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Photo courtesy of Arts for Learning
Photo courtesy of Arts for Learning

Arts for Learning to celebrate Erie Canal bicentennial by presenting free arts-integrated events


Thu, Oct 12th 2023 07:55 pm

Arts for Learning WNY will partner with various organizations throughout the eight counties of Western New York to bring free public arts workshops to the community.

A press release stated, “To celebrate the 2025 Erie Canal bicentennial commemoration, Arts for Learning WNY developed an engaging and educational arts-integrated program that provides youth and families a strong exploration of the social, cultural and historical significance of the Erie Canal. ‘Traveling the Erie Canal: 200 Years of Journeys’ is a multidisciplinary arts-integrated program that addresses multiple learning styles to bring the Erie Canal-age to life through writing, poetry, theater and music.”

It continued, “While the Erie Canal's local and national impact was primarily at the economic level, there was also a lasting social and cultural transformation on and around the canal. This immersive program will celebrate and acknowledge those transformations through workshops and performances that are presented by our roster of teaching artists as well as cultural partners. Arts for Learning will present ‘Traveling the Erie Canal’ at 16 libraries in the eight counties of Western New York.

“Programming will be hands-on and minds-on and closes the opportunity gap for those who have the least arts education access by exploring differences, encouraging collaboration, and exposing visitors to the exciting and varied world around us. Through arts-inspired activities, participants will be given once-in-a lifetime memories and opportunities to embrace diversity, experience and learn new things, and understand opportunities to impact their world positively by participating fully in their communities.”

The schedule of local programs is as follows:

Erie County – Frank Merriweather Library:

√ 2 p.m. Oct. 14: Melissa Kate, Travelling Museum, artifacts and stories.

√ 2:30 p.m. Nov. 11: Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, Pioneer Days, discovering life from the 1800s.

Niagara County – North Tonawanda Public Library:

√ Noon, Oct. 28: Melissa Kate, Travelling Museum, artifacts and stories.

This program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Full details and descriptions can be found here.



The mission of Arts for Learning WNY (formerly Young Audiences of Western New York) is to inspire, expand learning, and strengthen the community through engagement with the arts. It provides services in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Arts for Learning WNY was established in 1962 and celebrated 60 years of service in 2022.

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