Lacrosse – More Than Just A Game New Exhibition @ Institute for American Indian Studies

Lacrosse was originally played by eastern Native Americans and Canada’s First People. The Institute for American Indian Studies located at 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut has just opened a fascinating special exhibition, “More Than a Game: The Story of Lacrosse,” that will be on view at the Institute through August 2022.

This well-researched exhibition touches on a variety of subjects, many of which are unexpected in light of the game many of us know today. Some of the most interesting aspects of the exhibition relate to the spiritual importance of lacrosse and how it connects to creation stories, the way they settle differences, and its continued social and communal significance.

This exhibition also explores the appropriation of lacrosse by Euro-Americans and Canadians. In the 1860’s Dr. George Beers of Canada wrote the first standardized rulebook for lacrosse in an attempt to “civilize” the game. By the 1890s, Native American communities were banned from participating in national competitions. This part of the exhibition includes documentation in the form of newspaper clippings and images that depict the history of lacrosse in popular culture and how it was interpreted.

More Than a Game also highlights how traditional lacrosse sticks evolved in North America. Several lacrosse sticks on display showcase the three major styles of Native American lacrosse and demonstrate the different regional interpretations of the game.

This exhibit touches on the relationship between lacrosse and Native communities today. It delves into the saga of the Iroquois Nationals, the only Native American athletic team
permitted to compete in international competitions. Don’t miss the exhibition’s video that shows Native Americans making wooden sticks in the traditional way and relating why it is important to the future of their culture. This exhibit can be summed up by a quote by Rex Lyons, Onondaga, “Lacrosse is part of the story of our creation, of our identity, of who we are. So when we play the game, we always say that there’s a simultaneous game going on in the Sky World and our ancestors are playing with us.”

The Institute for American Indian Studies is open Wednesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children 3-12, $10 for seniors, and members are free.

About Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have the 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

Summer Fun @ Glebe House in Woodbury

Thanks to Ion Bank Foundation and the Gabrielson Family Fund children may enjoy three weeks of unique summer experiences, filled with fun and hands-on learning at our 18th-century historic site, The Glebe House Museum and Gertrude Jekyll Garden. This year the programs will span Colonial and Victorian life in Woodbury where children will experience innovative, exciting, enriching, and fun activities, and are limited to only 12 in a group.



Registration is open for all sessions:

“Hands-on History” July 11 – 15 offers children ages 6-12 experiences in 18th-century life. Children participate in activities spanning quill writing, candle making, historic house tours, colonial games, and much more.

New this year is “Jekyll’s Secret Garden” from July 18 through July 22 for children ages 6-12. This program gives children the opportunity to explore “The Secret Garden” story by Frances Hodgson Burnett and learn scenes from the play of the same name by Marsha Norman. Guest artist, Carol Ziske, will lead this program. Ms. Ziske is an Actor and Director who has numerous plays, films, and vocal recordings. As an Actor, she has starred in more than 15 plays and motion pictures, such as “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Other People’s Money”. As a Director she has produced more than 15 plays including Our Town (Warner Theater-Torrington) and Love Letters (Newport, RI), just to name a few. Ms. Ziske has extensive experience sharing her love of theater with children and has been an acting teacher and coach for many years. The program will also include gardening activities & crafts.

Another popular program is “Individual Program Days for the Young Apprentice” for children ages 10-15, which will be held July 25 – 28 with each day exploring a different colonial craft. The schedule includes Colonial Lighting & Tin Lanterns, Colonial Cooking, Textiles & Weaving, and Basket Making.

A popular program also being offered this summer is Hands-on History & Art of the Garden which runs Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. The cost to participate is $225 for Members and $250 for Non-Members per week.

Individual Program Days are offered Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am-1:00 pm at $40 for Members and $45 for Non-Members per program day.

Please see website for details and registration form: http://www.glebehousemuseum.org Registrations will be accepted until all programs are filled.

High School Students aged 14 and up are encouraged to apply as “Youth Leaders” to earn community service hours and a small stipend as they help staff with daily activities for the program.

