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National Comedy Center to Open ‘Carl Reiner: Keep Laughing’ Exhibit

Jamestown, NY – As the world remembers the late comedy legend Carl Reiner on his 100th birthday this Sunday, March 20, the National Comedy Center – the United States’ official cultural institution dedicated to the art form of comedy, and the home of Reiner’s career archive — continues digitizing and preserving rare documents, scripts and artifacts spanning Reiner’s extraordinary career in preparation for its new, multi-media exhibit: Carl Reiner: Keep Laughing, debuting on July 1, 2022. 

The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress. Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the non-profit National Comedy Center, which opened in 2018, showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. The Comedy Center’s mission is to provide education on the comedic arts in the form of commentary and contextualization of its bodies of work across all eras and genres of the art form. The museum complex offers an unprecedented, immersive visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization.

The new exhibit will showcase hundreds of never-before-seen archival materials spanning Reiner’s remarkable seven decades as a writer, director, producer, author, and performer. Visitors will explore interactive stations that feature rare audiovisual clips, creative papers, photographs, and dimensional artifacts that intimately chronicle a lifetime of creative output: from Reiner’s early years as a performer on Sid Caesar’s legendary Your Show of Shows to his creation of the seminal The Dick Van Dyke Show, from his collaboration with Mel Brooks on the Grammy-winning 2000 Year Old Man to his acclaimed cinematic partnership with Steve Martin (The Jerk, All of Me and more), and across his far-reaching contributions to the comedic art form. The exhibit will run throughout 2022 and beyond.

On the occasion of Reiner’s 100th birthday, the National Comedy Center released images of select artifacts and documents which will be on display in the exhibit, including Reiner’s typewriter case and original, typed manuscript for the first episode of Head of the Family – which would become the legendary The Dick Van Dyke Show; rare photos of Reiner with Mel Brooks, with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, and with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore; the cowboy hat that Reiner wore in the final episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show; and a manila envelope with Reiner’s New Rochelle, NY address on Bonnie Meadow Road (just one number off from Rob Petrie’s address in The Dick Van Dyke Show)  in which he kept early short stories, and more. 

Reiner, who was a founding Advisory Board member of the National Comedy Center, will also be celebrated with a special event, Carl Reiner at 100 – Celebrating a Comedy Legacy, on July 27, 2022, as the National Comedy Center partners with nearby, world-renowned Chautauqua Institution for an evening program featuring those who knew them best – including children Annie, Lucas and Rob Reiner, and best friend Mel Brooks – joining together for a one-of-a-kind evening of laughter as they reflect on Reiner’s life, career and legacy. The presentation will feature in-person and video appearances by special guests as well as rare footage from the National Comedy Center’s new exhibit.

With a multi-faceted career spanning television, film, stage, record albums, books and even social media, Carl Reiner, who passed away in June of 2020, was a twelve-time Emmy® award-winner, a Grammy® award-winner and a recipient of The Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, 

Reiner was an early advocate and an instrumental supporter for the National Comedy Center’s vision to celebrate comedy as an art form. In 2021, the National Comedy Center formally named its ongoing work to preserve comedy’s heritage in honor of Reiner. The Carl Reiner Department of Archives and Preservation serves as the central hub for all archival and preservation work within the Comedy Center, as it continues its mission to present the history of comedy and preserve comedy’s heritage for future generations. 

The Carl Reiner Department of Archives and Preservation is an incubator for the study and dissemination of comedy history, and a resource for educating artists, students, scholars and the public about comedy’s great minds and unique voices. The Department leads research, conservation and exhibition activities throughout the organization, including the acquisition of artifacts, documents and audiovisual materials that chronicle the story of comedy across all genres and eras of the art form.

Reiner’s career archive includes thousands of pages of creative papers and business correspondence; unpublished comedy material; rare photographs, film footage and audio recordings from his personal and professional life; and industry awards, including his Emmys and Mark Twain Prize. The comprehensive collection includes early drafts and final scripts written by Reiner throughout his career with his handwritten annotations – from the earliest material from his Army days and “Your Show of Shows” sketches to all 158 “Dick Van Dyke Show” scripts, and his film screenplays. Also included are the chairs and TV trays used for years by Reiner and his best friend and frequent collaborator ­­– comedy legend Mel Brooks ­– as they would spend evenings together eating dinner and watching television.

