New era for Boquet River Theatre Festival

One of the highlights of the year at the Grange is the arrival in July of several dozen young actors enrolled in the Boquet River Theatre Festival's summer camp.  They move into the Grange for four weeks and put on multiple (usually sold-out) performances of two musicals, one by the Junior group (ages 8-12) and the other by the Seniors (ages 13-17). The Depot Theater and BRTF just announced that the Depot will be taking over and ensuring the future of this wonderful program and the Grange will remain "home" for the rehearsals and productions. We are so proud to have hosted and supported BRTF for so many years and look forward to working with the Depot. Bravo to Gigi Mason and the BRTF Board for their dedication and hard work!

 CLICK HERE to read the Plattsburgh Press-Republican story.

 The cast in the August 2018 BRTF production of  Madagascar  on stage at the Grange.

The cast in the August 2018 BRTF production of Madagascar on stage at the Grange.

Welcome to the new Grange Manager

A very Happy New Year and a warm Whallonsburg welcome! After an extensive search we are pleased to have hired Emma Gibbs as our full-time Manager. Emma grew up in Westport and moved back there this year after living and working for eight years in Alaska and Vermont as a youth advocate and social worker. She and her husband, Matt, started Ledge Hill Brewing Company and Emma has also been working as a consultant for marketing and publicity with several Westport organizations. 

Like many local residents, Emma has memories of the Grange from her childhood and is looking forward to bringing more activities for children and young people here. (She has two of her own who will help her with that!)  Emma has great ideas for programs and looks forward to collaborating with other groups on projects and events. She will start her new position in mid-January.

The Grange is thrilled to bring Emma Gibbs on board as we start a new year full of exciting opportunities! 

Emma Gibbs.jpg

Holiday Traditions Since 1916

I spent some time in the New York State Historic Newspapers database looking for evidence of community holiday celebrations at the Grange. The NYSHN is a great place to get lost in the past, easy to search and hard to stop!  Newspapers like the Essex County Republican, Ticonderoga Sentinel, Lake Placid News and others included short announcements, reports, and references to Christmas celebrations at the Grange starting in 1916 right through the mid-1990s. The Grange chapter hosted holiday pageants and recitations, dances, musical performances, and always had a tree with presents for every child in Whallonsburg. There are still folks around who grew up here and remember Santa's visits to the Christmas parties. These were community-wide events with churches, schools, civic groups and the Fire Department joining in.

Recent holiday celebrations have continued that tradition and help us raise money for our neighbors in need through donations to the food pantries in Elizabethtown, Westport, and Willsboro. They are still a nice way to slow down, gather together, and enjoy time with friends. I hope you can join us on Sunday, December 10 for A Christmas Carol and on Saturday, December 16 for the Holiday Market. See you at the Grange this holiday season.

-Mary-Nell Bockman, program manager

   CLICK HERE  to see a  larger and more readable version.

CLICK HERE to see a  larger and more readable version.

Position available -- Grange Manager

DEADLINE for applications is Friday, December 15, 2017

The Whallonsburg Grange Hall, a nonprofit, performing arts and community center near Essex, New York, is looking for a highly motivated self-starter with management experience to fill the position of full-time Grange Manager. The Grange Manager is responsible for the overall operations of the Grange and leads the WGH board and its committees in creating, promoting and running our high-quality, year-round programming. She/he helps foster a culture that maintains the highest standards in customer service, visitor experience, and quality in operations and in the facility itself. We are looking for someone who is excited by and committed to carrying out the mission of the Grange and will help us move forward into the next decade of this community project.

The ideal candidate will have strong administrative skills, creativity and strategic thinking and the desire and ability to interact effectively with others. As the sole employee, the ability to independently assess problems and initiate successful solutions is very important. We are seeking someone with excellent skills in managing multiple tasks and deadlines, prioritization, and time management as well as budgeting. Experience in grant-writing and fund-raising is also desired. The ability to work with frequent interruptions and a sense of humor are needed.

The Manager is responsible for outreach and marketing of Grange-sponsored events and the Grange as a whole, including copywriting, collaborating with graphic designers and printers, and digital marketing (emails, website updating). S/he is also responsible for organizing and recruiting volunteers. S/he will build and expand existing relationships with local businesses, organizations, agencies and area residents to develop collaborative partnerships and manage rentals of the building. The Grange Manager position requires some flexibility in work hours to include weekends and evenings as needed.

Strong computer skills in basic Microsoft Office programs and Google Drive are required. Comfort with technology and with duties that can vary from introducing performers to cleaning bathrooms are necessary. A detailed job description is AVAILABLE HERE.