NEWS RELEASE: Historic Huguenot Street to Celebrate New Paltz Heritage with Huguenot Gathering, October 10 – 12
NEW PALTZ, NY (September 15, 2014) – Historic Huguenot Street announced this week that The Gathering, a weekend-long celebration of the Huguenots and their descendants, will take place October 10 – 12. The event will bring together over 200 individuals who trace their heritage to the region, including descendants of New Paltz’ original 12 founders.
This is the first Gathering since the inaugural event in 2010. Vignettes depicting important moments of Huguenot Street's continued history, special programs and performances, and children's programming will continue throughout the weekend and are open to the public.
"Whether you are a descendant of one of the founding families or a life-long resident of New Paltz, Huguenot Street is your home,” said Sarah Hurd, Development Coordinator. “This year's Gathering will be about coming home to celebrate the many moments of our street’s history that make it the very special place that it is today."
The weekend at the innovative museum and historic site will kick off on the evening of Friday, October 10, with a book talk and signing with Russell Shorto, acclaimed author of the best-selling The Island at the Center of World, a narrative history of the founding of Manhattan and New Netherland. A 1981 graduate of George Washington University, Shorto is also a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. His most recent work is Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, and he is currently researching his next book, a narrative of the American Revolution.
A variety of engaging and educational programming will continue throughout Saturday, October 11, which will conclude with a concert by Hasbrouck descendant Liesl Odenweller, an internationally celebrated soprano singer. A rare and versatile performer, Liesl Odenweller consistently delights audiences and critics throughout Europe in her unique and exciting interpretations of a wide variety of repertoire. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and has sung operatic roles in some of the world’s most prestigious opera houses. In addition to her busy schedule of concerts with Venetia Antiqua Ensemble, major concert engagements have included: Mozart Mass in C Minor, Poulenc Gloria, Strauss Vier Letzte Lieder, Vaughan Williams Dona nobis pacem, Pergolesi Stabat Mater, Mozart Requiem, Szymanovsky Stabat Mater, Brahms Requiem, and Fauré Requiem at Carnegie Hall, the Auditorium di Milano, Teatro La Fenice, Festival de La Ciotat, Eglise de la Madeleine, Palazzo Ducale, and the Ratzeburger Dom, collaborating with such orchestras as Riccardo Chailly’s Orchestra Verdi di Milano, the New England Symphonic Ensemble, and the Neue Bachorchestra.
“New Paltz’ heterogeneity made it a microcosm of what America was to become,” said board president Mary Etta Schneider. “In its diversity, longevity, and authenticity, Historic Huguenot Street cannot be rivaled by any other historic site in the country. Nowhere else in North America can one experience the broad sweep of almost 7,000 years of history along one mile of a street, whether learning about the Native Americans that lived in the area before colonization, the Protestant Reformation that led directly to the founding of French-speaking New Paltz, the Dutch influences on its architecture, the English impact on its values, the African underpinning of its culture, or the ongoing American reflection of all those things.”
A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century. It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve their French and Dutch heritage. Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.
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