Erie Canal Bicentennial Events 2018

NYSCA Erie Canal grantee map

Join NYSCA as we share our state’s music, art and heritage along the route of the Erie Canal and New York State’s waterways through the programs below!

Corning Museum of Glass’ GlassBarge State Wide Tour: Experience the marvel of glassmaking and its storied place in New York’s history canalside thanks to GlassBarge, a statewide barge tour to waterfront communities from Brooklyn to Buffalo. May 17-Sept. 22. Free with reserved seating, cmog.org/glassbarge.

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra: Commemorate the Canal’s Bicentennial with music! Enjoy patriotic favorites and tunes from Star Wars and West Side Story with fireworks on the 4th of July in downtown Rochester, and enjoy canalside concerts in Pittsford and Brockport in late July, rpo.org.

Long Island Traditions: On water or land, explore the maritime traditions of Long Island, the Hudson River and the Erie Canal with Connected Waterways. The series features contemporary tradition bearers sharing their art through boat tours, demonstrations at museums and festivals, and a traveling exhibit. Events take place on the Staten Island Ferry and the Miss Freeport and in Massapequa, Staten Island, Oyster Bay and Manhattan. Events kick off June 29 and continue through the end of 2019, longislandtraditions.org.

Waterfront Alliance: Spend five weeks celebrating New York’s maritime heritage from the Canal to the Port of New York at Canal to Coast. Onboard historic, cultural and commercial vessels, the Waterfront Alliance showcases canal boats, music and visual arts and offers working harbor tours. City of Water Day launches the season on July 15 on Governor’s Island and around New York Harbor, waterfrontalliance.org

ArtsWestchester: See the influence of the canal through the eyes of contemporary artists through Brick by Brick: The Erie Canal & the Building Boom, an exhibition of inspired by the shared story of the Erie Canal, the Hudson Valley brickyards and the families who built them. Fall 2018, artswestchester.org.

Young Audiences of Western New York: Students and families can relive history through Traveling The Erie Canal: 200 Years of Journeys, which will feature digital creative storytelling by young artists, yawny.org

Albany Symphony Orchestra’s River Sings: Enjoy a free full-day of family activities with local food and beer trucks, children’s activities, musical performances, and street artists culminating in an outdoor concert with fireworks and world premiere performances of three significant new works by living American composers, created for the orchestra with three community arts collaborators. June 3, Troy Riverfront Park, albanysymphony.com

Erie Canal Museum: Come aboard a full size replica canal boat. Explore life in a canal town. Put on a puppet show. Experience a part of history that played an imperative role in the growth and development of the United States. Open year-round, eriecanalmuseum.org

All events are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature

Is your city or organization interested in joining the celebration in 2019?

Project support for the Erie Canal Bicentennial Celebrationis now available through NYSCA Regional Economic Development Council initiative funding!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Eligible projects will produce, present or exhibit arts and cultural activities that celebrate the culture and communities of the Erie Canal and related waterways.
  • You may not receive other NYSCA funding for the same project.
  • Historic and cultural links to the Erie Canal Corridor can be found from the Great Lakes, to the Mohawk River, Lake Champlain, to the Hudson River and New York Harbor; the opportunity is statewide
  • FY19 offers an exciting inter-agency collaboration between NYSCA and the NYS Canal Corporation. Applicants may apply to both agencies for separate components of the same project, respective to each agency’s guidelines.

Visit arts.ny.gov/programs/regional-economic-development-council-initiative to learn more!