Programs + Events

Virtual Young at HeART: Memoir as Sight and Sound

  • Tuesdays, September 21 - November 9, 2021, 6:30

Just as acclaimed 19th-century artist Martin Johnson Heade captured visual and aural stimuli on canvas, so are the senses essential to the craft of memoir. In this six-week course, participants will each craft a memoir essay of 1,500 words and will consider such essential topics as: the narrative arc, describing a setting, creating a reliable narrator, and writing dialogue. The course will reference Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment, which highlights Martin Johnson Heade’s 19th century painting series of hummingbird and habitats. By exploring the artist’s commitment to the vivid representation of the natural world, participants will be encouraged to explore a similar pursuit in their own writing.

Emily Sachar is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of the memoir, Shut Up and Let the Lady Teach (Poseidon Press/Simon & Schuster), which chronicled the author’s year teaching public school in one of the most challenging urban New York City districts. Ms. Sachar has also written travel memoir for Newsday, the Long Island newspaper, and Cowboys & Indians, a West Coast lifestyle magazine. Her 15 years’ experience as a reporter at Newsday earned her more than 25 writing awards, including two as the prestigious grand prize winner of the Education Writers of America. Ms. Sachar teaches writing and art history through Bard College, NYU and the State University of New York.

$200 person, $150 members. Limited capacity; Advanced registration required at Scholarships are available. For more information, please contact 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.

Family Explorer Tour

  • Saturdays, September 25, October 23 | 2:30-3:30PM

Learn about the artistic adventures of Frederic Church while taking a journey of your own! Discover Olana’s designed landscape and unique architecture on an outdoor walk filled with family-friendly discussion, activities, and art-making prompts. For families with children ages 5 and up. $10 per adult; $5 for members (free for children 12 and under)

Olana Plein Air Festival

  • Saturday, September 25 | 7:00am-7:00pm

Overlooking the Hudson River, with 250 acres of artist-designed landscape and sweeping views of the Catskills, Olana is the perfect place to get artistic inspiration! Join us on Saturday, September 25 for the Olana Plein Air Festival. During this day-long festival open to artists of all skill levels, participants are invited to bring their own supplies and materials to paint outdoors throughout Olana. Registrants will receive a special plein air painting map, gift bag (while supplies last), and early access to set up their easels overlooking Olana’s famous views. This event is held in partnership with Drawing America.

Interested in diving deeper into your art making practice? Register for one of eight artist-led workshops held throughout the day at designated socially distanced locations. Workshops will be led by a range of professional practicing artists including Eileen Murphy, Mario Robinson, Eudes Correia, William Low, and Jean Mackay.

General Registration $25, Workshop Registration $45; Youth under 16 free with adult. Scholarships available. To register and learn more, email

Exploring Historic and Modern Threats to the Hudson River with Riverkeeper

  • Saturday, October 9 | 1:00-2:00pm

Join Riverkeeper’s Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Jen Benson for a walking tour of Olana’s artist-designed landscape to learn the history of both the Hudson River, explore historical and current threats to the Hudson River, and learn about Riverkeeper’s efforts to advocate for fishable and swimmable waters. Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the Hudson River from source to sea and safeguard drinking water supplies, through advocacy rooted in community partnerships, science and law.

Beginners Nature Photography Night with Columbia Land Conservancy

  • Saturday, October 16 | 4:00-5:30pm

Join the Columbia Land Conservancy and local photographer, Robert Gilson, for a special evening exploring Olana through a new lens. During this walk and workshop, participants will learn more about nature photography techniques while taking snapshots and connecting Olana’s artist designed landscape. Please bring your own digital camera and/or smart phone with a camera. During this program, participants will walk about 1 mile along Olana’s carriage roads; please wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather. Ages 12 and up.

$5 person, Free for Olana and CLC members. Advanced registration required. For more information, please contact or call (518) 751-6938.

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.