This month’s CazArts newsletter contains updates from many of the organizations that weave together the rich fabric of our arts community.  Kicking off the covers of snow, we are looking with a hopeful spirit towards spring.  There is an underlying sense of gratitude and hopefulness. 
It’s important to acknowledge where we are now, compared to a year ago:
Wednesday, March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and by that Friday a U.S. National Emergency was declared and travel was banned for non-U.S. citizens from Europe. 
In our nation the number of deaths from the pandemic, now a year later, have surpassed those of all U.S. soldiers killed in combat in World War I, World War II, Korean, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars combined. Or to try and understand this large a number a different way, it’s as if every person in Los Angeles and Houston had died.
Here in Cazenovia, a year ago, we were trying to figure out what any of this meant. Most of us were understandably mystified.   Fortunately, there were enough local people who began to self-educate, and take it very seriously.  Our arts organizations cancelled events until we could understand how COVID-19 was being spread.  Even then we thought that in a few weeks, or months, we would be back to normal.  Cazenovia is a great community and most people have acted with great care. Because of this, fortunately, our local numbers have been very good. 
Heading into spring, there is a greater sense of hope. COVID cases are down, and though it is happening slowly,  more of us are getting vaccinated every day.  Our artists and arts organizations are proving to be resilient.  Everyone is taking great care, providing programs and services that can be done safely.  Though we would dearly love to move quickly, moving slow and carefully will keep our community safe.
CazArts Newsletter is here to be a gathering place for the arts, a place of conversation and local community.  CazArts invites artists, organizations, and supporters of the arts to help build this community.

Our Community

Sky Hill Farm Studio

I envisioned one of the barns
as a studio/performance space as soon as I saw it!
Suzanne Evans        
Several years ago, and after our kids were out of the house, my husband, Steve, and I started looking for a weekend property outside the City of Buffalo, NY, where we had lived for 25 years.  Unable to find anything that we both liked, we looked further out from Buffalo and finally found our beautiful spot in New Woodstock.  Renovations on the house took about 4 years, but by that time we realized that we preferred our weekend lives in New Woodstock so moved here full-time about 3 years ago.  Steve saw our 125 acres here as endless space to plant trees; I envisioned one of the barns as a studio/performance space as soon as I saw it!
I grew up in Knoxville and studied ballet there and in Oak Ridge, TN.  After receiving a Bachelors in Dance from the University of Tennessee, I took classes in New York City, primarily at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham studios. I subsequently danced professionally in regional ballet and contemporary companies, and later was a founding board member and dancer with Neglia Ballet Artists in Buffalo, NY. Currently, I am a ballet instructor at Allure Dance Studio in Cazenovia, a freelance dance teacher, and liturgical dancer, primarily at St. Peters Episcopal in Cazenovia.


Last summer, I launched Sky Hill Farm Studio, a creative sanctuary and philanthropic community dance project. Our mission is to support artists in the development of new artistic work and provide a format in the greater Cazenovia area where artists can share their work with our community via master classes, lecture demos and performances. Two NYC-based dance companies were able to work here in a safe bubble this past summer and Syracuse City Ballet did a great photo shoot in the barn.


Dance companies are currently applying and reserving their residency spots for this summer and fall.  We are looking forward to when the pandemic has lifted and greater community interactions are possible.

 Watch East Coast Contemporary Ballet
“Falling Leaves”

set during their residency at Sky Hill Farm Studio last Fall. 
Click Here


Cazenovia Art Trail 2021
Cathy Savage 

As the calendar turned over to 2021 our thoughts started to turn to the possibility of a 9th Cazenovia Art Trail.  I started to ask could we, should we try to make this happen?  Our artists have expressed how much they missed the event last year, starting with the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the event, dusting and cleaning of studio spaces and getting the final touches on pieces to display to the public durng the Art Trail weekend.  Friends of the Art Trail have expressed to us that they missed getting out and seeing all the studios, art work and fall leaves.  For many of our artists it is the start to the busy and important holiday selling season.

Of course, the most important thought on our minds as we being planning is the safety of our artists and of the people visiting the studios.   We anticipate that masks and social distancing will be required as well as limits on the number of folks allowed into any studio space at a given time.  If any of you have been to some of our most popular spots, you know we will all have to be patient to get in and explore the studios of our favorite artists.

