On Thursday Oct. 27, Geneseo Late Knight hosted the first event of their Weekend of Horror: Fright Night at the Museum. Students participated in a horse-drawn hayride and refreshments, history and ghost stories at the Livingston County Historical Society & Museum on Center Street.
The eerie decorations strewn over the Museum's local artifacts certainly made the night unique, but Fright Night at the Museum was truly rewarding because it was created entirely through the collaboration of the Geneseo campus and village community. While attendees ate donuts and apples provided by Wegmans and posed for free "Old Time Fashion Photos" at the museum, three women worked together to make the evening enjoyable: Stephanie Medina, the Geneseo Late Knight coordinator; Kim Harvey, the director of New Student Programs; and Anna Kowalchuk of Livingston County Historical Society & Museum.
"The college has to support the community because they support us in so many ways – we interact without even realizing it," Medina said. Harvey added, "There are great benefits to having a positive relationship [with the community]," such as "helping students identify with their home for the next four years."
"[The museum staff and community members] were really happy to collaborate [with the college]," Kowalchuk said. She cited the ways that the museum and the college work together through interns of the museum, doing activities with various history classes on campus and by helping education students build possible lesson plans.
"We are trying to bring [the museum] back to life," Kowalchuk said. She particularly emphasized the role of Geneseo students in this process. "Students are one of our growing audiences," she said.
Students who attended Fright Night at the Museum found the event exciting and the museum welcoming. "The horse-drawn hayride through the Geneseo fall night was gorgeous," freshman Jacky Hellreich said. Freshman Lara Elmayan found David Parish, a local historian who told ghost stories from Geneseo's past, particularly interesting: "He really enlightened me about the history of the town of Geneseo," she said.
As an added bonus, two Kindles were given away to those who solved a Museum-based riddle created by Late Knight interns.