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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the relationship between Signatures of the Seneca and the Seneca Art and Culture Center?

Signatures of the Seneca is the fund-raising campaign dedicated to bringing in financial support for construction of the Seneca Art and Culture Center. The campaign will also fund an endowment for the Center's operations.

How can I donate?

To donate, please visit our donation page, which explains your many options.

What do you mean by dedication to sustainability?

The building design conforms to requirements for LEED certification, which designates sustainable design, construction, operations, and maintenance strategies to reduce the building's initial and long-term environmental impact. The goal is to increase overall efficiency, reduce waste, and ensure a high-quality interior building environment.

To reduce pollution, preventive measures will be taken to avoid soil loss during construction by storm water runoff and wind. Topsoil from areas cleared for the new building will be stockpiled for use in project landscaping. Bicycle storage, staff lockers, and other facilities will encourage alternative transportation. Priority parking will be provided for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.

What does the Seneca Art and Culture Center look like from the outside?

The primary structure of the building is a wood frame on a concrete foundation. The roof, supported on wood beams and purlins, is metal attached to a vented wood composite insulated deck. The vertical enclosure is composed of wood framing with wood sheathing, continuous rigid insulation board, and a continuous air barrier with a synthetic bark finish on the exterior face. Some parts of the enclosure also utilize structurally glazed aluminum and glass window walls, sliding glass wall panels and stone veneer.

What will I find in the gallery space?

The gallery holds the permanent story of Ganondagan as well as the changing exhibits conveying the story of the Seneca and Haudenosaunee people through five centuries of artistic, archeological, cultural, and historical artifacts including work from many contemporary Native artists. The gallery brings aspects of the Bark Longhouse indoors when it is closed during the winter.

What kind of activities will take place in the multi-purpose auditorium?

We expect the auditorium to become a local hotspot for numerous events and performances, many of which will be programs offered by the Friends of Ganondagan such as lectures, films, concerts, and multimedia events. It is  available for community use. You might attend a yoga or tai chi class during the day and an Iroquois Social Dance that same evening.

What kind of facilities will the Center have for educational purposes?

Currently, school groups come to Ganondagan only in the Fall and Spring when the historic site is open. The Seneca Art and Culture Center allows groups to visit all year long. The facilities enable learners of all ages to have a more immersive, interactive experience at Ganondagan.

Facilities for distance learning including audio-visual equipment will allow people from around the world to experience Ganondagan, even if they can't visit the site. We will be able to share the culture and stories of the Seneca and Haudenosaunee people with the global community.

What is the purpose of the Catering Kitchen?

The catering kitchen gives us the opportunity to make and serve food for receptions and celebrations. We can also expand our workshop offerings to include more food and nutrition workshops. The kitchen is available for community event usage.

What other amenities will I find there?

We're happy to say that the Center includes complete toilet facilities. The Center also offers additional visitor amenities including a coatroom.

The center is designed for handicapped accessibility. This includes entry ramps, an accessible trail to the Bark Longhouse, parking, and drop-off capabilities close to the door. With the addition of the Seneca Art and Culture Center, Ganondagan becomes a very comfortable place for a full day's visit.

What are the plans for the outdoor space near the building?

The landscaping around the building includes traditional Seneca and Iroquois medicine plants and gardens, supplying a natural tie-in to what you find on our ethno-botanical trails. Direct paths lead to the trails.

We also expect to use the outdoor space to expand our demonstrations, offering visitors the opportunity to learn the skills of 17th century people who lived at Ganondagan - skills such as fire starting and Seneca-style farming. 

What can I buy in the gift shop?

The gift shop carries a wide range of offerings including fine arts, crafts and jewelry by Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artisans, contemporary art, Iroquois White Corn products, Ganondagan merchandise, books, DVDs and music.

What kind of office space will the Center have?

The Seneca Art and Culture Center is the new home for the Ganondagan State employees, including the Native American interpreters who research history and Haudenosaunee culture. 

How are New York State and the Friends of Ganondagan working together on this project?

Friends of Ganondagan (FoG) are building the Seneca Arts and Culture Center as a turnkey operation to be run by New York State. The Friends organization will support the endowment as well as continue to develop year-round programming and recruit and train volunteers.

Who is the architect and who built the Center?

The architect of record is DeWolff Partnership Architects (Rochester, NY and Cleveland, OH). The Center will be built by the Rochester-based Pike Company in collaboration with the Seneca Construction Management Corporation (Irving, NY).