Coronavirus Statement for The Sanctuary for Independent Media

The escalating concerns about the spread of Coronavirus/Covid-19 have led to extraordinary measures.

For the well-being of our audience, staff, and artists, facilities at The Sanctuary for Independent Media have been closed, employees are working from home, and all in-person public activities scheduled through September 2020 have been cancelled or postponed. We are  maintaining our broadcast and online operations in the meantime.

We are closely monitoring this situation and will continue to follow the lead of local, state, and federal authorities as well as the decisions of individual artists so we can respond to changing conditions.

We will provide ongoing updates as necessary. Stay safe!


Fall 2019 Sanctuary Season Announced

The Fall 2019 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media
kicked off on November 1 with a free event celebrating the great work
of Riverkeeper volunteers on the Hudson River and concludes on
December 14 with the free 8th annual North Central Troy Justice &
Peace Holiday Celebration.

In between the season features many events ranging from music to
films to speakers. Highlights include a talk by former Metroland
journalist Chet Hardin; performances by the Haitian roots music group
RAM and the chamber music ensemble Aizuri Quartet; screenings
including q&a’s with filmmakers Penny Lane and Alex Rivera, plus
workshops, a gallery show and much much more!

The Sanctuary for Independent Media is located at 3361 6th Avenue (at
101st Street) in North Troy; check the website or call 518-272-2390
for directions and more information. Admission to
events is $10 ($5 student/low income) unless noted.

Click here for a list of upcoming events and workshops. The entire Fall 2019 season is listed below!

FRI  NOV 1  pm
Riverkeeper Community Scientist Celebration
w/ “Source to Sea” screening and Community / Stone soup potluck
Join us in celebrating the work of the community scientists who sample
the Hudson River Watershed from May through October, with a focus on
those working in the Upper Hudson River and Mohawk Delta.
Co-sponsored by Riverkeeper

SUN  NOV 3  7pm  $15
Haiti’s preeminent band, straight from the famed Hotel Oloffson in
Port-au-Prince! Ancient folkloric drums intertwine harmoniously with
punk rock guitar riffs and swinging Caribbean melodies, led by the
entrancing singer, Lunise–all combining for a truly magical

FRI  NOV 15  7pm
Workshop 4:30pm
“Hail Satan?” w/ Penny Lane
A film about The Satanic Temple, chronicling the rise of one of the
most colorful and controversial religious movements in American
history–whose commitment to social and political justice has empowered
people around the world.
Co-sponsored by iEAR Presents

MON  NOV 18  7pm
Workshop 4:30pm
Chet Hardin “Inside NXIVM”
Chet Hardin is the only journalist to play a midnight game of
volleyball with actress Allison Mack, Seagrams heiress Clare Bronfman,
and the now-notorious Keith Raniere. That was in 2009, long before the
eventual arrests of Raniere and Mack on the charges of sex trafficking
and forced labor. Hardin’s writing for the Capital Region weekly
Metroland was the beginning of the end.

FRI  NOV 22  5:30pm  FREE
Aizuri Quartet
Combining their deep study of classical music with a naturally warm
and exuberant approach to audiences and students, the Aizuri Quartet
is passionate about creating diverse points of entry into the string
quartet repertoire. Miho Saegusa, violin; Emma Frucht, violin; Ayane
Kozasa, viola; Karen Ouzounian, cello.
Co-sponsored by Friends of Chamber Music in Troy, NY

WED  DEC 4  7pm
Workshop 4:30pm
Community meal 6pm
“The Infiltrators” w/ Alex Rivera
A film about a rag-tag group of undocumented youth—Dreamers—who
deliberately get arrested by Border Patrol to infiltrate a shadowy
detention center.
Co-sponsored by iEAR Presents! with Capital District Border Watch,
ICE-Free Capital District, Troy Sanctuary Movement and Extinction
Rebellion Capital Region

FRI  DEC 6  7pm  $15
Christoph Irniger & Pilgrim
The quintet Pilgrim, founded by Zurich-based tenor saxophonist
Christoph Irniger, has over the years become one of the most exciting
ensembles in young European jazz. This tour introduces their fourth
recording, “Crosswinds.”

SAT  DEC 14  12-5pm  FREE
North Central Troy Justice & Peace Holiday Celebration
Join us for the eighth annual North Central Troy Holiday Justice and
Peace Celebration. Once again we’ll have free portraits (thanks to
photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally and her team), arts activities,
music, free food, a bike giveaway, the lighting of the tree at Freedom
Square (at the corner where 101st Street and 5th/6th Avenues meet),
and more!
Co-sponsored by Unity House, North Troy Community Network, Bella
Napoli, Troy Bike Rescue, Troy Central Little League, Team HERO and
Foto Care


The Sanctuary for Independent Media is part of Media Alliance, a
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in upstate New York. Our
mission is to use art and participatory action to promote social and
environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

Since 2005 we have been building an arts and environmental campus in
North Central Troy. We operate indoor and outdoor presenting and
production facilities (the Sanctuary and Freedom Square), a radio
station (WOOC 105.3 FM), community gardens (Collard City Growers), a
STE(a)M learning center (NATURE Lab), and youth programs (Uptown
Summer and Youth Media Sanctuary). None of this would be possible
without the support of countless volunteers, many individual donors,

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Justice
and Hudson River Estuary Programs, New York State Council on the Arts
with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State
Legislature, National Endowment for the Arts, WGXC/Wave Farm, McCarthy
Charities, Howard and Bush Foundation, The Bender Scientific Fund /
B’nai B’rith Gideon Foundation / The Barry Alan Gold Memorial Fund /
The Judith Fund of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital
Region, Crossed Purposes Foundation, New Music USA, Lush Charity Pot,
Troy Capital Resource Corporation, Healthcare Education Project, One
Troy, Stephen J. McKee Foundation, The O’Bryan Family Foundation,
Shuttleworth Foundation, Troy Housing Authority, Messler Family
Foundation, Merrill Family Charitable Foundation, The Kate Cashel
Fund, St. Andrews Society, Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, Troy
Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Saratoga Apple, Lucy Jo’s Coffee
Roastery, One Day Signs, Rare Form Brewing Company, Magai
Arboriculture, Music Haven Concert Series, Rensselaer County Summer
Youth Employment Program, CEO YouthBuild, NY Civil Liberties Union,
Law Office of Anne Reynolds Copps, Troy Bike Rescue, Rock Hill
Bakehouse, Rensselaer’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
and iEAR Presents!, Troy Cultural Alliance, Community Loan Fund of the
Capital Region, TAP Inc, Rensselaer County Historical Society,
Rensselaer Newman Foundation Chapel + Cultural Center, Hilton Garden
Inn, Alpha Phi Omega, Troy Central Little League, Team HERO, Leaders
Leading Troy’s Youth, Transition Troy, Troy Zero Waste, Honest Weight
Food Coop, Stone Industries, Foto Care, Denison Farm, Bella Napoli,
Bruegger’s Bagels, Stewart’s Shops, Unity House, Women Against War and
Pogo Stick Studios.


