The historic lake of Saranac receives $ 70,000 | News, Sports, Jobs
LAC SARANAC – Historic Lake Saranac has received $ 70,000 in state and federal grants to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, to support its “Pandemic outlook” and to produce a new film retracing the history of the Lac Saranac region.
The money comes entirely from the US federal bailout stimulus package – $ 50,000 through the National Endowment for the Humanities and $ 20,000 through New York Humanities.
A portion of the $ 50,000 NEH grant will be used to produce a new short film on the history of the Lake Saranac region that will be shown to museum visitors.
HSL Executive Director Amy Catania described the Saranac Lake area as the land within the Saranac Lake Central School District, the largest, geographically, in the state.
The film will include a segment on the history of the indigenous peoples who lived here for thousands of years before the arrival of white settlers.
“In the past, we have failed to present this story in a meaningful way, and it’s time to make a change,” Catania said in a statement.
“I think there are a lot of people crossing Lake Saranac and stopping here to find out what happened”, she said in an interview. “Simply portraying the history of the Saranac Lake area as if it began when the white settlers arrived is simply not correct. “
Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center co-owner John Fadden will consult on this section of the film. Catania said it would be a starting point to learn more about the local indigenous history and she hopes people will go to the Onchiota Cultural Center to learn more.
Catania said the film will be directed by local filmmaker Kirk Sullivan, owner of Bing Bang Boom Inc. on Main Street in Saranac Lake. Sullivan has directed feature films and worked on advertising campaigns for the 2020 Disney and President Joe Biden campaign. He has already made a few short documentaries, notably for Nature Conservancy.
Sullivan said he was already working on a film about Edward Livingston Trudeau and was interested in working with HSL.
He said he’s still in the very early stages of development, but plans to film new interviews and use HSL’s plethora of stock footage for the b-roll.
Sullivan said he was excited to work with Fadden and learn more about the history of Indigenous peoples.
“I agree with Amy that their story has not been told as clearly or celebrated as much as it should, or incorporated into the history of our village,” he said.
Reflection on the pandemic and recovery
A portion of the $ 20,000 NYH grant will go to online and in-person events for HSLs “Pandemic outlook” exposure. The panels for this exhibition were installed at the museum this summer and will be until next year. The exposure and its correlative events focus on pandemics, from tuberculosis to COVID-19.
Tuberculosis was already an integral part of the museum’s history, as the building it occupies was once the Saranac Laboratory, the country’s first tuberculosis research center. It was built in 1894 by Edward Livingston Trudeau, who made Lake Saranac the basis for his research and treatment of the disease.
The NYH grant is also intended for general museum operations after months of hardship caused by the virus.
“Humanities grants will underpin expanded programs and support our general operations as we recover from the economic damage caused by the pandemic,” HSL board chair Amy Jones wrote in a statement. “These grants will allow us to continue to deliver programs to local students, conduct oral histories, lead lectures and tours, and plan events at Cure Porch on Wheels, our mobile exhibit space.”
Catania said HSL had been hit hard economically by the pandemic, like many other museums. The museum was closed to the public, the gift shop was dark, and fundraisers were called off. She said the staff had been cut and many were working part-time for months.
Yet, she says, HSL is doing better than others because of donations.
HSL opened the laboratory museum in 2009, and in 2019 purchased Trudeau’s house and doctor’s office next door with plans to expand the museum.
“The Trudeau Building provides a space to tell a larger story beyond the history of TB, and to discuss the important history of TB in more depth and context. Catania said in a statement.
The expansion project is estimated at $ 4.1 million. Funds from the US bailout will not be used for this project, Catania said. She said the museum is doing its own fundraiser and has raised $ 2.2 million so far. She said the rehabilitation of the building is expected to start next year.