The National Comedy Center has collaborated with dozens of artists and estates to preserve materials that represent comedy’s significant artistic, social, and political contributions to American culture including collections illustrating the careers of legendary artists like George Carlin, Lucille Ball, Lenny Bruce, The Smothers Brothers, and the development of groundbreaking creative work such as sketch comedy series In Living ColorSaturday Night Live and more.

The National Comedy Center’s Advisory Board includes the recent addition of Tiffany Haddish – filling the seat held by the late Carl Reiner – along with Jim Gaffigan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Paula Poundstone, Pixar’s Pete Docter, Paul Feig, Kelly Carlin, and more. 

Within the Comedy Center’s museum galleries, more than 50 interactive exhibits and immersive experiences employ cutting-edge technology to present the story of comedy from its origins to the present day – using archival documents, artifacts, and media as their core. 

The museum’s educational programming on the art form has featured George Lopez, Margaret Cho, Norman Lear, Tiffany Haddish, Debra Messing, Rain Pryor (daughter of Richard Pryor), Jay Leno, Kenan Thompson, Gabriel Iglesias, Ben Stiller, John Cleese, Jimmy Fallon, Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and many more. 

Plan your visit to the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY at ComedyCenter.org. Tickets for the special event on July 27 can be purchased now by calling 716-357-6250 or online at tickets.chq.org starting May 3rd.

The National Comedy Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural institution whose mission is funded by philanthropic support. Donations and grants support the museum and its work to present the vital story of comedy and preserve its heritage for future generations. Visit Comedycenter.org for details.

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Eleven Projects Receive 2020 New York State Historic Preservation Awards

Historic Hudson Masked Tour: Statewide Historic Preservation Advocacy Organizations were recognized with an Excellence in Historic Preservation Organizational Achievement award. “2020 was unprecedented in its impacts to communities across New York State. The state’s preservation organizations rose to the challenge of programming during a global pandemic and tumultuous political year. Their ingenuity, resilience, and creativity proved that preservation is imperative to quality of life and will be essential in navigating the path to economic recovery.” (Photo by NYS Parks)

Eleven projects preserving New York State’s history, ranging from an eighteenth-century Dutch barn rehabilitation to an artist installation memorializing black lives at John Brown Farm State Historic Site, have received 2020 State Historic Preservation Awards. 

Created in 1980, the State Historic Preservation Awards are awarded by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation each year to honor excellence in the protection and revitalization of historic and cultural resources. The Governor also signed legislation in 2013 to bolster state use of rehabilitation tax credits, which have spurred billions of dollars in completed investments of historic commercial properties and tens of millions in owner-occupied historic homes.

“The 2020 New York State Historic Preservation Awards help bolster efforts to keep New York’s storied history protected and accessible to all,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”These historic projects demonstrate the diversity of lived New York experiences since our state’s founding. New York is thankful to the dedicated stewards of each site, who provide invaluable support by devoting countless hours to the protection of historic sites for all to learn from and enjoy.”

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said“The diversity of the projects being recognized demonstrates that preservation begins with passionate local individuals expanding their advocacy into productive partnerships. We are proud to be one of those partners and congratulate all of the individuals and groups for their extraordinary efforts to preserve these historic places.”  

This year’s 2020 State Historic Preservation Awards recipients are:

Binghamton Carnegie Library, Broome County

Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation 

The former Carnegie Library in downtown Binghamton was transformed into SUNY Broome’s Culinary and Events Center serving the school’s hospitality programs. The $21.5 million dollar rehabilitation project successfully made use to commercial tax credits to revitalize the historic building into a state-of-the art education and event facility. 

Cropsey Barn, New City, Rockland County

Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation & Conservation 

The Cropsey family has made an extraordinary commitment in the rehabilitation and long-term use of a New York State and National Register listed property. In fear of losing an agricultural site to sprawl, the family transferred ownership of their eighteenth-century barn and land to the county with a restrictive covenant ensuring its agricultural future. Working with a group of traditional trades craftspeople and building conservators, the barn had been fully restored and is now used by the local County Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) association for planting and harvesting organically grown products. 

Holley Gardens, Village of Holley, Orleans County

Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation

Constructed between 1930 and 1931, the former Holley High had been vacant since 1975.  In 2020, Home Leasing and Edgemere Development completed a dramatic rehabilitation of the building that has created 41 affordable housing units for seniors and new office and meeting space for the village government. The developers utilized both the state Historic Tax Credit and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit programs to assist with the adaptive reuse.  

