TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, invites the community to see its latest exhibit “‘Look Down, You’ll See Our Tracks’: Raquette River Dam Stories” before it closes on October 21, 2017.
The Raquette River, which flows from Blue Mountain Lake to the St. Lawrence River, is one of the most heavily dammed rivers in New York State. From 2014 to 2016, TAUNY partnered with the Raquette River Blueway Corridor Group, the Village of Potsdam, and Watertown PBS to document the stories of people involved in or significantly affected by the construction of the hydroelectric dams and powerhouses along the Raquette River.
The project recorded thirty interviews with thirty-one individuals with significant connections to the Raquette River hydro projects, and collected thousands of images including maps, records, and photos of life along the Raquette River past and present. Interviewees represent a range of occupations, locations, time periods, and types of relationship to the dam projects.
This exhibit shares the stories and perspectives of those interviewed for the project as well as the broader story of how the river itself and life along its banks have been shaped by the hydroelectric dam projects. It includes thematic panels about work and life related to the dams, audio samples from interviews, objects representing the dams and river life past and present, and more, that will give visitors a chance to dive a little deeper into the history of hydro development on the Raquette and its ongoing effects on life in the area.
The series of programs accompanying the exhibit is also coming to a close. The two remaining programs, an afternoon song-writing workshop with Greg Cornell and an evening screening of the film Skydancer with special guests Sky and Bear Fox, will both take place on Saturday, October 14th at The TAUNY Center. Further details at www.tauny.org.
The oral history project this exhibit is based on was made possible by the support of the New York Department of State with funds provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund. Interviews were conducted primarily by Camilla Ammirati, Director of Research and Programs at TAUNY in Canton, NY, and Mary Jane Watson of South Colton, NY, in cooperation with Roque Murray of WPBS-TV.
Funding for this exhibit was provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Raquette River Fund supported by the Raquette River Advisory Council, Colton Historical Society—Sunday Rock Legacy Project, Raquette River Blueway Corridor, and Donaldson Funeral Home and Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home.
The exhibit received support from J.C. Merriman’s, Inc., The Bicknell Corporation, TJ Toyota, Pease & Gustafson, LLP, The UPS Store, Potsdam, and Gary M. Throop, Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Additional support was provided by APC Paper and Potsdam Specialty Paper, Inc.
The TAUNY Center is located at 53 Main Street, Downtown Canton, NY. TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people understand and appreciate the folk traditions and local culture of everyday life–present and past–in the North Country. To do so, TAUNY seeks to research and preserve a record of diverse groups, customs and traditions; to recognize and empower traditional arts and artists; to identify and promote regional identity; and to provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn about folklore and culture. More information is available at tauny.org.