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It's fun to play with all the Museum activities

Melanie Zimmer with FolkFest story telling

Seneca Turtle Clan Storyteller Karen Crow and her husband Indio at Children's Folk Festival event at Children's Museum

Zenja Hyde making an apple head doll

Juanita Willson's beaded work

Alf Jaques stringing a LaCrosse Stick

Utica teachers examine and identify local shale deposits at Museum workshops.

Smokey & friend during Easter week

Celia Domser (MVCC Prof) & Science of Toys

Sally Sommers & "Pachederm "Puppet

Out popular CM Bike Rodeo

Sheriff's teach Bike Safety
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Dr. John Hamlin introduces winners of the Dental Health Poster Contest
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Flower the Clown delights children

Krista, a ninth grader from Whitesboro High, getting statistics at CM's weather station for a school science project .

New Nimo Interactive Wind Energy Farm Model Exhibit one 1st floor of Children's Museum

Hey, Dad, look at this train!

Left: John Christian Hieber; Above: original Hieber Dry Goods stock certificate. February 7, the Children's Museum was given a $2000 donation by the New York Power Authority.
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Breaking News from the Children's Museum:

We've getting ready to kick off our new "Children's Museum Community Heroes" program. Keep checking back here and in the Museum for further details! AND we have a new hands-on Musical Exhibit in the Children's Museum, donated by NetTest. Come on in and enjoy!

10th Annual 5th Day - December 8th, 2001: The Children’s Museum Board of Directors and Staff, along with Honorary Chairs County Executive Ralph Eannace, Utica Mayor Tim Julian, and Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito greeted over 100 attendees at our annual 5th Day event! Congressman Sherry Boehlert also attended, and donated dinner for 2 and a flag that flew over the capital as raffle items. From 6:30-9:00pm, attendees browsed through 100's of Silent Auction Items available, while enjoying the numerous food stations and beverages, and the music of Vinny Esposito.

From 9:00pm to midnight, attendees enjoyed dessert and more beverages while dancing and enjoying the music of Holidaye. An annual gala dressy event in the Mohawk Valley. The best of the community's best supported Central New York's only Children's Museum while enjoying a fun evening! Dozens of local companies placed their Ads in our 5th Ad book, and 100's donated gifts for the silent auction. Thanks to all who made the evening such an enjoyable success.

August 8th, 2001: The Children’s Museum presented our 4th Annual Wine and Art Celebration to benefit the Museum. Slotted from 7:00pm to 10:00 pm, we invited you to come sample a large variety of beverages from all over the world, foods from local area restaurants, and bid on artwork from New York artists. Each adult over 21 was given a special glass upon entering Bagg's Square Park to use to sample the beverages offered. While sampling, they took time to enjoy the variety of foods served up from some of the finest area restaurants, and enjoy the sounds of the band "Mirage."

A variety of artwork donated by local New York Artists was displayed in the Stone Tavern Gallery. A Silent Auction ran through the night. Hand painted wine bottles and other art object, plus celebrity autographs also were up for bid. Donations for entrance for this summer evening event were available at the Museum, or from any of our Board members, or via our website shopping cart, for $20.00 before August 1, and $25.00 afterwards. People were encouraged to call the museum at 315-724-6129 for more information, or if they would like to volunteer your time or artwork to this unique annual fundraising event. To pictures * To top * To text

August 2nd & 3rd, 2001: The MetLife Foundation has once again given a generous grant of $5000 to support the Children's Museum's Erie Canal Education Programs. Taking part in the check presentation were Vic Scalise of MetLife, Everett Smith of Betsy the Barge volunteers, Frank Gruenwald of Adelphia and Betsy the Barge, Captain Mike of the Erie Canal SchoolBoat, Mario La Pollas - VP of Metlife, and Karen Pellitier of Herkimer BOCES. For the fifteenth year, Metlife will again be the principal sponsor of the Betsy the Barge Free Concert Series at Marcy Lock 20. They will also sponsor two Intergenerational SchoolBoat Educational tours on August 3rd, and -- all summer -- MetLife will support free admission to the Museum for Utica Monday Nite.

Six times during the summer, an Erie Canal Children's Play produced by UticaArts will be presented at Bagg's Square Park (next performances are on August 20 and Aug 27). On Friday, August 3, Vic Scalise of Metlife presented the check to Executive Director, Anthony Clementi. MetLife Vice President , Mario La Pollas, was also in attendence. The event was covered by WKTV Channel 2 and by WUTR NewsChannel 20 who awarded MetLife the honor of Home Town Heroes of the week. Both stations had featured stories on the nightly news.