Dr. Ferguson’s House, Glens Falls, Warren County

Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation 

When Dr. Ferguson’s House became threatened with demolition, local preservationists Darren & Lisa Tracy stepped in to rescue it. With careful planning and cooperation, the Tracys rehabilitated the 1870 National Register-listed building using Federal & State Historic Tax Credits for use as an apartment building, thereby saving an important community treasure.

Onderdonck-Tallman-Budke House, Clarkstown, Rockland County

Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation

Constructed between the 1790s and 1870s, and last occupied in the 1930s, the Onderdonck-Tallman-Budke House had fallen into disrepair. With the help of town funds, the historic sandstone Dutch house was painstakingly restored and serves as an educational resource in Clarkstown’s Germonds Park.  

Fire Watchtower at Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem, New York City

Excellence in Historic Structure Rehabilitation 

Known to many as the Harlem Fire Watchtower, the 1856 cast iron structure at Marcus Garvey Park is a community landmark owned by the City of New York. Spurred by citizen advocacy, a public-private partnership was established to restore Watchtower, which resulted in sizable contributions from the New York City Council, Mayor, and Borough President’s offices. The resulting rehabilitation preserves an enduring symbol of Harlem’s identity and historic legacy.  

Carnegie Libraries of New York City

Excellence in Historic Documentation  

What began in 2009 as a project by the Historic Districts Council to survey Carnegie Libraries in New York City, culminated in the creation of a Multiple Property Documentation Form that was approved by the National Park Service in September 2020. Establishing the significance of these resources facilitates future listings for these beloved community buildings.

Mary E. Bell House, Center Moriches, Long Island

Excellence in Organizational Achievement  

The restoration and historic registers listing of the Mary E. Bell House preserves a history of black landownership on Long Island during the nineteenth century and documents the central role of women within the Moriches African American community. Constructed in 1872, the home was occupied by the Smith and Bell families for more than 100 years. Owner Mary Bell rose to prominence in the community for her association with the Moriches AME Zion Church. By 2011, the house had fallen into disrepair. The town of Brookhaven acquired the property and a formal agreement with the Ketcham Inn Foundation was entered to restore the building, which now operates as historic site.

Village of Heuvelton, St. Lawrence County 

Excellence in Archeology Stewardship

The Village of Heuvelton unexpectedly discovered several historic burials of the former village “old cemetery” during a water tank and sewer rehabilitation project. Through careful research and coordination with agencies involved, the village successfully and sensitively navigated the challenges of excavating the human remains for further study and re-interment.

Memorial Field for Black Lives, John Brown Farm State Historic Site, Essex County

Excellence in Historic Site Interpretation and Public Engagement

Working with the not-for-profit group John Brown Lives!, Artist Karen Davidson Seward created the Memorial Field for Black Lives as a space to acknowledge the struggle for equality in America in response to the brutal murders of unarmed Black Americans and widespread protests this summer. The exhibit debuted at John Brown Farm State Historic Site, the home and final resting place of an abolitionist who gave his life to end slavery.

Statewide Historic Preservation Advocacy Organizations

Excellence in Historic Preservation Organizational Achievement 

2020 was unprecedented in its impacts to communities across New York State. The state’s preservation organizations rose to the challenge of programming during a global pandemic and tumultuous political year. Their ingenuity, resilience, and creativity proved that preservation is imperative to quality of life and will be essential in navigating the path to economic recovery.  

New York’s Division for Historic Preservation helps communities identify, evaluate, preserve and revitalize their historic, archeological, and cultural resources. The Division works with governments, the public, and educational and not-for-profit organizations to raise historic preservation awareness, to instill in New Yorkers a sense of pride in the state’s unique history and to encourage heritage tourism and community revitalization.

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New York’s Corn Mazes, Pick-Your-Own, Hayrides, Haunted Houses, Farmers Markets Open for Visits this Fall

New York State will be offering fall festivals that support the state’s agribusiness and agritourism, such as with this “Taste of New York” stand on the NY Thruway, with COVID-19 precautions in place. (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

This fall, you can enjoy your favorite corn mazes, pick-your-own-fruit and vegetable activities, hayrides and haunted houses, plus farmers’ markets and craft beverage trails in New York State.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new state guidance for agritourism businesses as New York State enters the fall season. The businesses, which include corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operations, hayrides and haunted houses, are considered low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment and are permitted to operate under New York’s NY Forward guidance. New Yorkers can also visit the State’s farmers’ markets and craft beverage trails, which have remained open under State guidance, supporting agriculture and tourism in the state.

