The arts, cultural, and heritage groups in the greater Cazenovia area have been meeting monthly and came together to establish “The Cazenovia Arts and Heritage Alliance.”

Their first work has been to complete a study which collected and analyzed the current economic impact that the arts are having in Cazenovia. The results of this first study were presented April 3rd to a standing room only, joint meeting of the Cazenovia Village and Town Boards.

Inspired by the nationally recognized “Americans for the Arts” study model, recently completed in Onondaga County, the Alliance consulted with Dr. Ronald Wright of Le Moyne College who had just overseen the greater Onondaga study.  With his guidance the “Alliance” conducted a modified study for Cazenovia to better understand, document and communicate the dynamic impact of the “Arts” in the Cazenovia community. 

“The Cazenovia Arts and Heritage Alliance” had 100% participation from all seventeen non-profit cultural organizations that fit within the guidelines established for this first study.

The study found compelling evidence that non-profit arts and cultural organizations are a $5.16 million industry in the Town and Village of Cazenovia. This industry supports 220 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $726,000 in local and state government revenue.

Non-profit arts and cultural organizations, which spend $2.4 million each year on operations, programs and services, also leverage a remarkable $2.7 million in spending by their patrons and audiences—spending that pumps vital revenue into local restaurants, hotels, retail stores and other area businesses.

“The Cazenovia Arts and Heritage Alliance” continues to meet monthly.  Though this first study was specific to the impact of non-profits with in the Cazenovia borders, the Alliance welcomes all organizations who wish to work together with in its mission:

“The Cazenovia Arts Heritage Alliance celebrates Cazenovia’s unique history, creates and supports new artistic endeavors, and works to engage and enliven the citizenship through the arts.”

For information on future meetings contact Sarah Webster at (315) 655 - 3196

Cazenovia College’s spring musical performance is Lionel Bart’s OLIVER!, a musical version of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist," set in 1800s London.
The show will be staged on two weekends, April 12 – 14, and April 19 – 21, with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances at 2 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults; $8 for children age 12 & under; and $3 for Cazenovia College students.

The performance is directed by David Lowenstein, Cazenovia College’s artist in residence. In the starring role, Gerard McCrohan, of Manlius, N.Y., plays Oliver. The Artful Dodger is played by Zach Simms, of Cazenovia; Fagin is played by Alan Stillman, of Cazenovia; Nancy is played by Michele Lindor, a Cazenovia College English major from Syracuse, N.Y.; and Bill Sykes is played by John Melvin, of Cazenovia.

Zachary Martin, of Syracuse is Mr. Bumble; Rita Worlock, of Syracuse, is Widow Corney; James Tobey, of Cazenovia is Mr. Brownlow; Mrs. Bedwin is played by Beth Anne Kempf, of Cazenovia; Mr. Sowerberry is played by Mark Braimen, of Cazenovia; and Mrs. Sowerberry is played by Renee Joseph, of Cazenovia.

The rest of the company is made up of Cazenovia College students, local middle school students and adults from the community.

The Catherine Cummings Theatre at Cazenovia College is located at 16 Lincklaen Street in Cazenovia, N.Y. Event tickets are available at the door before the event, and may also be purchased by calling 315-655-STAR (7827), and at Cazenovia Jewelry, Albany Street in Cazenovia. For event information contact Colleen Prossner, theatre manager, at 315-655-7238 or

The theatre is named in memory of Catherine Cummings, a 1925 alumna who had benefitted greatly by her opportunity to attend the College. Thanks to the Gorman Foundation of Sherrill, N.Y., the Catherine Cummings Theatre at Cazenovia College will provide a venue for cultural events such as plays and concerts, as well as meeting space for the College and the Village. 

Taking a step back from the role of tourism today, this blog post is more aimed at our readers who live here and close to Madison County.
Every day we have a lot of choices on where to purchase our goods and services.  With the state of New York passing more and more costs down to our counties, and the governor and legislature showing little fortitude to do anything about it, we can help control some of our fiscal future here in Madison County. 
Our county is made up of a lot of bedroom communities.  Many people live here and work in Syracuse, Rome and Utica.  I've had this discussion with my wife before on buying just the simple things locally, like filling up the gas tank in Chittenango instead of East Syracuse on her way to and from work and the impact it makes on our property taxes.
For example.  My wife spends about $3600 a year in gas for her vehicle.  At today's prices that's somewhere between 900 and 1000 gallons of gas.  At $3.78 a gallon there is about 28 cents of state and local sales tax per gallon, 14 cents of the going directly to our local governments in sales tax revenue.  If my wife buys all of her gas in Madison County that is $140 in sales tax revenue over the course of the year for local governments.  Multiply that by the 25,000 or more people who work outside of the county but who live here.  That comes to $3.5 million dollars that may or may not be going to support the local services we enjoy here in Madison County.  You see, you have the choice on where you spend your tax dollars and the programs that eventually those dollars support. 
So think about it a bit this year when you are looking over your county tax bills.  How much tax money are you giving to other counties, that by spending it here, you could reduce your property taxes or at the very least help maintain the high levels of service we enjoy?

