Exploring the Hudson River through the Eyes of its Native Inhabitants

Dutchess Arts Camp children present 5 Stories of Indigenous encounters along the River That Flows Both Ways — at Long Dock Park, Beacon NY, in 2015.

Learning stories of the Haudenosaunee, Dakota, Penobscot, Lenape & Esopus (Algonkan), Mill Street Loft’s Dutchess Arts Camp Beacon children from ages 4 to 12 created sets, costumes and giant puppets to help them share the spirit of our two-way-flowing Hudson River, Mahheakantuk, from her origins in the North to where she meets the sea below Manhattan.

Paper Artist Christina DiMarco and Joan in her Storyteller capacity continued their 16-year tradition of teaching traditional stories shared through puppetry, performance and oral tradition at DAC, joined by artist-animator Adam Osterfeld, Camp Director & multimedia artist Nina Tantillo-Elton and a team of assistants, camp counselors & CITs (counselors-in-training). The children amazed everyone with the level of their storytelling, their artwork, their singing & dancing, and all they had learned about the River and her creatures & environment. They truly made everything you see here, and more – learning a host of Common Core, Learning Standards and Earth skills as one only can through the arts.

The week’s performance closed with entire camp’s performance of River Wide, River Deep, a counterpoint song composed for them by Joan, with which they enchanted every person present – some touched to tears.