“New York State’s amazing outdoor attractions and recreational opportunities are a boon for families and communities during the fall season each year, and we want New Yorkers to be able to enjoy this time with their family responsibly and safely,” Governor Cuomo said. “The new guidance announced today will ensure that these businesses can open to the public, allowing families to enjoy their favorite fall activities while providing a boost for our farming communities and local economies.”

“As one of the nation’s top agricultural states, New York traditionally comes together in the fall to celebrate the harvest—from apples to grapes to pumpkins,” State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said. “This year, while things may not look exactly the same on your favorite farm, I am happy to say we can still celebrate agriculture’s bounty and the many family-friendly activities that go with it. With this new guidance, we hope New Yorkers will be able to enjoy some of the best of New York agriculture in a safe and socially distanced manner.” 

The businesses that can reopen are subject to Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment and Public Transportation guidance. Guidance includes, but is not limited to:

Corn Mazes – permitted consistent with Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties

Hayrides – permitted consistent with Public Transportation guidance and the following conditions:

  • Mandatory face coverings
  • Social distance required between individuals/parties
  • Frequently touched surfaces, such as handrails, cleaned and sanitized between rides

Pick-Your-Own Fruit/Vegetables Operations – permitted consistent with Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties.

Haunted Houses – permitted consistent with Low Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

  • Reduced capacity
  • Face coverings required
  • Social distance maintained between individuals/parties

Petting zoos are not permitted.

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has issued a full slate of guidelines for the agricultural industry, including guidance for farmers’ markets and for its food and beverage producers. All guidance can be found at https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus.

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Newly Unveiled Illuminated Fountain on Cayuga-Seneca Canal Celebrates Seneca Falls’ Contribution to Suffrage Movement

The 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill building in Seneca Falls is now the home of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. New York State has just unveiled an illuminated fountain on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in Seneca Falls, a touchstone place for the Women’s Rights Movement in the United States, as part of the state’s programming commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the installation of an illuminated fountain on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in Seneca Falls as part of the state’s programming commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Placed just offshore from where the first Women’s Rights Convention was held in 1848, the fountain is a joint initiative by the New York Power Authority, Canal Corporation and Seneca Falls Development Corporation offering New Yorkers a way to celebrate New York’s role in the suffrage story and our state’s history of bold women visionaries.

As part of the New York State Canal system, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal was integral in not only transporting goods from the Atlantic to Western New York, but in connecting people and fostering the spread of progressive ideals – from women’s rights to abolition.

“It was here in Seneca Falls that New Yorkers came together to demand equal rights for women under the Constitution, drafting their Declaration of Sentiments that solidified the focus of the suffrage movement,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new symbol serves as a tribute to all women who have persevered in the fight for equality; and a reminder to all of us that we still have work to do to fully achieve equality for all.”

On display daily from September 2nd through September 8th, the illuminated fountain will spray water 80 feet into the air over the Cayuga-Seneca Canal and each evening beginning at 8:26 pm, the fountain lights will cycle through the colors of purple, white, and gold to signify the centennial of the 19th Amendment.

“Today we commemorate New York women who challenged their place in society and paved the way for future generations to be active and more equal participants in our democracy,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Chair of the New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission said. “The brave suffragists who stood up, spoke out and demanded change made it possible for women to vote and run for office. The actions of these women and countless others are why I am proud to stand here today, representing the great State of New York. As the birthplace of the women’s rights movement, we must uphold their legacy and continue our fight for equal rights and opportunities for all women.”

The fountain features a pump from the largest pump manufacturer in the world—ITT Gould Pumps, founded just months before the first Women’s Convention, and still headquartered in Seneca Falls.

Events and activities highlighting how the state’s canals shaped our nation’s history continue through New York’sReimagine the Canals initiative, a plan to transform the iconic waterway, encourage new visitors to explore recreational and cultural attractions, and improve resilience and economic stability for communities along the entire Canal system.

