicled his harrowing combat experiences, his confinement in a Confederate prison, and his mixed emotions of patriotism versus horror and despair. He commented on Clarinda’s struggles to care for their young children. The letters were passed down through the generations, and now, over 150 years later, great-great-great granddaughter Diana McCarthy has transcribed them for the first time. She will portray Clarinda reading from Peter’s letters and describe this dramatic story. Step back in history to learn about Peter’s battles, including his desperate efforts to get a furlough home, and about Clarinda’s battle to discover what happened to him after he disappeared in the Battle of the Wilderness, seeking assistance from Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office.

A Hard Battle: Peter and Clarinda Dumont’s Civil War Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Thurs., 4/2, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60227 Diana McCarthy $12

Discover your Irish Origins Through DNA Testing

Ethnicity estimates provided by DNA testing companies can open the door to discovering your Irish origins, but how do you use them and your matches to add specific information to your family tree? Learn how ethnicity estimates are determined, how to cluster your matches and isolate those from your Irish ancestors, and how to discover cousins in Ireland with professional Lisa Dougherty, genealogist-in-residence at the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany.

Discover your Irish Origins Through DNA Testing Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 3/24, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60224 Lisa Dougherty $15

Steps to Organizing Your Family History Research

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of information you are collecting on your family history? Have a big box (or several) of family pictures and documents you don’t know what to do with? Confused by all the options offered in family history software? Help is on the way! Join professional genealogist Lisa Dougherty for tips and suggestions on how to get your family research organized and keep it that way.

Steps to Organizing Your Family History Research Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 4/21, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60225 Lisa Dougherty $15

Albany’s Family History Center Can Help With Genealogy

In this class, Bill Phillips will explain the relationships between family history research and history in general. He will also review the resources available for researching family history through family search, roots tech, and premium family history websites available at the Albany Family History Center.

Albany’s Family History Center Can Help With Genealogy Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Fri., 4/3, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60210 Bill Phillips $12

Notorious! Shady Ladies of 19th Century America

Some people would rather be infamous than famous - and 19th century American women were no different! Scandal and gossip can be so delicious, and these ladies tasted their fair share of both. Phyllis Chapman, as Victoria Woodhull, who was “infamous” herself, will delight us with tales not only of her own escapades, but also those of naughty ladies such as Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Lizzie Borden, Lydia Pinkham, Carry A. Nation and others. They were women who found innovative (and sometimes inappropriate!) means of making their way in the world. Tasty tidbits include the answers to questions such as, who was the inspiration for the all-American Gibson Girl? Did Lizzie do it? Why was Calamity Jane a calamity? In the days when a lady’s name only appeared in the newspapers three times in her life, these gals were frequently headliners. If you like gun-swinging, bone-crackling, axe-whacking, free-loving women, this is a must-see for you!

Notorious! Shady Ladies of 19th Century America Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 4/8, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60066 Phyllis Chapman $37

The Death of Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Deputy Griggs in the Anti-Rent War

Willard Griggs is the only Rensselaer County sheriff’s deputy to ever have died in the line of duty. He was mortally wounded on an East Greenbush farm in 1869 during an Anti-Rent War incident. This course will provide an overview of the Anti-Rent War in Rensselaer and Albany counties, and one of its key players, Walter Church, the grandson of Angelica Schuyler. It will discuss the incident in which Griggs was wounded and the unprecedented court proceeding leading up to the trial for his murder. The outcome of the trial and its aftermath will be discussed.

The Death of Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Deputy Griggs in the Anti-Rent War Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 3/31, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60156 Jill Knapp $15

First Lady Dolley Madison: The Toast of Washington City

In 1809, when “Lady President” Dolley Madison and her husband President James Madison took residence in the “President’s Palace” – the White House – it was an unfinished and unfurnished hull. Washington City, as it was then known, a rustic, muddy town with few public buildings and a curious political code. While her husband dealt with issues of international and domestic affairs, including a second war with Britain, Dolley began transforming the White House into a welcoming, tastefully decorated public space. She crafted a social climate that fostered personal alliances, earned the respect of foreign emissaries, and promoted national unity. At her lively parties, politicians and regular people mingled within a structure of polite behavior and personal interaction, forging connections that could serve the interests of the nation as a whole. In this presentation, we will explore Dolley Madison’s legacy and accomplishments, and find out why she remained the social center of Washington long after her husband’s death.