On August 2, the Erie Canal SchoolBoat cruised into Lock 20 at Marcy for two days of programs in Oneida County. On Thursday, two Oneida County Youth Bureau trips were scheduled and the Utica Symphony League chartered the boat for a program, a picnic dinner and an evening of great entertainment featuring Joe Agerosa's Elvis Tribute. Despite the hot weather (over 95 degrees on the Canal) and the threat of rain, everyone enjoyed the educational tours and the concert which drew more than 1,000 people to Lock 20 Park. On Friday, the Children's Museum collaborated with ElderLife and Remsen Develpment Volunteers to present two Intergenerational programs on the SchoolBoat in which senior citizens joined children to learn about the canal and navigate the lock.

Then in the late afternoon, the Oneida Historical Society took their annual SchoolBoat Tour, after which they were treated to the sounds of jazz great Sal Aberico and his Band. The Erie Canal School Boat is owned and operated by Herkimer BOCES. The Children’s Museum is presently the only Oneida County site for the School Boat program. The boat has thus far taken more than 3000 passengers through locks in Herkimer and Oneida Counties and to the General Herkimer Home near Little Falls at the Children’s Museum. To pictures * To top * To text

July 31, 2001: The Children’s Museum Tony Clementi and John Stephensen, representing the GE Elfun's of the Utica Area, traveled to the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), soon to be the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, for the annual review of 2001 programs and and an update on the new 2002-2004 programs in Syracuse and Utica. Over the last two years, PRI has done 106 earth science programs in the Utica Area and several Teacher Workshops. Plans are underway for more new and exciting PRI programs for the next two years, thanks to a generous grant from the GE Fund.

The collaboration between scientists and educators at PRI and the Children's Museum and the MOST in Syracuse is entering a new and exciting phase. For the next two years, students, teachers in Central New York will be working with scientists from PRI doing real science, collecting, recording an analysing rocks for plant, insect and animal life. Students and teachers will be helping scientist discover the changes that have happened to life on Earth over the last 380 million years! The Davonian Seas Scientist-Student Partnership will be offered to schools in the greater Utica area through the Children's Museum. Plans are also being made for Field Trips in local fossil rich areas and a Fossil research area at the Children's Museum in 2001-2002

At PRI, they were given a tour of two new exciting PRI projects: The display of the bones of a giant Right Whale that PRI staff and volunteers have been reconstructing, and giant Mastodon Bones that PRI has uncovered and been reconstructing in the PRI Labs. Both these new skeletal reconstrctions will be part of the new Museum of the Earth that is being planned for the near future. For more information about PRI ed programs call the Children's Museum or check out the website at

On Friday, July 26 and continuing until it's complete, Artist-In- Residence Elizabeth Leyh and a dedicated group of volunteers began the installation of the Third phase of the Bagg's Square Children's Sculpture Garden. During February and March, working inside, the Art team created the group of sculptures including a life sized doe, a fawn, a racoon and a pond with rocks and a turtle. On Friday the Doe was installed in its new home in the "Meadows" area of Bagg's Square Park. The fawn was installed on Monday July 30 and a second fawn will be completed on site. Mario Colon, who created the fawn this winter, will also sculpt the second fawn. The Racoon and the other sculptures will be slowly added as the cement drys and the surrounding environment is created. To pictures * To top * To text

June 2nd, 2001: The Children’s Museum presented "Out of the Midst ... a Dragon", a Wood & Strings Theatre production that performs for audiences nationwide. This spectacular show is produced by the Wood Strings Puppet Theatre, is a journey around the world of traditional folk puppetry. The show used reproductions of carved masks of Native Americans on the Northwest Coast, Punch and Judy from Europe, and rarely seen shadow puppets from Indonesia. However, the main characters of the show are reproductions of the classical and exquisite Japanese style of puppetry known as Bunraku.

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May 24th, 2001 - At the Annual United Community Action Incorporated Banquet held at the Radisson Hotel in Utica, NY, the Children's Musuem was honored for promoting excellence in education by developing intern programs at the Children's Museum after school and in the summer. The Children's Museum has developed Museum Intern and docent education program for students enrolled in two of UCAI's programs PAVE (Progressive Adolescent Voctional Education) and the new Advantage After School Program. For the past two years several young people have participated in these programs at the Children's Museum. Next year the UCAI/Children's Museum partnership has plans to to expand the Advantage After School Program to Donavan Middle School students through a "Docent- In -Training "program at the Museum.

