ADKX Presents Live Virtual Events with Monday Evening Xploration Series

Press Room

BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE, N.Y. – July 1, 2020 – Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX), announces new live programs starting this Monday, July 6 at 7:30 pm.

Beginning on July 6, 2020, the Adirondack Experience will be offering programs at 7:30 pm on most Mondays. The museum is reformatting its traditional summer Monday Evening Xplorations speaker series for a virtual platform. These engaging programs will feature experts in Adirondack history and culture in conversation with staff from the museum along with Q&A with the virtual attendees. These programs will livestream monthly on the 1st and 3rd Mondays.

The speaker series is free for museum members. Non-members are asked to contribute a “Pay What You Can” donation and non-member attendance will be limited to the first 100 registrations. All programs require registration through theADKX.org website.

July 6, 7:30pm: The Legacy of Harvey Kaiser’s Great Camps of the Adirondacks with Steven Engelhart

This program will explore the importance of the region’s rustic architecture, the role that Kaiser’s Great Camps had in its appreciation and stewardship, and some of the unintended consequences of this success.

Steven Engelhart is the Executive Director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the regional historic preservation organization of the Adirondack Park, with a mission to promote better public understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the region’s built environment. Steven is a native of the region and has a B.A. from SUNY Plattsburgh and a M.S. in historic preservation from the University of Vermont. He is the author of Crossing the River: Historic Bridges of the AuSable River, a small book about bridges and local history of the AuSable Valley. He also wrote the foreword to the new edition of Harvey Kaiser’s Great Camps of the Adirondacks. He resides in Essex. 

July 20, 7:30pm: Rural Rosie (encore program) with Katie Torchetti

Find out how the women of the Adirondacks stepped up during wartime to protect their country, keep up morale, and find resourceful ways to make a living while they were left to be the family breadwinners.

Katie Torchetti has a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis on Secondary Social Studies Education and History from SUNY Potsdam. She has taught a variety of grade levels in the public school system before taking time off to have a family. Katie currently homeschools her two children and teaches outside the home in a variety of programs including high school history and English with a local learning cooperative, ministry college courses, and tutoring.


August 3, 7:30pm: Doghiker: A Talk about Hiking with Dogs with Alan Via

In addition to 77 great hikes with dogs, Alan will discuss proper trail etiquette for dog owners, Leave No Trace (LNT), and review getting a dog, training for hiking, safeguarding your dog, first aid, field first aid, and gear.

Alan Via is an author and outdoors enthusiast who lives in New York’s Capital Region. Alan has been a hiker and hike leader for 40 years. His resume includes multiple rounds of the Adirondack 46, including the winter 46. He’s completed the ADK100, NE111 highest, the Catskill 200 highest, and has hiked and led trips to America’s western peaks over the years. Alan feels he’s been fortunate to have been a companion to 8 dogs since childhood. In addition to numerous hiking-related articles in a variety of publications, he’s the author of The Catskill 67: A Hiker’s Guide to the Catskill 100 Highest Peaks under 3500’ and Doghiker: Great Hikes with Dogs from the Adirondacks through the Catskills.

August 17, 7:30pm: Arts in the Adirondacks in the Age of Coronavirus with Kimberley A. Bouchard, Chris Leifheit, Allison Studdiford, and Nathalie Costa Thill

This evening presentation will feature an actor reading a diary excerpt from a WWII North Creek soldier and a discussion about how cultural organizations in the Adirondacks are adapting to the challenges of this time—the most momentous period in US history since World War II.

  • Kimberley A. Bouchard is the Artistic Director of Pendragon Theatre. She has directed over 70 productions in professional and educational theatre in the US, Canada, Spain, England, and Mexico and is a Professor Emeritus of the State University of New York, Potsdam, where she taught theatre arts for 24 years.
  • Chris Leifheit studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Chapman College in Orange, California. He first acted at Pendragon Theatre in 1997 and has performed in over 25 productions since then.
  • Allison Studdiford is currently the Associate Artistic Director for Pendragon Theatre. She is a director and an AEA and SAG/AFTRA actor who was based in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. She is also a co-founder of TheatreFirst, a professional theatre company in Berkeley. Her dad, Andy Studdiford, worked in the boat building at the Adirondack Experience, and she is very happy to be back home.
  • Nathalie Costa Thillhas been the Executive Director of the Adirondack Center for Writing, the literary organization serving the entire Adirondack Park, since soon after its inception in 1999. Nathalie sits on the board of LiTTAP, a state-wide group whose mission is to share challenges and best practices of literary organizations and presses to raise the level of awareness of the literary arts throughout New York.

September 7, 7:30pm: Anne LaBastille: Trailblazer and Hellraiser with Leslie Surprenant

Explore the life and legacy of Adirondack “Woodswoman” author and internationally-recognized conservationist Anne LaBastille, PhD. Through this discussion, Leslie Surprenant, a long-time friend and LaBastille’s estate executor, shares the exceptional life story of this trailblazer.

Leslie Surprenant is an Adirondack native and was a long-time friend of conservationist and author, Anne LaBastille. LaBastille surprised Leslie by nominating her to execute her estate—which Leslie learned only after LaBastille’s death in 2011. Since then, Leslie has worked hard to build a lasting LaBastille legacy from Anne’s bold and aspirational vision. She shares photos, stories, and presentations on the remarkable life and ancestry of this trailblazer.

Leslie is retired from a 35-year career as a biologist with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and is a professional ski instructor, NYS Licensed Guide, and home project DIYer.

About Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake

Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX), accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region through interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and culturally rich collections in more than 24 historic and contemporary buildings on a 121- acre campus in the heart of the Adirondacks. The museum is supported in part with donations from the general public, with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For additional information, call 518-352-7311 or visit www.theADKX.org.

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