“Striving for Freedom” Performed at Hyde Park

Teaching the Hudson Valley Institute – JHC Presents “Striving For Freedom” 

The 2016 theme of “Find Your Park, Gain a Classroom” attracted a keenly focused crowd of teachers and other museum historical site educators to this year’s Teaching the Hudson Valley 2016 Summer Institute. Over 85 environmentalists, curators, park rangers and local legislators gathered at the FDR Home & Presidential Library to hone their storytelling skills, identify expert resources and share successes with others. Registrants enjoyed live performances (like our unique play Striving For Freedom – SFF), music (jazz compositions by TK Blue inspired by the journey of Solomon Northrup), thoughtful panel discussions, field excursions and more.
Topics ranged from practical – finding aid to pay for school buses to motivational – promoting community pride and civic advocacy. The information was pertinent; the panelists and speakers were passionate. The easy camaraderie between naturalists and historians was particularly inspiring – for us, the chance to network with a wide spectrum of parks’ stakeholders at the same forum was another positive aspect of the conference.
We are very much looking forward to working with many of the NPS representatives, environmentalists and educators we met in the future – we made so many new contacts! An extra big thank you to our actors Joy Kelly and Christa Victoria whose outstanding thespian talents and dedication make SFF an unforgettable experience. We’re excited by the feedback and many new school sign-ups! Thanks to a grant from Con Edison we can offer SFF to schools free of charge; next we hope to be able to help fund transportation to bring schools to see it.