On January 26, Cazenovia welcomes Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his  partner, Brent Ridge of the reality television series “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” and current winners of CBS’s television show “The Amazing Race” for a special book signing and tasting from their award winning cookbook “Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” and New York Times best-seller, “The Bucolic Plague” at the Lincklaen House, Albany Street, from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Tickets for the tasting are $25.00 and may be purchased in advance at Cazenovia Jewelry, Lillie Bean, Tizzy’s, or the Cazenovia Chamber office.  Purchase of their books, as well as, products from their “Mercantile” may be made that afternoon.

      New York Times Best - Selling  Author, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and former Vice-President of Healthy Living for Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Dr. Brent Ridge, purchased the historic Beekman Farm as a retreat from  their hectic New York City life not knowing that they would launch one  of the “fastest growing lifestyle brands in the country” (source: NASDAQ)  Soon, the press became aware of this tiny town , Sharon Springs, situated in Upstate New York, and the struggles of the two novice farmers.  A reality show was launched and in 2012 the duo competed and won CBS’s “The Amazing Race”.  The Fabulous Beekman Boys may be currently seen on The Cooking Channel, Thursdays at 10:00pm.

      This event is sponsored by The Historic Cazenovia Business District of the Cazenovia Chamber of Commerce, Cazenovia College, Gene  Gissin Photography, Amanda Bury Antiques, Tizzy’s and Lillie Bean.  For more information, contact the Cazenovia Chamber at 315-655-9243 or Lillie Bean at 315-655-0677.  Limited tickets will be available the day of the event.

The Cazenovia College Art Gallery in Reisman Hall will host the Annual First Year Seminar Exhibition, Dec. 10 through the end of the term. The exhibition features work by students in the Class of 2016. An opening reception is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 10 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with refreshments sponsored by the First Year Program.
The exhibition includes an eclectic variety of artwork and class projects created by individuals and student groups in the seminars: "Clay: Guaranteed to Be Art for 15,000 Years," led by nationally-known ceramicist Professor Jo Buffalo; Assistant Professor Scott Jensen’s "Cartooning and Humorous Illustration;" Assistant Professor John Livermore’s "Mathematical Mysteries;" Dr. Tim McLaughlin’s "African Childhoods;" Professor Elizabeth Moore’s "Home Sweet Home;" Dr. Andrew O’Baoill’s "#Occupy the Media (*LLC);" Karen Steen’s "Knitting: Functional Craft/Social Commentary;" "Kiln Formed Glass," led by Professor Kim Waale; and "Life In and On the Lake," led by Dr. Thad Yorks.

The First Year Program integrates first year students into the College’s academic community, introducing them to the learning goals and resources provided by the College. The Program also works in cooperation with the Division of Student Development to provide students with co-curricular opportunities and fosters students’ appreciation of the institutional core values: community, learning, diversity, integrity, accountability and tradition.
The Cazenovia College Art Gallery in Reisman Hall, 6 Sullivan St., is on the corner of Sullivan and Seminary streets in Cazenovia. Hours during the academic year are: Monday through Thursday, 1-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.; Friday, 1-4 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 2-6 p.m. Summer hours vary. Shows and receptions are free and open to the public. The gallery is handicapped accessible.
For information contact Jen Pepper, gallery director, by e-mail to Information is also on the Web at

Cazenovia College, founded in 1824, is an independent, co-educational, baccalaureate college near Syracuse, N.Y., offering a comprehensive liberal arts education in an exceptional community environment, with academic and co-curricular programs devoted to developing leaders in their professional fields.  Cazenovia, named one of "America’s Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report, is also a national College of Distinction.  For more information, visit


Your chance to Vote for Your Favorite Project

The Central New York Community Foundation has held quarterly contests this year to award $8500 to organizations who garner the most votes for their project.  The CNY85 Giving Project is part of the celebration of 85 years of giving by the foundation.
Several Madison County projects are up for a vote in the latest round of funding which focuses on Arts, Culture, Recreation and Civic Engagement.  The following projects need your support:

The Cazenovia Community Development Association wants to develop a Cazenovia Art Trail.
The Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum wants to building an interactive Dry-Dock exhibit
Madison Bouckville Promotions wants to provide benches at their bus stops during the annual Antique Week.
The National Abolition Hall of Fame wants to install a lift to make the museum handicapped accessible.
The Oneida Improvement Committee wants to build walking trails in the city.
The Partnership for Community Development in Hamilton wants to bring a Grammy Award Winning Children's Singer to the Chocolate Wreck Festival. 

Voting takes place over the entire month of December and you are allowed one vote per day per email address. So vote early and vote often to bring this $8,500 to Madison County!

