Categories
2020 News Press Coverage

‘Time for Reckoning’ on WMHT examines post-protest response

Airing Monday, special features activists’ demands, officials’ answers

Activist Jamaica Miles - shown at a July protest in Schenectady - is one of the panelists featured in
Activist Jamaica Miles — shown at a July protest in Schenectady — is one of the panelists featured in “The Time for Reckoning” airing at 9 p.m. Monday on WMHT. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren/Albany Times Union

ALBANY — Featuring the voices of activists from the Black Lives Matter movement as well as prominent Albany officials, the hour-long special “The Time for Reckoning” airs at 9 p.m. Monday on WMHT Ch. 17.

The program features parallel panels discussing the issues of racial reconciliation and social justice in the context of the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd of Minneapolis, and touches on more local controversies such as the 2018 shooting of Ellazar Williams by police and the notorious raid on a First Street home in March 2019 that resulted in an officer being charged with felony assault.

In addition to sharing the views of local activists, the program includes responses from Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Common Council President Corey Ellis and Police Chief Eric Hawkins on matters ranging from the pace of police discipline to the relative worth of the city’s police review board. Times Union editor Casey Seiler moderates.

All three of the city officials are part of Albany’s ongoing Policing Reform and Reconciliation Collaborative, a broad effort to address many of the issues brought to light in recent months. Formed in response to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive order requiring local communities to address systemic racism in law enforcement, the collaborative has an April deadline to produce proposals for local lawmakers to consider.

The program — a special edition of WMHT’s “New York Now” — is part of a larger symposium sponsored by Albany’s Center for Law and Justice and the New York State Writers Institute and other groups, with a mission to confront systemic racism, seek justice and reimagine society.

The community panel will have a follow-up online discussion held on the evening of Monday, Nov. 2 on the Facebook page of the All of Us social justice group.

Additional partners in “The Time for Reckoning” include the Justice Center of Rensselaer County, the Times Union, Amnesty International USA, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and the Sanctuary for Independent Media. The symposium was supported by the Steve McKee Foundation.

Categories
2020 News Press Coverage

Early voting opens Saturday with surge anticipated at local polls

TROY – When early voting starts Saturday, three chartered buses will run every 20 to 30 minutes, getting members of the city’s Black churches and residents of public housing and community centers to Rensselaer County polling sites.

“I want to get the people in the neighborhoods out and involved,” said Deacon Jerry Ford of the United Ordained Church.

“Souls to the Polls” is the effort to get voters out on Saturday, Oct. 24, Wednesday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 31, to county’s early voting sites at Holy Cross Armenian Church in Troy and Brunswick Town Hall, which don’t have direct public transportation.  Schodack Town Hall is the county’s third early voting site.

Voting across the region will be every day at a few sites in each county from Saturday to Nov. 1. Election Day at regular polling places is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

“We’re trying to make it easier,” Ford, who is involved in community and youth activities in the city, said about giving inner city residents the opportunity to cast ballots.

Souls to the Polls is sponsored by Bethel Baptist Church, Equality for Troy, Fifth Ave AME Zion Church, Justice Center of Rensselaer County, Kingdom Ministries, League of Women Voters, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Team Hero, Troy Area United Ministries, United Ordained Church and the Troy Branch of the NAACP.

Also in the region, Schenectady County Board of Elections Commissioners Amy Hild and Darlene Harris said Friday that the office is working with CDTA to provide bus transportation to two of its four early voting sites. There will be a trolley circulating around downtown Schenectady to take voters at the Hon. Karen B. Johnson Library, 99 Clinton St., and the Glenville Senior Center, 32 Worden Road.

The Capital Region’s county election boards are anticipating a flood of early voters.  Since it’s a presidential election year, interest is heightened. There are also congressional and state legislature seats on the ballot, and Saratoga Springs has a charter change referendum.

The boards in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties have all reported record requests for absentee ballots, due in part to the COVID-19 exception allowed by the state, for this year’s elections.

