Event Calendar

Come see us this season and look whose been here over the past seasons.

Judy Furness – “Dig Deeper”
Jul 20 @ 2:00 pm

History of local cemeteries.    Free

Diane Ackerman
Jun 6 @ 8:00 pm

Postcard imageThe Morgan Opera House presents New York Times best-selling author Diane Ackerman on June 6 at 8pm.

Come hear this award winning, Ithaca based writer read from her many books including The Zookeeper’s Wife,  A Natural History of the Senses and her most recent landmark book, The Human Age.

“Diane Ackerman’s vivid writing, inexhaustible stock of insights and unquenchable optimism have established her as a national treasure…” – Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Guns, Germs and Steel

“One of our most adventurous, charismatic and engrossing public science writers” –NY Times

Renate Rewald Literary Arts Series sponsored by James and Lydie Hanelin

Free and open to the public.  Donations accepted.


Women Voted in New York — Before Columbus
Jun 11 @ 2:00 pm

Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner will speak about the early history of women’s rights.

Imagine that women have the right to choose all political representatives, removing from office anyone who doesn’t make wise decisions for the future. Living in a world free from violence against them, women will not allow a man to hold office if he has violated a woman. Economically independent, they have the final say in matters of war and peace and the absolute right to their own bodies.

This is not a dream. Haudenosaunee (traditional Iroquois) women have had this authority and more since long before Christopher Columbus came to these shores.

While white women were the property of their husbands and considered dead in the law, Haudenosaunee women had more authority and status before Columbus than New York State women have today. Women of the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy (the Haudenosaunee) had the responsibility for putting in place the male leaders. They had control of their own bodies and were economically independent. Rape and wife beating were rare and dealt with harshly; committing violence against a woman kept a man from becoming Chief in this egalitarian, gender-balanced society. When women in New York State began to organize for their rights in 1848, they took their cue from the nearby Haudenosaunee communities, where women lived in the world that non-native women dreamed of. Amazingly, despite the assimilation policy of the United States, Haudenosaunee women still maintain much of this authority today.

The 2017 centennial of women’s suffrage in New York State opens the opportunity for us to explore this new yet very old and unknown history of our region. The format of the talk is an informal, story-telling presentation followed by interaction with the audience designed to give you a platform to share knowledge, insights and experiences.

Sally Roesch Wagner is a Professor at Syracuse University and the Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center for Social Justice Dialogue. Awarded one of the first doctorates in the country in women’s studies (UC Santa Cruz) and a founder of one of the first college-level women’s studies programs in the USA (CSU Sacramento) she currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Syracuse University. A founding Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center for Social Justice Dialogue, and author of articles on historic house museums, and she wrote Ken Burns’ documentary on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.


The program is free and funded by a grant from Humanities New York.

The Morgan Opera House is handicapped accessible from the north entrance off of Cherry Avenue.


The National Park System, its History, Mission and Stories
May 20 @ 2:00 pm

Aurora native, Dustin Gunderson  presents a multimedia program on the National Parks, highlighted by his own experiences working as a Park Ranger in Glacier National Park , Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Fire Island National Seashore, Wind Cave, Mt Rushmore and Badlands National Park, and the Delaware Water Gap . Discover the behind the scenes  history of the Park Service, its goals and hear his own stories. Dustin’s enthusiasm for protecting these unique places is obvious, since it combine his love of nature, the outdoors and adventure. The program will be appropriate for all ages and is free.


Lewis Henry Morgan at 200: The Legacies of a Nineteenth-Century Aurora Scholar
Jun 2 @ 2:00 pm

Illustrated presentation by Robert J. Foster, Professor of Anthropology, University of Rochester

Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was born in Aurora, NY and became a distinguished Rochester attorney and businessman who served two terms in the New York State Legislature. He was also an internationally known scholar who corresponded with Charles Darwin, influenced Karl Marx, and established the fields of anthropology and archeology in the United States. In 1931, a Democrat and Chronicle article hailed Morgan as “Rochester’s most distinguished man of science.”  Today, however, Morgan is hardly remembered in the city that he once called home. What are Morgan’s legacies and how might they be appreciated today?

Aurora Book Lovers’ Ball Book Talk
Sep 19 @ 2:00 pm
Aurora Book Lovers' Ball Book Talk

The Aurora Book Lovers’ Ball will offer its annual complimentary book talk at the Morgan Opera House on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 2pm.

Jim and Lydie Haenlin, long-time residents of our village, will present the book last published by their company, The Cricket Publisher of Aurora, entitled 3 Questions for Today’s Jazz Musicians,  prepared by Lilian Dricq.

Jim is a retired journalist and advertising writer. He is now focusing on translating French poetry, and running his small publishing company.

Lydie was a professor of French at Wells College for 34 years. Since her retirement she writes historical fiction and helps manage the Publishing company.

Both are delighted to share their adventure and discuss their most recent publication. Lovers of Jazz should not miss it.

Please join us for this talk.  Refreshments will follow.