There are several options for attending winter farmers’ markets in Central New York, but none are quite like the Circa Farmers’ Market, which opens for the season this Saturday, December 1st. Held at Circa Restaurant in the Village of Cazenovia, this market is strictly for producers only.
Circa Restaurant chef and owner, Alicyn Hart, has been hosting this market now for 3 years. “It has offered our customers the opportunity to meet, visit, and query the other farmers who bring to fruition Circa's goals of serving simple honest local fare…” said Chef Hart. “We've added and subtracted vendors, still adhering to the suggestion of limiting it to Circa purveyors.”
The idea started in 2010 due to a lack of markets in Cazenovia. Circa Farmers’ Market is a producer only market. Just as unique as Circa restaurant is to CNY, so are the participating vendors some of whom are selling items such as bison meat, pastured lamb, artisan cheeses, and grass fed butter.
This Saturday, Renate Nolan, cheesemaker extraordinaire of Dutch Girl Cheese, will be providing samples for market customers utilizing her exceptionally crafted cheeses combined with acorn squash from Lucky Moon Farm and meat from Ingallside Meadows. Renate will continue to supply sumptuous samples throughout the season. For details each month and updates don’t forget to like Circa Winters Farmer Market on Facebook!
The Circa Farmers’ Market will be held the first Saturday of the month beginning in December and continues through April. Doors open at 9am and while the market closes at Noon, feel free to hang around for an exquisitely prepared lunch, featuring menu items created from the many products found at the market.
Vendors at this year’s market include Meadowood Farms, Salt City Coffee, Ingallside Meadows Farm, Lucky Moon Farm, Empire Buffalo, Dutch Girl Cheese, Alambria Springs Farm, Lynnie Lynnes Gluten Free Bakery, and Kriemhild Dairy Farms!

The opulence of a holiday bedecked Mansion, the jingling bells of Lamplit Farm horses, the sounds of live seasonal music, greetings from Father Christmas and the taste of wassail and homemade sweets are but a few of the outstanding delights CHRISTMAS AT LORENZO offers patrons this year. With generous program support from The Friends of Lorenzo, public hours to tour “All Creatures Great and Small” will commence on Friday, December 7 from 7-9 pm for “Christmas by Candlelight  and the festivities will continue on Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9 from 1-4 pm each afternoon. An annual favorite of member and member-guests, The Friends of Lorenzo “Mansion Preview Party” fundraiser will kick off the season on Thursday, November 29.  

The early 19th C home to Cazenovia’s founder, John Lincklaen, Lorenzo State Historic Site has been dazzling holiday visitors to Cazenovia for nearly four decades each December.  Basing their decorations on our love affair with the animal kingdom, the following volunteer decorators have set the holiday mood throughout the period rooms of the Mansion:  Dan McCann of Five Seasons, Fayetteville; Susan Anthony; Wendy Van Der Bogart; Nancy Whiting; Karen Hill; Sara Mitchell; Jill Gates; Gary Johnson and Terry Crammer; and Elizabeth Whiting.  Visitor center decorations by the Cazenovia Garden Club and countless hours of tour-giving by the Lorenzo Docent Corps and the efforts of numerous other volunteers make the season possible at Lorenzo each year.  

“Christmas at Lorenzo” patrons will enjoy festive American classics during Friday candlelight hours with the CNY Jazz Trio; the Belle Aire Handbell Trio will ring in the season during Saturday hours; and the Baroque sounds of Bells and Motley will fill the air during Sunday hours. Made possible by both The Friends of Lorenzo and the Lorenzo Driving Competition, horse-drawn sleigh rides (weather dependent) will be available during public hours, and round-trip rides to the Rippleton Schoolhouse will also be featured during Sunday hours when kids of all ages may enjoy 19th C crafts and holiday refreshments. On Friday night, the Snow Queen character, presented by Open Hand Theater, will be appearing at the visitor center, where on Saturday and Sunday, Cazenovia High School student musicians will be featured.

A modest admission price covers sleigh rides, refreshments, live music and a Mansion tour ($4 per person, $1 for children 12 and under). By advance reservation, groups of 12 or more will also be welcomed for guided tours during available weekdays in December. Proceeds from the sale of distinctive gifts and seasonal items from the Lorenzo gift shop will help to support future programs and projects at Lorenzo. For more information about all facets of “Christmas at Lorenzo,” please call (315) 655-3200 or visit

A spectacular fall foliage season is beginning to wind down, and we probably have peaked for the year.  There are however, some very brilliant colors still on the trees across Madison County.  You will find great photo opportunities in our villages as we are very luck with the number of trees planted there.  The best colors will be north of US Route 20, and the foliage along US Route 20 is on its last legs.  The villages of Cazenovia, Chittenango, Canastota and the city of Oneida all have trees with ample leaves with colors left on them. 
In the woods, the beech trees and oak trees still have their leaves and the oranges and red and brown provide some compelling contrasts.  In the fields, the hard freeze we had earlier this week turned all the corn stalks to a brilliant golden brown.
Take a drive along Route 31 and the south shore of Oneida Lake this weekend too.  Great colors persist there too.  I'm guessing we will have one more week of reports to share with you and then the countdown to snowmobile season (or spring if you wish) begins. 

The founder of Cazenovia, John Lincklaen's family was of Dutch heritage, and in celebration of that heritage, the Friends of Lorezno are partnering with the Friends of the Cazenovia Library to host a presentation on Food in Dutch Art.  The event is October 23rd at 7pm in the community room of the Cazenovia Library.