“We believe it’s going to be a huge turnout. That’s what we’re ramping up for,” said Ed McDonough, Rensselaer County Democratic elections commissioner.  McDonough said the staff is receiving hundreds of calls asking about early voting.

Also expecting plenty of activity are Albany County Republican Elections Commissioner Rachel Biedi and Saratoga County Democratic Elections Commissioner William Fruci.

Ford said helping get city voters to the poll locations may help get them interested and involved in the 2021 elections when the City Council and Rensselaer County races are on the ballots.

Categories
2020 News

Troy organizations provide free buses for early voters

TROY, N.Y. — A coalition of community organizations in Troy are providing free buses to early voting sites.

“We want to level the playing field by providing an opportunity for people to make it out to vote,” Deacon Jerry Ford of the United Ordained Church in Troy, who is helping to organize the program, said. 

The non-partisan effort, “Souls to the Polls,” aims to make it easier for voters in Troy to access Rensselaer County’s early voting sites, which are not located on convenient CDTA bus routes for many living in South Troy, North Central, and Lansingburgh. Souls to the Polls is also meant to help voters avoid Election Day crowds on Nov. 3 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“If we can reduce some of that traffic, we can help make it safer for everyone,” Ford explained. 

The buses will comply with CDC guidelines by limiting the number of passengers in each vehicle and requiring all riders to wear masks. Masks will be available on the buses for those who do not have one.

There will be three routes running to two polling places, Holy Cross Armenian Church polling place in Troy and Brunswick Town Hall. The routes include pickup locations at 19 public housing complexes, churches, and parks. 

Schodack Town Hall is the third early polling place in Rensselaer County. There is no early voting location in downtown Troy.  

Early voting begins Oct. 24 and ends Nov. 1. Election Day is Nov. 3. There is no early voting on Nov. 2, which is the day before Election Day. 

Troy residents who want to take advantage of the free buses but are unable to get to and from a pick-up location are encouraged to contact any of the sponsoring groups for assistance.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re voting for, we just want people to get out and exercise their right to vote,” Ford added. 

Souls to the Polls is sponsored by Bethel Baptist Church, Equality for Troy, Fifth Ave AME Zion Church, Justice Center of Rensselaer County, Kingdom Ministries, League of Women Voters, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Team Hero, Troy Area United Ministries, United Ordained Church and the Troy Branch of the NAACP.

Permalink: https://www.troyrecord.com/news/troy-organizations-to-provide-free-buses-for-early-voters/article_f4844fee-1483-11eb-89ed-536d3f4bfedc.html

Categories
Audio Hudson Mohawk Magazine News

For Black Lives

Black Lives Matter.

Listen here for local coverage of the Movement for Black Lives. This playlist includes all of the speeches from Troy’s Rally for Black Lives on Sunday, June 7, as well as more recent words from those fighting for justice:

MediaSanctuary · Rally For Black Lives
Categories
News

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!

Categories
News

Sanctuary for Independent Media 2019 Spring Schedule

JPEG Spring 2019 protest people

SPRING 2019 SEASON ANNOUNCED AT THE SANCTUARY FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA! Schedule features musical performances, speakers, films, workshops, a gallery show, and more!

TROY – The Spring 2019 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media kicks off on March 29 with a free show by the Afro-Latin-Reggae-Rock sensation Taína Asili and concludes on June 8 with the seventh annual Freedom Festival with free food, free arts activities, and free music with NYC’s Fay Victor and Mutations for Justice.

The season will feature many events ranging from music to films to speakers.  Highlights include talks by authors Dahr Jamail, L.A.Kauffman and Jesse Jarnow; performances by Taína Asili with special guests, and Richie & Rosie, as well as jazz vocalist Fay Victor; screenings including q&a’s with filmmakers Astra Taylor and Andre Lambertson, 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; visit the website www.mediasanctuary.org or call 518-272-2390 for directions and more information. Admission to
events is $10 ($5 student/low income) unless noted.

