LEARN: Public Programs
Olana's Wagon House Education Center is in its fifth season.
The state-of-the-art Education Center is home to public programs that promote The Olana Partnership mission: "To inspire the public by preserving and interpreting Olana, Frederic Church's artistic masterpiece." Ongoing programs, classes for all ages, workshops, lectures, special events, meetings, children's summer programs, performances and exhibitions all take place in this amazing space whose large glass windows overlook the Olana landscape. We offer "drop-in" programs as well as formal programming to encourage new visitors as well as the community to come back to Olana again and again. Programs are mostly free and are offered to students pre-school to adult, ranging from landscape painting for beginners to an advanced lecture on landscape architecture in a contemporary world.
Public programming at the education center attracts a diverse skill-set and multi-generational audience who are inspired to interpret Olana in many innovative new ways. In the education center's second year, there have been over 250 programs and over 1,800 participants. A sampling of new programs that have already called the education center home: Olana On the Move Backpacks, Art in the Barn, River School (summer dramatic arts program), From Garden to Table, Senior Visual Arts Workshop, En Plein Air Creative Writing Workshop, Architecture for Kids, Music at the Farm, Making A River, First Friday Afterschool Classes, Herbal Plants in the Landscape, Garden Walk, Teen Oil Painting Workshop and Intensive Landscape Painting Workshop.
The Education Center is located right after the lake with a parking lot adjacent to the barn.
Ongoing Family Programs (April-December)
Olana on the Move Backpacks
Borrow a backpack and explore the Olana landscape! Backpacks contain carriage drive maps and self-guided activities to enrich family visits. Two themed backpacks available: 'Exploration Today: Discover Olana' and 'View it Like an Artist'. Take your sketches home, or donate them to our ongoing public exhibit in the Wagon House Education Center. Please be prepared to leave a photo ID until backpack is returned. Free.
Olana's Summer Arts Programs- Now offered 2 weeks
Monday, July 7-Friday, July 11 | 9am-3pm
Panorama: Week 1-Due East: An Exploration of Church's Travels East
Wagon House Education Center/Farm Complex
$180/child one week
$320/child two week package
Join us for this unforgettable adventure as we dive into eastern culture this summer at Olana. In addition to learning about Frederic Church's travels east, we will discover the work of Church's pupil Lockwood de Forest in our exhibition titled All the Raj. Together Church and de Forest infused Olana with a variety of Indian objects including remarkable collections of carved teak, painted furniture, and decorative arts. Children will work with artists to create an eastern style journal, weave, create shadow puppets, and even meet a live camel. The program includes a tour of Frederic Church's home, and will culminate in a student-led presentation for family and friends at the end of the week. Registration forms can be found by clicking here. Registration deadline is Friday, June 20. Contact Sarah Hasbrook Education Coordinator, at (518) 828-1872 or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
Monday, July 21-Friday, July 25 | 9am-3pm
Panorama: Week 2-Nature as the Artist's Palette
Wagon House Education Center
Ages Ages 6-12
$180/child one week
$320/child two week package
Frederic Church created with more than just paint, he designed his 250-acre landscape to look like a three dimensional painting! During the week we will use nature as the palette of inspiration for the artwork we create. We will dabble in a variety of media, use nature to create art and work with artists and culinary chefs throughout the week. The program includes a tour of Frederic Church's home, and will culminate in a student-led presentation for family and friends at the end of the week. Registration forms can be found by clicking here. Register by June 20. Contact Sarah Hasbrook Education Coordinator, at (518) 828-1872 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Additional programs and their descriptions can be found on our calendar.
Contact Sarah Hasbrook, Education Coordinator, for more information on any of our programs or to register at email@example.com or (518) 828-1872 x 109. Most of the Wagon House Education Center programs are free; any programs requiring a fee includes a discounted fee for members of The Olana Partnership. Please note that there is a grounds fee of $5 per car to enter the Olana State Historic Site on weekends and Monday holidays May-October. This fee is waived if you are a member of The Olana Partnership. Public programs are made possible thanks to the generosity of our donors. If you would like to know more about how you can support our educational programming or become a member to receive discounts on programming, please visit our Give section.
We look forward to having you join us at a Wagon House Education Center program to learn about, and be inspired by, Olana.
Feedback from participants:
Absolutely great Visual Arts Workshop-fun-educational-had it all! Thanks.
Olana On the Move Backpacks were phenomenal, unique and exceptional. We had a wonderful day here and we'll come back again and again. It's a really nice thing to do on the weekend with your family.
Art in the Barn was fun, entertaining, thoughtful, healthful and engaging. My daughter enjoyed all the age appropriate activities. We were invited to participate when we came to Olana for a visit. We felt very welcome and enjoyed dancing and finger painting. It was wonderful! We love this beautiful space. You made us feel comfortable and relaxed. Thank you.
Wagon House Education Center History
Upon completion of Cosy Cottage – the Church family's first home – in the fall of 2005, The Olana Partnership began planning for the next phase of its comprehensive plan – the restoration of Olana's historic farm complex. Work began in the summer of 2007 on the farm complex, including the re-creation of the wagon house, with a project budget of $1.6 million. The new education center significantly enhances "the Olana experience" for the thousands of children who visit each year — many from underserved populations — through their ability to participate in art classes, lectures and other educational and culturally enriching activities. The education center is a year-round space to encourage place-based education and contemporary interpretation.
Its history continues with you – hope to see you at a program soon!