Public Programs

The museum galleries have reopened, yet to continue to meet safety precautions onsite programming will not occur until 2021. Online events such as performances, lectures, art programs, and more are occuring and details can be found at our virtual Museum at Home!

The Albany Institute presents a broad range of public programs related to our collections, exhibitions, and special projects.

Virtual Building Challenge: Towers & Arches!

All Ages: Monday, October 5 - 19 • 6:00am - 11:59pm

Virtual Building Challenge 2020 Theme: Towers & Arches!

Monday, October 5–Monday, October 19: Submissions taken 

Entries can be submitted here: Towers & Arches Building Challenge

Friday, October 23: Entries on view on the museum’s website and social media 

Get creative and build by yourself, or with your family! Take inspiration from arches and towers on view in Thomas Cole’s paintings in the museum’s The Hudson River School: Landscape Paintings from the Albany Institute exhibition. Towers may be built out of Legos, recycled materials, or any other materials you may wish to use. Entries will be shared on the Museum Makers blog on the museum’s website. 

Arches to be inspired by: Interior of the Colosseum Rome 

Towers to be inspired by: Ruined Tower 


SUBMIT ENTRIES VIA GOOGLE FORM HERE: Towers & Arches Building Challenge

If you are not able to use a Google form you  many submit your entry via email to

ZOOM PROGRAM Confronting Slavery: Discovering Family History in the Hudson Valley

General: Sunday, October 18 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Many Americans associate slavery with the South. But an increasing number of families with northern roots are discovering that enslavement is part of their family's history as well — either as enslaved people or as enslavers. In this program Eleanor Mire and Debra Bruno, will share insights from their family histories and the genealogical research they've conducted which led them to discover they are descended from the same family in New York's Hudson Valley.

Eleanor Mire is a Black woman who traced her lineage to Mary Vanderzee, who was born in 1801 to the enslaved Egberts family of Coxsackie, New York. Debra Bruno, who had been researching the very same family discovered she is descended from the enslavers. Both women are interested in genealogy, and that's how they found out about their connection between their families. 

This program is offered free with a suggested donation of $10. *Please note if you wish to make a donation, the system will not automatically prompt you to do so. You must choose your registration and scroll down to "Make a Donation" to input the donation amount before checkout.* You will receive an email confirmation when your registration is complete.

The presentation will be offered live via Zoom with a Q&A session. All participants will receive the Zoom link one hour before the lecture to the email used during registration.

Register here

Book and Art Club

Adults: Thursday, October 29 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm

October Book

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Register: here

A free digital copy of  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow can be accessed here. If you have any questions please reach out to Victoria Waldron, Education Assistant at one of the following: 518-463-4478 ext 404 or OR Amy Brozio-Andrews, Readers Services Librarian, 518-427-4300 or


Image: Thomas Cole (1801-1848). Tree.1832. Pencil on brown paper. Gift of Florence Cole Vincent, 1958.28.6.