Sacred Sites Open House Weekend

Grace Episcopal Church historicalOn Saturday May 21st and Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 six local Syracuse congregations will be participating in the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s statewide Annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend: AME Zion Church (formerly People’s AME Zion), Church of the Saviour, First English Lutheran, Grace Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and Temple Concord. This years Open House Weekend celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Sacred Sites Program.

The annual Open House Weekend has three main objectives:

– To encourage sacred sites to open their doors to the general public. Inviting visitors is a great way to build broad community support for the ongoing preservation of historic institutions.

– To inspire residents to be tourists in their own town, introducing non-members to the history, art and architecture embodied in sacred places. New Yorkers tour religious sites around the world but many overlook those in their own back yard. Developing cultural tourism is key to the future of sacred sites,

– To publicize the many programs and services religious institutions offer their neighbors. The important work these sites provide benefits’ the entire community – not just the congregation’s members and help insure the congregation’s future.

Grace Exterior Early

This event is an opportunity for the community at large to learn about the historic and cultural significance of these landmark buildings and experience the beauty of some of Syracuse’s hidden architectural treasures.

Grace Church will be open for people to visit on Saturday, May 21st from 10am – 3:00pm, and Sunday, May 22nd from 11am to 2pm.

We will need volunteers to greet people and provide basic handouts. Please contact John Auwaerter if you are able to volunteer.

Prison Theater Films and Community Arts Workshop

You’re Invited!

February 5 – 7, 2016
Grace Episcopal Church
819 Madison St. (@University Ave.)

…with internationally acclaimed artists Curt Tofteland (Founder, Shakespeare Behind Bars,USA) and Tom Magill (Founder, Educational Shakespeare Co., Ireland).

Film Screenings

“Shakespeare Behind Bars” (2005)
Friday, Feb. 5, 7:00pm

In this revelatory trip into and around a prison production at Luther Luckett Max. Security Prison, we embark on a year-long journey with the Shakespeare Behind Bars theatre troupe. Led by director Curt Tofteland, whose innovative work with Luther Luckett inmates began in the mid-1990s, the prisoners cast themselves in roles reflecting their personal history and fate. Their individual stories, including information about their crimes, are interwoven with the plot of The Tempest as the inmates delve deeply into the characters they portray while confronting their personal demons.Open to the public. $5 suggested donation at the door.

Click to watch the promo for Shakespeare Behind Bars:

“Mickey B” (2007)
Saturday, Feb. 6, 6:00pm

An award-winning adaptation of Macbeth, set in the fictional Burnam Prison. It tells the story of one prisoner’s quest for power through violence, betrayal and murder – and the death and insanity that results. The film was shot in NI’s maximum-security prison, HMP Maghaberry and features 42 characters played by prisoners and prison staff. Open to the public. $5 suggested at the door. Followed by audience talkback with Curt Tofteland and Tom Magill.

Community Arts Intensive
(Space is limited. Pre-registration required)

Saturday, Feb. 6.
10am – 1pm: Creating a Circle of Trust (Magill and Tofteland)
2 – 5pm: Including the Excluded (Magill)

Sunday, Feb. 7.
10am – 1pm: We Know Who We Are But Not Who We May Be (Tofteland)

Cost of intensive is $50, which includes all 3 workshops, both films, and dinner on Saturday.
For more information or to register, contact Heather Ryerson at 443-8590 or