Sag Harbor will present its first annual Cultural Heritage Day on Saturday, May 21st, celebrating the aspects community members and visitors have coveted since the town’s founding in the 18th century. The eventful day will be sponsored by Sag Harbor Cultural District and hosted amongst multiple locations in town. Local history, culture and music will be the highlights of the day.
Happenings will take place at Bay Street Theater (1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor), Canio’s Cultural Cafe (290 Main Street, Sag Harbor), John Jermain Memorial Library (34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor), Sag Harbor Whaling and History Museum (200 Main Street, Sag Harbor), and Christ Episcopal Church (5 Hampton Street, Sag Harbor). A handful of events will run all day, while some occur at limited times.
Eric Cohen, Coordinator of Technology and Media at John Jermain Memorial Library and board member of the Sag Harbor Partnership, is one of many creative individuals behind the design of this day. “Cultural Heritage Day was conceived as a way to acquaint both resident and visitors to Sag Harbor with the wide array of cultural and artistic resources available in the community,” Cohen explained. “Our cultural institutions would like to see the people taking full advantage of what is available to them. Cultural Heritage Day offers a sampling of what’s available.”
Kick off this eventful day with Jason Crowley, director of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA), who will lead a discussion in the Bay Street Theater lobby about Sag Harbor’s Historic House Styles for Homeowners and Realtors from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The afternoon events will include a Church tour and organ recital with Dr. Daniel Koontz, hosted by Christ Episcopal Church. The tour of the historic church and Tiffany Windows will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the organ recital will commence at 12:45 p.m. The Christ Episcopal Church will also present a concert featuring Alfredo Merat singing Jacques Brel with a flamenco twist, from 4 to 5 p.m. The concert will feature anecdotes from Brel’s life and career. This event is presented by the Sag Harbor American Music Festival.
“We are looking forward to sharing our beautiful worship space with the village,” Rev. Karen Ann Campbell of Christ Episcopal Church said. “While people learn about our stained glass windows and hear our talented music director, Dr. Daniel Koontz, demonstrate the versatility of our organ, we hope we can introduce visitors to our varied ministry in the community and the world.”
Attendees can also take part in the Eastville Folklore Walking Tour and visit sites believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad. The tour will begin at the Eastville Community Historical Society’s Heritage House (139 Hampton Street, Sag Harbor). Participants are welcome to view the ongoing Black Memorabilia, Images and Icons exhibit at the Heritage House. The tour will commence at 2 p.m.
Sag Harbor Historical Society’s Annie Cooper Boyd House & Museum (174 Main Street, Sag Harbor) will host an exhibit of artifacts from Dr. Edgar Miles’ career. Dr. Miles served as a 19th century eclectic physician and medical rebel. The exhibit Plants, Pills, & Poultices will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Donations are greatly appreciated.
End your Sag Harbor Cultural Heritage Day experience at the Bay Street Theater & Center for the Arts with a rousing concert. Judy Carmichael and Billy Stritch will perform Jazz Inspired at 8 p.m. Call 631-725-9500 for more information and reservations, as admission prices vary.
The all-day events will include Canio’s Books and Cultural Cafe’s complimentary marathon reading of Walt Whitman’s infamous Leaves of Grass from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Canio’s welcomes visitors to join them in a post-marathon after party from 6 to 7:30 pm., which is also free of charge. Sag Harbor’s first Custom Collector will also host a free all-day reading from the Letters of Henry Packer Dering at the Custom House from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Elise Goodheart will curate an art exhibit entitled Every Village Has a Story: Places at the Sag Harbor Whaling and History Museum. Nine local artists will contribute their paintings and photographs exploring the Village’s rich historical and cultural past. The Museum will offer complimentary exhibit viewings between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Inspired by StoryCorps, John Jermain Memorial Library will provide an oral history recording booth. Stop by and record your Sag Harbor story. The Library will also showcase a digital display of photographs provided by residents and visitors in 2016. John Jermain Memorial Library appreciates all donations for the newly expanded local history collection. Call 631-725-0049 for more information. All events at the Library will occur from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Catherine Creedon, Director of the John Jermain Memorial Library, is elated for the opportunity to participate in the inaugural year of the Cultural Heritage Day. “The library-sponsored activities reflect our commitment to stewardship of local history in all genres and formats,” she noted. “We are as excited about collecting oral histories and photographs documenting 21st century Sag Harbor in all its diversity, as we are to archive artifacts and ephemera from our rich and complex past.”
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