News of Otsego County

Cooperstown Graduate Program

History Day comes alive with Cooperstown Grad Program leadership
Mysteries at the Museum host Don Wildman jumps out of the page in this piece promoting his effort to bring history to life.

History Day comes alive with Cooperstown Grad Program leadership

By Tara Barnwell • Special to

The Cooperstown Graduate Program last week hosted popular Travel Channel host Don Wildman to kick off its new leadership role in New York’s National History Day competition.

“I went after it!” said Cooperstown Graduate Program (CGP) Director Gretchen Sorin. “The New York State Historical Association sponsored the History Day for many years. Everyone in the state wanted it in their backyard, but I think it’s important that the event stay in Central New York.”

National History Day is the culmination of a year-long series of history programs for middle- and high-school students; New York hosts regional contests throughout the year with winners competing in the year-end event, launched virtually this year from the State University of New York at Oneonta in Spring 2022.

AllOtsego People: For Sorins, film success is contagious
Gretchen Sorin and her son, Gregory Sorin, enjoy a moment together
Monday, Sept. 13, before he returned to Los Angeles. (Greg Klein/

AllOtsego People
For Sorins, film success is contagious

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

For Cooperstown’s Gretchen Sorin, the only thing that might top the success she has had in the past two years is seeing one of her children share in and build off of that success.

Sorin, the director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program, author of the best seller, “Driving While Black, African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights,” and co-director of the PBS documentary based on the book, has had an amazing couple of years.

Bassett Healthcare to partner with museum studies program for inclusive artwork

Bassett Healthcare to partner with museum studies program for inclusive artwork

STAFF REPORT • Special to

SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program, which focuses on museum studies, has partnered with Bassett Healthcare to create inclusive artwork which represents greater diversity for patient spaces.

Professor Cynthia Falk’s “Gender-Taste-Space” class selected art which depicts different racial, gender, ethnic and religious persuasions.

The Gender Wellness Center team selected pieces to be purchased for display.

“The principles of diversity, equity and inclusion are essential to good health care,” Dr. Carolyn Wolf-Gould, of the Gender Wellness Center, said in a press release. “Now we have images on our walls that reflect racial and ethnic diversity. If you’re a person of color, or if you use a wheelchair, or if you’re in the LGBTQ community, you’re going to see images that celebrate these groups of people. This artwork is one way to express our aspiration to be inclusive and to make everyone feel welcome.”

The Gender Wellness Center provides support for transgender specific issues such as mental health, education, legal advocacy, surgical procedures and other services.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Tour Vernacular Architecture of Oneonta 06-27-21

Tour Vernacular Architecture of Oneonta


TROLLEY TOUR – 1:30 – 3 p.m. Explore the architecture of Oneonta from it’s earliest days of European settlement to the exponential expansion of the Victorian era and the Railroad. Led by Dr. Cindy Falk, Cooperstown Graduate Program and professor of Material Culture at SUNY Oneonta. Registration required. Cost, $10/person. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required. Presented by Otsego 2000. Pick-up and Drop-off at Riverside Elementary School parking log, 39 House, St., Oneonta. 607-547-8881 or visit

In Thriller, Frankenstein Born At Hyde Hall
Horror Flick Available On

In Thriller, Frankenstein

Born At Hyde Hall


Star Alix Wilton Regan in a particularly horrifying moment in “A Nightmare Wakes,” filmed at Hyde Hall.

A Shudder original, “A Nightmare Wakes,” premieres Feb. 4 on the horror-thriller-supernatural streaming platform.

The short was filmed at the Hyde Hall National Landmark on Otsego Lake by Wild Obscura, a “by/for/about women” producer.

Directed and written by Nora Unkel, the 90-minute film follows author Mary Shelley “as she creates her masterpiece (Frankenstein), she gives birth to a monster,” the IMDb page reads.

Shudder describes itself as “a subscription service for the horror, thriller and suspense genres.”

