("GO-See") is a multi-month program to experience and explore the artistic and cultural contributions of diverse ethnic and cultural populations of our counties. Supported by a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, we are expanding our offerings of concerts, workshops, talks, exhibits and local film screenings, and promoting those of community partners. Join us as we celebrate our rich array of arts, heritage, and culture!
- Check out upcoming events below
- Do you/your organization have an event that fits the bill? Send us an email, we want to help promote it!
Becoming American: The Journey of Italians
in Genesee County, NY
By Michael Eula, Genesee County Historian
Tuesday, October 3, 7:00
Oakfield Community and Government Center
6219 Drake St., Oakfield
On November 2nd , 1905, an Italian immigrant, Gaitano Valente, while working as a miner in Oakfield for the United States Gypsum Company, was killed in an avalanche of rocks that were being excavated. Less than a year later, on September 13 th , 1906, it was reported that “200 Italians from New York City” were being brought into Oakfield to work as strikebreakers for that same company. It was assumed that a riot would ensue – and as a result, there was a collection of guns to be used in the expected confrontation. These two incidents took place within a national context of mass Italian immigration punctuated by a perception of Italians as the “other” – a characterization capable of producing the largest mass lynching to ever take place in American history – the infamous murder of eleven Italian immigrants in New Orleans in 1891. This event served as a catalyst for attacks on Italians throughout the nation. The compelling question, then, is how the Italian immigrant of the late nineteenth century – the “other” as depicted routinely in the newspapers of the day – could become, only a few generations later, a respected and influential member of American society. Focusing on this question in terms of Genesee County, we will follow the journey of the typical Italian immigrant in the late 1800s as he or she, in subsequent generations, evolved from the outsider on the margins of society into a member of the mainstream of Genesee County – and American – life.
Jack Kelly, Author
“Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold and Murder on the Erie Canal”
Wednesday, July 12, 7 pm, Hoag Library, 134 S. Main St., Albion
Thursday, July 13, 7 pm, Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia
JACK KELLY is a journalist, novelist, and historian. He received the DAR's History Award Medal for his book Band of Giants. He grew up in the Erie Canal region and now lives in New York's Hudson Valley.