Here’s a quick-scan look…

March 29: Resiliencia w/ Taína AsiliTaina-Asili-Mike-Morgan-Photography-11-freedom-wall-fist-e1548434358295

“The activist singer-songwriter celebrates her birthday and the release of a new album, Resiliencia! Taina’s 9-piece band will be in the house; the night will include music by DJ Johnny Juice (Public Enemy/The Odyssey), and special guest performances by Lajas (tap dance), Veena Chandra (sitar), Amani Olugbala (poetry), Leah Penniman(dance), and more. And the Sanctuary is celebrating resilience too! Join us for the launch of our Spring ’19 season and the kick off of our Sanctuary Sustainer campaign.” Free. 

 

April 4: “How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resistance” w/ L.A. Kauffman 9780520301528

“In her new book, the mobilizing coordinator of the 2003-4 Iraq War protests explains what makes today’s grassroots resistance different from past movements in America.”

 

April 10: Hope in Charm City/Collar CityCHARMCITY_3f_PubStills_03 (2)

“In memory of youth victims of violence, a screening of “Charm City” with cinematographer Andre Lambertson followed by an informational discussion and candlelight vigil. This event begins with a free community meal and victim resource info tables.” Free. 

April 13:  State of Science (SOS)SOS_graphic

“Join us for a panel on science activism and advocacy in the Capital Region with public officials, scientists, and activists focusing on how we, as concerned citizens, can get involved most effectively. The event, which replaces this year’s March for Science, is produced by CapSci.”Free. 

April 16: “The End of Ice” with Dahr Jamail The-End-of-Ice

“After nearly a decade as a war reporter, the acclaimed journalist returned to America to renew his passion for mountaineering, only to find that the slopes he had once climbed have been irrevocably changed by climate disruption.”

April 24: “What is Democracy?” with Filmmaker Astra Taylor WhatisDemocracy_AstraTaylor

“An idiosyncratic, philosophical take on the evolution of democracy through the ages, from its philosophical origins in Greece, through its capitalist growth in Italy, to the modern world.”

 

May 4: The Life and Songs of Folk Music Icon Pete SeegerPete Seeger

Musicians Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton join Jesse Jarnow, author of “Wasn’t That a Time: The Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the American Soul,” in a celebration of Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday. Free.

 

May 11: Annual TBR BikeFestberenstainbikefest-1

“Join Troy’s bike-friendly community for a homespun burrito dinner complete with daytime rides, special guests, and the always amazing cake auction. This event benefits Troy Bike Rescue and will help prepare for another year of grassroots community building… with bicycles.”$20

 

June 8: Freedom Festival at Freedom Square Fay_Victor_6L1A2773

“Join us for the seventh annual end of the season festivities of free food, art and music, featuring a special performance by Fay Victor and Mutations for Justice to launch our Spirit of the Suffragettes concert series!” Free. 

Workshops

Register at MediaSanctuary.org or call 518.272.2390 Cost: Sliding Scale $10-$40 (no one turned away)

NATURE Lab
+ April 1-3: 3-Part DIY CRISPR Workshop Series w/ Marta De Menezesde-menezes0b

“An in-depth look into CRISPR-cas9, a novel gene editing system programmed to edit DNA, exploring socio-cultural, political and ethical implications.”

 

 

+ April 9: Mushroom Day with Ecovative 53262023_10157286237988746_4017932885976678400_o

“Learn how to grow materials that can replace plastic with this overview of the development of mycelium, followed by a ‘grow-it yourself’ workshop.”

 

April 13: Sticky Situation: The Magic of Grafting & More w/ Collard City Growers 54435213_10157305547808746_4915466942149558272_o

“Join us as we dig up root stock, transplant saplings, and make new trees with some old school genetic engineering.”

