Programs + Events

Evening Olana Electric Vehicle Tour

  • Friday, August 19 | 5PM

The Olana Electric Vehicle tour is the ultimate Olana experience. This guided driving tour, along 5 miles of Frederic Church’s designed carriage roads, provides the most comprehensive exploration of Olana as a 250-acre masterwork of American landscape design. Experience river and mountain views, journey around the lake, and enjoy sweeping vistas of the Church’s designed farm and park. End your journey along the original historic approach road, taking in the exterior architecture of the Main House just as guests of Frederic Church once did.

Evening Artist Designed Landscape Tour

  • Friday, August 19 | 6:30PM

This guided, one mile-long walking tour provides an introduction to Olana’s naturalistic, designed landscape and to Frederic Church’s work as an artist, landscape designer, and environmental visionary. Remarkably intact, this National Historic Landmark is a 250-acre composition integrating architectural and landscape features, including a working farm, man-made lake, replanted native woodlands, and more than five miles of carriage roads. Experience Church’s living landscape masterwork against a backdrop of sublime and far-reaching views of the Hudson Valley. This fully-exterior tour covers approximately one mile over unpaved roads, and is not ADA accessible.

Movie Under the Stars at OLANA: The Adventures of Prince Achmed Evening Film Screening with Live Music!

  • Friday, August 19 | 7PM-9:30PM

Bring your picnic blanket and enjoy a film under the stars at Olana! Watch one of the oldest animated films during this special evening film screening in partnership with Upstate Films. Take in the timeless story of Prince Achmed and groove to a lively score by vibraphonist and composer Bill Ware, performed live by Sam Bardfeld (Bruce Springsteen) on violin and Thomas Heberer on slide trumpet. This beautiful 1926 silent film by the groundbreaking animation filmmaker Lotte Reiniger is based on One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, a text which Frederic Church had several copies of in his own library.

The film score will be performed live by:
Bill Ware – Vibraphone
Thomas Heberer – Trumpet
Sam Bardfeld – Violin
Philip Mayer – Percussion
John Murchison – Gimbri/Bass

For all ages; $14 adults/$10 members; free for kids 12 and under.

Phoenicia Flea: A Summer Market at OLANA

  • Saturday & Sunday, August 27 & 28 | 11AM-5PM

Phoenicia Flea is a nomadic market of makers and merchants from the Catskills, the Hudson Valley and beyond. Each month Phoenicia Flea pops up at extraordinary places in the Northeast. During the last weekend in August, they’ll be setting up shop at Olana!

In the spirit of Olana’s Summer Market, the Phoenicia Flea will bring over 20 of their vendors to the historic site. Stop by for a walk along Olana’s historic carriage roads and enjoy stellar views as you shop.

This free market will take place rain or shine. The Olana Partnership will be collecting suggested donations of $5/per person to support their work and mission to inspire the public by preserving and interpreting Frederic Church’s OLANA. To learn more about this event, email education@olana.org.

Young at HeArt: Outdoor Artmaking Tour of Olana

  • Tuesday-Friday, August 23-26 and August 30-September 2 | 9AM-12PM

During this eight-session course, participants will be invited to explore Olana’s famous views, making art at the sites and viewpoints once experienced and designed by Frederic Church himself. Each class will begin with a demonstration (all demonstrations are done by Teaching Artist Shawn Dell Joyce in pastel and oil paint). Pastel painting materials and basic sketching supplies will be provided as the central tools to guide participants in learning key principles about outdoor artmaking or painting “plein air”. The course will focus on the key principles of depicting a landscape, such as harnessing perspective, composition, and detail, while also covering important information on how best to prepare for artmaking outdoors. The course is open to all skill levels and participants without a background working outdoors are encouraged to participate. Each class will meet at a designated outdoor location onsite in Church’s designed landscape, offering students a unique opportunity to learn from a living practicing artist while walking in Church’s footsteps. The course will culminate with a final display of students’ artworks.

Shawn Dell Joyce began teaching plein air classes in 2000 and continues weekly to this day. She founded a plein air school with an arts and agricultural mission based on the historic Hudson River School, called the Wallkill River School of Art. It still exists today as a nonprofit arts organization with a mission of bringing cultural tourism to the Hudson Valley region through plein air painting workshops and events on local farms, historic sites, and open spaces. Her work is included in museum collections in the Georges Pompidou Museum in France and the Museum of Modern Art in NY.

Learn to Sketch like Frederic Church: A One-day Workshop for All Ages

  • Saturday, August 27 | 2PM-3PM

Ever wonder how artists like Frederic Church captured detail, contrast, and perspective? Visitors of all ages and skill levels are invited to sketch Frederic Church’s artist-designed landscape and main house, learning basic artistic principles in the process. During this hour-long program led by teaching artist Shawn del Joyce, participants will be given sketching materials, watch a short live demo with a professional teaching artist, and experiment with sketching their own view of Olana’s famous landscape.

Shawn Dell Joyce began teaching plein air classes in 2000 and continues weekly to this day. She founded a plein air school with an Arts and Agricultural mission based on the historic Hudson River School, called the Wallkill River School of Art. It still exists today as a nonprofit arts organization with a mission of bringing cultural tourism to the Hudson Valley region through plein air painting workshops and events on local farms, historic sites and open spaces. Her work is included in museum collections in the Georges Pompidou Museum in France and the Museum of Modern Art in NY.

All materials will be provided. Advanced registration required. $20 per person ($15 for members). For more information, please contact education@olana.org.

