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City As TExt

City as Text™ refers to structured explorations of environments and ecosystems.  Designed as on-going laboratories through which small, self-guided teams investigate contested areas and issues in urban environments or competing forces in natural ones, these exercises foster critical inquiry and integrative learning across disciplines. Please note that these are NOT guided tours. Students will be given instructions, maps, and reflection questions to consider when exploring different areas of Albany. Please note that some of these destinations involve entrance fees, depending on what you choose to do in each strand. You will also need to purchase your lunch on all excursions, unless otherwise indicated. 

Please read the CAT strand descriptions below and decide which one(s) you plan to attend prior to the conference. QR codes linked to Google Maps with suggested routes and select destinations will be provided at the conference during the CAT Orientation Session. Feel free to combine elements of multiple CAT strands to personalize your experience! Please also note that some strands have online elements as well so you can explore those prior to CAT day!


You should arrive at the CAT Orientation Session promptly at 8:30 AM, wearing comfortable walking shoes, dressed appropriately for the weather. Please return to the hotel by 3:00 PM to prepare for the 3:30 PM Performing Arts and Film Showcase.


Public Transportation

Please consult the Capital District Transit Authority as needed for local fares and schedules to excursions.



Bring documentation of student or senior citizen status for discounts (where applicable). 


Technology, Science, and Engineering


Google Maps Link

Science, engineering, and mathematics are often thought of as synonymous with technology, so it is fitting that this strand invites you to explore the role technology has played in the advancement of the sciences. Albany is at the center of NY State’s tech corridor, hosting numerous institutions of higher education focused on technological advances in the sciences. Politically situated as the capital of NY State, it also serves as the figurative seat of New York’s ongoing commitment to using technology to solve imminent issues such as climate change.

New York State Museum Exhibits: Adirondack Wilderness, Archeological Perspective of Albany, Birds of NY, Cohes Mastodon, Explore NY Interactive Map, Fire Engine Hall, Ice Ages (how ice shaped the land and life in NY), Earthquake Center, Minerals of NY, WTC Rescue Recovery and Response, New York Metropolis. 

New York State Museum: Changing New York (Online Exhibit)



Technology’s Role in the Struggle for Social Change


Google Maps Link

Albany has a long history of activism in the face of technological progress and the struggle for equality, with countless individuals advocating for positive social change. This strand encourages attendees to explore how technological progress has influenced the many voices of individuals who have helped pave pathways to freedom from oppression, leading to equity and balance in society. On this exploration through history, you will also learn more about the diversity of New York. Albany has the second highest population (outside of New York City) of LGBTQ+ citizens in the state and celebrates this through the Capital Pride Center. Further, this strand will touch on the battle for civil rights for underrepresented groups, including African Americans, women, and immigrants. We encourage you to consider the role technology has played in this intersection with the ongoing struggle for social change.

Empire State Plaza Exhibit: New York’s Past Present Future

New York State Museum:  Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial (Online Exhibit)

New York State Museum: 1962 Audio Recording Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Online Exhibit)

Capital Pride Center: Albany has the second highest population (outside of NYC) of LGBTQ community in New York State.  No major events planned on CaT Day. 

Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence: Home to the Underground Railroad. 

New York State Museum Exhibit: Black Capital – Harlem in the 1920s

Albany Institute of History & Art

West Capital Park: Popular and historic site for political rallies, protests, and vigils.

Technology and the Immigrant Experience


Google Maps Link

Technological change has driven human movement and migration since the dawn of humanity. Albany has a vibrant community of immigrants, and the stops on this strand provide context for the immigrant experience spanning the 19th through 21st centuries.

Irish American Heritage Museum

Delaware Neighborhood Association: *The Delaware Avenue Neighborhood Association is organized to protect and improve Delaware Avenue’s friendly, vibrant, diverse, walkable and convenient neighborhood.

American Italian Heritage Museum


Contributions of Women to Technological Change


Google Maps Link

Whether women were managing farms and households in a pre-industrial Mahican tribal community, building new lives as immigrants in an Anglo-Dutch colony/nation, toiling in 19th-century factories in Albany or nearby Troy and demanding workers’ rights, or serving their country during war, this region and its rich and controversial history can be seen through women’s lives and their voices. Albany was a hub for women leaders in opposition to women’s suffrage, just as it was for those in support of the Women’s Movement. Today, Albany continues to generate diverse feminisms, for example, in the story of its two January women’s marches, and the women on both sides of the aisle representing New Yorkers in our state government. This tour highlights women’s experiences and accomplishments and can be completed on foot.