College Students and Adults aged 18 and up who have an interest in history, gardening, theater and education are encouraged to apply as paid Program Leaders for individual weeks.

Please call The Glebe House Museum at 203-263-2855, email us at office@glebehousemuseum.org, or visit us online at glebehousemuseum.org to register, to receive a program brochure or for additional information.

This June Enjoy the Beauty of Birds on Long Island Sound with the Seaport Association

Bird Cruises are one of the most popular excursions operated by the Seaport Association in Norwalk. Although Connecticut is a small state, it is rich in birdlife with more than 430 different bird species to spot. If you are a veteran or novice birding enthusiast and want to add seabirds to your list, hop on board the C.J. Toth, a 49- passenger vessel with the Seaport Association on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, and Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26 from 8 am to 10:30 a.m. for the June Bird Cruises that welcomes adults as well as children.

An avian adventure on Long Island Sound in June provides a unique opportunity to see birds in their natural habitat. Every cruise is different because you never know what will fly your way, making this excursion an adventure in itself. The bird cruise in June offers different things to see than the bird cruises offered in May. June is the month when many birds breed making it the perfect time to look for birds where they nest. On this guided tour escorted by Will Schneck, a member of the esteemed Connecticut Young Birders Club, passengers will learn about local bird behavior and biology and, most importantly how to spot them. “One thing that we will be looking for is birds that are nesting, raising their families, resting, and feeding,” says Schneck. Among the types of birds, you may see on this eco-adventure cruise are nest sites and nest colonies of ospreys, and long-legged egrets with their graceful S-curved necks and long dagger-like bills, as well as playful American oystercatchers, herons, terns, gulls, and cormorants to name a few.

Another special feature of this cruise is the chance to spot birds at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge on Sheffield Island. Here you will see a variety of habitats that support nesting and wading birds. This spot is known for its small population of herring and great black-backed gulls that nest along Sheffield Island’s rocky shoreline. The importance of the Norwalk Islands to wildlife, especially migratory birds is enormous, and the special Bird Cruises hosted by the Norwalk Seaport Association give nature enthusiasts, adults, and children alike, the chance to spot these magnificent seabirds up close with the added benefit of a knowledgeable guide.

Bird Cruise Details
Passengers are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to the 8 a.m. departure. The vessel leaves from the Seaport Dock that is adjacent to the Stroffolino Bridge at the corner of Washington and Water Streets in South Norwalk. Parking is available at the adjacent lot or at the Norwalk Parking Garage. Tickets are available online in advance by clicking here and are $25 in addition to a small ticketing fee. The Seaport Association advises reserving your Bird Cruise early because these popular excursions sell out. Make sure you include your email when reserving your ticket. If the tour is canceled due to inclement weather the Norwalk Seaport Association will contact you via your email.

Before embarking on this cruise, be sure to pack sunscreen, your camera, binoculars, water and snacks, and your sense of adventure!

About the Norwalk Seaport Association

The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 by a group of local citizens who had the vision to revitalize South Norwalk and preserve Norwalk’s maritime heritage. The Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provide a unique historical and educational venue that strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration for the environment and how the preservation of historic buildings contributes to our quality of life. The combination of the Lighthouse and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge offers an unparalleled opportunity to educate children of all ages and adults about the importance of preserving Long Island Sound, our environment, and our maritime heritage.

An Evening of Celebration Glebe House Garden Party June 25

In the early summer, there is nothing better than an alfresco Garden Party amid the fragrant blossoms of a historic house and garden. The Glebe House, one of the oldest house museums in Connecticut with a nationally famous garden, is the venue for the epitome of a perfect garden party. This year, the Glebe House located on Hollow Road in Woodbury is hosting its annual Garden Party on Saturday, June 25 from 6 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets to this fundraising event are $40 per person and can be purchased online @ https://www.glebehousemuseum.org or by calling 203-263-2855. For the direct link for tickets click here.

