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Catskill Conversations Archive

Maple Sugaring in NY Past Present Future

Adriana Magaña, Evan Pritchard, Tim Neu
Learn more about history, science, tapping trees & boiling sap – plus interesting syrup recipes! Permaculture designer and certified horticulturalist, Adriana Magaña will share her knowledge of syrup, science, and nutrition; local historian and author Evan Pritchard will introduce us to maple sugaring methods and practices of Indigenous people of our region; and Ashokan’s former Director and “Sapman” Tim Neu will share his passion and personal hands-on educational experience from his 35 years at the sugar shack!

Art That Builds A Story Of Resilience

Simi Stone, Robin Kissinger, Tani Ikeda
Art creates a kind of time travel, and a kind of medicine. Creating art can be a healing practice when honoring a human life, bearing witness to vulnerability, or commemorating a moment in history. Join visual artists Simi Stone (NY), Robin Kissinger (MI), and Tani Ikeda (WA) for a powerful and inspiring conversation on visual art as a means to honor, heal, and build a story of resilience. The artists will share recent work which transforms pain, challenge, or discarded objects into something of beauty, and discuss their experiences of reaching others thru these creative risks.

African Traditions in American Roots Music

Brandi Pace, Jake Blount, Jake Lartey
You probably know the banjo’s African roots, but there’s so much more to learn about the profound rhythmic and melodic influence of African musicians in American roots music throughout history and today. Join fiddler and banjoist Jake Blount (RI), percussionist and storyteller Joakim Lartey (NY), and musician and educator Brandi Pace (TX) for a great conversation and maybe a few tunes.

In Defiance: Resistance and the Persistence of Racism in American History

Susan Stessin-Cohn, Albert Cook
Esteemed Hudson Valley historian and author Susan Stessin-Cohn and educator Albert Cook share a timely and eye-opening presentation and Q & A including primary documents from Stessin-Cohn's book, “In Defiance: Runaways From Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley 1735-1831.” Humanizing an otherwise largely silent population, advertisements for fugitives provide an exceptionally valuable window into black life in Early America—from the nature of the slave system and the master-slave relationship to material culture and folk life. Learn an often missing chapter of our local history and its implications for greater awareness and potential reconciliation in today’s world.

Food Forests & Indigenous Leadership

Sachem HawkStorm, Sara Yawanawa, William Padilla-Brown
An exciting multi-continental conversation on food forests: ecologically designed areas with perennial and annual plants that produce food and herbal medicine, enhance nutrition, promote food literacy, and provide a useful and safe place to gather and work together. By developing these spaces, people are stating that ecologically healthy green spaces and sustainable local food production are valued, especially in the face of global population growth and overconsumption of natural resources. One such food forest project located deep in the Amazon will be featured during this inspiring panel presentation.

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