New York State Museum:  Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial (Online Exhibit)

West Capital Park (Women’s March)

New York State Women Veterans Memorial

New York State Museum

  • See a recreated Mohican Longhouse, and models of early indigenous communities

  • Check out industrial-era immigrant women in the recreated New York City exhibit.

  • Model of the Irish American Heritage Museum: Learn about women and their roles as Catholic nuns and sisters teaching and nursing the poor; Irish women’s immigrant experience.



Technology and the Arts


Google Maps Link

Art is subversive. Artists continually critique, reimagine, and contextualize society, culture, and the people that comprise them. It defines our humanity and the experiences we share. In addition to applying this process to technology, artists also employ new mediums through which to accomplish this. Follow this strand to experience contemporary and historical Albany and New York State expression in the arts.

Artful Albany walking tour: Some examples included in the walking tour, but look at the website for more information.


New York State Museum: Art for the People Stoneware collection

New York State Museum: Tonalism Pathway from Hudson River School to Modern Art (Online Exhibit)

New York State Museum: Woodstock Art Colony (Online Exhibit)

New York State Museum: World Trade Center Commuters Kristen Artz Collection


Albany institute of history and art


Empire State Plaza


Intersection of Religion and Technology


Google Maps Link

Historically, religion has both been a driver and hindrance to technological change. Religious institutions were long the keepers of knowledge (literally by not disseminating knowledge to the public as a means of retaining power), but also were resistant to changes to dogma when scientific knowledge challenged long-held beliefs (Galileo, Copernicus). Albany has many places of worship. We urge you to consider the role organized religion has played in shaping technological change and access, in this city and beyond.

Albany is home to the oldest Christian congregation in Upstate New York and the second-oldest Reformed Church in America as well as the Mother churches of two Christian dioceses. This tour will lead participants through a variety of historical religious sites as well as locations to visit historical religious artifacts including The First Church, St. Peter’s Church, St. Mary’s Church, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the Albany Institute of History and Art, among others.  


New York State Museum: The Shakers: America’s Quiet Revolutionaries (Online Exhibit)

New York State Museum: St. Paul’s Chapel A Place of Refuge

Albany Institute of History and Art - religious paintings

New York State Museum

All Saints Cathedral

St. Peter’s Church

St. Mary’s Church

Resources (Web Links to Sites): ($8 for students w ID, $10 for adults)


Technological Change: Intersections of Politics, Diplomacy, and the Military


Google Maps Link

Technology’s intersection with politics and military power is complex, and this strand aims to shed light on how these systems are intertwined. This thread will cover examples of this complex interplay from the 1760s through the present.

Albany Institute of History and Art: Time Capsule - What we found under Philip Schuyler

New York State Museum:  A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in First World War (Online Exhibit)

New York State Museum: An Irrepressible Conflict: The empire State in the Civil War (Online Exhibit)

New York State Museum: War of 1812 (Online Exhibit)

Fort Frederick, 25 Eagle St.

Tricentennial Park, 50 James St.

Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center and Quackenbush House, 25 Quackenbush Square

USS Slater, 1 Quay St.

  • If you wish to visit the USS Slater please be aware of the following. Plan for your experience at the ship to take at least 90 minutes. The tour will require climbing open stairways and walking through tight spaces which may be strenuous for some visitors.  For your safety, wear low-heeled, non-slip walking shoes and casual dress. Large bags and backpacks are not permitted on the ship.


NYS Women Veteran’s Memorial, 300 Madison Ave.

NY State Museum (World Trade Center exhibit), 222 Madison Ave.


Early Voices in Technology


Google Maps Link

Albany and the surrounding area has been a center of human activity since before the first Europeans arrived. Exploring the Early Voices thread leads you through technological changes as seen through the lens of the cultures and histories of the very earliest recorded peoples, through the rise of the Iroquois Nations, and into the beginnings of European immigration and colonization.


Albany Institute of History and Art: Ancient Egypt

Albany Institute of History and Art: Traders and Culture: Colonial Albany and the Formation of American Identity


New York State Museum: First Peoples

New York State Museum: Represent: Contemporary Native American Art (Online Exhibit)

  • Native Peoples of New York, including a full-scale replica of a Haudenosaunee longhouse and Mohawk Iroquois village

  • “a small fort, which our people call Fort Orange” exhibition exploring the founding of Fort Orange


Ten Broeck Mansion (entrance fee for students: $4)


First Church in Albany

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