Taina Asili closeup 1 small_1024


Sanctuary TV: Chris Hedges Q&A “Fascism in the Age of Trump”

Journalist, author and war correspondent Chris Hedges took questions after speaking at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy NY on November 10, 2017 on fascism and empire in the age of Trump.


Sanctuary TV: Chris Hedges on Fascism in the Age of Trump

Journalist, author and war correspondent Chris Hedges spoke in at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy NY on November 10, 2017 on fascism and empire in the age of Trump.

Chris Hedges is the best-selling author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. A quote from the book was used as the opening title quotation in the critically-acclaimed and Academy Award-winning 2009 film, The Hurt Locker. The quote reads: “The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has written twelve books, including the New York Times bestseller Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Some of his other books include Unspeakable (2016), Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative to Revolt (2015), Death of the Liberal Class (2010), Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), I Don’t Believe in Atheists (2008) and the best selling American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (2008).

In 2011, Nation Books published a collection of Hedges’ Truthdig columns called The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress. Hedges previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. The Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011. The LAPC also granted him the Best Online Column award in 2010 for his Truthdig essay “One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists.”

Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto. He currently teaches prisoners at a maximum-security prison in New Jersey.

Event Recap

Freedom Festival '17 Capped Spring Season

Spring 2017 season graphic


The Spring 2017 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy kicked off with a spectacular opening the first weekend of April and wound up in early June–with events ranging from music to films to speakers including Salif Keita, Meklit, The Nile Project, “National Bird” w/ filmmaker Sonia Kenneback, “Economic Update” w/ radio host Richard Wolff, “The Prison in Twelve Landscapes” w/ filmmaker Brett Story, “Insane Clown President” w/ journalist Matt Taibbi, Bike Fest, Michael Bisio Accortet, Rahim AlHaj, Freedom Festival w/ Taina Asili y la Bande Rebelde; gallery shows, workshops and more!

“Salif Salif Keita 7 PM SUNDAY, APRIL 2 $40

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear the Golden Voice of Africa in a small listening room—one of the world’s most extraordinary singers, Afropop pioneer—Salif Keita.

“Meklit“ Meklit 7 PM SATURDAY, APRIL 8 $15

Music emanating from “in-between-spaces” imbued with poetry and multiplicity, from the hybrid blues-like sounds of Ethiopian Tizita to jazz, folk songs, hip-hop and art rock.

“The The Nile Project 7 PM FRIDAY, APRIL 21 $15

A cross-cultural musical collaboration among artists sharing diverse relationships to world’s longest river—buzzing timbres and ingenious polyrhythms support vocals in six languages.

“National “National Bird” 7 PM MONDAY, APRIL 17


The story of whistleblowers determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial issues of our time: the “secret” U.S. drone war.

“Prison “The Prison in Twelve Landscapes” 7 PM WEDNESDAY, MAY 10


More are imprisoned in the US at this moment than in any other place or time. This film is a cinematic journey through a series of prison landscapes.

“Richard “Economic Update” 7 PM SATURDAY, APRIL 29


A hopeful vision of concrete action to transition from the current system’s suffocating inequality and political corruption to economic democracy.

“Troy Troy Bike Rescue: Bike Fest 5 PM SATURDAY, MAY 13 $20

The 7th annual BikeFest fundraising celebration—a fantastic party and a great way to help Troy Bike Rescue continue its mission of bringing Pedal Power to the People!

“Matt Insane Clown President 7 PM FRIDAY, MAY 12


Dispatches from the 2016 election providing an eerily prescient take on our democracy’s uncertain future.

“Michael Michael Bisio Accortet 7 PM SATURDAY, MAY 20 $15

Chronicling more than 30 years of acclaimed Troy native bassist Michael Bisio’s life as a composer in song form and otherwise, balancing freedom and
swing in a euphorically compelling quartet.

“Rahim “Letters From Iraq” 7 PM WEDNESDAY, MAY 24 $15


Iraqi-American virtuoso/composer, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings artist—traveling the world to “give voice to the voiceless.”

“Taina Freedom Festival 3 PM SATURDAY, JUNE 3 FREE! (outdoors at Freedom Square)


Music, food, arts activities and lots more celebrating creative resistance—featuring the band that rocked the Women’s March on Washington!

Event Recap

WOOC benefit with Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars & Vusi Mahlasela!

Link to ticketsThe launch of Vusi MahlaselaWOOC 105.3 FM is being celebrated with a benefit concert at The Egg Performing Arts Center (Empire State Plaza, Albany) at 7:30 PM on Friday February 17, featuring Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars and legendary South African anti-apartheid singer/songwriter Vusi Mahlasela.  Tickets to this all-ages show are $29.50, currently available at The Egg Box Office at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, via phone (518) 473-1845 or online at

Vusi Mahlasela“We are looking forward to working with The Sanctuary for Independent Media to present these extraordinary African performing artists,” said Peter Lesser, executive director of the Empire State Plaza Performing Arts Center that manages The Egg. “We are particularly happy to be part of the effort to raise funds and awareness about radio station WOOC 105.3 FM which plays a diverse selection of world music including the artists scheduled to perform on February 17.”

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have risen like a phoenix to the world stage mining the riches of Western African folklore, performing uplifting–and very danceable–highlife songs of hope, faith and joy. 

Vusi Mahlasela–simply known as “The Voice” in South Africa–is celebrated for his distinct vocal style, fine guitar playing and his poetic, optimistic songs. 

“Both artists offer a potent example of the redeeming power of music and the ability of the human spirit to persevere through unimaginable hardship and emerge with optimism intact,” stated Mr. Lesser.

Steve Pierce, executive director of The Sanctuary for Independent Media and program director for WOOC added,  “At the Sanctuary and WOOC, our mission is to use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression. These artists show the power of music to change the world; they are at the forefront of the movement for peace and understanding.“


From their humble beginnings in West African refugee camps, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and matured into one of Africa’s top touring and recording bands. They also now play an important diplomatic role as spokespersons for the ever-increasing millions of refugees worldwide.

