What is the relationship between Signatures of the Seneca and the Seneca Art and Culture Center?
Signatures of the Seneca is the fund-raising campaign dedicated to bringing in financial support for construction of the Seneca Art and Culture Center. The campaign will also fund an endowment for the Center's operations.
How can I donate?
Please visit our donation page, which explains your many options.
When do you expect to start construction on the Seneca Art and Culture Center?
Site work is expected to begin Fall 2013, with a tentative building opening in 2014.
What is the square footage of the Center?
The specifications call for 17,300 square feet.
What do you mean by dedication to sustainability?
The building design conforms to requirements for LEED certification, which designates sustainable design, construction, operations, and maintenance strategies to reduce the building's initial and long-term environmental impact. The goal is to increase overall efficiency, reduce waste, and ensure a high-quality interior building environment.
To reduce pollution, preventive measures will be taken to avoid soil loss during construction by storm water runoff and wind. Topsoil from areas cleared for the new building will be stockpiled for use in project landscaping. Bicycle storage, staff lockers, and other facilities will encourage alternative transportation.
What will the Seneca Art and Culture Center look like from the outside?
The Center is designed to fit into the natural landscape of Ganondagan. It will be a low, clean-cut building, built on an East-West orientation (as is our Bark Longhouse). Culturally significant traditional elements of fire and water will be reflected on the plaza of the building, which will serve as a welcoming transition for visitors to - or from - the Bark Longhouse, the trails, or the rest of the State Historic Site.
When I first enter the Center, what will I see?
The admissions entry will bisect the length of the rectangular-shaped building and feature a depiction of the Seneca Ganönyök (Thanksgiving address), or "words that come before all else." The gift shop, catering kitchen, and auditorium will be off the entry hall in one direction, with the gallery, office space, and administration in the other. The pathway to the Bark Longhouse will connect directly through the entryway.
What will I find in the gallery space?
The gallery will hold the permanent story of Ganondagan as well as changing exhibits conveying the story of the Seneca and Haudenosaunee people through five centuries of artistic, archeological, cultural, and historical artifacts including work from many contemporary Native artists. The gallery also will feature a substantial scale-model of the Bark Longhouse, especially beneficial for visitors during the winter when that structure is closed.
What kind of activities will take place in the multi-purpose auditorium?
With its flexible, roll out theater seating, the auditorium will be a local hotspot for numerous events, performances, and exhibits. Many of these will be programs offered by the Friends of Ganondagan such as lectures, films, concerts, and multimedia events. It will also be available for community use. You might attend a yoga or tai chi class during the day and an Iroquois Social Dance that same evening.
What kind of facilities will the Center have for educational purposes?
Currently, school groups come to Ganondagan only in the Fall and Spring when the historic site is open. The Seneca Art and Culture Center will allow these groups to visit all year long. With two classrooms and an orientation theater for video experiences, the facilities will enable learners of all ages to have a more immersive, interactive experience at Ganondagan.
Facilities for distance learning, including audio-visual equipment, will allow people from around the world to experience Ganondagan even if they can't visit the site. We will be able to share the culture and stories of the Seneca and the Haudenosaunee people with the global community.
What is the purpose of the Catering Kitchen?
The catering kitchen gives us the opportunity to make and serve food for receptions and celebrations. We can also expand our workshop offerings to include more food and nutrition workshops. Additionally, the kitchen will be available for community event usage.
What other amenities will I find at the Seneca Art and Culture Center?
For those of you who have had to contend with the porta-potties over the years, we're happy to say that the Center includes complete toilet facilities. The Center also will offer additional visitor amenities including lockers, shelter from sudden storms, and a Green Room where performers, lecturers, and re-enactors can prepare.
The Center is designed to be handicapped-accessible, with entry ramps, an accessible trail to the Bark Longhouse, parking, and drop-off capabilities close to the door. Thanks to the Seneca Art and Culture Center, Ganondagan becomes a very comfortable place for a full day's visit.
What are the plans for the outdoor space near the building?
The landscaping around the building will include traditional Seneca and Haudenosaunee medicine plants and gardens, supplying a natural tie-in to what you find on our ethno-botanical trails. Direct paths will lead to the trails.
We also expect to use the outdoor space to expand our demonstration capabilities, offering visitors the opportunity to learn the skills of 17th century people who lived at Ganondagan - such as fire starting and Seneca-style farming.
What will I be able to buy in the gift shop?
The gift shop will carry a much wider range of offerings. You will see everything from mementos including books, crafts, and music to works of art by contemporary artists.
What kind of office space will the Center have?
The Seneca Art and Culture Center will be the new home for the Ganondagan State employees, including the Native American interpreters who research history and Native culture. The Center will offer significantly improved facilities to help them do their job.
Who is the architect and who will be building the Center?
The architect of record is DeWolff Partnership Architects (Rochester, NY and Cleveland, OH) and the design architect is Francois DeMenil Architect PC of New York City. The Center will be built by the Rochester-based Pike Company in collaboration with the Seneca Construction Management Corporation (Irving, NY).
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