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April 20th, 2001: The Children's Folklore Festival began with a 5-7pm Family Fun Night with Seneca Turtle Clan Storyteller Karen Crow and her husband Indio. Our Annual Festival began with a program by Karen Crow who was joined by her husband Indio. Karen told traditional Haudensosaunee stories including How Bear Lost his Tail, Why Trees Lose their Leaves, and The Grandfather Story. She also brought along skoons and Strawberry drink, Native -American treats for her audience to sample. Indio explained Haudensosaunee traditions and talked about the important relationship between Native-Americans and the other living things on earth.

On Saturday three Haudenosaunee Folk Artists were joined by representatives of Utica's old and new immigrant communities. Alf Jacques of the Onondaga Turtle Clan demonstrated the art of lacrosse stick making; Juanita Willson of the Mohawk Wolf Clan created beaded jewelery and clothing; Zenja Hyde of the Onondage Beaver Clan demonstrated the art of making apple head dolls. They were joined by young Tiffany Jankiewicz, a Polish American artist descendant of Poles who came to Utica after the turn of the twentieth century. Tiffany demonstrated the art of Pysanky, the Polish art of egg decorating. The Wins, an extended Burmese family, demonstrated the arts of the Karens of Burma, including foodways, song, dance. They also exhibited traditional textile weaving. The Burmese are among Utica's newest immigrants. On Wednesday , May 9th, Executive Director Tony Clementi and Felica McMahon will present a program at the Annual Folk Arts Conference of NYSCA at the hotel Syracuse.

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May 2nd, 2001: The Children's Museum has made Geology, Fossil and Earth Science Workshops available to local teachers through a collaboration between PRI, The Museum of the Earth of Ithaca, and the Utica Teachers Center. This school year more than twenty teachers from Utica Schools participated and received certificates after attending several workshops at the Children's Museum and at local schools. Tis program is funded by a grant from the GE Fund through the local Elfun Society.

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April 20th & 21st, 2001: The Children’s Folklore Festival - A great way to celebrate our diversity here in greater Utica. This year’s Children’s Folk Festival at the Children’s Museum will provide two days of continuous folk arts demonstrations that represent the rich diversity in our region. This year we are proud to include a sampling of the diverse ethnic population living here today in greater Utica. We have Haudenosaunee (Native American) folk artists who are indigenous to central New York, a Polish-American artist descendent of the turn of the century European immigrants, and Burmese artists who are the most recent arrivals to Utica. Each will share and demonstrate an unique part of their heritage through various folk arts, storytelling and foodways.

Family Fun Night Friday, April 20th, 5:00-7:00 PM
Karen Crow [Seneca Turtle Clan] is a fifth generation Tonawanda Seneca storyteller and the Native American Interpreter for Onondaga County Parks. Some of the stories that Karen learned as a child include Why Rabbit Looks the Way He Does; How Bear Lost His Tail; How Bear Became the Medicine Clan; Why the Trees Lose their Leaves; The Dogs and Their Tails; and The Grandfather Story. These are the stories that Karen plans to tell us but adds, "As a traditional native storyteller, you can never tell what may occur!"

SATURDAY, April 21 11:00AM-1:00 PM & 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Alf Jacques [Onondaga Turtle Clan] is both lacrosse stick carver and lacrosse player. Alf learned the traditional art of lacrosse stick making from his father, the late master lacrosse carver, Lou Jacques, who taught Alf at age twelve to carve and web the lacrosse sticks. Alf himself is a professional box lacrosse player who is the only player to have held every position in field and box lacrosse. Alf carves his sticks from shagbark, shell or smooth hickory wood. The complicated procedure of cutting, seasoning, steaming, bending and carving from hickory wood is a time-consuming process and the netting involves a webbing technique with either leather or "gut." Alf explains that for Native Americans, lacrosse is both play and religious tradition because as a medicine game, it "keeps the people alert."

