Local residents and tourists will have the opportunity to take in nature, history, science and more beginning Thursday.
Although these subjects are normally available locally, the inaugural New York State Museum Week aims to emphasize what museums, botanical gardens, arts centers and cultural organizations offer throughout the year.
Upon learning of the week's creation, making the decision to participate wasn't difficult for local establishments.
"Why not do it?" asked Joni Blackman, Fenton History Center director. "All of us got together and decided that we'd each take a day."
"They're really making a statewide effort to publicize the wonderful museums that we have," added Ruth Lundin, Audubon Center & Sanctuary president. "We were really excited to put this together. We like to work together whenever we can."
In addition to the Fenton and Audubon, the following organizations have partnered to offer a week's worth of programming: the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, Robert H. Jackson Center, Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame and Jamestown Community College.
According to Su Ewing, of The Lucy-Desi Center, local museums do more than help the economy.
"It's just important for everyone to realize there are so many small museums in the state that offer so much," she said. "People overlook some of that. We really have an amazing group of people here in Jamestown. They're dedicated, both the people who are on staffs and the volunteers. They work so hard. It's just nice to be able to get together with all of them and plan something like this."
LUCY-DESI, AUDUBON TO BEGIN MUSEUM WEEK
The Lucy-Desi Center will kick-start Museum Week locally, offering guided tours Thursday. Admission is $15 to visit both the Lucy-Desi Museum and the Desilu Playhouse.
The museum showcases the life and legacy of Lucille Ball with costumes, awards, photographs and other memorabilia. The Desilu Playhouse is dedicated to the "I Love Lucy" series and features a recreation of Lucy and Ricky's New York City apartment, an interactive Vitameatavegamin set and more.
Additionally during Museum Week, The Lucy-Desi Center will offer Lucy Town Bus Tours, which provide a look at the area where Ball was raised. The two-hour tours will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The cost will be $25. Call 484-0800 for more information.
On Friday, the Audubon will celebrate 10 years of Liberty from noon to 4:30 p.m.
Liberty, a bald eagle, came to live at the Audubon on June 1, 2002. The center and sanctuary will celebrate her anniversary with cake starting at noon. Tours of her care facility will be offered at 1:30 and 4.
Liberty was found with an injury in her left wing. The muscle damage was severe enough that raptor rehabilitators felt she would not be able to hunt for herself in the wild even though she can fly short distances in her enclosure. Her care is provided by a crew of volunteers led by Thom Armella.
"It's really great that we can celebrate the fact that Liberty is here but also the fact that the eagles are back in Chautauqua County and in New York state," Lundin said. "It's a much more friendly environment for them now."
The Audubon is located at 600 Riverside Road, Jamestown. Regular building admissions will apply. Members and children will get in for free, and non-member adults will be charged $5. Call 569-2345 for more information.
FENTON TO LEAD
The Fenton will take the reins Saturday from 1-3 p.m. The center will lead an event called "Walking Jamestown's History: The Southside."
Attendees will learn about the businesses and families that thrived in the Southside neighborhood of Forest Avenue to Newland Avenue. The tour will include two of Jamestown's oldest homes.
"The cool thing about the Southside is, it's not just residents," Blackman said. "There used to be big businesses up in this area. This was the growing part of Jamestown. When Jamestown was expanding out beyond First Street and across the river, this is the area that was building up in the 1860s."
Participants should be able to walk for two hours. They should wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing.
Thomas Greer, M.D., will lead the tour. He will be accompanied by a local architect who will point out homes of interest.
"I think it's great for anyone who wants to learn about how Jamestown used to be, and that could be anyone from a teenager to a retiree," Blackman said.
Potential Fenton members will be charged $10. Fenton members will be charged $5. The Fenton History Center is located at 67 Washington St., Jamestown. Call 664-6256 for more information.
TO HOST EXHIBITION
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute will host "Arcadia: The Art of Melissa Mance-Coniglio" and "The Randolph Mammoth" from this Thursday to Wednesday, June 6. As part of Museum Week, the institute will be featured from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, June 3.
Mance-Coniglio grew up influenced by her late father James Mance Sr., whose teaching of traditional waterfowl decoy carving taught Mance-Coniglio a love of birds and the observation skills needed to render them with realism and creativity. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Rochester Institute of Technology. Mance-Coniglio also has experience as a former naturalist, licensed wildlife rehabilitator, animal trainer and art educator. Her work has been exhibited at numerous venues including the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca.
"Arcadia: the Art of Melissa Mance-Coniglio" will feature 50 original paintings and drawings of birds and their habitats.
The institute will also feature a display of fossils that includes a Columbian mammoth excavated in Randolph, an Ice Age bear and selections from the life work of Roger Tory Peterson.
The Institute is located at 311 Curtis St., Jamestown. Call 665-2473 for more information.
JACKSON CENTER, SPORTS HALL, JCC TO CLOSE WEEK
From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, June 4, the Robert H. Jackson Center invites area residents to experience its educational offerings, exhibits, guided tours, lectures, films and more.
Dedicated to advancing the legacy of Robert H. Jackson, United States Supreme Court justice and chief U.S. prosecutor of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the center strives to promote justice and the rule of law by looking at the world through the lens of Jackson's life.
The Jackson Center is at 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown. Call 483-6646 for more information.
Visitors to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday, June 5, will receive a complimentary reproduction of a 1939 baseball program from a Jamestown Pirates game at Celoron Park. The Pirates were the original Jamestown franchise in the P.O.N.Y. League.
The Hall of Fame features stories of local residents' athletic accomplishments. Located at 15 W. Third St., the building recently received an expansion which doubled its space. It includes memorabilia from a variety of sports. Visit chautauquasportshalloffame.org for more information.
Tours of Jamestown Community College's recently created science center will be offered from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, June 6.
Opened in the fall of 2011, the center was designed to be reviewed for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It includes a number of features meant to conserve energy and promote environmentally conscious thinking.
Within the center, the college houses its associate degree programs in liberal arts and sciences: math and science, environmental science, and biotechnology. The center features classrooms, labs and prep rooms for courses in biology, biotechnology, chemistry and geology. It also has a student study area, loft lounge, greenhouse and vegetative roof. Visit sunyjcc.edu for more information.
With each organization sharing the spotlight throughout the week, making it to all seven stops on the local Museum Week tour on their designated dates could be a tough task. According to Lundin, area residents shouldn't be worried.
"Even if you can't go to the specific event on the specific date, the museums are open during the week," she said. "We encourage people to come out and participate in New York State Museum Week. Hopefully, it will be the first of an annual event."