Magic at Skene – Saturday Aug 11, 1PM

Local magician Artie Martello will perform his magic for families and children of all ages at 1pm at Skene Memorial Library on August 11.  The program is free.

Artie Martello

Artie says
“For me, magic isn’t about big illusions, it’s about entertaining people, making them laugh.”

About:  Art Martello Magician/Mentalist

Arthur Martello has been a member of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians (Order of Merlin) for the past 40 years. Although his interest in magic began when he was around 8 years old, it was not until the mid 70’s that he decided to become more dedicated to the art. By that time, he was already employed as a Speech Pathologist, Teacher, and Administrator working at a school for the deaf, and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at three different colleges where he taught classes in Anatomy and Physiology, Phonetics, Auditory Training, Acoustics and Lip-reading. When he retired from those positions, he moved full time to his Catskill Mountain log cabin that he built in 1972. In 2000 he accepted a part time position as chairperson of the Committee on Special Education for the Margaretville Central School District. Although this position took up a good deal of his physical and mental time, he maintained an active interest in magic, and has performed locally for various groups and organizations. He now has fully retired and is able to devote more time to magic as well as his tri-weekly music podcast “Mostly Folk” (

For more information call Skene Memorial Library at 254-4581.

Free Concert – Saturday July 28th “Uncle Rock”

On Saturday, July 28 at 1:00pm Robert Burke Warren a.k.a. “Uncle Rock” will be bringing his unique blend of interactive music to Skene Library for kids of all ages and families to enjoy. He will sing about animals, history, superheroes, and ghosts, to name a few!

Robert Burke Warren a.k.a. “Uncle Rock”

Uncle Rock describes his music as “Shel Silverstein meets Buddy Holly, with stylistic nods to Bowie, the Stones, Cat Stevens, Pete Seeger, and Johnny Cash. Cross-generational, enlightened, toe-tappin’ tunes for kids from 2 to 92!”

“An Uncle Rock gig is best when parents are engaged with kids. It’s an old-fashioned timeless situation to have everybody singing these classic tunes,” he says. It’s potent. It’s an ancient kind of connection and it’s my favorite thing to do.”

Skene Memorial Library, 1017 Main Street, Fleischmanns, NY 12430. For more information 845 254-4581.

Admission is free.

Join Us at Skene Library for a Cello Concert

Come to a Cello Concert by Nicholas Swett,
Saturday, July 14 1PM at Skene Memorial Library

Nicholas Swett

Nicholas Swett

Cellist Nicholas Swett with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago will give a free educational, interactive classical “Emoticoncert”.  The program is intended for families and children of all ages, and all are welcome.  For more info call Skene Library at 254-4581.

How do the patterns, melodies, and rhythms of the music of J.S. Bach tell a story? This animated classical concert experience uses the familiar medium of “Emojis” to bring works of J.S. Bach to life. Performers or audience members assign emoticons to small sections of the music, which correspond to the constantly shifting moods and characters of the music. Each shift in emoji punctuates a change in the music with a visual cue. It helps instrumental music tell a fun story while potentially illuminating harmonic, rhythmical, or structural patterns that can make it easier for a listener to follow.

For a preview watch:

About Nicki Swett
Cellist and teaching artist Nicky Swett regularly plays throughout the Chicago area. For the 2017-2018 season, he will be performing with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as a Civic Engagement Fellow. Recently, he has served as principal cellist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and of Northwestern University’s Opera Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. He also performs and records with his brother, double bassist Willie Swett, in duo VC/CB.

He graduated from Northwestern in 2016 with a B.A. and M.A. in Comparative Literature and a B.M. in Cello Performance studying with Hans Jensen. His previous teachers include Deborah Park, Jennifer Jahn, and Daniella Bellavia. He plays on a 2011 Bernt-Dimbath cello.

Thursday, at 5:30, June 14th at Skene Memorial Library


Addiction and Recovery in Rural America

Addiction is easy. Recovery is not. Rural America has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, but hope is alive as well. SMACKED! tells the story of how law enforcement and the health care community are coping with the heroin epidemic that has swept the rural Western Catskill mountains of New York State. The film features stakeholders primarily located in Delaware and Otsego Counties in mid-state New York. Through the creativity of the law enforcement and recovery communities, unique education, awareness and prevention programs have been created despite the scarce availability of funding. By focusing on recovering addicts and health professionals, SMACKED! humanizes the addict and addresses the dangerous stigma around addition and recovery.

Jessica Vecchione and Lillian Browne are examining the disconnect between law enforcement and health care, and whether it makes rural America particularly vulnerable to the national heroin epidemic.


Director Biography – Jessica Vecchione
Award-winning filmmaker, Jessica Vecchione, is the owner of Vecc Videography, a full service video production and marketing company based in Hamden, NY.

With 20 years experience in advertising and marketing, Jessica has carved out a niche for herself in the Catskills, helping non-profits define themselves by telling their stories on film.

In 2009, she made a film called, Bienvenidos a Fleischmanns, about the growing Hispanic population in a mostly rural mountainous region. The film went on to screen in several film festivals, including the Black Earth Film Festival, where it won first prize in documentary, the Orlando Hispanic Film Festival, where it won second prize in documentary, the Boston Latino Film Festival and the Buffalo Niagra Film Festival. In 2011, she made Robert, Portrait of an Art-er, a film about an infamous local hermit and stone artist, which also went on to win awards on the film festival circuit.