First Lady Dolley Madison: The Toast of Washington City Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Wed., 3/25, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60067 Phyllis Chapman $37

The Erie Canal: Part of Our History

This presentation with Tom Ragosta, president of the Watervliet Historical Society, curator of the Society’s museum, and city of Watervliet historian, will answer any questions you may have about the Erie Canal. Learn about what it was, what its purpose was, why it was built in New York State, and the statistics on both the original canal and the enlarged version of the canal. You’ll learn about the canal’s impact on the city of Watervliet through pictures and documentation, and a six-foot model of an Erie Canal boat and associated artifacts will be on display.

The Erie Canal: Part of Our History Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Mon., 3/23, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60202 Tom Ragosta $22

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Whether you are a complete beginner or just need a refresher, join us in learning to play Mah Jongg. This class includes basic instruction and the opportunity to play with people of varying skill levels. Please bring a 2020 National Mah Jongg League, Inc. Official Standard Hands and Rules card. If you have a Mah Jongg set, please bring it with you. Cards can be purchased at www.nationalmahjonggleague.org.

Learn to Play Mah Jongg Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
4 Sessions, DCC B05
Wed., 4/15 - 5/6, 10 a.m. - noon
60167 Nancy Siegel $39

Intermediate Mah Jongg

Designed for those who have taken Beginner Mah Jongg or those who already have a basic knowledge of the game and want to learn to play at the next level. You will be provided with guidance while playing and perfecting your skills. You will need to purchase the 2020 Mah Jongg card, available at www.nationalmahjonggleague.org and bring it with you to class.

Intermediate Mah Jongg Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
4 Sessions, DCC B06
Thurs., 4/16 - 5/7, 1 - 3 p.m.
60217 Nancy Siegel $39

Let’s Put on a Show

If you were a fan of the great radio shows of days gone by, here is the chance to acknowledge your inner actor and participate in recreating that era. In this class, we’ll create our own radio show – we’ll select the script, cast the parts, and rehearse the show, while creating any needed sound effects with whatever we find in the room. Depending on the number of attendees, we can do one or two scripts in this two-hour class. If you think this might be fun, come join us. Let’s put on a show!

Let’s Put on a Show Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Thurs., 3/26, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60199 Jim Cochran $12

Dutch History Presentations

The Life and Legacy of New Netherland

New Netherland was a Dutch colony that existed in what is now New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. This talk examines the history of the Dutch settlement of these areas during the 17th century, from Henry Hudson’s exploration of the Hudson River in 1609 through the English takeover of the colony in 1664.

The discussion also examines the ways that Dutch culture, language, and traditions lingered on long after the English takeover, some of which continue on to this day.

Dutch Holiday Traditions in Colonial Albany and the Hudson River Valley

During the 17th century, Dutch settlers to the Hudson River Valley brought Old World traditions and culture with them. Long after the English takeover of New Netherland, Dutch language, traditions, and customs lingered on. In colonial New Netherland and New York, holiday traditions followed a familiar Dutch form, but often merged with other traditions as well. This lecture highlights the ways that Dutch holidays like Shrovetide (Carnival), Pinkster, and St. Nicholas Day were celebrated in Hudson Valley during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Dutch History Presentations Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 4/7, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60252 Sam Huntington $15

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Ben Franklin was stopped by a woman as he left Independence Hall. She asked, “Dr. Franklin, do we have a monarchy or a republic?” He replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” So what is a republic and what have we done to keep it? The class will review the Constitution and its compromises and examine the devices and institutions we have used to carry out that responsibility. We will highlight either the role of the Supreme Court or the use of impeachment, depending on which the class knows more about.