 

+ April 28: Roots Natty Division Party: “Spring Cleaning” w/ Collard City Growers 54519836_10157305550148746_5510952664407474176_o

“Prepare garden beds that have been resting all winter, readying for this year’s plantings. Learn to turn one plant into many by the simple practice of root division!”

+ June 8: Getting Grounded: Transplanting Party w/ Collard City Growers at Freedom Festival Transplanting Party

“Learn how to plant seedlings and help us beautify the block, spreading the green bounty around Freedom Square and CCG gardens!”

Be The Media
+ April 16: Art of Investigative Journalism w/ Author Dahr Jamail Dahr-Jamail

“A pathbreaking, glacier-scaling reporter shares stories of climate change and his strategies and process for research and writing!”

 

April 24: Media & Activism w/ Filmmaker Astra Taylor What is Democracy_poster

“An informal conversation about creative process, sharing personal strategies as a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer to activate a people’s platform for organizing through diverse media formats.”

 

+ May 2: Art of Interviewing w/ Ellen Rocco 201611-NCPR-69-2000x2341

“Learn the ins and outs of interviewing for broadcast from the station manager of North Country Public Radio, one of the local legends of public media.”

 

+ May 4: Art of News Production w/ Mike Burkeunnamed

“Mike Burke is a long time producer with the international daily news program Democracy Now!, with years of experience in all aspects of news production.”

Categories
News

Sanctuary Spring Season!!

JPEG Spring 2019 protest people

SPRING 2019 SEASON ANNOUNCED AT THE SANCTUARY FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA! Schedule features musical performances, speakers, films, workshops, a gallery show, and more!

TROY – The Spring 2019 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media kicks off on March 29 with a free show by the Afro-Latin-Reggae-Rock sensation Taína Asili and concludes on June 8 with the seventh annual Freedom Festival with free food, free arts activities, and free music with NYC’s Fay Victor and Mutations for Justice.

The season will feature many events ranging from music to films to speakers.  Highlights include talks by authors Dahr Jamail, L.A.Kauffman and Jesse Jarnow; performances by Taína Asili with special guests, and Richie & Rosie, as well as jazz vocalist Fay Victor; screenings including q&a’s with filmmakers Astra Taylor and Andre Lambertson, 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; visit the website www.mediasanctuary.org or call 518-272-2390 for directions and more information. Admission to
events is $10 ($5 student/low income) unless noted.

Here’s a quick-scan look…

March 29: Resiliencia w/ Taína Asili

The activist singer-songwriter celebrates her birthday and the release of a new album, Resiliencia! Taina’s 9-piece band will be in the house; the night will include music by DJ Johnny Juice (Public Enemy/The Odyssey), and special guest performances by Lajas (tap dance), Veena Chandra (sitar), Amani Olugbala (poetry), Leah Penniman(dance), and more. And the Sanctuary is celebrating resilience too! Join us for the launch of our Spring ’19 season and the kick off of our Sanctuary Sustainer campaign.  Free admission. 

April 1: Nature? Lecture with Bioartist Marta De Menezes

Join us for an exploration of how modern science can be incorporated into the artistry field with the help of an internationally-renowned pioneer of biological arts. Followed by a 3-day CRISPR workshop.

April 4: “How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resistance” w/ L.A. Kauffman 

In her new book, the mobilizing coordinator of the 2003-4 Iraq War protests explains what makes today’s grassroots resistance different from past movements in America.

April 10: Hope in Charm City/Collar City

In memory of youth victims of violence, a screening of “Charm City” with cinematographer Andre Lambertson followed by an informational discussion and candlelight vigil. This event begins with a free community meal and victim resource info tables. Free admission. 

April 13:  State of Science (SOS)

Join us for a panel on science activism and advocacy in the Capital Region with public officials, scientists, and activists focusing on how we, as concerned citizens, can get involved most effectively. The event, which replaces this year’s March for Science, is produced by CapSci.  Free admission. 