What we know for certain is that a welcome return to some of our favorite fall activities will be a balm to the wounds we’ve suffered under this pandemic.  Art, fresh air and a good country drive are positive infusions for a weary mind.  We are looking forward to getting started with the planning process and seeing all of you out on The Trail this year.






The last few months our museum staff has taken our collection and exhibits online!   Educators Julia Shotzberger and Pat Hill, along with museum staff Elisha Davies, participated in an online museum exhibit class.

This resulted in three new online exhibits for people to enjoy! Take a look via the link below.

Cazenovia College
Art and design

Kim Waale         


"Cerulean Warbler"             
Anita Welych              

Art and design classes at Cazenovia College are up and running in person this spring, as they did in the fall. Students and faculty are happily back in the studios, wearing masks, social distancing and being very creative. Fall 2020 proved that the campus could be a very safe place to live and learn during the pandemic. The college has embraced increased technology in teaching art and design classes. Some classes are hybrid, and a few are fully remote, but a majority are in person. This increased technology means there are no more true snow days! When the snow makes it too difficult for faculty to get to campus, we hold our classes via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.  

The Little Free Gallery

In the next month, a little free gallery, modeled after the little free libraries, will appear on Jephson Campus. In response to the closing of museums and galleries due to Covid 19, the little free gallery will be open 24/7. It will be a community accessible gallery that will exhibit very small paintings, drawings, sculptures and other small artworks by students and faculty and hopefully by community members too. The artwork will be free for the taking, but only if the taker replaces it with one of their own works of art.



"Molly 2"
Kim Waale

These all are examples of the type of work people can see exhibited and available in the College’s Jephson Campus little free gallery.



Emily Cone


Gwen Anderson


CazArts accomplished a great deal this year. From incorporating as a non-profit to expanding the membership … it’s been a busy year. 
CazArts re-thought its projects based on what could actually be accomplished during a pandemic.  What would most benefit the artists and community? 
During this time, as many where experiencing isolation, developing a quality newsletter to strengthen and build connections between artists and community became a priority. 

A Community Arts Hub

In the process of reconstruction of Carpenter's Barn this stone wall was uncovered and seen for the first time in probably 150 years.

Working cooperatively with the Village, Cazenovia College, and Cazenovia Area Community Development Association, CazArts started in on the construction phase of developing Carpenter’s Barn as a Community Arts Hub with the goal to be ready when the restrictions are lifted.  We are excited that CazArts is about to roll out a new program for youth.



Cazenovia Heritage is a new non-for-profit organization, created in late 2020.  Cazenovia Heritage is 100% dedicated to the preservation of the area’s historical architecture, neighborhoods, objects, and sites.   We plan to do this through a robust program of public education, financial and professional support, and by raising awareness of local preservation issues.
Cazenovia Heritage will launch publicly in the spring, beginning with an architecture walking tour in May, as well as a presentation by a preservation expert (subject to Covid restrictions).  Both events will be part of National Preservation Month celebrations. 
We currently are planning a series of public education events to be scheduled throughout the year.    As we  organize these programs, we welcome both volunteers and professionals interested in preservation.   We recently published the first edition of the quarterly newsletter, The Advocate.  Should you wish to subscribe to the newsletter or wish to volunteer, feel free to contact Anne Ferguson at  We look forward to seeing you at a future event!


 Cazenovia Area Painters  (CAP)
It's been a little over a year since a group of local artists began to gather weekly at the Cazenovia Public Library and paint together.  They  share their work and encourage each other's creativity.  Since COVID 19, the group has been painting en plein air to allow for the safe practice of social distancing in the out of doors.  Since the  recent weather has precluded any outdoor activities, the group is now meeting weekly on Zoom, allowing everyone to stay in touch and share their art.  Last summer's work is currently on display at Dave's Diner.  They can be contacted through their group Facebook page.

Cazenovia Watercolor Society (CWS)
A long-standing organization in the community, the Watercolor Society has adjusted its programming to accommodate the virus protocols.  They are meeting twice monthly on Zoom.
One of those meetings is an artist’s presentation and the other is for sharing work on a monthly painting challenge.
To access the artwork created by the group you can visit their webpage at:
The traditional spring workshop for members, with a nationally acclaimed artist, will be held via Zoom this year.  The presenter will be Brienne M Brown.  The group plans to display their work for the community again when COVID restrictions are eased.



