Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-18) has secured $215,000 in federal funding for education programs at Philipsburg Manor, a living history museum in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., owned and operated by Historic Hudson Valley, Westchester County’s largest non-profit cultural institution.
The funds will be used to expand and enhance a constellation of programs that offer hands-on learning experiences for some 15,000 schoolchildren annually.
“Philipsburg Manor is a shining example of how to bring history to life for our students. Its programs foster passion for the past, critical thinking about our present, and hope for our future. I am proud to make this important funding available for the museum’s educational efforts,” said Congresswoman Lowey, who represents part of Westchester and Rockland Counties and has been a strong advocate for children and education during her two decades in Congress.
Programs at Philipsburg Manor illuminate the often overlooked history of slavery in the Colonial north. Among the educational offerings that will benefit from Congresswoman Lowey’s efforts are school-time programs based on New York State curriculum, an after-school program for middle-school students, and internships in wooden boatbuilding and museum theater. Many children who participate in these programs are economically disadvantaged.
Also benefiting is Pretends to Be Free, an exhibition in which high school students create artwork based on actual 18th-century runaway slave advertisements published in New York newspapers. This year’s exhibition is on display at Philipsburg Manor through May 3.
“We are so grateful to Congresswoman Lowey for her ongoing support of our work. This funding will significantly boost our efforts to make our programming available to underserved students and schools,” said Waddell W. Stillman, president of Historic Hudson Valley.
Philipsburg Manor, a 20-acre living history museum that includes a manor house, gristmill, and working farm, continues to attract national attention for its new interpretive focus on the little-known story of slavery in the north during the colonial period. The site’s tours and programs reflect the daily lives of the 23 enslaved individuals known to have lived and labored there. Philipsburg Manor is the country’s only fully staffed living history museum to focus on the history of northern slavery.
Besides Philipsburg Manor, Historic Hudson Valley’s living history museums include Washington Irving’s Sunnyside in Tarrytown, N.Y., Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., the Union Church of Pocantico Hills, and Montgomery Place Historic Estate in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. The organization also operates public programming at Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate, a historic site of the National Trust. In all,
Historic Hudson Valley welcomes more than 200,000 visitors annually, including some 35,000 school children. For information: www.hudsonvalley.org.