Throughout the 1990s, the West African country of Sierra Leone was wracked with a bloody, horrifying war that forced millions to flee their homes. The musicians that would eventually form Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars are all originally from Freetown, and they were forced to leave the capital city at various times after violent rebel attacks. Most of those that left the country made their way into neighboring Guinea, some ending up in refugee camps and others struggling to fend for themselves in the capital city of Conakry.

Ruben Koroma and his wife Grace had left Sierra Leone in 1997 and found themselves in the Kalia refugee camp near the border with Sierra Leone. When it became clear they would not be heading back to their homeland anytime soon, they joined up with guitarist Francis John Langba (aka Franco), and bassist Idrissa Bangura (aka Mallam), other musicians in the camp whom they had known before the war, to entertain their fellow refugees. After a Canadian relief agency donated two beat up electric guitars, a single microphone and a meager sound system, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars were born.

American filmmakers Zach Niles and Banker White encountered the band in the Sembakounya Camp, and were so inspired by their story they ended up following them for three years as they moved from camp to camp, bringing much needed joy to fellow refugees with their heartfelt performances. Eventually, the war in Sierra Leone came to an end, and over time the All Stars returned to Freetown, where they met other returning musicians who joined the band’s rotating membership. It was there in the tin-roofed shacks of Freetown’s ghettos that Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars recorded the tracks that ended up, along with unplugged recordings made in the refugee camps, being the basis for their debut album, “Living Like a Refugee,” which was released on the label Anti in 2006.

The resulting film that documented this moving saga, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, was a critical success, and introduced the world to the personalities and dramatic stories behind the band, not to mention their instantly appealing music. The movie, album and eventual U.S. tours helped expand their following, and soon the band found itself playing in front of enraptured audiences of tens of thousands at New York’s Central Park SummerStage, Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival and the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.

The senseless deaths and illnesses of friends and family, including some of the band’s original members, and the slimming hope for great change in their country as a result of peace, has only strengthened the resolve of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars to do what they can to turn their country around. Their weapon in this struggle is music, and their message, while offering critique and condemnation of wrongdoing, remains positive and hopeful. Optimism in the face of obstacles, and the eternal hope for a better future motivates their lives and music.

After a 10-year adventure that has taken them from the squalor of refugee camps to the world’s biggest stages, Africa’s most inspirational band continues to ascend. Over the years they have evolved to become one of Africa’s most recognized bands with fans across the globe. Their albums and live shows embodies and radiates the joy, passion for music and love for their fellow man that have made Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars a living testament to the resilience of the human spirit and an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.


Vusi Mahlasela grew up in the Mamelodi township, just outside of Pretoria, South Africa, where he still resides. As Vusi tells it, he grew up a happy kid and was blind to the injustices in his country. His grandmother operated a Shebeen behind their home. Due to the cultural boycott inflicted by Apartheid, black South African music was hard to come by and was banned from being played on the radio. So, they played American records in the pub. James Brown. Motown. The Commodores. And whatever South African and African recordings they could find: Mahotella Queens, Mahlatini Queens, Miriam Makeba, Dark City Sisters, Fela Kuti. Young Vusi and his neighborhood friends formed a little band of their own and started making music of their own, inspired by the recordings they heard wafting out of the Shebeen. Vusi built his first guitar from fishing line and a cooking oil can and taught himself how to play. In 1976, Vusi’s political education began as he witnessed the devastating massacre of more than 200 black South Africans in the Soweto Uprising. Vusi responded through his music, inspiring other musicians and listeners around him.

Vusi began to write songs of justice, of freedom, of revolution, of love, of peace and of life. He joined a poetry group, The Ancestors of Africa, and also joined the Congress of South African Writers, a group of like-minded artists and writers, including Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer who paid for Vusi’s first guitar lessons. At this point, his political activism truly began. For the “crime” of writing songs of freedom and human dignity, Vusi was held in solitary confinement; he was harassed by the police repeatedly. Many of his friends fled the country. Through this struggle, his songwriting became not only prolific but also healing for himself and for his listeners. He simply became known as “The Voice.”

At the fall of apartheid, Vusi finally recorded his first album—a collection of songs he’d been writing his whole life. In 1994, Vusi was proud and very humbled to perform at Nelson Mandela’s presidential inauguration. “The Voice” was soon heard all over the world. Since the release of that first album, Vusi has traveled the globe sharing his songs of truth and hope, and sharing his country’s past and promise for a better future.

Americans first caught a glimpse of Vusi Mahlasela in the 2002 documentary “Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony” that chronicles the strength of music during the struggle against apartheid. Shortly after the debut of the film, fellow South African Dave Matthews signed Vusi to his label, ATO Records, and released “The Voice,” a collection of songs from Vusi’s South African releases. “Guiding Star” and 2011’s “Say Africa,” produced by Taj Mahal, soon followed. His albums have received mass critical acclaim and celebrated musicians have taken note of his powerful voice and message. Vusi has performed at two TED conferences, the Skoll World Forum, The Elders annual meeting, Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday, Mandela Day and more. But perhaps his biggest gig was in 2010 when he helped ring in the World Cup in South Africa, at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

Vusi recently received an honorary doctorate degree from the prestigious Rhodes University in Grahamstown, SA; a couple of weeks later on Freedom Day, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma awarded Vusi with the National Order of Ikhamanga recognizing him for “drawing attention to the injustices that isolated South Africa from the global community during the apartheid years.”

The SAMA Awards (South African Music Awards) chose to honor Vusi with a Lifetime Achievement award to recognize his accomplishments both at home and abroad.


The Sanctuary for Independent Media is based in a century-old former church that has been re-purposed into a telecommunications production facility dedicated to community media arts. It is a place where community-engaged interdisciplinary artists experiment with aesthetic form and challenging content, with the overarching goal of shedding light on media arts’ vital role in the process of building a democratic society. The Sanctuary for Independent Media, located at 3361 6th Avenue in North Troy, hosts screening, production and performance facilities, and arts and education training in community media and media arts.  The Sanctuary has expanded in recent years to include an adjacent outdoor performance venue for summer concerts and community events, called Freedom Square, and an environmental education complex, NATURE Lab, which includes gardens, greenhouses, artist residency and teaching facilities. Other initiatives include the Youth Media Sanctuary summer employment program and the online video channel Sanctuary TV.


WOOC 105.3 FM is a non-commercial, listener-supported service of The Sanctuary for Independent Media, with a broadcast signal that covers the Troy/Albany area and an online presence at streaming worldwide.  The station format is news and public affairs during weekday morning (6-10 AM) and afternoon (3-7 PM) drivetime hours, with world musics including reggae and African pop at other times.