New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil Quiniones said, “Many of the 19th Century’s most influential social reform movements flourished along the banks of New York’s canals, especially in Central and Western New York. As the stewards of the historic Canal system, we celebrate its role in historical movements, like women’s suffrage, that make us proud to call New York home. We are committed to not only upholding the legacy of our early trailblazers for the rights of women but building on that movement and fostering a more inclusive and just state for everyone.”

Quiniones also highlighted the New York Power Authority’s Women in Power initiative, an employee-led group focused on gender equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace—fostering a supportive network for women through mentorship, education, and events, such as an upcoming forum on the progress of women in public service.

Director of the New York State Canal Corporation Brian U. Stratton said,”Today we celebrate the long-standing fight for equality and the beliefs that flourished and flowed along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal to the far reaches of the entire Canal system. At a time when communities across New York State and the nation are again seeking new ways to promote equality and spur change, we are proud to reflect on the storied history of this great waterway, and its role in the long fight for progress.”

Board Chair of the Seneca Falls Development Corporation Joell Murney-Karsten said,”The Seneca Falls community is proud of our rich, empowering history that draws visitors from across the world to come experience this storied place. Today’s dedication celebrates our role in American history, but also inspires us to look forward, to explore new ways to tell our story, and invite new residents and businesses to join us in this beautiful Town along the Canal.”

In addition to viewing the fountain, visitors to Seneca Falls may also kayak for free along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal through Labor Day as part of the NY Canal Staycation campaign. They may also visit the nearby National Women’s Hall of Fame at the Seneca Knitting Mill

See also:

Centennial of 19th Amendment is Great Time to Follow in Footsteps of Suffragists in New York State

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Registration Opens for Parks & Trails New York’s 18th Annual 400-Mile Cycle the Erie Canal Bike Tour

Cycle the Erie riders bike on the Medina section of the trail built over a rushing creek that drops into waterfalls, with an extraordinary angled turn that displays the engineering genius of the builders © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Cycle the Erie riders bike on the Medina section of the trail built over a rushing creek that drops into waterfalls, with an extraordinary angled turn that displays the engineering genius of the builders © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Registration is now open for Parks & Trails New York’s 18th annual Cycle the Erie Canal 400-mile, eight-day bike tour, an unparalleled opportunity to experience great cycling while taking in the rich history of the legendary canal that helped transform America.

The 2016 tour kicks off in Buffalo on July 10 and arrives in Albany on July 17. This year, the Cycle the Erie Canal tour offers:

2-day and 4-day Options: If you can’t take off a full week, consider joining us for half the tour or for a weekend. With 4-day options from Buffalo to Syracuse and Syracuse to Albany, you’re halfway to becoming an Erie Canalway Trail End-to-Ender. These shorter options are great for children, too.

Return Shuttle: Riders from Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and points west will be happy to hear we’ll once again be offering our return shuttle from Albany to Buffalo at the end of the ride. Less driving means more time to discover the Erie Canal, and there is so much to discover.

Erie Canal Trailblazers: Interested in cycling the whole tour for only $100? Become a Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer and help PTNY promote the Erie Canalway Trail and bicycle tourism! Registration includes a free Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer jersey and guidebook and special recognition on the tour. Learn more.

Last year’s ride had more than 600 riders and was frankly amazing, with all the sights to see and special activities arranged, not to mention to comradery and the adventure of camping out. The trip – superbly organized – really touches on all pistons.

For more information about Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583 or email eriecanaltour@ptny.org. Also, check out the new Cycle the Erie Canal website to learn more about all the Erie Canalway Trail has to offer.

See our series from the 17th Annual Cycle the Erie bike tour:

Cycle the Erie Canal 400-mile tour affords extraordinary view of ‘Real America’ and slideshow

Cycle the Erie 400-Mile Bike Tour: Lockport, a Town Birthed by the Erie Canal and slideshow

Cycle the Erie ride reaches Seneca Falls, Birthplace of Women’s Rights Movement and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: National Women’s Hall of Fame personifies struggle, achievement and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Seneca Falls to Syracuse crossing half-way mark of 400-mile tour and slideshow

Syracuse’s Erie Canal Museum Highlights Day 5 on 400-Mile Cycle the Erie Tour and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Fort Stanwix, Rome, Brings Revolutionary War Era to Life and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Remington Gun Museum links history to current issues and slideshow

400 miles and 400 years of history, Cycle the Erie tour crosses finish at Albany and slideshow



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