April 16: “The End of Ice” with Dahr Jamail 

After nearly a decade as a war reporter, the acclaimed journalist returned to America to renew his passion for mountaineering, only to find that the slopes he had once climbed have been irrevocably changed by climate disruption.

April 24: “What is Democracy?” with Filmmaker Astra Taylor 

An idiosyncratic, philosophical take on the evolution of democracy through the ages, from its philosophical origins in Greece, through its capitalist growth in Italy, to the modern world.

May 4: The Life and Songs of Folk Music Icon Pete Seeger

Musicians Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton join Jesse Jarnow, author of “Wasn’t That a Time: The Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the American Soul,” in a celebration of Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday. Free admission.

May 11: Annual TBR BikeFest

Join Troy’s bike-friendly community for a homespun burrito dinner complete with daytime rides, special guests, and the always amazing cake auction. This event benefits Troy Bike Rescue and will help prepare for another year of grassroots community building… with bicycles. $20

June 8: Freedom Festival at Freedom Square 

Join us for the seventh annual end of the season festivities of free food, art and music, featuring a special performance by Fay Victor and Mutations for Justice to launch our Spirit of the Suffragettes concert series! Free admission. 

Workshops

Register at MediaSanctuary.org or call 518.272.2390 Cost: Sliding Scale $10-$40 (no one turned away)

NATURE Lab
+ April 1-3: 3-Part DIY CRISPR Workshop Series w/ Marta De Menezes

An in-depth look into CRISPR-cas9, a novel gene editing system programmed to edit DNA, exploring socio-cultural, political and ethical implications.

+ April 9: Mushroom Day with Ecovative 

Learn how to grow materials that can replace plastic with this overview of the development of mycelium, followed by a ‘grow-it yourself’ workshop.

April 13: Sticky Situation: The Magic of Grafting & More w/ Collard City Growers 

Join us as we dig up root stock, transplant saplings, and make new trees with some old school genetic engineering.

+ April 28: Roots Natty Division Party: “Spring Cleaning” w/ Collard City Growers 

Prepare garden beds that have been resting all winter, readying for this year’s plantings. Learn to turn one plant into many by the simple practice of root division!

+ June 8: Getting Grounded: Transplanting Party w/ Collard City Growers at Freedom Festival 

Learn how to plant seedlings and help us beautify the block, spreading the green bounty around Freedom Square and CCG gardens!

Be The Media
+ April 16: Art of Investigative Journalism w/ Author Dahr Jamail 

A pathbreaking, glacier-scaling reporter shares stories of climate change and his strategies and process for research and writing!

April 24: Media & Activism w/ Filmmaker Astra Taylor 

An informal conversation about creative process, sharing personal strategies as a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer to activate a people’s platform for organizing through diverse media formats.

+ May 2: Art of Interviewing w/ Ellen Rocco 

Learn the ins and outs of interviewing for broadcast from the station manager of North Country Public Radio, one of the local legends of public media.

+ May 4: Art of News Production w/ Mike Burke

Mike Burke is a long time producer with the international daily news program Democracy Now!, with years of experience in all aspects of news production.

Categories
News Projects

Spirit of the Suffragettes

Spirit of the Suffragettes
Freedom Square, North Troy, 35 5th Avenue * FREE

A free outdoors concert series and community resource fair showcasing women and gender non-conforming musicians, both international & local.

Relive the Spirit of the Suffragettes concert series: watch our MediaSanctuary documentation videos here!

CONCERT DATES, 2019

Sat. June 8, 3-6 PM – Fay Victor & Sa-Roc

Tuesdays 5-8 PM
July 16   – Martha Redbone & Girl Blue
July 23   – OKAN & Climbing PoeTree
July 30   – Crys Matthews & Amy Rigby
Aug. 6   –  Sammus & Nitty Scott
Aug. 13 – Mourning [A] BLKstar & OSHUN
Aug. 20 – Eljuri & Taina Asíli
 
Sat. Sept. 21, 3-6 PM –Toko Telo & KATANI

Contact Regina Tillman, Spirit of the Suffragettes Coordinator, for more information, at [email protected]

Rain site is adjacent at The Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 6th Ave).