A Republic, If You Can Keep It Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
2 Sessions, WIL 113
Tues., 3/3 - 3/10, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60228 Ken Kiser $12

Hamilton’s Choice, by Jack Casey

Jack Casey will discuss his new novel Hamilton’s Choice, an in-depth view of the last three years of Alexander Hamilton’s life with a new theory about why he went to the fatal duel. Casey will connect the 1801 duel of Hamilton’s son, Philip, Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase, the 1804 New York governor’s race, and how Gen. Philip Schuyler unwittingly gave Aaron Burr cause to summon Hamilton to his death on the dueling ground of Weehawken. Many of the crucial events in this story occurred right here in the Albany area!

Hamilton’s Choice, by Jack Casey Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Mon., 4/20, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60229 Jack Casey $25
1 Session, WIL 113
Mon., 4/20, 1 - 3 p.m.
60230 Jack Casey $25

Let Those Meneely Bells Ring

Many have heard about them, some may have even seen a few, but the background of the Meneely bells in the Troy area is absolutely fascinating.

Come get the scoop and hear all about them: what they were made of, how they were tuned, and where they are now. Find out the difference between a chime, a carillon and a peel. Gene Burns will share his experiences and knowledge.

Let Those Meneely Bells Ring Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Mon., 4/27, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60231 Gene Burns $20

The Transcontinental Railroad

Completed in 1869, the transcontinental railroad was the largest infrastructure project in American history at the time it was built, turning the United States into a true continental power and sparking the development of our “wild west.” But did you know that many of the prime movers in the project had ties to early railroading in the Capital Region, and our local industrial base provided a number of the necessary parts that made the project possible? Come learn about the history of the transcontinental railroad and its ties to our area in this one-of-a-kind class.

The Transcontinental Railroad Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Fri., 5/8, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60251 Michael Barrett $25

Musical Spring Time in Ireland

Join Irish folk, ballad and rebel singer Irish Don Kelly for a two-hour session jammed full of music and stories about Ireland, its history, and its marvelous people, featuring familiar and not-so-familiar songs that capture the essence of the land of the 40 shades of green. Singing along is encouraged and expected. Join us to prepare for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration and the coming of spring!

Musical Spring Time in Ireland Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Thurs., 3/12, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60209 Don Kelly $15

Science Fun for Everyone: Part 3

Learning something new can be both fun and a great way to exercise your mind. In this class, you’ll participate in hands-on science activities designed for any age. In this year’s session, we will make exploding lunch bags, ice volcanoes, exploding pop rockets, and elephant toothpaste. So whether you are looking to be the coolest grandparent or just want to experience something new, come and have some fun.

Science Fun for Everyone: Part 3 Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, WIL 113
Tues., 5/5, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
60205 Fran Pilato $12

Painting a Pot of Posies

Join instructor Noreen Powell in the peaceful setting of The Living Room Art Gallery, located in the Visitors Center of Historic St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, and learn to paint with a small group of like-minded, positive people! Noreen’s classes are a relaxing, completely positive experience and a lot of fun, and you will learn painting techniques to improve your skill as an artist. In this class, you’ll paint a pot of posies on a 16-by-20-inch canvas with acrylic paints. This class is perfect for beginners because of Noreen’s clear and detailed instruction on how to create your own version of the featured painting. All materials including canvas, paints and brushes are included. Delicious refreshments and assorted beverages including coffee, tea and sparkling water are offered throughout the class session. Course fee includes $75 materials fee.

Painting a Pot of Posies Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, St. Agnes Cemetery
Sat., 3/14, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
60157 Noreen Powell $85

NYC Bus Trip

This outing is only for a bus trip to New York City – once we arrive in the city, arrangements for the day will be left open for you to do whatever you please. The bus will leave Latham Farms by Dick’s Sporting Goods at 7:30 a.m. and the Crossgates Commons parking lot at 8 a.m. The bus will drop you off and pick you up from the Bryant Park area in Manhattan, leaving New York City at 7 p.m. A small donation will be collected on the bus for driver gratuity. Non-stop both ways. Course fee includes a $40 materials fee.