A warm awaits @ the Glebe House

Each year, friends, and guests enjoy this spectacular garden designed in 1926 by famed English horticultural designer, writer, and artist, Gertrude Jekyll, who had a profound influence on modern garden design. Today, it is the only remaining example of Jekyll’s work in the U.S., making this garden party a celebration of an American garden designed from across the pond!

In June, the flowers are beginning to pop in waves of colors, patterns, textures, and fragrances. Tables and chairs are placed amid the backdrop of the garden and blankets are spread out under large shade trees. There will be sweet and savory hors d’ oeuvres packed in beautifully decorated individual boxes, wine bottled in Woodbury, from Walker Road Vineyards, sparkling water, lemonade made from fresh lemons picked from the Glebe House lemon tree, and a signature drink, “The Seabury Swing,” created by the Nutmeg Wine and Spirit Shoppe in Woodbury.

The only Jekyll Garden in the United States a perfect setting for a night out.

To add to this convivial event there will be a strolling 4-part Cappella Barbershop Quartet, the Valley Chordsmen, who are affiliated with the International Barbershop Harmony Society. They have been entertaining folks throughout the state for more than 73 years and are sure to add to the fun. Speaking of fun, the Silent Auction will feature a number of tantalizing items to bid on. One of the most sought-after items will be the catered “All Hallows Eve Cocktail Party for Ten” at the Glebe House. Imagine the spooktacular time your friends and family will have at this exclusive private event when the Glebe House is all decked out for Halloween!

As an added highlight, the first floor of the Glebe House will be open. This simple 18th-century farmhouse is furnished as the home of the Reverend John Rutgers Marshall and his family that lived here, in the “glebe” during the Revolutionary War. It is especially atmospheric to tour the house in the early evening imagining this is the way the family lived here with no electricity.

Fun with friends old and new in a fabulous garden setting!

Attending the Glebe House Garden Party is an unforgettable experience – with good fun shared by all, delicious food, and drinks enjoyed in a magical garden. The Glebe House Garden Party is the major fundraising event of the year for the museum. Proceeds support the maintenance of the Glebe House and Garden and educational programs.

About The Glebe House

Built about 1750, the Glebe House was saved by a committee that eventually became known as the Seabury Society for the Preservation of the Glebe House and was restored in 1923 under the direction of Henry Watson Kent, founder of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It opened to the public as a Historic House Museum in June of 1925.

The Glebe House was the farm homestead of Woodbury’s first Anglican Minister, Rev. John Rutgers Marshall, his wife Sarah, their nine children, and three enslaved persons. It is historically significant because it is where the first Bishop of the American Episcopal Church, Reverend Dr. Samuel Seabury was elected in 1783.

At the time, this was a momentous decision because it assumed the separation of church and state and religious tolerance in the new nation. This significant historic house museum is beautifully appointed with period furniture, some of it locally made, and, it is surrounded by the only extant garden in the United States designed by Gertrude Jekyll, one of Great Britain’s most famous 20th-century garden designers. The garden includes a classic English style mixed border in Jekyll’s signature drifts of color, foundation plantings, and a planted stone quadrant.

This Father’s Day Take Dad on an Adventure to 1518! Wigwam Escape @ Institute for American Indian Studies

This Father’s Day it is time to celebrate your one-of-a-kind dad in an unexpected and fun way that he will cherish for years to come. If you are looking for something special, why not give him the gift of a unique experience with Wigwam Escape, a nationally award-winning Escape Room that is located at the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut.

If the dad in your life is a history buff, loves to solve puzzles, and enjoys being challenged while having fun, Wigwam Escape will be an unforgettable bonding experience for the whole family. A highlight of the Wigwam Escape experience is gaining a better understanding of how Native peoples thrived prior to European contact. This is a gift that keeps on giving. After playing the game, you can continue your experience by visiting the museum whose core exhibition follows the 10,000-year-long story of Connecticut’s Native American people, and hiking the Institute trails to a replicated Algonkian Village.

In honor of Father’s Day, the Institute is offering a promotional code that is 20% off the booking and includes gift certificates when using code DAD1518 at checkout. For more information and to book, click here.