With special appearance by our Spirit of the Suffragettes MC, Sojourner Truth! (a.k.a. D. Colin)

Here is a list of organizations supporting our community resource fair!


More about Spirit of the Suffragettes

Suffragette standing on Freedom SquareThe century-old suffragette message needs to be heard and updated to be made more inclusive. Women, especially women of color, still struggle for equity in their everyday lives. We’ll bring history alive with music, positioning the suffragettes as radical role models to explore gender imbalance throughout society–from music festivals to single mother households in low-wealth communities.

Highlighting discrimination of women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming artists, particularly women of color, Spirit of the Suffragettes responds to the inequity facing women artists. All-male acts make up the overwhelming majority of festival lineups; femme artists face pervasive under-representation in museums and galleries.

Women still struggle for equity in their everyday lives, especially low-income women, single moms, and women of color. Spirit of the Suffragettes will serve local women in a place where two thirds of children younger than 12 live below the poverty line. The community resource fair is an opportunity to highlight the organizations and opportunities that can support women and families in North Central Troy and beyond. Women bear the heavy load of caring for their families against all odds. We can still learn from the suffragettes, elevating the concerns of women to a statewide and national level.

Suffragette Parade - New York City May 6th, 1912

In anticipation for the Spirit of the Suffragettes summer concert series and resource fair, Hudson Mohawk Magazine correspondent Cassidy McCabe is producing radio segments showcasing local activists and organization work that connect local social justice work to our history. Shared on WOOC 105.3 FM Troy, WOOS 98.9 FM Schenectady, these interviews are also uploaded to Soundcloud and iTunes for download and unlimited access.

Did you know that the Seneca Clan Mothers of the Haudenosaunee Native American tribe were an inspiration to the early suffragettes? Listen to their story, and check out these other interviews …

dancing girl at Freedom Festival

Thank you to the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for making this project possible!

And thank you to the sponsors and foundations helping us meet the matching funds required to pull this off!

If you would like to sponsor “Spirit of the Suffragettes,” please contact Melissa Bromley, Development Director at: [email protected]. You can view our sponsorship package by clicking here

 

Unity-House

The Tides Foundation
Troy Capital Resource Corporation
Upstate Coalition for a Fairgame Arts Grant
Messler Family Foundation
Stephen J. McKee Foundation
The O’Bryan Family Foundation
The Judith Fund
Merrill Family Charitable Foundation
Tom Phelan Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region
Honest Weight Food Coop
Capital Women
The Church
Denison Farm
Pioneer Bank
Bella Napoli Bakery
Friends of Claudia Israel
Music Haven
Price Chopper | Market 32
YWCA
TRIP & RCHR
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood
Women Against War

 

singing taina

Categories
News Sanctuary Sustainer

$20,000 hole in our budget…

Let me explain what happened. For almost a decade, we’ve been receiving general operating support from the Electronic Media and Film program at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA EMF). Their funding has been critical, particularly since operating support is very difficult to find in a grant world focused on funding one-shot projects. That kind of funding usually comes from individuals, like you.

After all these years, a few weeks ago we learned that our annual NYSCA EMF funding was cut from $20,000 to… zero. (Thankfully support is continuing from the Music Presenting program for Freedom Sounds, our series of jazz and world music concerts.)

What happened?

We didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, word is we’re a victim of our own success. And that success cost us $20,000.

We’ve been working hard to expand our programming. Building on our deep roots in the media arts, we’ve developed radio stations focused on educating and empowering our community. And we’ve grown into the bioart realm. Our NATURE Lab project, which embraces a multidisciplinary arts approach to understanding and protecting the environment, has taken off.

We’re in the process of building an urban environmental education center to complement our work in media. We’ve raised almost $500,000 to convert the last abandoned building on our block into an amazing lab and classroom resource dedicated to art and environmental justice work.

