Press Releases

WCNY hosts a virtual screening and discussion, How the Erie Canal Helped Shape America

WCNY, Central New York’s community-owned public broadcaster, is proud to present the documentary Floating Ideas: How the Erie Canal Helped Shape America, in partnership with The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor August 26 from 7 pm – 8:30 pm virtually via Zoom. The documentary shows the previous and current legacy of New York’s canals in important social justice movements throughout the years. It focuses on the women’s rights movement and the Erie Canalway, marking its almost 200-year creation date.


The documentary program presentation falls on the 201st Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment in the United States Constitution. Considering the history of New York’s canals, this presentation date aligns perfectly with the story told in the documentary.


Registration is required, but the event is free. The program will be recorded and later posted on YouTube and the Erie Canalway’s website to watch again.


Event link:


The program will be moderated by Andy Kitsman, Assistant Director, Erie Canalway, along with the following panelists:

  • Jennifer Gabriel, Executive Director, National Women’s Hall of Fame
  • Michelle Schenandoah, Oneida Nation (Wolf Clan)
  • Debbie Stack, Director of Special Projects, PBS WCNY
  • Paul Stewart and Mary Liz Stewart, Co-founders, Underground Railroad Education Center
  • Judith Wellman, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Historical NY Research Associates


About WCNY


WCNY was founded in 1965 as The Educational Television Council of Central New York. Today, it is a community-owned media company that produces content across multiple platforms, including television and radio programs, dynamic web and targeted email content, the WCNY CONNECT member magazine, and social media. Through online streaming technology, WCNY has a global broadcast audience of viewers and listeners throughout the United States and 17 countries. WCNY operates five digital, pledge-free broadcast channels and three radio stations. Classic FM is one of a few radio stations in the world dedicated to locally programmed classical music.




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