The Egg–the Empire State Plaza’s Center for the Performing Arts–is owned by the State of New York and managed by the not-for-profit Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza Performing Arts Center Corporation.  This entity was established to present quality performances, accessible to all citizens of New York State, highlighting the unique and extraordinary artists from New York State, across the country and around the globe. Through partnerships and collaborations, the Corporation presents performances, spotlights emerging artists, fosters relationships with resident companies, and enhances activities in cultural and arts education.

Workshop Report

Theory and Practice of Community Radio w/ Pete Tridish

Join pirate radio legend Pete Tridish for an in-depth strategy session on community radio. Revolution, technology, reform, media… what does the low power FM struggle tell us about social change through political and technological action? We’ll look at the first civil rights organization to have a radio station, located in Opelousas, Louisiana; the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Florida; Thin Air Radio in Spokane; and a bunch of others.

Underground gallery shows

What Is Seeing?

The Raft by the Seeing With Photography CollectiveThe Seeing with Photography Collective is a group of photographers based in New York City who are visually impaired, sighted and blind.

They follow a unique process to create their work:

Sighted assistants focus and compose the camera’s frame, directed by the blind artist. Then, in a darkened room, they leave the camera’s shutter open and slowly paint their sitter with a small flashlight. Luminous distortions and blurred or glowing forms result from the technique, not digital altering.

The nature of the artists’ visual limitations can provoke any viewer or perceiver of these portraits: Is less, more? What is seeing? What does one choose to see?

The Seeing with Photography Collective’s work has been exhibited worldwide and can be seen in the book Shooting Blind, published by Aperture.

Don’t miss their afternoon Be The Media! workshop and evening in-person presentation with the Daniel Kelly Trio at the gallery opening on Saturday, May 9.


Uptown Summer 2014 blasts off! Are you on board?

Starting this Tuesday (7/8) and continuing Tuesdays through Fridays each week until August 8, the wackie wookies in and around The Sanctuary for Independent Media are presenting Uptown Summer 2014!

Our launch party with the amazing Ethiopian orchestra Debo Band is at Freedom Square this Friday evening (7/11). Hope to see you and your friends there!

BUT! There’s so much more…

This year, Uptown Summer addresses environmental justice for our local community and beyond. Each week we will focus on a theme related to ecological issues that affect us all, by looking at our immediate community through an historical lens, growing the Collard City Growers garden, experimenting with soil remediation on nearby brownfield lots, planting a food forest, recruiting local bees to work with Reverend Billy and his choir to confront giant agribusinesses, and more. All this activity over the next five weeks will help develop our new NATURE Lab–North Troy Art, Technology and Urban Research into Ecology–supporting ongoing eco actions to heal our neighborhood.

We have an all-star team of interns, artists and educators working with seven young people from the neighborhood courtesy of the Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment Program, and we want you too!

If you want to get involved, we need volunteers! Please contact us for further information.

Here’s an overview of Uptown Summer 2014:

Check out more info about each week, including visiting artists and workshops:

Week 1: Mapping Our Community

Week 2: Sanctuary Voices

Week 3: Botanical Intervention

Week 4: Information Architecture

Week 5: Eco-Action

This is going to be a great summer! Hope you can be a part of it…


Fencing Re-match!

Kids today

Garden work










We’re ON for our fencing project at the Collard City Garden tomorrow (Friday 5/23).

Come out in the morning, come out in the afternoon, come out all day. We’ll be there from 9 AM – 5 PM with steady streams of volunteers. We’ll feed you too! Egg spect big fun!

We have a bunch of holes already dug that need to have fence posts set, then backfilled. These posts are getting, well, posted! Not too hard–no digging!–this job just needs a bunch of hands so we can disappear the holes and get on with planting.

TeenagersIt’s supposed to be perfect outdoor working weather, with temperatures in the 60s.

If you have tools for tamping, long-handled shovels, post-hole diggers, gloves and anything else that might be useful please bring ’em.


Background: big doings happening on the block, in the neighborhood, and at the garden. The fence we are erecting is beautiful, yet hard work.

Richard Along the way, we have excavated the home that sat on the site pre-demolition some years ago. The large chunks of concrete and brick walls have required the help of a friend-with-backhoe. Using a backhoe to dig holes means larger holes. Complications with locating a working water line have also slowed the project.

We have set 14 of about 30 posts. The south line has holes ready to go.

With your help, we can dig, tamp, and fill those holes with the lovely locust posts. We’re looking to do a big push on Friday, but understand that many volunteers have paid work that day. We will have more weekend work parties, but not this Memorial Day weekend.

Many hands make light work, and also, more fun.

Hope to see you soon… THANK YOU!!


Garden 2


FenceFence 2014 revealed!


An amazing day of work on the Collard City Growers fence!

CCG GenceFest 2014

CCG FenceFest 2014


CCG FenceFest 2014CCG FenceFest 2014CCG FenceFest 2014


Saturday! FenceFest 2014

Hope you can make it to the 3300 block of 6th Avenue tomorrow (Saturday 5/3) for some big fun!

It’s all going down at Collard City Growers (on the same block as the Sanctuary, halfway between Freedom Square and Troy Bike Rescue).

Three years in, and it’s time to build a fence!  But we need your help…

Fence-Raising (Work) Party at Collard City Growers.
Starting at 9am, likely ’til the sun or we drop(s)

Big upgrades are happening at Collard City Growers: a new lot with a carriage house, fruit trees, and oh-so-much-more!   The time has come to build a fence to be able to grow and make more consistent our programming, secure the added infrastructure, and welcome more neighbors who wish to grow food but are concerned about produce security.

We’ll be digging holes for the locust wood posts.  (8ft. posts that we’ll bury 3ft. deep) …and if we accomplish securing the posts, we’ll hang/staple the horse fencing.  There will also be some garden-bed adjusting and moving part of the existing path towards the new gate.  A backhoe began the excavation and hole-digging a few days ago!  

WE NEED YOU!   (Even if you are limited in your capacity for labor, we can use the company, good cheer, and some less strenuous tasks.)


Gloves (for picking up and moving concrete and brick chunks)
Heavy-duty wheelbarrows
6 ft. pry bars
Heavy metal tools that compress soil around the fence posts
1×4 sticks to mark the depth (3ft) of the holes
Post hole diggers
Long, skinny shovels


If you have tools to lend, but cannot stay, please stop by!  (We’ll label your tools, if necessary, with tape and markers)


And THANK YOU MUCHO in advance!  


Troy Youths Ask: "What Would You Do With a Trillion Dollars?"

