Historic Huguenot Street Earns $20K Grant

For the 2020 fiscal year, Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) was awarded a $20,000 Arts Implementation Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

The grant will be used to fund the museum and public programs “related to the national centennial of votes for women,” according to the grant. According to the state’s official tourism website iloveny.com, the new programs will include lectures, a book club, partnerships, a new school program and an “immersive theater experience” called “Pathway to The Ballot Box.” These programs will be implemented in 2020. 

“HHS is honored to have received such generous funding from the New York Council of the Arts in support of its 2020 programming,” said Director of Public Programming Kara Augustine. “These programs and exhibits are designed to allow the museum to openly portray and discuss the historic and universal struggle for women’s rights and the ongoing fight for equality.” 

According to their website, the NYSCA works to preserve and expand “diverse” cultural resources “that are and will become the heritage of New York’s citizens” by providing grants to non-profits.

The NYSCA specifically accepts grant applications from non-profits “incorporated or registered to do business in New York State, Native American tribes in New York State, and units of government in municipalities in New York State.”

HHS is a non-profit museum that is chartered as an “educational corporation by the University of the State of New York Department of Education.” HHS was founded in 1894 “as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve the nationally acclaimed collection of stone houses,” which date back to the early 18th century.

With this grant, HHS will be able to partner with organizations including the Lifetime Learning Institute, the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Region and the SUNY New Paltz Music Department.

According to Augustine, HHS’ new school program will “strongly emphasize the lives, roles and responsibilities of Esopus Munsee, African and twentieth century New Paltz women who have lived and thrived on Huguenot Street for generations.”

The program will include a tour of Huguenot Street’s Victorian Deyo-Brodhead mansion, an interactive learning experience in Huguenot Street’s replica Esopus Munsee wigwam, a town hall style debate “that will challenge students to take on the persona of an early twentieth century New Paltz resident and decide whether or not the women of the town should be granted suffrage and a hands-on craft that will teach students about the common domestic work of early New Paltz women.”

In addition, the 2020 “feature” program “Pathway to the Ballot Box,” will take place across HHS both inside and outside the houses. HHS is collaborating with PJ Griffith of ClockJack Productions “to assist with the program’s conceptualization, development and production.”

“[‘Pathway to The Ballot Box’] combines art, history and the humanities in a way that is unique for the Hudson Valley,” Augustine said.

HHS’ 2020 programming will begin as early as Jan. 18 with their Suffrage Speaker Series. The talk will be presented by the, co-authors of “Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State,” Dr. Susan Goodier and Dr. Karen Pastorello. 

“HHS would not be able to implement these programs without the support of NYSCA,” Augustine said.