Under the Surface: Lake Explorers at Olana

  • Saturday, September 3 | 11AM-12PM

Join Columbia Land Conservancy’s Jenifer Rosete for an afternoon of lake exploration. Take a closer look at Olana’s man-made Lake to learn what macroinvertebrates are living below the surface and what they can tell us about water quality. Waders, nets, and field guides will be provided. The Columbia Land Conservancy works with their community to conserve the farmland, forests, wildlife habitat and rural character of Columbia County, strengthening connections between people and the land.

Jenifer Rosete joined CLC in October 2020 and is a Columbia County native with a degree in Environmental Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology Jenifer enjoys connecting to nature through hiking, bird watching, photography, and searching for geocaches.

Labor Day Weekend Bird Walk with Alan Devoe Bird Club

  • Saturday, September 3 | 8AM

Get your binoculars ready for this Labor Day Weekend Bird Walk! Join the Alan Devoe Bird Club on an exploration through Olana’s artist-designed landscape while keeping eyes and ears open for local birds. Learn more about local bird species, habitats, and behaviors with Dr. William Cook, Professor Emeritus at Columbia-Greene Community College and the Curator of C-GCC’s Natural History Museum.

FREE, advanced registration required. For more information, contact education@olana.org.

A Deep Dive in the Hive: Beekeeping 101

  • Saturday, September 10 | 10AM - 1PM

Join Olana’s resident beekeeper and pollinator-advocate Chris Layman for this deeper look inside keeping bees and maintaining a healthy hive. During this workshop, participants will take a closer look at Olana’s hives to learn about the ins and outs of caring for their own bees at home. Discover what’s happening in the hive throughout the year, what is needed to keep bees healthily and sustainably, and how you can contribute to pollinator health in other ways.

During the program, participants will get close to an active observation hive and should bring their own suit or bee veil if possible; limited bee veils will be made available during the program.

Recommended for ages 12 and up. All participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. $50/$25 for members.

Unplanned Views at Olana: Geology Walk

  • Saturday, September 10 | 1PM - 2:30PM

Time travel back to Olana’s ice age past! Join geologist Robert Titus for a walking tour showcasing Olana’s artist-designed landscape through science and storytelling. During this program, participants will learn more about the geological history of Olana and the forces that shaped Frederic Church’s masterpiece.

$15 person, $10 members. For more information, please contact education@olana.org or call (518) 567-2170.

How About Them NY Apples: Regional Agriculture, Sustainability, and Cider-Making in New York State with Nine Pin Cider Works and Samascott Orchards

  • Saturday, September 10 | 4PM - 5PM

Join Alejandro del Peral of Nine Pin Cider and Jake Samascott of Samascott Orchards for a tour of Olana’s historic orchard and conversation about their work together. During this program, participants will learn more about Nine Pin and Samascott Orchard’s work together, current orchard practices, the contemporary craft of cider-making, and the environmental impact of sourcing local produce and supporting New York Agriculture.

Alejandro del Peral grew up an all-around apple enthusiast in Columbia County, New York, fascinated by the gnarly apples from the trees his father planted from seed. After studying wildlife biology at McGill University in Montreal and hydrology at the University of Vermont, Alejandro came home and founded Nine Pin Ciderworks in Albany, New York’s first farm cidery.

Jake Samascott is one of the fourth generation farmers at Samascott Orchards which is now growing over 100 named apple varieties and has about 400 trees of brand new exclusive apple varieties. Samascott Orchards are constantly expanding and diversifying product offerings and is always looking for new varieties and crops to try.

$15 person, $10 members. Advanced registration required. For more information, please contact education@olana.org.

Young at HeArt: Songs of OLANA

  • September 17, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, November 5 & 19 | 1PM - 4PM

During this eight-session course, participants will be invited to learn more about the basics of songwriting with award-winning performing songwriters, Cosby Gibson and Tom Staudle. This course will introduce participants of all skill levels to the basics of songwriting, use Olana’s immersive environment as a framework to explore diverse musical genres, connect students’ developing skills to the music of Olana and Frederic Church’s historical context, and finally encourage participants to compose a final song inspired by Olana or a Frederic Church painting.

Each three-hour session will cover the basics of songwriting, genre study; historic songs, songwriting inspired by visual art, songwriting inspired by physical place, personal lyrics, and performance concepts. Each session includes a performance and demonstration by the artists, hands-on teaching and one-on-one guidance, time for individual development of final songs, opportunities for class inquiries and discussion, and an opportunity for participants’ songs to be performed at the end of the course, or to be performed by teaching musicians on guitar.

Cosby Gibson and Tom Staudle are award winning songwriters and singers and live near the Adirondacks in upstate New York. Cosby Gibson is an award-winning performing songwriter who lives near the Adirondack Mountains. She writes unique, original acoustic and folk-style songs on guitar and dulcimer. Grammy balloted, and winner Capital District Music Awards for Best Folk Album, 2017 and 2018, and Dorn Space Arts Award for Music Outreach, 2019, and Best Folk Album, 2021. As a duo, they have been performing for twelve years, and tour both regionally and nationally. Together they play originals and favorites with a variety of instruments such as guitar, fiddle, banjo, and harmonica, and in many settings such as festivals, concert series, house concerts, and community events. Their special music programs include; Historic Songs of the Erie Canal, Adirondack Lumber Camp Songs, Poetry Songs and History Songs, Songwriters in the Round, and the new Labor Union Songs.

$200 person, $150 members. Limited capacity; Advanced registration required at OLANA.org. Scholarships are available upon request. For more information, please contact education@olana.org or call (518) 751-6938.
During the COVID-19 crisis, The Olana Partnership will refund registration before this program upon cancellation for any reason. Please note that The Olana Partnership reserves the right to cancel this program due to extreme weather or other dangerous conditions

This course is funded by EM Michelson Philanthropies.

The Olana Partnership programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.