Developed by Young Audiences of Western New York, this residency explores the Erie Canal’s history through a variety of art forms, inviting students to take a personal journey down the Canal by speaking through the voices of the era. The Traveling Museum gives students access to historical artifacts and stories, and Journeys and Journals encourages students to express themselves, with the help of a poet-writer experienced in teaching creative writing. Students learn self-expression and curricular skills through literary exercises using vintage maps, photographs, drawings, and imaginative prompts.
These workshops can be augmented with other Erie Canal-themed programs to provide students with an interdisciplinary Erie Canal Residency that addresses multiple learning styles and truly brings the Canal age to life. Performances by Gretchen Murray Sepik as the surly packet-boat cook Erie Canal Sal and the musical group The Stringmen’s Erie Canal Show give students a taste of the unique characters and songs of the period.