The Madison County Historical Society has a fun day of interactive, entertaining activities planned for kids during the spring school break on Thursday, April 26 from 9 am - 12 pm at the Kallet Civic Center located at 159 Main Street in Oneida. This event called Leisure Arts Festival for Youth is part of the Madison County Historical Society’s Heritage Handicrafts: A Leisure Arts Workshop Series which offers programming designed to engage and involve Madison County residents in Fine Arts and Craft activities common in the 19th century, with a focus on making cultural connections to creative pastimes which are still relevant today.


Leisure Arts Festival for Youth will feature a number of art stations for creating silhouette self–portraits; an interactive musical performance about the Erie Canal, and a Punch and Judy Puppet Show.Admission is free and open to children of all ages. We do ask that children under the age of 12 be accompanied by an adult.

Leisure Arts Festival for Youth Schedule of Activities:
9 am- 10 am- Bells and Motley,” 15 years on the Erie Canal, “an interactive Musical Performance. Audience participation is encouraged.

10 am- 10:30 am- Punch and Judy Puppet Show with Melanie Zimmer of Dancing Bear Puppet Theater. Punch and Judy Puppet Shows featuring Mr. Punch and his wife, Judy were familiar sights in all major cities throughout the 19th century. Their performances typically are a sequence of short scenes, depicting an interaction between two characters mocking politicians and everyday life. The show is performed by a single puppeteer inside a booth, known since Victorian times as a “professor” or “punchman.” Audience participation is encouraged to call out to the characters on the stage, to warn them of what is going on behind their backs.

10:30 am- 12 pm- Cut paper silhouette self–portraits led by artist, Pamela Vogan Lynch. Silhouettes are two-dimensional “portraits” in which the sitter’s profile image is presented as a black solid on light background. Silhouettes were highly fashionable in America from the mid-18th through the mid-19th century. Workshop participants will sit in front of an illuminated background to have image outlines drawn that they then can cut out of black paper and mount for presentation.

The Leisure Arts Festival for Youth will be held at the Kallet Civic Center located on 159 Main Street in Oneida on Thursday, April 26 from 9 am- 12 pm. This event is free and open to children of all ages. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information please contact the Madison County Historical Society at 315-363-4136, or history@mchs1900.org. The Madison County Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that operates both a museum and the Mary King Research Library located at 435 Main Street in Oneida. The society continues to preserve, collect, promote, and exhibit the history of Madison County and its fifteen towns and one city through the development of programs that enhance Madison County’s heritage. The historical society’s headquarters are housed in an 1849 Gothic Revival Villa that is listed on the State and National Registry of Historic Places.

Madison County Historical Society’s Heritage Handicrafts: A Leisure Arts Workshop Series is programming designed to engage and involve Madison County residents in Fine Arts and Craft activities common in the 19th century, with a focus on making cultural connections to creative pastimes which are still relevant today. There are two more workshops to be offered this year: Art of Theorem Painting (May 5) 9 am- 12 pm, $30 registration fee; and Botanical Watercolors (June 9) 9 am- 12 pm, $30 registration fee. This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.