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2023 Calendar of Events

2023 Featured exhibition - April 1 - November 30, 2023

Oil & Water: Works by Ernest Smith, Jesse Cornplanter, and James Beaver from the Iroquois Museum collection. The exhibit showcases 3 early Haudenosaunee artists and the impact of the Seneca Arts Project (part of the WPA Indian Arts Project) in the context of cultural assimilation and revitalization.


OPENING DAY! Friday, April 1 

Saturday, May 6 from 1 to 4 - Opening Reception for Oil & Water with guest speaker Perry Ground. Perry is a member of the Onondaga nation, a well-known storyteller, and the nephew of featured artist Ernest Smith.

May 23 – June 4:  Cobleskill-Richmondville Student Art Exhibit.  Selected works by 1st and 4th graders created under the instruction of art teacher Lori Masterson will be on exhibit in the Children’s Museum.  Features 2 and 3-dimensional works inspired by the student’s study of Native cultures.  Opening reception for families and fans on Sunday June 4 at 2 pm

Saturday, May 27 – Artist Demonstration: Hand Tooled Leatherwork with Seneca artist Cliff Redeye III. Cliff creates hand tooled leather wallets, purses, hats, bolos, moccasins, and belts and custom commissions.

Saturday, July 8 –2 pm: Ernie Smith and the WPA Project. Talk by scholar Scott Manning Stevens, PhD. Stevens is Akwesasne Mohawk and holds a position as Assistant Professor and Director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program at Syracuse University. He serves on the advisory board of the Skä-noñh Great Law of Peace Center and the board of the Adirondack Experience. This engaging talk will focus on the impact of the Seneca Arts Project (1935 – 1941) and Smith’s work in the context of cultural revitalization. 


Saturday, July 15 – Artist Demonstration: Painting with Akwesasne artist Bruce Boots. Bruce has been deeply involved in the arts since 1993. His work draws from Haudenosaunee stories and events, often with a playful twist. He is currently the recipient of a Creatives Rebuild New York award through the Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club. In 2022 he earned second place in Fine Art-2D at Ganondagan’s annual juried art show and 1st place in the logo design completion for the St Regis Tribal Court.

Saturday, July 22 – 2 pm: Haudenosaunee Stories with Mohawk illustrator and storyteller Arihonni David. Honni hails from Akwesasne. His stories are deeply rooted in Mohawk traditions, but Honni’s interpretations are also influenced by Star Wars, Science Fiction, Lord of the Rings, and Jurassic Park!  Honni will share Who Will Win?, his 2023 released children’s book, as well as some of his favorite stories. 

Saturday, July 29 –  Social Dancers – NIAGARA RIVER IROQUOIS DANCERS

Hailing from Tuscarora Nation Territory, the Niagara River Iroquois Dancers troupe was established by Orville and Nina Greene in 1982.   The Greene’s were taught by elders Huron Miller and Ron LaFrance and found that performing provided the opportunity to demonstrate a continued Haudenosaunee presence and to travel. Today the dancers are led by Nina and Orville’s son, Randy, and daughter Keeya.  Their obligation to Orville and Nina’s teachings and influence is acknowledged in the pride the group brings to each performance, in the time consuming detail invested in their outfits, and in their commitment to dance as a method of cultural exchange. Dance times; approximately 11 & 2

Friday, August 4 from 4 to 9 Roots, Rhythm & Ale.  Featuring The Rubber Band, a lively ensemble known for Cajun and Zydeco- flavored music with a jam-band twist. 

Saturday & Sunday, August 5 & 6 - Artist Demonstration: Seneca splint basketry and cornhusk work with Penny Minner. A member of the Seneca Nation, Penny is one of a small number of individuals who have been working to restore the art of basketry in her community. She also carries on a family tradition of cornhusk work.

Saturday, August 12 – Social Dancers – Allegany River Indian Dancers. Founded in 1979, the Allegany River Indian Dancers have become one of the best-known Native dance groups in the United State and Canada today. The group has traveled throughout North America sharing traditional Iroquois social dances. The group is also well known for their repertoire of Intertribal "Pow wow" style dances. Their performances often feature the hoop dance done by Bill Crouse. This dance involves 30 hoops used to make various formations or designs representing things from nature. Through group performances (which often include audience participation) and lecture presentations this group has taught large audiences about Seneca history and culture. Dance times; approximately 11 & 2

Saturday, August 19 – 2 pm.: Seneca Stories with Leeora White. Leeora is a Turtle Clan member of the Seneca Nation and resides at Allegany. She was inspired by her late Grandfather Duwayne “Duce” Bowen, a well-known Seneca Storyteller, to continue his legacy of storytelling. Leeora is an employed Artist through Creatives Rebuild New York Grant awarded to the Onöhsagwëde’ Cultural Center. She is using this opportunity to expand her experience as a performing Storyteller. This will be her first presentation at the Iroquois Museum. 

September 2 & 3 - 40th Annual Iroquois Arts Festival
This event centers on the celebration of Iroquois creativity and self-expression by featuring an all Iroquois Art Market open to Iroquois artists by invitation only.  Both traditional and contemporary arts and fine crafts are showcased. The Sky Dancers from Six Nations Reserve in Ontario will perform traditional Iroquois social dances, and may invite the public out onto the dance floor to participate Onondaga storyteller Perry Ground will return with dramatic tales of daring feats and astounding adventures. Family activity area will feature participatory crafts.  Local wildlife rehabilitator Kelly Martin will discuss wildlife conservation in our region and present a variety of native animals including birds of prey.  The Museum’s archeology department will be available to help identify archeological finds and give demonstrations of flintknapping and other early technologies. 

Sat & Sunday in October (dates to be announced) – Porcupine Quill Embroidery Workshop with Seneca artist Jamie Jacobs. When this master artisan demonstrated his award-winning quillwork in 2022 many of our visitors asked to learn this exquisite and rarely practiced art form. This is a two-day class and includes all materials. This is a very special opportunity with a limited number of participants so you’ll want to sign up early.  Class size - minimum ten. Max 12.  Cost: $75 members/$85 non members

Saturday, October 14 from 10 to 4 - Early Technology Day

Visitors can watch and participate in the process of flint knapping (the ancient art of making chipped stone tools), fire making, cordage making, atlatl spear throwing and early archery.  There will be displays of projectile points, tools, and local archaeological finds from the Museum’s archaeology department.  Think you've found an artifact? Please bring it with you and the Museum’s experts will be glad to try to identify it for you.


These events are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, a Humanities NY Action grant, and friends and members of the Iroquois Museum. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information contact:

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