Cazenovia Forum regularly hosts a free public affairs series that offers Cazenovians and Central New Yorkers an opportunity to hear recognized experts present their perspectives on a variety of key issues and engage in thoughtful discussion.

Given the '23 spring semester closure of Cazenovia College, Cazenovia Forum would like to extend a note of deep appreciation to the College for their commitment and support since our inception in 2006. Many of our events have taken place at the College's Catherine Cummings Theatre over the past 17 years. Going forward, please continue to check our website for details regarding upcoming programs and presentation venues.


The Cazenovia Forum hosts a regularly scheduled public affairs lecture series that offers citizens from Cazenovia and surrounding areas an opportunity to hear nationally and internationally known experts on a variety of key issues and to engage in thoughtful discussion.

Friday, November 17th:

Panel discussion by regional and statewide experts
"Erie Canal—Past, Present and Future"

Date: Friday, November 17, 2023 7:00 PM
Venue: Cazenovia High School Auditorium, 31 Emory Ave, Cazenovia, NY

We tend to take the Erie Canal for granted if we think about it at all. We know it was important long ago, but what does it have to do with today? A lot, actually. The Canal is far more than an artifact and its legacy lives in upstate New York's history, economy, and culture.

To provide a sense of the Canal's importance and influence, the Cazenovia Forum hosted a panel discussion Friday November 17th, 2023. Local historians and planners Jamie Kowalczk, Derrick Pratt and Matt Urtz will discuss the evolution of the 524- mile corridor that carried people and ideas along the canal and spurred action on abolition of slavery, women's rights, utopian communities, new religions, and much more.

In 2000, the U.S. Congress established the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, a new kind of National Park. This designation brings resources and visibility to long-standing local efforts to celebrate how the canal has shaped our communities.

Kowalczk, Assistant Director of the Madison County Planning Department, helped initiate the creation of the Old Erie Canal Community Working Group to help revitalize canal-side communities and enhance the Old Erie Canal waterway and Old Erie Canal State Historic Park.  She is currently overseeing the development of the Old Erie Canal Local Waterfront Revitalization Program which aims to create a unified long-term vision for the Old Erie Canal corridor.

Pratt, Director of Education & Public Programming at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, is a native of Chittenango. Previously he served as Director of Programs at Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum. 

Urtz has been Madison County Historian since 2010. He was awarded the Emily Marshall Champion of Tourism by Madison County Tourism in 2022. The award is given annually to those who have had a significant impact on the tourism industry in Madison County.

View photos from the panel discussion.

See recent speakers from this year, last year and earlier.

logo logo logo logo logo logo

Did you notice? We have a new look!!

Subscribe to notifications of our scheduled lectures and you can view our latest and previous notifications in the archive.
©2024 Cazenovia Forum and Matai House Studio (web design). All rights reserved. Duplication is not allowed without permission.