“You can get there from here, though there’s no going home.
Everywhere you go will be somewhere you’ve never been.”
– “Theories of Time and Space” by Natasha Trethewey
Introducing: Kids’ Almanac Writes!
After attending last month’s “Celebration of Women’s Voices Conference: Women Writers Past and Present” at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, I became so energized and inspired that I knew I wanted to offer that same type of experience for others. So I’d like to introduce you to a new feature in my column: Kids’ Almanac Writes! Each week, a guest contributor will provide a writing prompt in the column and on Almanac Weekly’s Facebook page. You are invited to write a short piece based on the prompt, and to post your work as a reply to the Facebook posting. My desire is to provide an opportunity for more people of all ages and at all levels of experience to connect with their own voice through writing, to be heard and to feel some of that same joy and inspiration that I received over the course of that wonderful conference weekend.
I am thrilled to announce that Grady Kane-Horrigan will contribute the inaugural Kids’ Almanac prompts for the month of April. Thank you, Grady! And happy writing, everyone!
Bio: Grady Kane-Horrigan is known far, but not wide. He has a family who are pretty nice and are learning to tolerate him. He divides his time regularly, but hasn’t yet figured out how to multiply it.
Prompt: How much of a story can you create with just a few words? Using exactly ten words, write one or two sentences that answer one of these questions:
A. “How can that be possible?”
B. “How has your journey been so far?”
C. “What were you thinking?”
D. “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Remember to post your piece on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/almanac-weekly/287633831270607.
Saturday, April 5
Kids on Stage perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Rhinebeck
Shakespeare wrote his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream hundreds of years ago, yet lines like “The course of true love never did run smooth” remain as relatable to audiences and readers today as they did back in the Bard’s era. Reconnect with Oberon, Titania, Hermia, Puck and the rest at Kids on Stage’s performance of this play on Saturday, April 5 and Saturday, April 12 at 11 a.m. as part of the Saturday Morning Family Series at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. Tickets cost $7 for children, $9 for adults and seniors.
The Center is located at 661 Route 308 in Rhinebeck. For tickets or more information, call (845) 876-3080 or visit https://centerforperformingarts.org.
Old Toad Farm Day in Gardiner
Sybil Ludington was born on April 5, 1761 in Dutchess County and is celebrated for her famous horseback ride one night in 1777 spreading the word about the presence of British troops: a ride that was twice as long as Paul Revere’s, and when she was only 16 years old.
Celebrate the spirit of Sybil and her horse Star by taking the family to the Old Toad Farm Day this Saturday, April 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet the riders, instructors and horse; check out activities like grooming, pony rides and demonstrations; and learn more about the Farm’s non-competitive English riding, dressage, eventing, vaulting, trail-riding and summer programs for all levels and ages. The event is free, but reservations are required.
Old Toad Farm is located on Burnt Meadow Road in Gardiner. For reservations or more information, call (845) 895-8803 or visit the Old Toad Farm on Facebook.
Flight at Cornell Street Studios
Flight has captivated humans since before Amelia Earhart and Icarus right through to the present day. This month, you can experience “Flight: An Exhibition and Exploration of Art, Writing and Science” in the form of a youth art exhibit featuring pieces and writings by area homeschoolers, as well as a Ravensbeard Wildlife Center Bird Encounter.
Lyle Bicking, the youth with the original vision for the Flight project, shared his inspiration: “When I was younger, I didn’t understand evolution. I thought that I could simply wake up and evolve wings the next day. I really wanted to be able to fly.” Bicking’s mother, Jenny Lee Fowler, continues: “I was excited when Lyle suggested ‘flight,’ because it felt like such a spacious theme – giving the artists and viewers lots of points to connect.”
But the focus isn’t just on art; Flight includes homeschool classes and activities across the disciplines. Fellow homeschooling Mama and project partner Kerin Brooks Smith continues: “The theme of Flight provided a structure for the outgrowth of a series of events and workshops ranging from experiments in airplane aerodynamics to an up-close-and-personal visit with predatory birds. A student engaging in all of our classes and workshops will explore art, science, math and language arts along with interage social experiences and community-building.”
Smith’s daughter Jayla says, “I think Flight is a great theme with a lot of ways to expand on it and come up with something creative. It is a perfect opportunity for homeschoolers to meet each other, be inspired by each other’s artwork and explore this theme. The show has motivated me to work in different media and think outside of the box.”
Stay tuned for upcoming exhibitions: According to Fowler, “We’re hoping this will become a model for future adventures.”
The community is invited to attend a free public launch party for the Flight exhibit on Saturday, April 5 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Cornell Street Studios, in conjunction with Kingston First Saturday. The show will be on view until April 18.
On Saturday, April 12 from 3 to 4 p.m., the public is invited to a presentation of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center Bird Encounter. Participants will meet raptors – three owls and a hawk – learn about their natural history and what can be done to help them to thrive in our region. This program is open to all ages. The cost is a sliding-scale donation of $10 to $25 per family, and preregistration is requested.
Cornell Street Studios are located at 168 Cornell Street in Kingston. For Ravensbeard reservations or more information about Flight, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. A complete schedule of events can be viewed at www.facebook.com/flightpass. To learn more about the animal presentation, visit www.ravensbeard.org.
Inquiring Minds in New Paltz hosts YA author Jennifer Castle
In Jennifer Castle’s Young Adult novel You Look Different in Real Life, the main character, Justine, reflects on the process of making a reality show, like the one in which she had starred herself: “Leslie once told me that a film isn’t made by shooting stuff but rather, by editing it. The shooting is the inspiration and the ideas and the paint palette. The editing is the artist actually picking up the brush to accomplish the doing, the making something out of nothing.”
Intrigued? Round up your teens for Castle’s reading and discussion of her book this Saturday, April 5 at 4 p.m. at “Reality Reads! Young Adult Fiction Inspired by Reality TV and Documentaries.” Castle will be joined by Laurie Boyle Crompton, author of the YA book The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High, which centers around Shannon’s experience in the reality show Prom Queen Wannabees. This event is free and open to the public, and I highly recommend it to all of you with teens.
Inquiring Minds is located at 6 Church Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-8300 or visit www.inquiringbooks.com. To learn more about the authors, visit www.jennifercastle.com and www.lboylecrompton.com.
The Treehouse in New Paltz relocates & expands
Many of you know that I get pretty enthusiastic about the Treehouse shop. Well, guess what? It’s even better now! The Treehouse has moved around the corner into a street-level, larger space, which means a tailor shop and an expansive list of classes for children and adults – such as the hand-sewing class that I’m taking, and the machine-sewing class that I’m taking, and art classes that my kids are taking and more. That’s not to mention an upcoming Parents’ Night Out series, which is perfect because, instead of losing time driving to your date destination, you can just walk to any number of dining options after dropping off your crew for an evening of fun and crafting.
After you attend the reading at Inquiring Minds, stroll down the block for the Treehouse’s ribbon-cutting and second anniversary/shopwarming party on Saturday, April 5 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The Treehouse is located at 17 Church Street in New Paltz. For classes or more information, call (845) 802-1197 or visit www.treehousenewpaltz.com.