NYC Bus Trip Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
Wed., 5/27 60168 Joyce Feiring $45

Painting a Garden in the Mist

Join award-winning artist Karen Woodin for a delightful day of painting a lovely wildflower garden bathed in an early morning mist. Karen will provide you with step-by-step instruction on how to create your own unique version of a garden alive with color and lush greenery. This class is perfect for beginner and intermediate painters interested in learning new techniques using acrylics and virtually odor-free, water-soluble oils on canvas. All materials, including paint, brushes and canvas, are provided. We will also enjoy a selection of delicious baked goods and coffee in the morning and light fare in the afternoon. The Living Room Art Gallery is located in Historic St. Agnes Cemetery and features a high ceiling and an enormous window for an open and airy atmosphere. Class size is kept small to allow for a lot of one-on-one instruction. Come paint in a peaceful, positive environment that will surely nurture your creative spirit! Course fee includes $75 materials fee.

Painting a Garden in the Mist Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, St. Agnes Cemetery
Sat., 4/4, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
60158 Karen Woodin $85

Tour of the Cohoes Music Hall

Get a behind the scenes tour of the Cohoes Music Hall, the fourth oldest operating music hall in the United States. Hear the countless stories about this beautiful venue’s history and the performers who have taken the stage since its opening in 1874. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

Tour of the Cohoes Music Hall Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Cohoes Music Hall
Tues., 4/7, 11 a.m. - noon
60283 Holly Brown $20

Executive Mansion Tour

Join us as we explore the Executive Mansion, where 32 of New York’s 56 governors have resided. The mansion was built in 1856 as a simple two-story home and has evolved into the elaborate Queen Anne style it is today. The tour will focus on past and present New York State governors, architectural history, furnishing and artwork. Please bring photo identification with you for the tour.

Executive Mansion Tour Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Executive Mansion in Albany
Thurs., 5/14, 1 - 2 p.m.
60215 Joyce Feiring $10

Monoprints with a Gelli Plate

You will be amazed what you can create immediately using the Gelli plate. This method of monoprinting eliminates the need for a press in making beautiful prints. With acrylic paints, stencils, texture tools, and more, you will create many original finished prints that you can take home. Course fee includes $25 materials fee.

Monoprints with a Gelli Plate Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, The Albany Art Room
Wed., 3/18, 1 - 3 p.m.
60201 Karen Schupack $35

Shaker Heritage Society- America’s First Shaker Settlement

This two-part course will introduce you to the fascinating history of the Shakers. You may know about Shaker furniture, have seen a Shaker oval box, hummed the Simple Gifts song (‘Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to be free…) or worn a Shaker stitch sweater, but did you know that Albany was the site of the first Shaker settlement in America? The Shakers originated in England in the 1750s. Radical in their beliefs of gender and racial equality, pacifism, celibacy as a path to salvation, and communal life, Shaker leader Mother Ann Lee and her followers devoted themselves to creating heaven on earth through industriousness and a distinct form of ecstatic worship. To escape persecution for their beliefs, eight Shakers left Manchester, England in 1774 and found their way to a swampy wilderness north of Albany in 1776. This settlement grew into a network of 22 communities (including Hancock Shaker Village) recognized as the most successful communal religious society in America. Along the way, the Shakers became a major cultural force through their invention and innovation, craftsmanship, and music.

May 7, 2020: An Introduction to Wisdom’s Valley: America’s First Shaker Settlement

This class session, to be held at Hudson Valley, will provide an overview of the Shaker community and explore the community structure; inventions such as the flat broom and seed packet, which formed a base for their significant industries; Shaker religious life; and interactions with other Shaker communities and the outside world.

May 14, 2020: From Meeting House to Mill Pond: A Visit to Wisdom’s Valley

Shaker Heritage Society, 25 Meeting House Road, Albany, NY 12211

A tour of the Shaker Heritage Society (SHS) site will introduce visitors to the history of the Shakers, their daily life, and remarkable architecture. Located near the Albany Airport, the SHS grounds include a number of original Shaker buildings, including the impressive Meeting House and 1915 barn, an orchard, herb garden, cemetery, and the mill pond, which is now the Ann Lee Pond Nature Preserve. The visit will include demonstration of a Shaker craft, such as broom making. Please wear comfortable walking shoes. The tour at Shaker Heritage Society will take place rain or shine.