Cazenovia Counterpoint


The 23rd year of Cazenovia Counterpoint will take place during July 2021. Cazenovia Counterpoint is a month long festival, organized by Syracuse Society for New Music, which presents new and emerging forms of music and art.  

Plans are being made for an Invitational Regional Art Exhibit, hopefully including art in store fronts again and local galleries, which was popular last July.   Artists interested in participating in this Art Exhibit can contact Sherry Allen at

The ‘Plein Air’ event at Lorenzo, which drew 40 plus artists from Rochester to Cooperstown last summer, will continue to grow. Caz Counterpoint provided live music at the Farmer’s Market each Saturday during July.  A mix of singer/songwriters, new jazz, and new classical music by young composers will be featured in 2021.


Rising Stars programs will feature high school winners of spring competitions in Central New York. Each concert will include the premiere of a short work written for the musicians by a young CNY composer.  Paul Leary will mentor the popular Young Composers Corner for the second summer, hopefully at the Caz Public Library, concluding with a performance of completed works open to the public.  Participants in YCC last July came from Camillus, Syracuse, Fayetteville, Manlius, Jamesville, Fabius, and Oneida.

The Writers Corner will be back with two sessions, a collaboration with the Downtown Writers Center and Phil Memmer, plus a Young Authors Academy, led by Georgia Popoff. David Hitchcock will once again lead the Poetry Round Robin, place TBD.

There will hopefully be concerts, and an interactive sound installation at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park. There are plans are to perform the Libba Cotton (of Freight Train fame) Opera at Caz College Theater.  Lakeland Park Stage will offer a variety of concerts during the 41st year of offering New Music to the Cazenovia Community. 




Lorenzo was built in 1807 by John Lincklaen, founder of the town of Cazenovia and agent for the Holland Land Company.   The property passed through his wife, Helen Ledyard’s family until being sold to New York State in 1968 to be preserved in perpetuity.  During its occupation by the Lincklaen/Ledyard family Lorenzo was also home to enslaved people, including the Johnson siblings; and to many servants, including the Geymonat, Church, and Block families.  The 160 years of accumulated furnishings and documentation donated with Lorenzo include paintings, furniture, carriages, china, silver, and kitchenware which can be viewed during guided tours offered May through October each year. Lorenzo also has an archival collection that includes photographs, land records, weather diaries, cookbooks, letters, and more.


While Lorenzo is closed for tours in the winter, our grounds remain open to the public each day from dawn until dusk with many cleared walking paths available.  This year, thanks to FROSTY groomers, there are 2.25 miles of groomed cross-country and snowshoe trails between Lorenzo and Meier’s Creek Brewing Company.  The Friends of Lorenzo are applying for a grant to begin the large-scale project of making Lorenzo’s archives more accessible for public research.  This first phase will culminate in a finding aid to be available on-line and pave the way for the second phase of digitization.  In addition to plowing and planning for summer, we are also sharing items from the collections on Facebook each week, repairing and painting storm windows and shutters, and creating new outdoor interpretive signs to be installed in 2022.





Catherine Cummings theatre

I can't wait to see you in our newly refurbished seats 
Colleen Prosner  


 'As we move into a new year still experiencing a worldwide pandemic that none of us could have ever imagined, it's time to start thinking about possibilities for our creative future!  The Catherine Cummings Theatre at Cazenovia College is easing into a re-opening with events being created and planned as soon as we get the green light to go!   Our students are looking forward to once again entertaining the community with musicals and plays, whether to a crowd of 20 or 200!  I am also looking forward to presenting live concerts, festivals and entertainment for your enjoyment.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel now, and I can't wait to see you in our newly refurbished seats very soon! 

National Abolition Hall of Fame

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) in Peterboro NY has been closed since March 7, 2020. The NAHOF Cabinet of Freedom (the governing board) will be meeting (virtually) for its annual program planning March 6, 2021, with the hope that there would be some increased clarity about the types of programming to provide in 2021 with respect to the coronavirus and its variants.

COVID19 has pressed NAHOF to address increasing a presence on line. Whether the coronavirus remains or not, digital meetings and programs will be an increasing dimension of NAHOF’s national outreach. All Cabinet meetings have been virtual since March 2020. The 2020 Annual Member Meeting was virtual and demonstrated that NAHOF could reach members across the continent. The Cabinet committed to holding Annual Meetings virtually in the future.  NAHOF released a Black History Matters video each day of February 2021 that addressed examples of events that contribute to four hundred years of systemic racism. The positive response has been encouraging for future programs.


