A Weekend of Erie Canal Happenings

Canal to Coast: Reuniting the Waters is a program of the Waterfront Alliance at the Waterfront Museum

A Weekend of Erie Canal Happenings

Waterfront Museum & Showboat Barge | Red Hook

Join the Waterfront Museum & Showboat Barge in Red Hook for three days of performances celebrating the Erie Canal. Canal to Coast: Reuniting the Waters is a program of the Waterfront Alliance, a series of performances taking place aboard Lehigh Valley no. 79, a 104 year old Lehigh Valley Railroad barge moored in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In addition to the performances, Canal to Coast will offer boat tours focused on Erie Basin in Red Hook, Brooklyn and its role in helping the Erie Canal make New York City a world capital.

On Friday, August 24, at 7pm, Bells & Motley: folk operetta on the Barge is a family-friendly musical performance about the Erie Canal features Sondra and John Bromka, storytellers with help from hammered dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, squeezebox, and hurdy-gurdy.

Five Views of the Erie Canal through Music and Dance brings Davalois Fearon, Mike McGinnis, and Greg Young to the performance space on Saturday, August 25, at 8pm.

The weekend ends with Noah's Arc, a staged reading by Joanie Fritz Zosikeo, on Sunday, August 26 at 7pm.


Bells and Motley, Sondra and John Bromka
Friday, August 24, at 7pm


This family-friendly folk operetta presents the history of the Erie Canal in a performance form popular in the canal’s most productive years. Featured instruments include hammered dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, squeezebox, and hurdy-gurdy.
As Bells and Motley, Sondra and John Bromka have been entertaining and educating audiences of all ages through folk and historical music for more than 30 years.



Five Views of the Erie Canal through Music and Dance
Davalois Fearon, Mike McGinnis, & Greg Young  
Saturday, August 25 at 8pm


Dancer Davalois Fearon, musician Mike McGinnis, and historian podcaster Greg Young combine their talents to paint a multi-faceted portrait of the Erie Canal, its geography, social impact, engineering, labor issues, and more.

About the Artists

Greg Young is best known as half of the duo behind the popular New York City history podcast The Bowery Boys.

Davalois Fearon is a critically acclaimed dancer, teacher, and choreographer born on the island of Jamaica and raised in The Bronx, New York. She is the founder and artistic director of Davalois Fearon Dance. Her choreography has been presented throughout New York City by the Joyce Theater, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dance Enthusiast’s “Moving Caribbean in NYC,” the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, and the Inception to Exhibition Dance Festival, among others; as well as across the US and in Kingston, Jamaica. She has collaborated with internationally renowned poet Patricia Smith, multi-reedist Mike McGinnis, fashion photographer Nigel HoSang, and interdisciplinary artists Andre Zachery and Deborah Castillo.

Mike McGinnis is a composer and multi-reedist performer unbound by stylistic barriers. Artists with whom he’s worked include Yo La Tengo, Stew & the Negro Problem, Anthony Braxton, Alice & Ravi Coltrane, Hank Roberts, Ben Goldberg, Steve Coleman, Lonnie Plaxico, Art Lande, Steve Swallow, and the Broadway production of Fela!


Noah's Arc
staged reading by Joanie Fritz Zosikeo
Sunday, August 26, at 7pm

Photo of Joanie Fritz Zosike by Ash Marinaccio


In a staged reading of a work in progress, noted downtown artist, Joanie Fritz Zosike examines the life of Mordecai Manuel Noah, 19th-century diplomat, playwright, and reputed visionary, who attempted to institute a sanctuary homeland for Jews on an island off Buffalo. Fritz Zosike views this story through a present day perspective, focusing on Noah's relationships with slavery, Native Americans, and the politics of his time and ours.

Noah’s Arc is a stranger than fiction story of Philadelphia diplomat and playwright, Mordecai Noah, and his vision for a Jewish homeland at the inland end of the Erie Canal. Downtown theatre stalwart Zosike takes us on the journey of Noah’s inspiration, struggle, and defeat in this work in progress that views Noah’s vision for a New Jerusalem and empathy for the oppressed through a modern lens.

About the Artist

Joanie Fritz Zosike performs in the US and abroad with The Living Theatre and DADAnewyorkDADAnynyDADA, a dada-surrealist theatre company, and is co-director/co-founder of Action Racket Theatre (ART). Her writing appears in Women in American Theatre, Between Ourselves: Letters Between Mothers and Daughters, Ides (15 poetry chapbooks by 15 poets), 11/9: the Fall of American Democracy, and Subliminal Messages, among other publications.

This performance features Robert Hieger in the role of Mordecai Manuel Noah.


The Waterfront Museum & Showboat Barge

The Waterfront Museum was founded in 1986 to provide programs in education and culture aboard an historic vessel and to advocate for and expand public waterfront access in the NY Metropolitan area.

The Museum relocated to Red Hook, Brooklyn in 1994 as a permanent homeport after operating in Liberty State Park in Jersey City & Hoboken, NJ; Piermont, NY; and South Street Seaport, NYC.

Coming to Red Hook in 1994, an ambitious group of volunteers transformed a former dumping area into what has been cited by the Neighborhood Open Space Coalition as "an ideal example of open space and waterfront access which provides an excellent complement to waterfront development". The Museum's permanent collection includes a nearly one-century old wooden barge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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