Shaker Heritage Society- America’s First Shaker Settlement Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
2 Sessions
Thurs., 5/7, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., WIL 113
Thurs., 5/14, 10 a.m. - Noon, Shaker Heritage Society
60253 Lorraine Weiss $35

Wildlife Trail Cameras in Action

Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Natural Resource Educator Josh Pulito as he sets up wildlife trail cameras. Become familiar with trail cameras, learn how best to use them and identify places of high animal activity in order to best place a camera to get great photos of wildlife. After taking this class, participants will be comfortable using a trail camera to get amazing wildlife photos of their own. Participants must be able to hike two miles in winter conditions, be comfortable going off-trail, and dress to be outdoors. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

Wildlife Trail Cameras in Action Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Dyken Pond
Tues., 3/24, 10 a.m. - Noon
60211 Josh Pulito $20

Winter Nature Hike

Instructors Lisa Hoyt and Josh Pulito will lead a winter hike and encourage you to enjoy nature during this colder season. Depending on weather conditions, we will either hike or snowshoe about one to two miles at an easy to moderate pace. Along the way, we’ll investigate the forest for animal signs, tracks and other curious sightings that make the winter forest a serene and magical place. Snowshoe rentals are available the day of the hike for an additional $5 charge, paid to Dyken Pond. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

Winter Nature Hike Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Dyken Pond
Tues., 3/10, 10 a.m. - Noon
60212 Lisa Hoyt & Josh Pulito $20

New Skete Monasteries Tour

Experience the breathtaking churches, extensive gardens, waterfall feature and the peace and solitude of New Skete! Learn about its history, art and culture. Your guided tour includes a tour of the churches, with one of the brothers giving a lecture on their history and the icons depicted on the walls; a question-and-answer session; a visit to the meditation garden; and a slice of cheesecake. You may even catch a glimpse of the famed New Skete German Shepherd. Your tour will end with a visit to the monks’ gift shop and a stop at the nuns’ monastery for an opportunity to purchase cheesecake to bring home. Course fee includes $8 materials fee.

New Skete Monasteries Tour Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, New Skete Monastery
Wed., 5/6, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
60065 Cynthia Serbent $18

Ten Broeck Mansion Tour with Tea

Spring at the Ten Broeck Mansion is a feast for the eyes. The elegant mansion was the home of some of Albany’s most prominent families. Built in 1798, it was originally called “Prospect” and was the home of merchant and Mayor Abraham Ten Broeck, a major general of the Albany militia during the Revolutionary War. In 1848, as the residence of banker and philanthropist Thomas Worth Olcott, it was re-named “Arbour Hill.” The house includes both Federalist and Greek Revival features, including an elegant spiral staircase, Greek Revival porticos, handsome marble mantels, and period furnishings and art. The tour includes time in the Ten Broeck Mansion’s gardens, filled with spring flowers, and a visit to the exhibit “Portraits: Memory & Identity” at the adjacent King’s Place galleries. Arrive early, park at the rear of the mansion gardens to enjoy the tulip-lined garden paths, and join us at mansion for a tour followed by a lovely formal tea. Please note only the first floor of the Ten Broeck Mansion is ADA accessible. Course fee includes $18 materials fee.

Ten Broeck Mansion Tour with Tea Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, The Ten Broeck Mansion
Tues., 5/12, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
60198 Jean Chenette $28

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. The Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy maintains the lighthouse and adjacent lands for the enjoyment of the public. The restored, red-brick lighthouse offers overnight bed and breakfast accommodations, public tours and special events. 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, New York. Suitable, comfortable shoes are recommended. Course fee includes $8 materials fee.

The Saugerties Lighthouse Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Saugerties Lighthouse
Thurs., 5/21, Noon - 1:30 p.m.
60220 Paula Johannessen $18

Knickerbocker Family Mansion - Ghosts, Tour and Lunch

The Knickerbocker Historical Society will be our hosts as they tell us about the history of Knickerbocker Mansion, which dates from about 1770. They will arrange for historical “ghosts” to give moving firsthand accounts of their lives and experiences, and they will explain the renovations – the not-for-profit 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 $25 materials fee.