But we can’t use that money to support our day-to-day operation, and because we’re no longer primarily a media arts organization, we lost our eligibility for general operating support from the Electronic Media and Film program at NYSCA. There went $20,000.

We’re counting on individual donors, like you, to help make up the difference!

Please take a moment to make an online contribution here or send a check (made out to ‘Media Alliance’) to P.O. Box 35, Troy, NY 12181.

We’ve known for years that we need to diversify our sources of revenue. Overdependence on large grants exposes organizations to great risks. That’s why we started our Sanctuary Sustainer program, a campaign to empower our supporters to make recurring contributions of any amount to help guarantee the independence and sustainability of The Sanctuary for Independent Media. As candidates for political office have found, a financial base comprised of numerous small donations by many people rather than from a few major donors is a prescription for independence.

That’s why we’re asking you to contribute to this year-end appeal.

It’s been an incredible year. With your support we have:

  • Helped build infrastructure for three new progressive broadcast radio stations to cover the Capital Region (WOOS Schenectady, WOOA Albany, WOOG Troy)
  • Beat our $100,000 fundraising goal to build the new NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center by four times!
  • Celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Hudson Mohawk Magazine, our volunteer-driven daily news and public affairs program on WOOC 105.3 FM and online at mediasanctuary.org
  • Launched Jazz Sanctuary, a nightly program dedicated to providing local support for what many consider America’s only true art form, on WOOC 105.3 FM and online at mediasanctuary.org
  • Continued building Sanctuary TV, an online video channel with 14,000+ subscribers and 7.5+ million views
  • Expanded our Uptown Summer program for low-wealth youths in Rensselaer County
  • Worked with interns from colleges around the Capital Region and as far away as Buffalo, Cleveland and Montreal, introducing them to community arts for social change
  • Presented the first annual Ruderal Ecologies Conference, using art, urban ecology, and social justice activities to focus on living in urban environments shaped by stress

Despite all of these achievements, the reality remains that we need you to support our programming.

We’ve successfully attracted one-shot and capital funding for our projects but the funds needed for day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year operations are incredibly difficult to find. We depend on many small donations from folks like you to survive.

You only have to look to Washington to see the challenges we face. The arts are under attack. Science is under attack. And media is under attack. We are an organization that promotes art and science as ways of understanding the world around us, and media as a way to communicate that understanding. It’s a battle as old as the Scopes trial, and–as an organization using media to promote art and science–we’re in the midst of the struggle.

We need your support!

Whatever you can do to help would be much appreciated. Sign up as a Sanctuary Sustainer for a recurring donation, or a one-time contribution of any amount!

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Steve Pierce
Executive Director

P.S. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of your support. Many people, contributing whatever they can afford, are the key to the sustainability of The Sanctuary for Independent Media! Please take a moment to make an online contribution by clicking here or send a check (made out to ‘Media Alliance’) to P.O. Box 35, Troy, NY 12181.

Categories
News

The Sanctuary is Hiring!

Volunteer Organizer/Coordinator
Part-time, 4-8 PM weekdays, $15/hour

 

About Us

Most people know us as The Sanctuary for Independent Media in North Troy, NY; the official non-profit 501(c)3 is incorporated as Media Alliance. 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 education campus in North Central Troy, NY. We operate indoor and outdoor presenting and production facilities (The Sanctuary for Independent Media and Freedom Square), a radio station (WOOC 105.3 FM), community gardens (Collard City Growers), a STE(a)M learning center (NATURE Lab), internships and youth programs (Uptown Summer and Youth Media Sanctuary).

www.mediasanctuary.org

About the Volunteer Organizer/Coordinator

This is a new, exciting and much needed position. Our goal is to build capacity to grow this into a full-time position as soon as possible.

The Volunteer Organizer/Coordinator will be joining a two-person paid staff, working alongside a hands-on board and numerous volunteers. The successful candidate will be a self-starter able to produce high level work with limited oversight, prepared to create new processes and navigate new organizational territory.

