Historic Huguenot StreetNew Paltz, NYHistoric Huguenot Street (HHS) has been awarded a $14,000 New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Planning Grant to prepare for a year of women’s history centered programming at the 10-acre National Historic Landmark District in the Village of New Paltz, NY.

HHS was notified of the award in early October. “We are extremely grateful for this grant which will support us as we take the time needed to develop and plan for a comprehensive array of programs in 2020 that celebrate the centennial of votes for women,” said Kara Gaffken, Director of Public Programming. “Each year, we host dozens of programs including community favorites like Cider Market, Trick-or-Treat, Haunted Huguenot Street, and A Holiday on Huguenot Street; but developing and planning new programs that are particularly relevant to today, takes time. And this grant gives us that time.”

Programs being planned include artistic and innovative interpretations of local women’s history as well as educational sessions that address current issues related to women’s rights.

The feature program will be a new and reoccurring fully immersive theatre experience that takes place in the museum’s historic houses. This program will combine art, history, and the humanities in ways that have not been seen in the Hudson Valley in recent times. Other programs will include a new school program that focuses on the suffrage movement in the region and public information sessions with The League of Women Voters that focus on current social issues and civic engagement. These will be supplemented by women’s history-themed exhibits displayed in the Visitor Center and an increased focus on women’s history on the daily guided tour throughout 2020.

These programs are designed to work together in a way that will allow the museum to openly portray and discuss the historic and universal struggle for women’s rights and the ongoing fight for equality. HHS is a well-established, reputable, and trusted institution, and as such, an ideal place for this type of reflection, learning, and dialogue to take place.

About Historic Huguenot Street
A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres comprising the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses dating to the early eighteenth century.  Historic Huguenot Street was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve the nationally acclaimed collection of stone houses.  Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York Department of Education, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, preserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families from the seventeenth century to today.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.




Frances Vigna

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