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Calendar preview: Digging out


This week is presenting peak-autumn color for our area, and looking up to admire it may be a simple balm for a sore psyche. When the leaves fall, they will cover, fortify, and become the soil beneath our feet. But what else is down there? This week’s events go into stories of the past, offering a chance to dig up what we may not even know is part of our landscape, and dig out the parts that may be preventing it from flourishing.

On Saturday at 1 p.m., Nazareth College History and Political Science professor Timothy Kneeland will dig into the not-too-distant past to find timely connections in his online talk, “Playing Politics with Natural Disaster.” Central Library’s latest installment of the Rochester’s Rich History series takes us back to 1972, the year Hurricane Agnes struck the United States just months before a presidential election. Could this event have possibly been exploited for political gain and policy impact? Bring a shovel. Registration is required.

Tools will be provided on Archaeology Day, this Sunday at Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Cumming Nature Center in Naples. The site, part of the College at Brockport’s Archaeology Field School, is the buried remains of a 19th-century homestead in a logging settlement established by Europeans upon Seneca land. Groups can reserve a 2-hour session for $20 to learn the more precise aspects of an archaeological dig and help piece together clues of this time in history, even from simple objects. Kids are invited to participate, with “practice pits” to revel in the digging.

Visual Studies Workshop (VSW) digs into their archives this week to present documentation of difficult events such as police brutality in Rochester, captured by local media activists Portable Channel in the early 1970s. The content, which also features videos on police recruitment and training, has been digitized through grant funding and will be available on the VSW website starting Thursday. In addition, the VSW has two current online exhibitions in the Fall 2020 film series. Colectivo Los Ingrávidos is an art collective in Mexico practicing political resistance and activism through film composition and manipulation, with work on view through October. Meanwhile, Localism: Daniel Tucker in Dialogue with the VSW Film Collection remains on view through November. Tucker’s emphasis is on the importance of local engagement to effect change, and screenings include his engagement with our community’s local film trove at VSW.

Fans of women’s rights and equality might dig JCC CenterStage’s current online production, "Gloria: A Life." The life and work of Gloria Steinem, the legendary feminist and founder of Ms. Magazine, will be the focus of this original play, performed live on Zoom through Sunday, October 25. Each performance will be followed by a talking circle, led by local social justice advocates and women in politics. A roster of facilitators is on the website, as well as tickets ($20 for an individual; $35 per household).

Next week provides an opportunity to dig into the challenging work of digging out  entrenched racism. The Urban League of Rochester presents their inaugural Interrupt Racism Summit all day Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 20-21. This virtual conference is designed for individuals and organizations to engage in the theme of “Unmasking and Dismantling Racism” through examining pervasive inequities and devising better strategies. Some student scholarships are available for the summit; registration for one day of the event is $45 and $75 for both days.

This week is a good time to put on the overalls and get down to digging.

Keep up to date with full listings of local online events on the CITY Events Calendar. Do you have an event you wish to include? You can submit online, or email event information to