Headwaters history days June 8-10, 2018


1009 Main Street  12:00 PM – 3:00 PM Saturday and Sunday

Located in an old carriage house behind Skene Library, the Greater Fleischmanns Museum of Memories has been preserving and presenting our local history for 40 years. In addition to much material on the many hotels from the heyday of tourism here in the Catskills, there are sections focusing on the Fleischmanns School, agriculture, and the early days of the telephone here.

1017 Main Street  7:00 PM Friday, June 8th

At Skene Memorial Library, a talk about the Fleischmann family’s connections to Baseball, both here and in the wider world, presented by Bob Mayer, Trustee of the Peekskill Museum and noted baseball historian. Bob has written extensively and presented numerous programs on 19th century baseball.

This historic structure and a small Library History display are available for viewing during regular hours.

Ball field on Wagner Avenue  12:00 PM Saturday

Vintage Base Ball game at 12:00 PM. , with the Mountain Athletic Club taking on the Connecticut Bulldogs. Game will be played under 1895 baseball rules–considerably different from today’s. Gabriella Augustine, Assistant Curator at the Baseball Hall of Fame will throw out the first pitch.

A Fleischmanns baseball history display, created by the Greater Fleischmanns Museum of Memories, will be available for viewing.

For a complete list of activities visit

May 12th Community Program at Skene Library

Date:   Saturday, May 12th, 2018
Time:   1:00 PM
Location: Skene Memorial Library

To register contact: Ann at 607-547-1650, or goto  
and Click on Alzheimer’s Association Programs and Events or

This program is supported in part by a grant from the New York State Department of Health.

We Need You to Take Action Now to Protect Our Libraries

Greetings Members of the NY Library Community,

Governor Cuomo released his FY2018-19 Executive Budget proposal & accompanying legislation. This signals the start of state budget negotiations. Though the Governor proposed an additional 3% in education funding in this year’s budget, he CUT STATE LIBRARY AID by 4%. Our libraries are critical to the state’s educational infrastructure. We need YOU to TAKE ACTION NOW and write to your elected officials that State Library Aid must be treated fairly in this year’s final budget – State Library Aid MUST increase in proportion to any increase in overall education funding.

TAKE ACTION NOW! With less than 30 seconds of your time, you can send a letter to your elected officials and legislative leaders. Without your voice, library funding faces a 4% CUT in this year’s budget.

From the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal:

Library Aid – $91.6M (-4% CUT)
The proposed funding is $4M less than what was in last year’s enacted state budget. This proposed CUT fails to acknowledge the crucial role libraries serve in our communities, and the contributions they make to our state’s education system. Libraries ARE Education! State Education Law requires that Library Aid should be $102.6M for FY2018-19. Libraries should be fully funded under the law. Absent of that, library aid must at least increase each year in parity with increases in education funding.

Library Construction Aid – $14M ($10M CUT)
As you know, the State Library Construction Aid program received a $10M increase in last year’s enacted budget.  Governor Cuomo has proposed eliminating that additional funding.  The State Division of Library Development estimates that library renovation and construction needs are $1.7B statewide. Over 48% of public libraries in NYS are 60+ years old, and an additional 33% are 30+ years old. Investment in the Library Construction Aid program must be increased to address aging infrastructure, energy inefficient buildings and the evolving ways people use libraries.

NOW is the time for YOU to SPEAK UP and let your legislators know that state library aid MUST be treated fairly and equitably in this year’s state budget!

As always, NYLA is relying on everyone to take action, and contact your elected officials through NYLA’s online advocacy tools, encourage your colleagues and patrons to participate in these actions.  Encourage everyone to “Get on the List” NYLA has developed, and visit for updates. When engaging with your elected officials, it is important that you discuss the great work you and your library are doing, and to also stay on message by using the talking points we have on our website. For those of you on social media, we have posted a set of tweets that we encourage you to use, and tweet at your local Assemblyman and Senator.

LIBRARY ADVOCACY DAY is Wednesday, February 28, 2018! Come to Albany and make your voice heard!

Skene Memorial Library – A Proud History

Sometime around 1894, summer resident Mrs. Alexander Skene  first proposed the idea of the creation of a Library for Griffin Corners.  (As known physician Dr. Alexander Skene had a summer home east of Griffin Corners, and enjoyed their time in the Catskills immensely.   It took several years, but plans progressed, and a Board for a Library Association (one type of Library then quite popular in New York State–not municipally -President.  Other prominent citizens such as DeWitt Griffin, Mrs. T. C. Banker, and Mrs. George H. Lasher were on the board.    Plans progressed slowly.

In July 1900, Dr. Skene died,  but Mrs. Skene continued to pursue the goal of creating a library, now to be named in his memory.   Funds were raised, including a $5,000 donation from famed industrialist Andrew Carnegie.   (Carnegie endowed many libraries all over the country, but this was special to him–he and Alexander Skene had been boyhood friends.)

The cornerstone for the building was laid in November 1901, and Griffin Corners finally had its library.   Skene Memorial Library is unusual for it is one of the few area libraries built AS a library.   As people and conditions changed, the Association Library structure no longer was working here, and in 1930 the building was turned over to the Village of Fleischmanns, and Skene became a Municipal Library.

In 2001, in honor of its centennial,  Skene Library was placed on both the New York State and the National Register of Historic Places. A special Postal Cancellation was held to observe the centennial.

Skene Library in Pictures

Skene Library History in Pictures

images courtesy of the Greater Fleischmanns Museum of Memories