Knickerbocker Family Mansion - Ghosts, Tour and Lunch Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, meet at Knickerbocker Family Mansion
Wed., 5/13, 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
60068 Paula Johannessen $35

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. Our morning will begin with a tour of the Skene Manor, where we will experience the grandeur that exemplified turn-of-the-century wealth. Then, 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.

Tour and Lunch at The Skene Manor Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Skene Manor
Wed., 4/29, 11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
60069 Jean Chenette $30

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 palette includes a bounty of wildflowers like trillium, dogtooth violets, and lady slippers. An upward glance reveals the flowering shadblow and cherry. The first class at the college is important to attend, as it 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.

Spring Sensations - Exploring Nearby Nature Preserves Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
Orientation: Fri., 4/24 10 a.m. - Noon, WIL 113
4 Sessions, Fri., 5/1 - 5/22, 10 a.m. - Noon, at Selected Preserves
60070 Betty and John Nickles $10

Tour of County Waste Single Stream Recycling

How does Single Stream Recycling (SSR) work and why do it? Come and find out the answers and see the workings of this busy facility. SSR makes it easier to recycle because no separation in necessary, and it’s better for the environment, with fewer items going into the landfill and more able to be reused.

Before our tour, we will see a short informative video with discussion and then go on a guided walking tour. Closed toed shoes, pants and dressing for the outside temperatures is a must, as the garage doors will be open. You will be issued a hard hat and safety vest that must be worn while on the tour. If you are sensitive to odors, this may not be the tour for you.

Tour of County Waste Single Stream Recycling Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, County Waste
Mon., 4/20, 10 a.m. - Noon
60249 Lee Darling $10

A Visit to the Mabee Farm Historic Site

The Mabee Farm Historic Site, part of the Schenectady County Historical Society, was built in 1705 and is the oldest farm in the Mohawk Valley. With its deep history and riverside beauty, it’s the perfect place to explore Mohawk Valley heritage. You can walk across weathered pine floors in the home of settlers Jan and Annetje, say hello to the resident farm animals, take a look at the hand-pegged 1760s Dutch Barn, or just meander through the orchards, gardens and forest trails. Friendly staff and volunteers will take you on a journey from the distant agricultural past to the dawn of Schenectady’s industrial era. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

A Visit to the Mabee Farm Historic Site Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Mabee Farm
Fri., 4/17, 10 a.m. - Noon
60204 Marie D’Entrone $20

Historic Downtown Albany Food Tour

Put on your walking shoes for an entertaining and delicious way to experience Albany. New York’s capital city is undergoing a culinary and craft brewing boom. This leisurely three-hour, 1.5-mile walk includes plenty of refreshing stops, including six different food and beverage tastings, so it’s suited for most ages and fitness levels. You’ll sip and sample from restaurants that are spicing up Albany’s food scene and discover stunning architecture and cultural tidbits that will help you develop a fresh perspective on the city. We sprinkle in history, architecture and culture to kick off your weekend in the Capital District. Course fee includes a $69 materials fee.

Food tours help tell the story of a city in a delicious way; they’re about tasting local foods and getting exposure to the entrepreneurs who are bringing creativity to their city. Wear comfortable walking shoes and come hungry – by the end of the tour you will have eaten a complete lunch. Please contact the course coordinator, Amy Koren-Roth, at info@tasteoftroyfoodtours.com at least seven business days before your tour if you have any dietary restrictions or do not drink alcohol.

