TUNKHANNOCK — The Endless Mountains Heritage Region, Bucknell University, and the Dietrich Theater will present a free showing of the documentary “Stories of the Susquehanna: Utopian Dreams” at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 23 at the Dietrich.
During this 26-minute film, Bucknell University students discover and unfold the stories of Susquehanna River Valley communities. The documentary focuses on the history of two separate communities and their aspirations to create ideal societies. Joseph Priestley founded a society in the Northumberland County region that emphasized scientific and technological progress. The other community, the French Azilum, was founded in Bradford County by French aristocrats, who were fleeing the French Revolution. Their perfect society was based in egalitarian thoughts and the idea that human kind should re-engage with nature.
Bucknell University students were involved in all aspects of the film’s production, including researching local history, pre-planning, and making final edits. Not only was the creation of this documentary beneficial to the students, but it also showcases the heritage of the region.
The film will be followed by a question and answer session with David Buck, Carly Dean from the Chesapeake Conservancy, and Dr. Alfred Siewers, associate professor of English and affiliate faculty member in environmental studies at Bucknell University.
This movie event is one of many in a yearlong celebration of the North Branch of the Susquehanna River which has been designated as “2016 River of the Year” by DCNR and POWR (Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers). The waterway, which is also part of the National Parks trail system, was sponsored for the contest by the Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR) and the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership. The two organizations are collaborating to promote and enhance river-related activities planned for 2016.
The list of river-related events is growing quickly. Among them are Earth Day Art and Woodcock Watch at Vosburg, sponsored by Friends of the Howland Preserve and Endless Mountains Nature Center on April 22; A Garden Party at the Oldest House in conjunction with Laceyville’s Community Day on July 8 and 9; Tunkhannock’s River Day, sponsored by the Wyoming County Cultural Center at the Dietrich Theater on July 23; and Rockin’ the River at the Howland Preserve on July 30.
A number of river sojourns are on the calendar, as are shorter paddling trips. For more information about River of the Year activities, visit endlessmountainsnheritage.org and click on the Water Trail tab.
Free tickets for Stories of the Susquehanna: Utopian Dreams are available by calling 570-996-1500 or at the Dietrich Theater ticket booth while they last.