A team of Troy teenagers from Youth Media Sanctuary journeyed to Washington DC the weekend of April 11-13, 2014 to take part in the fourth annual “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” Youth Film Festival sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

Their new video, “Trillion in Troy,” is one of twenty-one official selections chosen for the festival. Many thanks to Unity House for helping us get there!

The “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” Youth Film Festival asks young people to speak out on the federal budget via short videos that answer the question “what would you do with $1 trillion—for yourself, your family, and your community.” The youth are asked to consider the $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military; the more than $1 trillion spent on the wars abroad, and the $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

The submissions come from Troy, Baltimore, Chicago, Greensboro NC, Los Angeles, New York, and other communities around the country. Created by a diverse group of creative high school and college students, the videos feature clever lyrics and thoughtful policy recommendations on issues such as immigration, climate change, cuts to food stamps, and foster care.  

Young people are directly affected by conversations about state and federal budgets, yet their voices are often ignored. The film festival seeks to change that. Ultimately, AFSC wants America’s youth to think about their priorities, and then engage politically in order to bring about the changes they need and want.

The festival culminated April 12-14, 2014 in Washington DC, where AFSC held a youth leadership conference, and a free public screening.

The young people participated in a two day leadership training program at Sidwell Friends Academy in Washington DC.  They then attended the world premiere screening of the Fourth Annual “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” Youth Film Festival at DC’s iconic Busboys & Poets, including dinner, an award ceremony and performances by participants in the festival. The following day they atteneded meetings at the office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Their visit concluded with a visit to Capitol Hill for a street action to mark the Global Day of Action Against Military Spending (

For updates, visit and follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter.


Underground gallery shows

Connecting with the Land

Connecting with the Land is a photography exhibit that lets us experience local farms through the eyes of youth. The photos were taken during photography classes at farms in Rensselaer and Washington counties. The Farm Photography for Kids is a program by the Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) a community-supported land trust dedicated to protecting our local farmland from encroaching development. 

The exhibit also features work by Produce Project urban farm youth from Troy High School. Students documented the 8th street farm in Troy and Soul Fire Farm in Grafton. Produce Project is a program by Capital District Community Garden.


The Spring ’13 Underground Gallery exhibit is a partnership of Agricultural Stewardship Association, Soul Fire Farm, Capital District Community Garden and KitchenSanctuary.

Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) is a non-profit, community-supported land trust founded by local farmers and citizens to strengthen the region’s vitally important agricultural economy and save farmland in Washington and Rensselaer counties from development. Since 1990, when it started as an all-volunteer organization, ASA has grown into a nationally respected, professionally staffed land trust that has helped to save nearly 15,000 acres of farm and forestland. ASA is accredited by the Land Trust Alliance — a distinction awarded only to groups that adhere to the highest professional land trust standards and practices. Agricultural Stewardship Association mission is to protect our community’s working landscape of farms and forests, connect people to the land, and promote a vibrant future for agriculture in the region.


Capital District Community Garden’s “Produce Project” is an urban farm which offers stipends, school credit and a harvest share to youth from Troy High School in exchange for tending crops and selling them to local markets and restaurants. Last fall, the youth had the opportunity to take photography classes on their farm and Soul Fire Farm in Grafton. Their images in this exhibit are the fruits of their labor and creativity!


Want to get more involved? Check out these Sanctuary work projects…


Ever thought about spending some of your free time helping out at the Sanctuary?  There are several projects underway for which we could use some hands!

1. Stage light and curtains

This Friday (3-25) from 11 AM through the afternoon, we’ll be installing stage curtain hardware and upgrading the lighting grid.  Wayne is leading the charge on this and can use some help.

2. Surplus equipment sale

There are a few items of used equipment we’re getting rid of that actually have some value (!) and for which an eBay listing might be worthwhile.  If you know or are interested in teaching yourself how to do this, it could be a big help de-cluttering and maybe even fundraising.

3. Archive database

We guessed wrong on the business prospects of the online database vendor we’ve been using to keep track of our media archive; they’re going out of business and we have only a few weeks to transfer the data to a different platform.  If you know something about relational databases, this could be a great way to help the Sanctuary–even from afar.

4. Tablecloth laundrification

If you have easy access to a washer/dryer and come to Sanctuary events regularly (or want to), we could use some help cleaning the tablecloths used for Sanctuary community meals and at the cafe.

5. Senior recycling management

Each week we generate a not-insignificant amount of material needing recycling, ranging from paper and cardboard to containers to electronics.  If solid waste management is a passion of yours, we could use your help!

Let me know if you have an interest in any of these areas or want more information.  It’s really just the tip of the iceberg!  As you know, the Sanctuary depends almost entirely on volunteer labor to run an ambitious event schedule, cafe, PR operation, merchandising, media education program, gallery, multimedia studio and the building itself.  There’s an almost endless variety of things that need doing, many not requiring much skill or time invested but all of which are critical to the overall success of what we’re doing.

Feel free to contact me with questions!

–Steve (pierce[at]


Military steps up retaliation against accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower

This just in from our friends at the Bradley Manning Support Network:

QUANTICO, VA, 23 January 2011 — Military officials at Marine Corps Base Quantico today increased the isolation of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning by detaining Manning’s friend and regular visitor David House at the base entrance until visiting hours were over. House was accompanied by Jane Hamsher of, a website that has collected 42,000 signatures on a petition calling for improvements to the conditions of Manning’s detention, which constitute extreme and illegal pre-trial punishment.

“The Bradley Manning Support Network is dismayed that Brad was denied contact with his only regular visitor besides his attorney,” founder Mike Gogulski stated. “Immediately following a rally by more than 150 supporters at Quantico last week, Brad was put on suicide watch for two days for reasons his counsel could only conclude were punitive. He was stripped of all of his clothing except his boxer shorts and his glasses were taken away. It seems to me that the Marine command is now reacting in the worst possible way to rising pressure on them.”

David House has been making regular trips from his home in the Boston area to visit Manning at the Marine Corps brig since he was transferred there from Kuwait last summer. While detained at the base gate, House posted to Twitter that “one of the many MPs around the car says his orders to stop us come from on high.” House and Hamsher were held on entry to the base for nearly the entire period of visiting hours, repeatedly demanded to provide information and documents the MPs already had, and threatened with arrest. Hamsher’s car was towed away under the pretext that she lacked proof of insurance, despite having presented a digital copy.

At, founder Jane Hamsher wrote: “There is no doubt in my mind that the primary objective of everything that happened today was to keep Bradley Manning from having the company of his only remaining visitor.”

“This is a bizarre action by the Marines. I think they see the growing support for Bradley Manning, they see more and more people realizing that he is being treated unfairly, and that as the facts of the case come out more and more people see that he is a patriot and not a traitor,” said Kevin Zeese, Director of Voters for Peace and member of the Bradley Manning Support Network’s steering committee.