Juanita Willson [Mohawk Wolf Clan] learned the traditional arts of the Haudenosaunee from her mother and grandmother who lived on the Akwesasne Reservation. Today she continues to create beaded jewelry with traditional Mohawk designs including Wolf who has special significance for her clan. Juanita integrates her beaded work into ribbon dresses and shirts that she hand sews for her family members and native friends. Zenja Hyde [Onondaga Beaver Clan] lives on the Onondaga Nation where she learned to make apple head dolls from her Great-Aunt Virginia Skenadore Jones who lived at the Cattaruagus Reservation. To make her hand-made dolls, she first cores and peels Granny Smith apples and then shrinks the apples behind her woodstove. The bodies are made from dried maple sticks that are very hard and then all of the intricately designed traditional clothes are hand sewn and beaded.

Tiffany Jankiewicz is a 22-year old self-taught traditional artist of Polish heritage. When she was 12 years old, Tiffany became interested in learning to decorate Easter eggs, know as "pysanky" in the Polish language. Today Tiffany has created hundreds of eggs and has taught pysanky at the Utica Polish Community Center for six years.
Kaw Soe Win and his wife, Win May represent the Karens, an ethnic minority in Burma [Myanmar]. Because there is political oppression of the Karens in Burma, the Wins, who are Christian, emigrated with their seven children in 1999 from Burma to Utica where there is a new and growing Burmese community. They brought their Karen traditions such as folk dress and foodways which have been carried on by other family members and friends in Utica. All of their daughters learned to make special sweets such as Htamane [Festival Sticky Rice] and Monpetok [Sweet Rice Coconut Pyramids.] Htamane is a festival sweet, prepared and served in villages . It’s preparation is an arduous bit of work when it is made in huge potsbecause it must be stirred until it is reduced to a pureé of rice, peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut. Burmese sweets are not dessert; they are sweets that are served with green tea as a gesture of hospitality or on holidays. The Karens of Burma are known for their hospitality and friendliness as well as their colorful traditional clothes and energetic festival dances. To pictures * To top * To text

April 16th, 2001: Easter Break Week began on Monday, when Smokey the Bear made his annual visit to the Museum and spoke to kids about Fire safety and other interesting topics. Kids watched a special video prepared by the DEC, and then enjoyed a puppet show. In the afternoon, Melanie Zimmer enthralled a full house with her fun and interactive stories. On Tuesday, Celia Domser made a return visit to the Museum with another "Science of Toys" program. Kids learned about silly putty, sticky men and other toys that began as scientific experiments. Sally Sommers made elephant puppets with kids, and there were neat events including a "bubble off" and "Magnet Fishing".

April 18th, 2001: Easter Break Week continues -- The day started with aspecial Music for Munchkins for the holidays with Joanne Yacovella and continued with a Bike Rodeo Bike Safety Course with the Oneida County Sherriffs Department outside behind the caboose. Kids brought their bikes and helmets and ran the course with the experts; they also received a free bike safety check and tune-up. Participating kids made sidewalk art, learned about Hank the Snake from Mary Hall, and made ice cream wih Andrea Willson . Two days of great programs for kids and families at the Children's Museum. To pictures * To top * To text

March 24th: A full house of visitors were in attendence at the Children's Museum for the Dental Health Fair sponsored by the Oneida-Herkimer Counties Dental Society. Dr. John Hamlin, for the OHDS and a sponsor of the Furino and Hamlin dental Exhibit in Exploration Station, was host to the winners of the Dental Health Poster Contest. Friends and Family were there to show support for the winners and learn about the importance of taking care of one's teeth. After the Awards were presented, everyone enjoyed a magic show presented by Flower the Clown and received free toothbrushes provided by the OHDS. The OHDS also donated more than 500 toothbrushes to Columbus Elementary School in Utica to promote dental health.The Children's Museum is proud to co-sponsor this annual event that involves children to creates posters that help in spreading the word to their peers about the importance of dental health and regular check-ups. To pictures * To top * To text

March 21st: The Gold Star Wall takes shape with our first entries. Represented are schools, children, organizations, and memory of loved ones. They are: Two schools -- Saint Mary's Elementary School & Columbus Elementary School (children mounted penny drives and raised money for the musuem); Cody Ryder (grandson of the sponsor of the Gold Star Entry, William Corrigan Sr. of Wilcor Int'l and Your Store); JoAnn Cucci; Benjamin Kilian (son of Mike & Sarah Kilian); Kids Teeth Only (the Cognetto family ); and in Memory of the late Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Cywink Sr. To pictures * To top * To text

March 17th: Saint Patrick's Day in Utica is always a family affair and this year the Children's Museum family participated in every aspect of the day's events. Andrea Scalzo-Willson and husband Rob made all the arrangements for the Children's Museum Float. Rob, manager of Agway-Wilco in New York Mills, donated the trailer and his pickup and was our Chauffeur, assisted by Volunteer and Advantage After School Student, Mario Colon.

