The Connective Corridor is pleased to promote: “Boom and Bust: America’s Journey on the Erie Canal,” a Symposium and Documentary Film Premiere this Saturday, September 12, 2015.  The event will be held at the Erie Canal Museum – 318 Erie Blvd. East – Syracuse, NY.  The program will be staged in the second floor gallery of the Syracuse Weighlock Building, which is part of the Erie Canal Museum.


2:00 PM to 2:30 pm           Canal Stories

2:30 pm to 3:00 pm        Panel of Storytellers I — “Working on the Water”

Facilitated by Dan Ward

  • Catherine Memere Charron (canal boat family)
  • David Gower (boat crewman)
  • Bob Graham (boater)
  • George Ward (folksinger)
  • Steve Wunder (tugboat captain)

3:15 pm to 4:00 pm        Screening of “Boom and Bust: America’s Journey on the Erie Canal”

4:00 pm to 4:45 pm        Panel of story tellers II — “The Legacy of the Erie Canal”

Facilitated by Steve Zeitlin

  • Fran Barbieri and Patricia Goit (life in the textile mills)
  • Doris McKinney Craig (life in steel mills)
  • Bruce Jackson (folklorist)
  • Tim Tielman (context to the stories)
  • Wendy Wall (social historian)
  • Craig Williams (canal historian)

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm        Reception at Bartolotta’s Tavern

Boom and Bust, directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner and co-produced by Steve Zeitlin of City Lore and Erie Canal Museum Curator Daniel Ward, tells the story of industrial expansion and decline along the Erie Canal and examines its impact on the lives of workers in steel, grain, textiles and shipping. The film looks at the enormous impact this inland waterway made on the growth of New York State and our nation, and examines whether the people of America’s cities can find meaning and worth in the wake of industrial decline.

Paul Wagner, whose work includes the Oscar- and Emmy-award winning documentary The Stone Carvers (1984), Out of Ireland (1995) and Windhorse (1998). Storytellers, workers, scholars and musicians featured in the film will participate in panel discussions facilitated by Ward and Zeitlin.

The film compares two eras in the Erie Canal’s history: the era from the opening of the Canal in 1825 through 1875, when the pioneering waterway made New York City the nation’s center of commerce and created cities along its route; and the era from 1945-2000, which saw the Canal’s decline and the loss of industry and livelihoods in many of its cities and towns. The film ends with the twenty-first century Canal, a scenic byway that seeks to use cultural heritage as an engine for tourism and development. The panel discussions and talks will build on questions raised by the film.

Boom and Bust is part of a nine-year initiative which generated extensive field research and numerous projects in addition to the documentary film. The projects were supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Council on the Humanities, and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

The Erie Canal Museum shows visitors 200 years of Erie Canal history through interactive displays, hands-on exhibits, narrative audio tracks and original artifacts. The Museum includes a full-size replica canal boat, exhibits about Erie Canal commerce and communities, the award-winning Locktender’s Garden and the 1850 Weighlock Building, the only existing canal weighlock building in the United States.

While you’re there, take a moment to enjoy the Erie Canal’s outdoor mural, “The Mule Days of Summer,” funded through a Connective Corridor grant) and play with the new red Tourism Assistance Portal in the lobby, a Connective Corridor wayfinding initiative in partnership with Visit Syracuse. 

For more information visit, call (315) 471-0593 or email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *