Center for Creative Retirement

We offer more educational and fun classes, trips and workshops to keep you actively engaged.

How to Register

Register for a course by selecting "Add to Cart" on the desired course and select the "Cart" at the bottom of the page when you are ready to process your registration.
NOTE: The “Seats Left” information is updated every hour and when you checkout.

Courses

A Musical Trip to Ireland

“C`ead M’ile F`ailte!” (A hundred thousand welcomes!) You are warmly invited to come along with the Capital Region’s Irish folk, rebel and ballad singer (Irish) Don Kelly as he takes you on a two-hour musical trip to the Ole Emerald Isle. With his acoustic guitar and baritone voice, class participants will be taken back through Ireland’s rich and often troubled history. Familiar songs of resistance, emigration and love will be sung with an introduction explaining a bit about the song being shared. As we are only 4 months to St. Patrick’s Day there is no better way to relax and enjoy some Irish songs and to learn about where the songs came from. Bring a friend and double the enjoyment. Sl`ainte (Cheers)!

Don Kelly, Instructor

This course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

A Musical Trip to Ireland
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 11/12
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-453 500 12 seats left $15Opens 8/27

America's First Shaker Settlement

This two-part course will introduce you to the fascinating history of the Shakers.  You may know about Shaker furniture, have seen a Shaker oval box, hummed the Simple Gifts song (‘Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to be free…) or worn a Shaker stitch sweater, but did you know that Albany was the site of the first Shaker settlement in America?  

The Shakers originated in England in the 1750s.  Radical in their beliefs of gender and racial equality, pacifism, celibacy as a path to salvation, and communal life, Shaker leader Mother Ann Lee and her followers devoted themselves to creating heaven on earth through industriousness and a distinct form of ecstatic worship. To escape persecution for their beliefs, eight Shakers left Manchester, England in 1774 and found their way to a swampy wilderness north of Albany in 1776. This settlement grew into a network of 22 communities (including Hancock Shaker Village) recognized as the most successful communal religious society in America.  Along the way, the Shakers became a major cultural force through their invention and innovation, craftsmanship, and music.  

 

An Introduction to Wisdom’s Valley: America’s First Shaker Settlement - October 8

This class session will provide an overview of the Shakers and explore the community structure, the role of women in the society, inventions such as the flat broom and seed packet that formed a base for their significant industries, Shaker religious life, and interactions with the outside world.

From Meeting House to Mill Pond: A (Virtual) Visit to Wisdom’s Valley - October 15

A virtual tour of the Shaker Heritage Society (SHS) site will introduce the built and natural resources that remain to tell the history of the Shakers, their daily life, and their contributions to American history. Located near the Albany Airport, the SHS grounds include a number of original Shaker buildings (including the 1848 meeting house and 1915 barn), an apple orchard, herb garden, cemetery, and the mill pond which is now the Ann Lee Pond Nature Preserve.  

Lorraine Weiss, Coordinator

This course meets in Day Care Building, Room B05

America's First Shaker Settlement
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursdays, 10/8 - 10/15
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-632 500 12 seats left $35Opens 8/27

Becoming a More Sustainable You - Recycling

Debbie Jackson retired from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation after 34 years of service, 30 in the Bureau of Waste Reduction and Recycling. In this session, we will talk about reducing our waste generation in the time of COVID-19, the status of recycling today and how to become a better recycler. The session will also include ways to reduce our food waste and how to compost our organics. 

This course is taught remotely via Zoom. You will need your Hudson Valley username and password to access the course. 

Debbie Jackson, Instructor 

Becoming a More Sustainable You - Recycling
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 10/5
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-633 500 12 seats left $12

Celebrate the Magic Everyday - Flowers

Floral class presented by Michele Peters, of Ambiance Floral & Events. With many years of learning, designing and learning more, she comes to class bringing fresh ideas and inspiration.

Flower arranging is not an art to be reserved for special occasions. Every day is special!  Michele is going to talk about how to make magic with simple floral designs and accessories. Each student should bring wire cutters and scissors as we will be creating a magical transformation of stems and foliage that students will take home.