Historic Downtown Albany Food Tour Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, 25 Quackenbush Square
Fri., 5/15, 1:30 - 5:15 p.m.
60169 Amy Koren-Roth of Taste of Troy Food Tours $79

Central Troy Historic District Food Tour

Put on your walking shoes for an entertaining and delicious way to learn about Troy and the role food is playing in bringing the city back to life. This leisurely three-hour, 1.5-mile walk includes plenty of refreshing stops, including five different food and beverage tastings, so it’s suited for most ages and fitness levels. Experience the vibrant culinary scene that surrounds Troy’s amazing farmer’s market. We will sprinkle in history, architecture and culture to round out your perfect Saturday in the Collar City. This tour ends in time for you to shop the market and meet the local farmers and vendors. Course fee includes a $64 materials fee.

Food tours help tell the story of a city in a delicious way; they’re about tasting local foods and getting exposure to the entrepreneurs who are bringing creativity to their city. Wear comfortable walking shoes and come hungry – by the end of the tour you will have eaten a complete lunch. Please contact the course coordinator, Amy Koren-Roth, at info@tasteoftroyfoodtours.com at least seven business days before your tour if you have any dietary restrictions or do not drink alcohol.

Central Troy Historic District Food Tour Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, River Street in Troy
Sat., 5/16, 9:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.
60170 Amy Koren-Roth of Taste of Troy Food Tours $74

Walking Tour of Troy’s Historic Washington Park, Surrounding Homes and Artists Studio with Tea

Enjoy taking a step back in time to the mid-1800’s to see and experience the genteel living of the nouveau rich of Troy’s Washington Park, surrounding neighborhoods and newly-added artist enclave. You will be able to see firsthand the care taken to rehabilitate and update many of these one-of-a-kind homes. You will see many different types of architecture, including Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate and Queen Anne. We may even see a restoration in progress at one of the homes. Recently, several artists have been setting up studios in this rich cultural area, and we will visit one or more. 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. Be mindful of your capabilities to keep up with the group as we have a tight schedule to adhere to for the 2 1/2 hour tour. Wear comfortable walking shoes as you will be on your feet for all of the tour. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

Walking Tour of Troy’s Historic Washington Park, Surrounding Homes and Artists Studio with Tea Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Meet in Washington Park across from the front of 195 2nd Street
Fri., 5/29, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
60250 Lea Darling $20

A Visit to the Burden Iron Works Museum

Located in the former office of one of the most important firms in the history of iron and steel, the Burden Iron Works museum covers the industries that made Troy one of the birthplaces of the American Industrial Revolution. Among other things, the area gave the world the detachable collar and cuff, the hook headed railroad spike, the armor for the USS Monitor, machine-made horseshoes at a rate of 51 million a year, the modern fire hydrant, heating and cooking stoves and so much more. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

A Visit to the Burden Iron Works Museum Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Burden Iron Works Museum
Fri., 4/24, 10 a.m. - Noon
60214 Jim Cochran $20

Ukrainian Eggs, Pysanky Eggs

This is a fun new craft to try! Well, it may be new to you but it is a long tradition to others. First, you’ll learn how to hollow out the egg by creating one neat hole. 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’ll 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 a $20 materials fee.

Ukrainian Eggs, Pysanky Eggs Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Albany Art Room
Mon., 3/16, 1 - 3 p.m.
60200 Karen Schupack $30

Native Peoples of New York: A Journey

Native Americans have resided in what is now New York State for 13,000 years. In this class, we will explore the cultural heritage of their journey. Enjoy a guided gallery tour through the NYS Museum to learn about the early human inhabitants of the state, from the Ice Age to the present. We will examine why humans have not always inhabited New York; be exposed to several theories as to how the first people came to North America; and explore how the geography and climate influenced the cultures of the native peoples of New York. Course fee includes $5 materials fee.

Native Peoples of New York: A Journey Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, NYS Museum
Wed., 3/18, 2:30 - 4 p.m.
60203 Paula Johannessen $15

Crailo and its Dutch Lifestyle: 350 Years

Crailo, the museum of the Colonial Dutch in the Hudson River Valley, offers so much to discover. Join us for a tour of the 17th century colony of New Netherland. By closely examining archaeological artifacts, historic reproductions, documents and Dutch genre paintings, a rich picture of the Dutch lifestyle 350 years ago along the Hudson River is revealed. The tour will end in Crailo’s kitchen cellar, where a costumed interpreter will share recipes, cooking techniques and typical menus of a Dutch American home of the 1600s. Course fee includes a $5 materials fee.