In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week, Amnesty International stated that “the restrictions imposed in PFC Manning’s case appear to be unnecessarily harsh and punitive.” The letter also suggests that Manning’s confinement is in contravention of international law, and calls upon the military to conduct a review.

House intends to return to Quantico next weekend to once again attempt to visit Manning and to deliver the petition.  

In addition to petitions and public protests across the nation, the Bradley Manning Support Network has asked supporters to speak out against Manning’s inhumane treatment by contacting officials at Quantico. The Support Network encourages concerned individuals to phone Quantico public affairs at +1-703-432-0289, to write to base commander Colonel Choike at 3250 Catlin Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, and to write to brig commander CWO4 Averhart at 3247 Elrod Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134. We are asking that Bradley Manning’s human rights be respected while he remains in custody; specifically, that he be allowed social interaction with other inmates, that he be allowed meaningful physical exercise, that approved visitors be allowed to see him without interrogation and harassment, and that the “Prevention of Injury” order (the military’s basis for the extreme pre-trial punishment regime) be lifted.

# # #

References:, “Sign Our Letter: Stop the Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning”

Mike Gogulski, Bradley Manning Support Network,  “Manning removed from two-day suicide watch; attorney files complaint, calls action punitive”

David House, Twitter:

Jane Hamsher, Twitter:

Jane Hamsher, “Goal of Quantico Incident Was To Abuse Bradley Manning and Intimidating David House”

Nadim Kobeissi, interviewing Kevin Zeese, CHOMP.FM, “EMERGENCY BROADCAST: Denying Bradley Manning Basic Civility”

Amnesty International, “USA: Open letter to Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense”

Event Recap News

National Peace Conference – Summary and Assessment

Our friend Joe Lombardo, a key organizer of the United National Peace Conference in Albany we webcast from July 23-25, sent the following summary and assessment of the weekend events.  We thought you’d be interested:

Dear Friends,

The United National Peace Conference in Albany brought together people from around the country and overseas.  Although two people from India were denied visas to come to the conference, 520 pre-registered and 256 additional people registered at the door, for a total of 776 participants.  Some who pre-registered did not show and some who showed did not register.  Therefore, I believe the 776 is an accurate number. I will soon be able to go through the registration forms and give a better breakdown of where people came from.

The Sanctuary for Independent Media provided live-streaming of major segments of the conference to the Internet, provided a place for people to upload pictures and tweets and posted major presentations on Youtube.  The day after the conference, the Youtube videos got over 17,000 hits, making them the most viewed videos from a non-profit organization for that day.  This enabled thousands who could not physically make it to the conference to nonetheless experience it.

The core leaders of the anti-war movement were all there, including Media Benjamin, Col. Ann Wright, Kathy Kelly, Dahlia Wasfi, Michael McPherson from UFPJ and VFP, Kevin Martin from Peace Action, Blasé Bonpane, Mark Johnson from Fellowship of Reconciliation, Glen Ford from Black Majority Report and Black is Back, Kevin Zeese, Fahima Vorgetts, Mike Ferner, Michael Eisencher from US Labor Against the War, Larry Holmes from the International Action Center, Nada Khader, Debra Sweet, Leila Zand, and others.  Cindy Sheehan also came but had to leave immediately when her daughter went into labor back in California. Additionally, Ethan McCord, a former soldier on the ground in Iraq who was seen on the first leaked Wikileaks video, spoke out publicly for the first time.  War resisters, GIs who have refused to deploy, skyped into the conference from Canada, since they could not be there in person.

Leaders of other movements were also at the conference; these include leaders of the Labor movement, such as Donna Dewitt, President of the South Carolina AFL-CIO,.  Leaders of SEIU/1199 came to ask the peace movement to support their upcoming October 2nd, 2010 march on Washington.  The conference was welcomed by Mike Keenan, president of the Troy Area Labor Council.  Present were Margaret Flowers and other leaders of the single payer movement, as well as Lynda Cruz, Teresa Gutierrez, and other leaders of the immigrant’s rights movement.  Palestinian rights activists played a big role in the conference, as did leaders of the movement against intervention in Iran, Columbia, Honduras, and Haiti.  Leaders of the environmental movement were as were leaders of the Muslim solidarity movement and student leaders like Blanca Missa, one of the central leaders of the recent student protests on the Berkeley campus against California’s cuts to education. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a central leader of the movement for single payer healthcare led a workshop with other healthcare advocates and spoke at the press conference that preceded the conference at which she made a strong connection between the movement for universal healthcare and peace.

Noam Chomsky spoke Saturday morning via video.  Following by another keynote address given by Donna Dewitt, President of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, and leading member or the National Assembly and US Labor Against the War.  We listened to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s audio taped message to the conference from death row and to the narration of Imam Aref’s, one of the wrongly prosecuted Muslims from Albany from his prison cell.   Ralph Poynter, husband of imprisoned civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart, read her message to those assembled. Lynne was a member of the administrative body of the National Assembly to End US Wars and Occupations, the group that had initiated the conference.  She was also a founding member of Project Salam, one of the other 31 co-sponsoring groups.

During panels held on Friday night and Saturday, movement leaders discussed the future direction of the anti-war movement.  Throughout the weekend, the backdrop to the stage and podium was a beautiful 40 foot mural painted by Mike Alewitz and Jerry Butler, who teach art at Central Connecticut State University.  Mike was an anti-war leader at Kent State University 40 years ago, during the period when National Guardsmen killed four student anti-war protestors.  Jerry was at Jackson State when, 10 days later, police shot and killed students on that campus.

The conference presented thirty-three workshops on topics related to war and social justice.  Presenters came from a range of perspectives, faith-based peace groups, immigrant’s rights advocates, the Palestinian rights movement, the labor movement, active duty GIs and veteran’s movements, and many more. The workshops and presenters are listed on the conference web site (

The conference operated democratically, with every person in attendance having a voice and a vote.  Out of this process came an Action Proposal and a set of resolutions.  All of this material will be posted in the near future on the national peace conference web site ( Basically, the Action Proposal calls for local actions in the fall and bi-coastal demonstrations in New York City and California in the spring.  The spring actions will be accompanied by separate and distinct non-violent civil disobedience actions.  The proposal also calls for support of and collaboration in building the mobilizations being called by the labor and civil rights movements in the coming months.  These include demonstration planned for Washington and Detroit on August 28 and a large October 2nd demonstration being organized by SEIU/1199, AFL-CIO, the NAACP, and others. The action proposal includes a strong stand in support of Palestinian rights and against the threats directed at Iran.  It calls for coordinated teach-ins, lobbying efforts, and campaigns to pass city, town, and village resolutions on the issue of war spending and its impacts on the economy.