Michele Peters of Ambiance Florals and Events, Instructor

Course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

Celebrate the Magic Everyday - Flowers
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 10/27
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-374 500 12 seats left $29Opens 8/27
Tuesday, 10/27
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
ZCCR-374 501 12 seats left $29Opens 8/27

Commemorating 100 Years Women's Suffrage

Rensselaer County’s suffrage activities span more than seven decades before the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution was signed, giving women the right to vote.  Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian Kathryn Sheehan will explore the suffrage and anti-suffrage activities in Rensselaer County and the famous and not-so-famous women who led the charge on both sides of this hotly debated issue.  From Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who attended the Troy Female Seminary, to Julia Blanche Stover Clum from Valley Falls, we will examine the roles that these women and others used to influence this important legislation. We will also look at the way these two divergent groups set aside their political differences and worked together to create change.

Kathryn Sheehan, Instructor

This course will meet in Day Care Center, Room B05

Commemorating 100 Years Women's Suffrage
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 10/1
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-634 500 12 seats left $15Opens 8/27

Discover Your Irish Origins Through DNA Testing

Ethnicity estimates provided by DNA testing companies can open the door to discovering your Irish origins, but how do you use them and your matches to add specific information to your family tree? Learn how ethnicity estimates are determined, how to cluster your matches and isolate those from your Irish ancestors, and how to discover cousins in Ireland with Lisa Dougherty, genealogist-in-residence at the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany.

This course is taught remotely via Zoom. You will need your Hudson Valley username and password to access the course. 

Lisa Dougherty, Instructor

 

Discover Your Irish Origins Through DNA Testing
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 10/6
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-621 500 12 seats left $15Opens 8/27

Firt Lady Dolley Madison: The Toast of Washington City

In 1809, when “Lady President” Dolley Madison and her husband President James Madison took residence in the “President’s Palace” – the White House – it was an unfinished and unfurnished hull. While her husband dealt with issues of international and domestic affairs, including a second war with Britain, Dolley began transforming the White House into a welcoming, tastefully decorated public space. She crafted a social climate that fostered personal alliances, earned the respect of foreign emissaries, and promoted national unity. At her lively parties, politicians and regular people mingled within a structure of polite behavior and personal interaction, forging connections that could serve the interests of the nation as a whole. In this presentation, we will explore Dolley Madison’s legacy and accomplishments, and find out why she remained the social center of Washington long after her husband’s death.

Phyllis Chapman, Instructor

Course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

Firt Lady Dolley Madison: The Toast of Washington City
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 9/30
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-574 500 12 seats left $35Opens 8/27

Genealogy Basics

Tracing your family's history is a fascinating journey. Genealogy Basics will help you understand the genealogy research process and how to interpret the information you find. This course guides you through the search process for family names using several subscription-based websites, which you can access while enrolled in this class. You will learn through hands-on examples that help you dig deeper into your family's past. You will develop a strategy to accomplish your objectives, evaluate the results, and share that information with others. You will discover where to look, who to contact, and how to make your family history come alive! This course is taught online through our partnership with Ed2go. To log into your online classroom, please visit www.ed2go.com/hvcc and select My Classroom. Please note, it may take 24 – 48 hours before your registered course appears is My Classroom.

Genealogy Basics
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Online, 8/12 - 10/2 ZILC-114 702 20 seats left $99

Hamilton's Choice

Jack Casey will discuss his new novel “Hamilton’s Choice,” an in-depth view of the last three years of Alexander Hamilton’s life with a new theory about why he went to the fatal duel. Casey will connect the 1801 duel of Hamilton’s son, Philip, Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase, the 1804 New York governor’s race, and how Gen. Philip Schuyler unwittingly gave Aaron Burr cause to summon Hamilton to his death on the dueling ground of Weehawken. Many of the crucial events in this story occurred right here in the Albany area!

Jack Casey, Instructor

Course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

Hamilton's Choice
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 10/22
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-625 500 12 seats left $25Opens 8/27
Thursday, 10/22
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
ZCCR-625 501 12 seats left $25Opens 8/27

Let Those Meneely Bells Ring

Many have heard about them, some may have even seen a few, but the background of the Meneely bells in the Troy area is absolutely fascinating. Come get the scoop and hear all about them: what they were made of, how they were tuned, and where they are now. Find out the difference between a chime, a carillon and a peel. Gene Burns will share his experiences and knowledge.