Crailo and its Dutch Lifestyle: 350 Years Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
1 Session, Crailo in Rensselaer
Thurs., 3/19, 10 a.m. - Noon
60213 Fran Pilato $15

Tour of West Point

All aboard for a bus trip to West Point, our academy for the Army. We will meet at HVCC to board the bus. Upon arriving at West Point, a guide will board our bus to take us around the grounds. We will get on and off to see certain sites, which include the Military Museum. At the end of the tour we will be going to the Thayer Hotel at West Point for a buffet lunch. There will be time afterwards to visit the museum and gift shop. Course fee includes $78 materials fee. You will be contacted prior to the trip for your driver’s license number and will be required to bring your driver’s license with you on the day of the trip. Failure to bring your license can result in being refused entry to West Point.

Tour of West Point Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
Thurs., 6/11, 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 60301 Linda Jones $89

Out and About

The spring Out and About excursions offer a wide variety of places to visit and experiences to enjoy for our participants. There are four Thursday trips scheduled this spring.

May 14: A Boat, a Lighthouse and an Antique Inn

We will meet at 8 a.m. on Hudson Valley’s campus at Williams Hall, room 113, where we will distribute a handout with directions and suggestions for places to eat. This will be a chance to form carpools, and since each of our trips will be at least an hour away, this could be a good way to save on gas.

We will then head an hour south to Kingston. First we will visit the Maritime Museum; then, we’ll board a solar boat, the Solaris, and take a 15-minute ride over to the Roundout Lighthouse to have a guided tour before returning to shore.

Instead of lunch on our own, we will all cross the Hudson River to Rhinebeck, where we will have lunch and listen to a short talk at the Beekman Inn, established 1766. After lunch you are encouraged to walk around and discover the charming and interesting village of Rhinebeck.

May 28: A Revolutionary War Hero’s Home

After taking a week off, our second excursion will have us heading west to Little Falls. There will we have a guided tour of the Herkimer Home, a Georgian-style mansion that was home to courageous Revolutionary War hero General Nicholas Herkimer. After lunch on your own, we will go on to St. Johnsville and the Nellis Homestead/Tavern, a lovely restored Palatine home built about 1747-1750.

June 4: Off to the Berkshires

The third trip will take us in the opposite direction, east across the Massachusetts border. In the morning we will visit the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, which honors this prominent suffragette. After lunch on your own, our afternoon tour will be of the Crane Paper Museum, the company that has made our paper money since 1775. Our tour will end with a paper-making demonstration and paper decorating.

June 11 - Yes, Sir: Another Exciting Bus Trip

Our last trip promises to be exciting, interesting and informative. All aboard for a trip to West Point, our academy for the Army. There a guide will board our bus to take us around the grounds. We will get on and off to see certain sites, which include the military museum. At the end of the tour we will visit the Thayer Hotel at West Point for a buffet lunch. There will be time afterwards to visit the museum and gift shop.

You will be contacted prior to the trip for your driver’s license number and will be required to bring your driver’s license with you on the day of the trip. Failure to bring your license can result in being refused entry to West Point.

Course fee includes $142 materials fee.

Out and About Schedule
SCHEDULE CRN Instructor Cost
4 Sessions, Various Sites
Thurs., 5/14 - 6/11
No class 5/21
60284 Linda Jones $159

Additional Resources

Craft Supplies
Material Lists & More
Some courses require that students are prepared with information beyond that in the course description - including materials lists, computer information or next steps.
Form on a laptop
Forms
Here you will find forms for all of our courses and programs, including kids on campus, related to registration, consent and release, scholarship requests and more.
Keyboard with word Cancel highlighted
Refunds & Cancellations
Cancellation and refund policies vary depending on the type and length of course. Find out about course cancellations, requesting a refund and more.

Get in Touch

Community and Professional Education

Guenther Enrollment Services Center, Room 252

Fax: (518) 629-8103

Regular Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Summer Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
(excluding college holidays and vacations)