Andrea and Mario prepared the Baby Brac Float which consisted of our baby dinosaur, while lots of kids created leprechauns, shamrocks, and balloons. A full contingent of Munchkins with their Moms and Dad's decked out in Kelly Green to mark the occasion joined the float. Before the parade started we were visited by "Boilermaker Band" Horn Player, Dave Dudajek, who came by to wish us well and to serenade us as we waited for the parade to get underway.

Sarah Kilian, Children's Museum Board member, husband Mike and son Ben arrived minutes before the parade began. Up Genesee Street we rode, with some of us marching alongside our float dispensing candy and Children's Museum green passes ---- up to the review stand where Children's Museum Board member and Parade announcer Treichelle Johnson announced us to great applause.

WUTR News Channel 20 Weatherman, Mike Cameron was accepting thanks for the fine (but brisk) weather and Parade Grand Marshall, The Reverend Sean O'Brien was greeting marchers and celebrants alike. A Great Day for the Irish, for the City of Utica, and a great day for the Children's Museum Family. To pictures * To top * To text

March 14th: Krista Koziarz, a ninth grader from Whitesboro High School, needed some weather statistics to complete a school science project. She called WUTR TV 20 and was told that the information she needed was at the new Children's Museum Weather Station. Krista emailed Marlene, our webmeister, who emailed her back, cc'ing Directory Tony, who invited her to the Museum. On Wednesday, March 14, Krista and her dad visited the Museum to download temperature, THI, Barometric readings, etc. for a two week period from the Weather Station. To pictures * To top * To text

March 7th: On Wednesday, March 7, Niagara Mohawk Technicians and Children's Museum staff installed the new working model Wind Energy Model Exhibit on the First Floor of the Children's Museum. The Exhibit is an interactive working Model of Niagara Mohawk's Wethersfield Wind Energy Farm in Wyoming County, New York. This Wind "Farm" produces almost 22,500 megawatt hours of electricity by harnessing the energy of the wind. Turbines with 154 feet wide blades mounted on 154 foot towers on a 213 foot hill have sensors that detect and adjust to the speed and direction of the wind.

They are capable of producing enough annual electricity to power 1700 single family homes. Wind is a clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. The exhibit allows viewers to learn about one of the exciting new technologies our region is producing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide safe and sustainable sources of power. The Children's Museum wishes to thank Niagara Mohawk for this exciting exhibit which will educate children and families about one of the oldest sources of energy and the cutting edge technology that in the near future will be harnessed it to the benefit of the planet.

About the Wethersfield Site Acres: 310 acres County Wyoming Peak Wind Season: Winter Average Wind Direction :West-Southwest Temperature Range: -30F degrees to 95 degrees. To pictures * To top * To text

March 3rd: The Children's Museum held the second Fleet Bank Boston Sponsored Music and Visual Art Program this Saturday. For a group of area children from the Utica School District, the day started at the Stanley Performing Arts Center for the Utica Symphony Orchestra's Family Series Concert, "Musical Heritage". The children were treated to a program which featured the traditional music and dance of two of Utica's oldest ethnic communities. Irish dances in the "Riverdance" tradition were performed by dancers from the Munson Proctor Williams Institute and reels and jigs were performed by Irish traditional dancers; then Polish dancers performed traditional dances including a "Polanaise" accompanied by the USO.

The Children then came to the Children's Museum for lunch. Then working with Children's Museum where they created heraldic "letters" inspired by the rich tradition of calligraphy and art of the Irish and paper folding techniques of the Polish and Ukranian traditions. Each student decorated and collaged their designs based on the first letter of their name which will hang in the Museum for the upcoming "Children's Folk Festival, April 20 and 21. Each student brought the experience of the music, costumes and lighting of the USO program to their project and working with the artists created unique projects. After the program the children were able to enjoy the rest of the afternoon at the Museum.

This program is the second of four programs combining music and visual arts which have been developed by the Children's Museum staff with the cooperation of the Utica Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Charles Schneider. Two additional programs are planned for the Summer and Fall of 2001. This program is funded by a generous grant from Fleet Boston Bank Foundation. To pictures * To top * To text

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