Gene Burns, Instructor

Course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05 

Let Those Meneely Bells Ring
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 10/9
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-626 500 12 seats left $20Opens 8/27

Let's Put on a Show

If you were a fan of the great radio shows of days gone by, here is the chance to acknowledge your inner actor and participate in recreating that era. In this class, we’ll create our own radio show – we’ll select the script, cast the parts, and rehearse the show, while creating any needed sound effects with whatever we find in the room. Depending on the number of attendees, we can do one or two scripts in this two-hour class. If you think this might be fun, come join us. Let’s put on a show!

Jim Cochran, Instructor

Course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

Let's Put on a Show
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 10/30
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-611 500 12 seats left $12Opens 8/27

Life of New Netherland & Dutch Holiday

2 Presentations in 1!

The Life and Legacy of New Netherland 

New Netherland was a Dutch colony that existed in what is now New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. This talk examines the history of the Dutch settlement of these areas during the 17th century, from Henry Hudson’s exploration of the Hudson River in 1609 through the English takeover of the colony in 1664. 

 

The discussion also examines the ways that Dutch culture, language, and traditions lingered on long after the English takeover, some of which continue on to this day. 

Dutch Holiday Traditions in Colonial Albany and the Hudson River Valley

During the 17th century, Dutch settlers to the Hudson River Valley brought Old World traditions and culture with them. Long after the English takeover of New Netherland, Dutch language, traditions, and customs lingered on. In colonial New Netherland and New York, holiday traditions followed a familiar Dutch form, but often merged with other traditions as well. This lecture highlights the ways that Dutch holidays like Shrovetide (Carnival), Pinkster, and St. Nicholas Day were celebrated in Hudson Valley during the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Sam Huntington, Instructor
Course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

Life of New Netherland & Dutch Holiday
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 11/5
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-628 500 12 seats left $15Opens 8/27

New York Tales: Tall and True

Some of New York State’s folklore is truly unbelievable, and some of its history is even more so. Learn how a song, written in 1908 on a New York City subway, surreptitiously shifted society’s stance on suffrage. We’ll see two New York governors competing for President of the United States and how their campaign songs contributed to the contest. We’ll reveal the New York roots of “God Bless America” and revel in the adventures of “Red McCarthy, Paul Bunyan of the Erie Canal.” Empire State history and folklore comes alive as never before with this collection of New York tales, tall and true.

Sandy Schuman, Instructor

Course will meet in Day Care Center, Room B05

New York Tales: Tall and True
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 10/7
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-558 500 12 seats left $20Opens 8/27

Notorious! Shady ladies of 19th Century America

Some people would rather be infamous than famous - and 19th century American women were no different! Scandal and gossip can be so delicious, and these ladies tasted their fair share of both. Phyllis Chapman, as Victoria Woodhull, who was “infamous” herself, will delight us with tales not only of her own escapades, but also those of naughty ladies such as Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Lizzie Borden, Lydia Pinkham, Carry A. Nation and others. They were women who found innovative (and sometimes inappropriate!) means of making their way in the world. Tasty tidbits include the answers to questions such as, who was the inspiration for the all-American Gibson Girl? Did Lizzie do it? Why was Calamity Jane a calamity? In the days when a lady’s name only appeared in the newspapers three times in her life, these gals were frequently headliners. If you like gun-swinging, bone-crackling, axe-whacking, free-loving women, this is a must-see for you!

Phyllis Chapman, Instructor

Course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

Notorious! Shady ladies of 19th Century America
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 10/28
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-505 500 12 seats left $35Opens 8/27

Proctors: A Man, His Theater, Our Heritage

Frederick Freeman Proctor was near the end of his life when he chose Schenectady to build the greatest of his 52 theaters across the country. He spared no expense, and when the doors were opened on Dec. 27, 1926, every seat was filled to watch the featured silent film “Stranded in Paris” and five separate vaudeville acts. Using slides copied from original photographs, the entire history of the theater and the man it is named for will be illustrated. Slides will also document and compare how the theater has changed over its 90 years of life, from glittering success in the 1920s and 30s to such hard times that by the 1970s, there was a real threat that it would be torn down. Learn about how the theater was saved, rehabilitated and expanded, and its recent major restoration. Proctors has overcome every obstacle and now continues to grow its entertainment schedule, with plans to expand even further.

