HUDSON — The Olana Partnership (TOP) received a generous two-year grant directed by Kate Gubelmann to formalize a ladder of lifelong learning and engagement at Olana State Historic Site. This support will sustain four key areas of public programming: K-12 in-person and virtual school visits; Panorama Summer Learning Program for Youth; Young at HeART creative aging program for adults 55+; and a new internship and work development program created in partnership with New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Columbia-Greene Community College. Supporting programs that serve these broad audience groups will provide new opportunities within local communities for expanded, ongoing public engagement centered on Olana as a public resource.

“The Gubelmann family has supported TOP’s work for nearly two decades, and Kate’s critical assistance in directing this major, multi-year grant enables us to significantly expand our work with diverse audiences of all ages within our local communities, which is a fundamental element of our new strategic plan,” said Sean Sawyer, the Washburn and Susan Oberwager President of The Olana Partnership.

TOP and NYS Parks are dedicated to providing educational programming as a crucial component to the interpretation of Olana as a place of enduring artistic inspiration where aesthetic innovation and environmental consciousness intersect. The primary objective of Olana’s education programs is to provide immersive and stimulating educational opportunities to diverse audiences, including schoolchildren, teenagers, college students, and older adults. In this work, programs focus on the needs of local communities to place Olana, a publicly owned site, in service to the public. Olana is committed to ensuring that its educational programs promote diversity and provide a level learning field for all.

“We are thrilled to continue to expand and support educational offerings that connect learners of all ages to the local resource that is Olana,” said Carolyn Keogh, TOP’s Director of Education and Public Programs. “Providing multiple tiers of engagement and financially accessible educational opportunities for our audiences only strengthens our mission as a public site.”

“Olana is committed to serving our community through engagement, outreach and accessibility. This grant acknowledges Olana’s responsibility and opportunity as a public institution providing multi-disciplinary learning for the broadest possible audience,” said Amy Hausmann, Director, Olana State Historic Site.

Olana’s School Field Trip program is fundamental to its educational programs and has been particularly impacted by the COVID pandemic. In 2020, TOP piloted Live Virtual Field Trips to provide opportunities for students and teachers to incorporate Olana’s rich educational resources remotely. To increase access to this resource, TOP will utilize grant funds to expand in-person and virtual school field trips for local classes at no cost. This is particularly important for schools faced with budget cuts during this challenging time. Visit https://www.olana.org/tour-category/school/ for more information.

Grant funds will remove a barrier of access for students to Olana’s Panorama Summer Learning program, allowing TOP to serve a more diverse youth population more effectively. Panorama provides an essential opportunity to sustain learning and development over the summer months; a period during which students in need often experience higher rates of learning loss. Email education@olana.org for more information.

Grant funds will also help launch an exciting new work development and internship program with Olana’s neighbor, Columbia-Greene Community College (C-GCC). Through a robust partnership program, C-GCC students will be eligible to participate in a two-semester Olana seminar, culminating in a paid internship experience. This program will begin in autumn 2021, and more information will be available shortly.

The final element of Olana’s ladder of lifelong learning that will benefit from the new grant support is the existing Young at HeART suite of creative aging programs for students ages 55+. Established in 2019 with a major grant from Aroha Philanthropies as part of a national competition, Young at HeArt enters its third year in 2021, the first without Aroha funding. The new grant enables the program to provide opportunities to learn and create with esteemed arts educators at Olana and will also ensure that central program costs are covered so registration fees can remain accessible, and scholarships can be offered according to student need.

To learn more about programming and offerings at Olana visit OLANA.org.

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