Alix Wilton Regan stars in the film as Shelley alongside Giullian Yao Gioiello, Philippe Bowgen and a host of Cooperstown talent.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Cooperstown Reflects Series Continues 01-27-21

‘Cooperstown Reflects’ Continues

14-19eventspageCOOPERSTOWN REFLECTS – 7 p.m. Library Anti-Racism series continues with “Cooperstown Reflects on Racism in Arts and Monuments.” Panel includes Eva Fognell,  Thaw Collection of Native American Art, Fenimore Museum; Tom Heitz/Sharon Stuart, Otsego town co-historian;  CGP Director Gretchen Sorin, and Glimmerglass Festival Art & General Director Francesca Zambello. Free, registration required. Presented by Friends of the Village Library of Cooperstown. 607-547-8344 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Celebrate Day Of The Dead 11-07-20

Celebrate Day Of The Dead


CELEBRATION – 1 p.m. Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos on Zoom with Coop Graduate Program. Features storytime & craft activity. Pick up materials at the Library during 11/5 & 11/6 (3-5 p.m.). During the week public is invited to place a copy of a photograph of a deceased loved one on the ofrenda (altar) to celebrate & honor loved ones who are no longer with us. Cooperstown Village Library. Visit

Smithsonian Secretary: Museums Bring Us Together

Smithsonian Secretary:

Museums Bring Us Closer

Lonnie Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, spoke to Cooperstown Graduate Program students on “A Vision for Museums” via Zoom this morning.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – One afternoon, while walking through the Smithsonian’s exhibit of Emmett Till’s glass-topped casket, Secretary Lonnie Bunch III saw a young African-American woman sitting on a bench, sobbing.

“I was about to go over to her, but a white man approached her and said, ‘I’m crying too. Can we cry together?’ And they hugged. That’s what museums can do. Museums can help us come together, share our pain and take sustenance.”

Bunch, the first the first African American and first historian to serve as head of the Smithsonian, gave a Zoom presentation on “A Vision for Museums” to the Cooperstown Graduate Program this morning.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: ‘Cooperstown Reflects On Racism’ 09-23-20

‘Cooperstown Reflects On Racism’


COOPERSTOWN REFLECTS – 7 p.m. Join panel on Zoom to for ‘Cooperstown Reflects on Racism: History, Demographics, and Current Issues’ discussion with representatives from Oneonta NAACP, Cooperstown Graduate Program, Say Their Names exhibit, & Opportunities for Otsego. Presented by Cooperstown Village Library. Visit to register.

COVID-19 TESTING – 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Otsego County residents are invited for free rapid testing for Covid-19. Find out quick, help stop the spread. Pre-registration required. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 22 Market St., Oneonta. 607-547-4279.

Sorin Debuts Book At Roots Brewing Co.

Sorin Debuts Book

At Roots Brewing Co.

Gretchen Sorin, director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies, reads from her newly published book “Driving While Black” at a reading at Roots Brewing Co. this evening. After an introduction from Jim Havener, owner fo the Green Toad bookstore, Sorin read from the prologue and the epilogue before taking questions from the audience. (Ian Austin/


Day Of The Dead, Celebration Of Life

Day Of The Dead,

Celebration Of Life

CGP Hosts Dia de Los Muertos

The Cooperstown Graduate program hosted a Dia de los Muertos event at the Cooperstown Library this afternoon celebrating Dia de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead. Children and their families would come and enjoy tamales, cookies, crafts, storytelling and more. Above, Cooperstown Graduate student Kirbie Sondreal helps Ciara Kaltenbach, Cooperstown make decorative paper marigolds which serve as a guide for spirits returning to the land of the living. At right, first year Cooperstown Graduate Program student Mary Horbiki and CGP graduate Viri Choy, Oneonta, teach children in Spanish and English about the tradition of leaving offerings for the dead on an alter decorated with flowers, food and images of loved ones who have passed on. The offerings are meant to attract the spirits to the alter so their memory can be kept alive. (Ian Austin/

Professor Will Read From Novel, ‘Before Che,’ Sign Copies Saturday

Professor Will Read From Novel,

‘Before Che,’ Sign Copies Saturday

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Americans who fought in the Spanish Civil War, reenter the fray in 1950s Cuba in Peter Rutkoff’s new novel.

ONEONTA – Peter Rutkoff of Cooperstown will be reading from his latest book, “Before Che,” and signing copies 2-4 p.m. this Saturday at the Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main St.

The novel depicts survivors of the Lincoln Battalion from the Spanish Civil War becoming involved in Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution of the 1950s.


Meet & Greet With CGP


COMMUNITY PROGRAM – 6:30 p.m. Cooperstown Graduate Program students give short presentation on community projects, volunteer work at Woodside Hall, ongoing oral history project. Followed by meet and greet with attendees, refreshments. Free, open to public. Woodside Hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-0600, Ext. 101 or visit

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103