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

This course meets in Day Care Building, Room B05

Proctors: A Man, His Theater, Our Heritage
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 9/28
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-523 500 12 seats left $19Opens 8/27
Monday, 10/5
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-523 501 12 seats left $19Opens 8/27

Steps to Organizing Your Family History Research

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of information you’re collecting on your family history? Have a big box of family pictures and documents you don’t know what to do with? Confused by all the options offered in family history software? Help is on the way! Join professional genealogist Lisa Dougherty for tips and suggestions on how to get your family research organized and keep it that way.

This course is taught remotely via Zoom. You will need your Hudson Valley username and password to access the course. 

Lisa Dougherty, Instructor

Steps to Organizing Your Family History Research
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 11/10
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-622 500 12 seats left $15Opens 8/27

The Baltimore Plot

In February of 1861, there were all sorts of rumors of plans to prevent Abraham Lincoln from attending his inauguration as the 16th president. This presentation explores the active plan to assassinate him in Baltimore as he made his way to Washington, DC. We’ll meet the cast of characters, including Lincoln’s inner circle, as well as the conspirators and the undercover agents who thwarted the plan. We’ll follow the sequence of events and examine the controversy surrounding this intriguing event in American history.

Jim Cochran, Instructor

Course will be meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

The Baltimore Plot
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 11/4
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-591 500 12 seats left $12Opens 8/27

The Death of Rensselaer County Sheriff's Deputy Griggs

Willard Griggs is the only Rensselaer County sheriff’s deputy to ever have died in the line of duty. He was mortally wounded on an East Greenbush farm in 1869 during an Anti-Rent War incident. This course will provide an overview of the Anti-Rent War in Rensselaer and Albany counties, and one of its key players, Walter Church, the grandson of Angelica Schuyler. It will discuss the incident in which Griggs was wounded and the unprecedented court proceeding leading up to the trial for his murder. The outcome of the trial and its aftermath will be discussed.

Jill Knapp, Instructor

Course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

The Death of Rensselaer County Sheriff's Deputy Griggs
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 9/21
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-399 500 12 seats left $15Opens 8/27

The Erie Canal: Part of Our History

This presentation with Tom Ragosta, president of the Watervliet Historical Society, curator of the Society’s museum, and city of Watervliet historian, will answer any questions you may have about the Erie Canal. Learn about what it was, what its purpose was, why it was built in New York State, and the statistics on both the original canal and the enlarged version of the canal. You’ll learn about the canal’s impact on the city of Watervliet through pictures and documentation, and a six-foot model of an Erie Canal boat and associated artifacts will be on display.

Tom Ragosta, Instructor

Course will be held in Day Care Building, Room B05

The Erie Canal: Part of Our History
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 10/13
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-612 500 12 seats left $22Opens 8/27

The Floors Still Hold Their Stories

This two-part class explores the history of floors. At the first class, we will begin learning about flooring in the 17th century, when rugs were far too expensive to place on the floor; the 18th century, when hand-loomed and imported rugs began to be used on floors; and the 19th century, when American factories began copying expensive imported rugs and made them available to the middle class through factories like those in Amsterdam, NY, which contributed to the wealth of the region. We will also learn about America’s woven, hooked and sewn carpets that were created either at home or by professional weavers. The second class will present room settings, featuring the kinds of furnishings that were placed on the floors and carpets both for functional use and aesthetic appeal. They will begin with the first primitive homes in the colonies and end in America’s lavish Victorian period. Included will be both homemade and imported carpets, and the invention of linoleum.

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

Course will be held in Day Care Building, Room B05

The Floors Still Hold Their Stories
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Mondays, 10/19 - 10/26
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-619 500 12 seats left $29Opens 8/27
Mondays, 11/2 - 11/9
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-619 501 12 seats left $29Opens 8/27

The Transcontinental Railroad

Completed in 1869, the transcontinental railroad was the largest infrastructure project in American history at the time it was built, turning the United States into a true continental power and sparking the development of our “wild west.” But did you know that many of the prime movers in the project had ties to early railroading in the Capital Region, and our local industrial base provided a number of the necessary parts that made the project possible? Come learn about the history of the transcontinental railroad and its ties to our area in this one-of-a-kind class.

Michael Barrett, Instructor

Course will meet in Day Care Building, Room B05

The Transcontinental Railroad
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 10/23
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-627 500 12 seats left $25Opens 8/27

Get in Touch

Community and Professional Education

Guenther Enrollment Services Center, Room 252

Fax: (518) 629-8103

Regular Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Summer Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
(excluding college holidays and vacations)