Wigwam Escape – The Story

You, the game player, find yourselves in a Native American village in the woodlands of Connecticut in the year 1518. You’ve just received word that an illness is affecting the neighboring fishing village of Metachiwon and they are asking for help. It is seven miles to Metachiwon so you have to act quickly. It’s up to you to figure out how to gather and prepare supplies for your journey ahead. You have one day (roughly one hour of game time) to hunt, gather and cook using only the resources found in the village and surrounding forest. This empathetic experience connects players to the ways Native peoples lived and the skills they relied on 500 years ago in their daily lives.

FAQs – Wigwam Escape

Wigwam Escape allows two to seven players to experience the room. To enhance the experience the room caters only to private groups, so when you book the room, it is for your group only.

The ticket prices are $25 for General Admission, $20 for Students, and $22 for Seniors. Your ticket also includes museum admission to the Institute for American Indian Studies which can be used on the day of your visit.

The suggested age for Wigwam Escape is 12 and up; however, as long as there is a parent or guardian present during the game kids under 12 are welcome.

The suggested age for Wigwam Escape is 12 and up; however, as long as there is a parent or guardian present during the game kids under 12 are welcome.

Wigwam Escape is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday by reservation. Office hours are Wed. and Thurs. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To purchase your tickets, visit www.wigwamescape.org or call (860) 868- 0510.

AMERICAN MURAL PROJECT PRESENTS THE LARGEST INDOOR COLLABORATIVE ARTWORK IN THE WORLD; EXHIBIT OPENS IN WINSTED, CT, ON JUNE 18

The American Mural Project (AMP), home of the largest indoor collaborative artwork in the world, today announced the opening of the new exhibition with regular hours beginning Saturday, June 18, 2022. The massive three-dimensional mural—measuring 120 feet long and five stories high—reveals a visual narrative of Americans at work and celebrates the various professions that have shaped American culture over the past century. Founded by artist Ellen Griesedieck in 2001, AMP’s highly-anticipated debut follows 22 years of research and design, mural assembly and installation, and renovation to the historic mill building in downtown Winsted.

Incorporating artistic contributions from thousands of children across the country, the mural features a vivid compilation of three-dimensional sculptural vignettes portraying Americans at work—from heart surgeons to steel workers, firefighters to farmers, school teachers to fabricators of a 747 aircraft, and more. Constructed with unconventional materials including honeycomb aluminum panels, blown glass, clay, reclaimed wood, native indigo, and spackle, the mural offers an optical journey and sensory adventure through the past 100 years of work in America.

A veteran artist, photographer, and designer, Ellen Griesedieck first conceived of the mural in 1999, with a vision to create a giant collaborative artwork that celebrates American ingenuity, productivity, and commitment to work. Depicting real men and women Griesedieck documented in her travels across the country, the extensive project was driven by her mission to empower and challenge others, especially children—not only by educating them on the varying types of work happening around them but by involving them in the mural’s creation.

“It is pretty wonderful to think that this idea, two decades in the making, has come full circle. I have logged a lot of time painting large panels in my studio. Maybe more memorable are the weeks I have spent working on projects with thousands of kids and adults across the country. This is not one artist’s idea but the work of many in collaboration,” notes Ellen Griesedieck, artist and founder of the American Mural Project. “None of this could have happened without help from the same American workers I am honoring in the mural. They created it with me, they shared every tool and innovative idea. The mural is standing thanks to an unprecedented collaboration with kids, teachers, donors, and professional tradespeople.”

Through partnerships with schools, other nonprofits, and professionals in a wide range of fields—including NASA, Boeing, Habitat for Humanity, and HealthCorps—AMP has engaged more than 15,000 students and adults across the country in creating pieces of the mural. AMP has led projects with children from preschool to high school on artwork addressing health, fitness, conservation, energy alternatives, space exploration, and more. Children who have participated in the mural’s creation have blown glass, sculpted clay, danced in paint, learned the indigo-dyeing process, and made relief sculptures in wet spackle. AMP’s multi-state art collaborations are ongoing and intend to provide more children the opportunity to discover and explore interests and abilities in themselves, as well as possibilities in the world, that they may not have imagined before.