The Gifford Foundation has provided NAHOF a virtual workshop series and consultant services to improve board development and teach new strategies for meeting remotely. NAHOF is also fortunate to be part of a two year MANY (Museum Association of New York) project Building Capacity, Creating Sustainability, Growing Accessibility which addresses how to reach audiences which cannot physically visit the museum.

NAHOF will be collaborating with the Smithfield Community Association and the Town of Smithfield for the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Smithfield Community Center in September. This current municipal building and home of NAHOF was the site of the inaugural meeting of the New York State Antislavery Society in 1835.



Cazenovia Preservation Foundation, Inc.
The Cazenovia Preservation Foundation (CPF) board of directors and staff have been so pleased to see all the activity out on our local trails. So many of us have turned to outdoor spaces for recreation, exercise and respite in nature during this pandemic. CPF has never been prouder of its conservation mission and the ability to provide access to these special places for the benefit of the community.
Like other organizations that offer educational and outreach programming to the public, CPF had to cancel many of its traditional events in 2020. We are slowly beginning to build our calendar of events again, and we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to offer several outdoor events this year, including the Walk ‘n Talk Lecture Series, a Preservation Property Driving Tour & Picnic this spring, a “Gulch to Gorge” hike on National Trails Day in June, and the perennial favorite Walk Among the Spirits in October. For the most up to date information on upcoming events, please visit




Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

 Fall in love with the Hilltop House and Studio.

Hilltop House and Studio Director         
Sarah Tietje-Mietz         


Dorothy Riester, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park founder once wrote that "The Park is not an outdoor museum of sculpture placed statically in a landscape setting, but rather an ever-changing partnership between artist and environment." Next time you visit the Art Park, I invite you to look closer at the Hilltop House and Studio. Please, peek in the windows, walk around the exterior of the home and take in the shapes of the buildings in the landscape—fall in love with these stunning examples of design and creative possibilities.

In my role as the Director of the Hilltop House and Studio, I challenge myself to take in the many facets of these two buildings and what they embody, both in tangible and intangible ways. Dorothy redefined common materials by what she was able to create with them, both in the construction of the home and studio, and in her artwork.


The home was not just a place for her and her husband Bob to live, it was an experimental space for them to mold and define for themselves what a house could be. Her studio was not just a place for her to create, it was a doorway to the entirety of the park grounds as her canvas and toolbox. When you look at the Hilltop House and Studio you can see Dorothy’s personal touch everywhere –from the shapes she chose and the materials she utilized to the elements she sculpted out of clay and metal.

The Hilltop House and Studio have reached a point in their vintage when a bit more TLC is necessary to preserve all those elements that capture our imaginations. Preservation is a lengthy and at times unglamorous process, but an exciting and revealing one. This work is part of our story, and great stories -much like Dorothy’s art and energy- are better when shared with those you love.
If you are interested in getting involved or supporting our efforts, please contact me: or (315) 655-3196 or follow the Hilltop House and Studio on social media.


Congratulations to
Saward Schoonmaker ~ artistic director, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park
Samara Hannah ~ executive director, Redhouse Arts Center
(CazArts Board Member)

Recipients of the Second Annual Arts Impact Awards
From LeMoyne College Arts Administration Program
Resources for the Arts

Artist as Entrepreneur
New York Council for the Arts & New York Foundation for the Arts
Training Program – Must apply by March 4, 2021.
Program dates in April
Click here for Information

Springboard for the Arts
is an amazing site. 
Based in MN, much of the info and resources are great for all artists and organizations

Schweinfurth Art Center
Call for Artists
Made in NY 2020 annual exhibit
Entry Deadline: March 31
Click here for more details and to enter

CazArts Newsletter:
March 2021
Editor: Geoffrey Navias
Copy editor: Kristi Andersen
Production consultant: Shawn McGuire
Subscriptions:  Cathy Savage

Photographs courtesy of Geoffrey Navias, Sky Hill Farm Studio, Caz. Art Trail, Meg Harris ,
Lorenzo, and Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

CazArts Board:
Barb Bartlett, Samara Hannah, Lauren Lines, Shawn McGuire, Geoffrey Navias,
Buzz Padgett,  Colleen Prossner, Cathy Savage, Kim Waale


All inquiries, feedback, ideas for future articles: 
Creative Alliance

Interested in becoming a member or supporter? It's easy, just click here


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