One theme running throughout the conference was the connection between the anti-war movement and the Muslim solidarity movement.  Both the wars and the attacks on Muslims are the products of Washington’s phony war on terror.  The wars have been called preemptive wars, and the prosecutions of Muslims have been labeled preemptive prosecution. These concepts are used by the government as theoretical justifications for the wars going on at home and abroad. The Muslim solidarity issue was highlighted at a poignant and symbolic march from the peace conference to the Masjid-Al Salam mosque on Central Avenue where the imprisoned Albany Muslims used to worship.  At the Mosque, a rally was held where family member and supporters of the wrongly prosecuted Muslims spoke along with leaders of the anti-war movement such as Kathy Kelly, Madia Benjamin and Sara Flounders of the International Action Center.   Also, on Saturday, a lunch time presentation was given by Shamshad Ahmad, the president of the mosque.  A statement was read by Imam Aref, the former Imam of the Mosque, now in prison for 15 years

Why Albany?    Some people have asked why the conference took place in Albany. My answer is that it could not have happened any where else.  On the national level, the peace movement has been weak and unable to capitalize on the fact that the majority opposes the wars and the fact that trillions is being spent on war as education, healthcare and other human needs are being cut. Consequently, the National Assembly to End US Wars and Occupations decided to forgo its own national conference in favor of building a unity conference of the entire anti-war movement, understanding that the lack of unity in the US anti-war movement has been a major factor in the weakness of our movement. The Albany area has a strong peace movement in which all of the groups work together.  In addition, when Muslims were attacked in our community, the peace movement and eventually the media and large sections of the non-Muslim community stood behind them.  In many other areas of the country, this didn’t happen, as some peace groups felt that being associated with the unjustly prosecuted Muslims might alienate them from the politicians and others in the non-Muslim community.  But what people in Albany realized is that the wars and the pre-emptive prosecutions of Muslims are two of the faces of the same phony war on terror.  So as we took up the fight against the attacks on Muslims and the racism these attacks have engendered, we undercut the war on terror justification for the wars of occupation while, at the same time, finding new allies in the struggle for peace.  Building bridges between the Muslim and the non-Muslim communities is exactly the opposite of what the government wanted, with its use of agent provocateurs and fabricated terror plots,

The conference was the right thing to do at the right time; it came to a close literally hours before the explosive Afghan War Diaries were published by Wikileaks and right before Congress voted for additional funding for the perpetual U.S. wars and occupations.   The conference gave our movement a powerful voice at a very critical time.  It also succeeded in bringing together thirty-one peace groups with diverse perspectives. We brought together the peace movement with leaders of other movements that have mobilized millions in their own right.  In doing so, we took a step forward not only for peace but also for human rights and justice in general.

We also brought together the Albany community with the broader movement nationally.  National leaders like Jerry Gordon of the National Assembly, who played a leading role in organizing the National Peace Action Coalition during the Vietnam War era, was a central figure bringing all of this together.  The National Assembly put everything it had into this conference.  The International Action Center and the Bail Out the Peoples movement, which have a strong base in New York City, also played a major role in the success of our conference.  Veterans for Peace, Peace Action, the Fellowship for Reconciliation, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US Labor Against the War, Progressive Democrats of America, Kathy Kelly and her Voices for Creative Non-Violence, and Project Salam were also the pillars on which the conference was built.  Code Pink, World Can’t Wait, National Lawyers Guild, After Downing Street, Black Agenda Report, the Granny Peace Brigade, Office of the Americas, Military Families Speak Out, and others also played a significant role in building the conference.
The involvement of these groups will be very important as we build actions for next spring in New York City and California. 

Locally, a contingent of around 40 people put their all into making the conference run smoothly.   The incredibly professional work of the Sanctuary for Independent Media gave us an international presence.  The Albany media coverage, with the exception of the attacks on the conference by Carl Strock of the Schenectady Gazette, was excellent.  The Times Union published four articles and an op-ed piece on the conference.  Despite our competing with the opening day of the Saratoga Race Track, the TV and radio news covered us as well.

There also were some shortcomings.  Outside of some alternative media, the conference was not covered by the national media, in stark contrast to the coverage of the Tea Party convention which, despite having fewer in attendance, was given prime time live coverage by CNN and other outlets.   Maureen Aumand who, along with Mary Finneran, organized the media in Albany alerted the New York Times to the conference on several occasions.  The Times tried to explain to her why they would not cover the conference, but the real reason it wasn’t covered is because the powers running the corporate media in the US want to build a right-wing, not a progressive, left-wing movement.

In addition, our audience was mostly older and white. Although polls show anti-war sentiment being greatest among youth and African Americans, we haven’t seen a lot of participation in the anti-war movement from these groups, and this was reflected at the conference, as well.

Finally, there were some tests of our unity at the conference, the most significant one being around the issue of Palestine.  Important leaders of the Palestinian movement were in attendance, and a caucus was formed by Palestinian rights activists to discuss how best to integrate the Palestinian issues with the broader peace issues.  They put together a resolution and an amendment to the Action Proposal on Palestine, which passed by a large majority.  However, some felt that the wording was too strong and therefore fought to change it.  This was a serious disagreement, and my hope is that it will not cause any deterioration in our unity. 

Pulling together a unity conference with thirty-one different groups, each with its own perspective on how to bring about peace, was a real achievement. However, our true test will be in how united we remain as we build future actions to end the wars. Towards this end, the conference passed a proposal for a continuations committee that will be chaired by Jerry Gordon.  It will meet for the first time on August 16th, with the goal of continuing our work and broadening it to include other forces at the local and regional levels.

The peace conference came together at just the right time and place.  It happened at the same time when other progressive forces (like the labor and civil rights movements) also are mobilizing (on August 28 and October 2).  The labor and civil rights leaders who have called these actions may see them in the context of the mid-term election but they come at a time that millions are being victimized by the wars at home and abroad and are looking for a way to fight back.   The unity we attained with the conference was significant.  If we can continue and broaden this unity with our allies within and outside of the peace movement we can change the world.

Joe Lombardo


Development Coordinator Position Now Open!

Digital Arts Service Corps logo

UPDATE 5/14/2010: THIS POSITION IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Thanks for your interest!

Want to help develop a new model for community based media?
We are looking for a Development Coordinator VISTA to join our team at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.  The VISTA member will serve for one year in Troy NY, starting August 2, 2010.  This position is open until filled; if you are interested, please contact us immediately!