“The aspects that the American Mural Project celebrates—innovation, discovery, and ingenuity—match the exact spirit that the workforce here in Connecticut has delivered for many decades, which is why it is so appropriate that this exhibition is on display in our state,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “Viewing this collaborative mural is an incredible educational and artistic experience, and I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to check it out.”

In 2006, AMP purchased two vacant mill buildings and three surrounding acres on Whiting Street in Winsted, Connecticut, adjacent to a beehive of artists and artisans in the Whiting Mill complex, in close proximity to Winsted’s downtown area.

Extensive cleanup of AMP’s property in 2008 was made possible through a Federal Brownfields grant, allowing for the first two phases of renovation to occur. The State of Connecticut awarded a $1 Million challenge grant for the first phase of construction on the mural building, which included raising the roof thirty feet to allow for the installation of the nearly five-story mural, and enabled the building to open to the public on the first level and education programs to begin on-site. The final phase of construction, projected in the forthcoming years, involves the renovation of the second mill building for use as an education and visitor center, the addition of an atrium connecting the two buildings, and the development of the three surrounding acres of grounds for outdoor use.

“Downtown Winsted is well on its way to achieving a true renaissance, and one of the crown jewels of that renaissance is the opening of the American Mural Project. AMP represents a key cultural and artistic addition to the state as a whole, and Winsted is incredibly fortunate to be the host community for this amazing attraction. The mural itself is a stunning sight to behold, and I hope that residents and visitors alike will make it a priority to enjoy this wonder in our own backyard,” says Joshua Steele Kelly, town manager and CEO of the Town of Winchester, Connecticut.

Beyond the mural exhibit, education programs are AMP’s primary focus and include on- and off-site programs for schools, teacher professional development workshops, after-school enrichment sessions, summer programs, as well as an apprentice-style internship program for high school and college students.

“The American Mural Project represents the creative hope and aspirations of many communities. It serves as a beacon of the world we all want to live in someday,” notes Bill Strickland, founder and executive chairman, Manchester Bidwell Corporation, and partner on AMP’s Pennsylvania collaborative project.

AMP is located at 90 Whiting Street in Winsted, Connecticut, and is open Friday and Saturday, 10am–5pm, and Sunday, 12–5pm, year-round. Additional Thursday hours are planned. Check AMP’s website for current hours. $12 adults, $10 seniors and veterans, $5 students, and free for children ages 5 and younger. $25 unlimited access pass, for use during open hours in 2022. Tickets and passes can be purchased at americanmuralproject.org or in person. To view AMP’s extensive video library, click HERE.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Ellen Griesedieck is the founder and creator of the American Mural Project (AMP). She began her art career designing logos for professional athletes and photographing for a variety of national print publications, including Sports Illustrated, People, Road and Track, Ladies Home Journal, World Tennis, and Golf. In addition, she covered major sports events, including NFL Football, Wimbledon, PGA Golf and Masters, and the final five Mohammed Ali fights. Ellen’s paintings have been exhibited in New York, Connecticut, and Paris. She has been commissioned to do paintings for The New York Times, Times Mirror Magazines, and CBS Television, as well as for Miller Brewing Co., General Motors, and New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Ellen designed the original Newman’s Own labels and serves as a consultant for the company’s ongoing label designs.

Founded in 2001 by artist Ellen Griesedieck, the American Mural Project (AMP) is a nonprofit organization focused on honoring work in America. AMP is home to the largest indoor collaborative artwork in the world—a three-dimensional mural 120-feet long and five stories high. The mural pays tribute to the American worker and highlights the varying types of work that have shaped the country over the last century. Its mission is to inspire, to educate, to invite collaboration, and to reveal to people of all ages the many contributions they can make to American culture. Programming is currently offered for schools and teachers, after-school partnerships, summer enrichment sessions, and an apprentice-style internship program.

Lead funding for the American Mural Project has been provided by the Newman’s Own Foundation, Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, and the Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Recent additional support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature, the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, and Northwest Community Bank.