Monday, April 30, 2007

We're Honored!

Committee 150 to receive "Sense of Place" Award
at 8th Annual Albany History Fair

ALBANY, N.Y. – The 8th Annual Albany History Fair will feature music, tours, displays and activities for the entire family from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, at the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center at Quackenbush Square, corner of Broadway and Clinton Avenue in downtown Albany.

This year's theme is Paw Print on History: The Impact of Animals and Pets on Albany’s Past.

“Important to both Albany’s past and present are the animals that have made an impact on our skyline, architecture and daily lives,” said Michele Vennard, President and CEO of the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACCVB), which operates the Visitors Center. Admission to the Fair is free and the public is invited. Free parking is available off Broadway via Spencer Street.

The 2007 History Fair celebrates Albany’s animals in many ways:
  • Fur, Feathers and Feet: a downtown walking tour with Tony Opalka, local historic preservationist, explores the use of animals in architectural design and street layout;
  • Kids’ Corner: with “Dog Tales and Other Stories” about famous Albany animals; a scavenger hunt for families; animal crafts and games; live sheep; an appearance by the Albany Aqua Ducks’ mascot, Alfalfa, and hands-on activities, presented by the Albany County 4-H;
  • Farm animals from Indian Ladder Farms;
  • Exhibits, such as Albany’s Bunnie States of America from Historic Cherry Hill, which was home to not only five generations of the Van Rensselaer family, but also to a menagerie of animals and pets throughout its 200-year history;
  • Displays by local historical and cultural organizations;
  • Selected works by fine art instructor Blue Lake Hawk; and
  • The FireFlies performing traditional dance music from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The History Fair will also feature special musical guest Dave Ruch. Equal parts historian, entertainer, educator, comedian and folklorist, Ruch brings musical gems to life in a most entertaining style. His performance is made possible through Speakers in the Humanities, a program of the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Within walking distance of the Visitors Center, the Ten Broeck Mansion will have a variety of displays and activities throughout the afternoon during its “Living History Day.” St. Joseph’s Church will also be open to the public during the afternoon.

As part of the History Fair, the 5th Annual Sense of Place Awards will be presented, honoring and celebrating the historic treasures, people, places, events ... and animals ... that make Albany unique.

The 2007 honorees are:

  • Committee 150 for its grassroots role in saving one of Albany's great landmarks -- St. Joseph's Church;
  • Hartgen Archeological Associates for its role in unearthing, preserving and interpreting those archeological features that make Albany special;
  • Arnoff Moving & Storage for its role in preserving an Albany icon, Nipper; and
  • The 4-H Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County, for its role in preserving Albany's agricultural past.

The 8th Annual History Fair is sponsored by Historic Cherry Hill, Historic Albany Foundation, Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center and the Times Union. For more information, call the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center at 518-434-0405 or visit

The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. ACCVB currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. ACCVB also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium and the Albany International Airport Information Center. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 and/or visit


Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Wine & Delectables" ~ Sunday, 4/15

Event at Historic Woman’s Club of Albany to Benefit Committee 150

ALBANY, NY – (4/12/2007) – The public is invited to a “wine and delectables” reception at the historic Woman’s Club of Albany (WCA) on Sunday, April 15, from 3 – 5:30 p.m. The event is part of Committee 150’s campaign to raise funds to stabilize the former St. Joseph’s Church in Albany.

Hosted by local artist Lynda Porter, the reception will feature tours of the 1895 Victorian mansion which has served as the Woman’s Club headquarters since 1919. Piano music and a display of rare old photographs of Albany – including some from the archives of the WCA – will round out the afternoon.

The Woman’s Club of Albany is located at 725 Madison Avenue, just west of South Lake Avenue. The suggested donation for the reception is $25. For more information or to RSVP, please call 518-626-0931 or email .

“This is one of the final opportunities people will have to attend a Committee 150 event,” said Colleen Ryan, who co-founded the grassroots effort last year. “To date, Committee 150 has raised over $97,000. This amount has been matched – 50¢ on the dollar – by a generous leadership grant from Mrs. Candace King Weir, bringing our total raised to more than $145,000. With a few more parties scheduled for this spring, we are confident that we will meet our goal.”

A Celebration of Committee 150 is slated for June 28 to officially wrap up the work of the committee. “We are looking forward to celebrating a job well done, and to seeing the work that's been done to help St. Joseph's keep its place in the Albany skyline for the next 150 years,” said Ryan.

For more information about Committee 150, or to contribute, visit, or email .