Public Programs

The Albany Institute presents a broad range of public programs related to our collections, exhibitions, and special projects.

Art for All 2016-2017

Bring your family to the museum and spend the day being creative!  Adults and children of all ages are welcome to join us in the Albany Institute art studio on Saturdays for drop in art making.  Activities are based off of our current exhibitions and include techniques involving painting, drawing, multi media work, collage and more!

Free with museum admission

February Art for All: Ancient Egyptian Themed Yarn Art

February Art for All Dates: February 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th 

*Holiday Monday: President's Day, February 20th will also feature a Jacob Lawrence themed drop in art project

February’s project is inspired by the museum's ancient Egyptian galleries. We’ll use colorful yarn to decorate our own ancient Egyptian patterns and symbols.

*President's Day, February 20th: Join us for this free admission holiday Monday sponsored by M & T Bank.  Drop by the studio to create your own artwork inspired by the artist Jacob Lawrence. Images of Jacob Lawrences artwork will be on view in the panel exhibit, In Motion: the African-American Migration Experience.

March Art for All: Shell Mosaics

GALLERY TALK Wampum World: An Art Installation by Renee Ridgway

Sunday, March 5 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Renee Ridgway, Artist and Sue Herne, Project Coordinator at the Akwesasne Cultural Center, Mohawk Territory


Through a live interview with Herne, featured artist Ridgway will give insight into her new, interactive transmedia project.

Free with museum admission

PRESENTATION Native American Crafts

Sunday, March 5 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Sue Herne, Artist and Program Coordinator at Akwesasne Cultural Center, Mohawk Nation Territory

Herne will discuss her work as an artist and describe some Akwesasne crafts such as woven baskets, jewely, quilts, sculpture, beadwork, and more. Selections will be available for purchase in the Museum Shop.

Free with museum admission

COMMUNITY EVENT Footprints of Our Ancestors

Thursday, March 9 • 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Moderated by the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region

Join us for a delightful evening of stories and presentations that will bring to life the journey and struggles of families that made the transition from the rural South to the Capital Region during the Great Migration.

Free admission

SPECIAL FAMILY PROGRAM Story time & Art Making: The Legendary Miss Lena Horne

Sunday, March 12 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Join us to celebrate the recent release of this exciting picture book!

Come celebrate the life of Lena Horne, pioneering African American actress, singer and civil rights leader with local illustrator Elizabeth Zunon as she reads her children's picture book "The Legendary Miss Lena Horne", written by Carole Boston Weatherford. Story-time will be followed by a special art activity.

Books will be available for signing in the museum shop.

Free with museum admission

SPECIAL EVENT The Migration Experience: Traditions and Sounds of Our Culture

Sunday, March 19 • 3:00pm - 5:00pm

The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region invites the community to feel the powerful and uniting force of music as it reflects traditions and culture. Through spoken word, drumming, dance, and personal reflections, the event will inspire participants to celebrate a vibrant and rich history.

Free with museum admission

FREE THEATRE PERFORMANCE They Built America: The Workers of the Erie Canal

Grades 3+: Thursday, March 30 • 6:00pm - 7:00pm

A special performance by Capital Repertory Theatre

We’re commemorating the 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the incredible Erie Canal!

Meet the real men, women and children, the politicians, farmers, merchants and laborers who came north to build the Erie Canal.

This miraculous waterway transformed America from a burgeoning country into a great nation, and it comes with a miraculous story.  Igniting this momentous event in New York State history, as characters from history come to life, including George Washington, Irish orphan Molly, physician Dr. Finch, Italian mason Antonio– and many more! 

The performance is 1-hour.

Recommended for grades 3 and up.

Free admission

LECTURE Revisiting Local History with @AlbanyArchives

Sunday, April 2 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Matt Malette, Senior Graphic Designer, Local History Videojournalist, and Creator of Twitter Feed @AlbanyArchives and the Albany Postcard Project

Malette created and ran the @AlbanyArchives page anonymously for almost three years. His Twitter page helps people re-discover Albany's rich history.

In his talk, Malette will discuss his motivations to launch the page, his most interesting finds, sources of information, and how the community responds to his work.

Free with museum admission

FREE CONCERT Saratoga Sings of Art and Inspiration

Thursday, April 13 • 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Presented by Opera Saratoga

Join us in the galleries for opera and song inspired by great artists and works of art.

Approximately 60 minutes. Includes American composer Ben Moore's song cycle Dear Theo.

FAMILY CONCERT Erie Canal Concert

Friday, April 21 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Dave Ruch, performer and teaching artist

Dave Ruch is an award-winning musician who sings and plays music for all ages on an assortment of instruments including mandolin, spoons, and more.

During this multi-generational concert, Ruch will present music about life on the Erie Canal, offering classic sing-a-longs and rarely-heard stories from the days of "Clinton's Ditch."

Free with museum admission


IMAGE: Dave Ruch, performer and teaching artist