Partnership Expands Twain Programming

September 08 2016
Category: Twain

Mark Twain

In 1985, the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College began offering “The Trouble Begins at Eight” lecture series in the Barn at Quarry Farm. The popular series, now offered in the fall and spring each year, provides Twain enthusiasts an opportunity to learn more about this American icon through presentations offered by Twain scholars from throughout the world.  And now, through a partnership with the Chemung County Historical Society, those offerings have expanded.

During the month of September, the Chemung County Historical Society will host a series of Mark Twain-themed programs, developed in collaboration with the Center for Mark Twain Studies, on Thursdays at the Chemung Valley Museum, 415 East Water Street.

“The Chemung County Historical Society is excited to be building on our long relationship with the Center for Mark Twain Studies,” said Bruce Whitmarsh, executive director of the Chemung County Historical Society.  “We are pleased to have this new cooperative program and look forward to other new opportunities to work together in the future.”

Kelli Huggins, education coordinator at the museum echoed Whitmarsh’s sentiments. “The Center for Mark Twain Studies generously helped the Historical Society arrange lectures by their resident scholars and staff, allowing the museum to host its first Twain-themed programming series since 2010. The willingness of the CMTS staff to collaborate with local organizations like our museum speaks to their commitment of sharing Twain scholarship with our community.”

Dr. Joseph Lemak, director of the Center for Mark Twain Studies is excited to provide more Twain programming for enthusiasts, both near and far.

"The collaboration between the Center for Mark Twain Studies and the Chemung County Historical Society creates an incredible opportunity for all enthusiasts of Mark Twain and his writings,” stated Lemak. “Additionally, the Mark Twain Exhibits located in the Chemung County Historical Society and Center for Mark Twain Studies create an impressive collection of historical artifacts surrounding this essential literary figure."

The Twain sites in Elmira are considered one of only four significant Twain sites in the country, and both the Historical Society and the Center for Mark Twain Studies feature programs and scholars that draw visitors from around the world.

"Residents of the upstate New York/ northern Pennsylvania communities, and tourists from around the globe, have the chance to visit one of the most important literary landmarks in the world with the Mark Twain Study [at Elmira College], ” explained Lemak.  “Additionally, it helps revitalize Elmira and Chemung County by showcasing an important cultural and historical figure.  Simply put, Elmirans can be proud of the legacy of Mark Twain in their hometown."

The September programs offered by the Historical Society begin at 7:00 p.m., each Thursday throughout the month and are free and open to the public.  The full schedule and program descriptions can be accessed online

The fall portion of “The Trouble Begins at Eight” series begins Wednesday, October 5th, at Quarry Farm.  The full schedule and program descriptions can be accessed online