The Development Coordinator VISTA will work on building our grassroots fundraising capacity while organizing and expanding our grant writing efforts. Other priorities include continuing to build our capacity for handling volunteers and in-kind donations. Our goal is to put into place a solid foundation for attracting and retaining a full spectrum of support, ranging from financial and material to human resources.

About us

NY Media Alliance operates The Sanctuary for Independent Media, a historic former church that is now the home base for regional artists and activists focused on media arts, community media, media reform and media justice. The Sanctuary’s telecommunications production facility contains fully equipped multi-media performance spaces, art galleries, meeting areas, and extensive audio, video and computer production facilities–including a four-camera video control room for live shoots and a 16 track audio recording studio. In this sanctuary, the overarching goal is to shed light on media arts’ vital role in the process of building a democratic society.


This position is offered through the Transmission Project, which places members of its Digital Arts Service Corps in organizations for one year.  Read more.


The Development Coordinator will be responsible for our donor program and grant-related work, and working to grow a fundraising culture within the organization and better integrate fundraising into our program activities.

We are seeking a candidate who has a background in social and economic justice work, ideally with experience coordinating diversified fundraising programs.

Candidates for this position should be prepared to take on responsibilities related to collective processes-including shared day-to-day office maintenance tasks, collaborative event facilitation and group organization-building activities.

Job Qualifications


-Strong written and oral communications skills
-Web savvy
-Well-organized and ability to be self-directed
-Experience coordinating multiple projects simultaneously
-Ability to adapt to shifting time tables and strict deadlines
-Familiarity with word processing software, database work, spreadsheet manipulation and electronic communications (i.e. e-mail, distribution lists, etc.)


-Past involvement in shaping a fundraising plan
-Success in building a team to take on fundraising activities
-History of acting as a liaison for an organization and building relationships with donors and funders
-Experience with consensus decision-making
-Graphic design/media/IT skills
-A valid drivers license


You would be serving as a member of the Digital Arts Service Corps, as part of a national team facilitated by the Transmission Project to share resources, experience and advice.

1.   ~$13,000/year living allowance.
2.   $5,350 Education Award (for college tuition or loan repayment) or $1,500 cash stipend paid at the successful completion of service
3.   Student loan deferment or forbearance on qualified loans
4.   Health care coverage (catastrophic coverage, prescription drug coverage, and childcare allowance)
5.   Relocation assistance (if moving more than 50 miles to serve)
6.   Food stamp eligibility
7.   The opportunity to gain high-level experience, skills and access within the nonprofit sector. Many alumni have gone on to full-time employment as a result of their service within the Digital Arts Service Corps.

Total compensation, including benefits and food stamps, is valued at ~$22,500 for the year.

AmeriCorps VISTA members must be U.S. citizens, U.S. national, or lawful permanent residents and at least 18 years of age. You must be available to serve full-time for one year, August 2, 2010 – August 2, 2011 in our office in Troy, NY. Due to VISTA requirements, you may not have secondary employment or full-time college during your year of service.  
How to Apply

Please send us an email addressing your qualifications and interest in this particular position and organization.  All applicants must create an account and apply through the Transmission Project.  Make sure to check NY Media Alliance as the organization to which you applying.

Applications are due immediately!  If you have any any questions about the position or the application process, please call Steve Pierce at (518) 207-6264.

Workshop Report

“Be The Media!” Spring '10 Workshop Series Announced!

Photo of "Be The Media!" workshopThe Sanctuary for Independent Media Center presents the “Be The Media!” workshop series from March through June 2010.

The “Be The Media!” workshop series provides local artists, producers, and citizen journalists with opportunities to acquire and improve the skills necessary for successful and high-impact independent media-making.

The workshop series, now in its 8th season, offers chances to explore the use of technology in making art and media, and build the creative capacity of our region. Geared to suit people who know a lot or a little about digital tools, the workshops are suitable for both curious novices, and seasoned users ready to hone their skills. The instructors are world-renowned media artists with expertise in many fields, and come from the Capital District and beyond.

The “Be The Media!” workshop series is presented in partnership with the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center, and with the financial support of the New York State Council on the Arts. Each 4-hour workshop will be held in The Sanctuary for Independent Media at 3361 6th Avenue in Troy, NY, on Sunday afternoons.

Sunday March 14, 1-5 (note new date!)

“Media Management in a Digital Universe”: Master the art of archiving and muscle your data into place for order, access and ease.

David Rice consults on a wide range of preservation topics while focusing on open source applications, digital formats, asset and metadata. David has worked as Digital Media Archivist at Thirteen/WNET and was Democracy Now!

Sunday April 18, 1-5

“The Camera As Interface to the World”: Explore the discipline of seeing, the subconscious of the camera and your personal vision, through observational and experimental practice. Develop a rapport with time, framing, depth of field and sitting still. For beginners to pros.

Jim de Sève is an award-winning documentary producer/ director whose acclaimed documentary, “Tying the Knot,” has played internationally.  He produced extensive work for the mass media industry, and broadcast internationally. He is currently in RPI’s MFA program.

Sunday May 9, 1-5

“Visual Journalism: Making comics to make social change”: An arts activism intensive with members of World War 3 Illustrated, including a discussion on zines and comix, and a hands-on collaborative workshop to make a digital mini-comic.

Founded in 1980 by Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper, veteran artists and activists of the World War 3 Illustrated collective have had their work appear in all areas of art from museums to major magazines.

Saturday, June 5, 1-5

1-5 pm “Youth Media Live Studio Production Workshop”: Learn about and participate in a live 4-camera production.  Studio shoot of a real event, the “NY Youth Media Maker Panel.”

With the “Be The Media!” youth media instructors, including:

Andrew Lynn is an adjunct professor of electronic media at HVCC and has taught video and animation workshops for the last 10 years.  He was Youth Education Coordinator at Manhattan Neighborhood Network from 2004-2007.

Branda Miller, media artist, RPI Professor of Media Arts, has produced numerous media production/literacy projects.

Bhawin Suchak is an educator, filmmaker and multimedia producer.  A teacher at the Albany Free School for ten years, he is the founder/director of Youth FX, a summer teen filmmaking program at Grand Street Community Arts.

Workshop fee: $40/session or $100 for 3!

Contact Workshop Coordinator Amy Halloran at [email protected] with questions.

or go online to to register now.

Space is limited!


We recognize that while $40 is a pretty good deal for a media workshop, not everyone can afford it.  We HIGHLY value diverse groups of workshop participants and encourage anyone who is interested in attending, but unable to pay the fee, to apply for a scholarship.