This is a dynamic and organic environment–a magnet for passionate, creative and talented people each working in their own way to make the world a better place. The Volunteer Organizer/Coordinator should be someone who can adjust to evolving needs, able to pivot as they arise, and must be able to relate to and build positive relationships with a wide variety of people, including those of diverse races, income levels, ages, religions, ethnicities, belief systems, gender identities and more.

Position Qualifications

  • Support for our organization’s mission and understanding of grassroots nonprofits in general
  • Ability to communicate with and relate to a wide range of people
  • Excellent communication skills (written, verbal and nonverbal)
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills
  • Computer skills including Microsoft Office suite, Slack and Google Apps (especially Docs and Calendar). WordPress and Salesforce proficiency is a plus.
  • Collaboration and team building skills, including maintaining a “safer space” for all

The role of the Volunteer Organizer/Coordinator is to bottom-line all volunteer management, building a foundation for expanded productivity and volunteer involvement. This includes volunteers participating in basic daily activities and in a wide variety of initiatives:

  • Events and workshops
  • Internships
  • WOOC radio
  • NATURE Lab
  • Uptown Summer / Youth Media Sanctuary
  • Collard City Growers
  • Friends of Freedom Square
  • Sanctuary TV
  • Kitchen Sanctuary
  • Development and outreach

Position Functions, Roles and Responsibilities

  • Recruit, train, coordinate, and retain volunteers
  • Maintain the volunteer database
  • Support organization of events, workshops and public presentations

Application Process

Please email your resume and a cover letter detailing the reasons why you are an excellent fit for this position, including 2-3 references who can speak to your abilities, to: [email protected]

The application deadline is November 14, 2018. Please submit your application as soon as possible; candidate review will begin immediately upon receipt. The position will be filled by January 1, 2019.

EOE/AA DIVERSE CANDIDATES ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY

We actively seek applicants who reflect the diversity of our community. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and, as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider all applicants regardless of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation or national origin.

Categories
News

A Summer of Stories: Day 1 of Uptown Summer 2016

Freedom Square artist Isaiah Zagar with our Uptown Summer 2016 team

 

Today was a story of beginning. Our 2016 Uptown Summer youth employees began their summer of Environmental Stewardship and Neighborhood Storytelling with an introduction to The Sanctuary for Independent Media and a tour of Collard City Growers. In doing so, we also shared the stories of ourselves. In our introductions to each other, we started to piece together the roles we will play in the whirlwind of Uptown Summer.

 

Today was a story of merging. We walked through the gardens together, human creatures mingling with plants and honey bees. We began to beautify pathways through the garden, pulling out weeds and learning about what grows around us.

 

Today was a story of sharing. We shared our first meal as a group, realizing more fully the ways sharing food together builds community. We share our space and food with others, mingling in and out of conversations, bumping knees across long tables and scooting chairs for walkers-by.

 

Today was a story of learning. We learned the ways that others tell their stories, analyzing film shots and musical score choices. We learned from those that have gone before us and are left with a sense of purpose, of moving forward and of letting our own voices be heard.

 

Today was a story of remembering. This morning we received a surprise visit from Isaiah Zagar, the Philadelphia-based artist who created the Freedom Square mosaic in 2013 with the help of the Sanctuary and hundreds of people from the community around us.  As we shared laughter, stories, and photo opportunities, we witnessed the Sanctuary past mingling with the Sanctuary future, manifested in the our new Uptown Summer youth employees. Ours is a beginning wrapped in the care of the past 10 years of the Sanctuary and the past 6 years of Uptown Summer. We don’t know yet how this summer will unfold, but it will be one grounded in the past and shaped by the hands of those gathered in North Troy and beyond, connected by light of the Sanctuary.

 

Today, we begin a summer of stories.

 

This post was written by Sanctuary intern Jenna Kersten.

Categories
News Reflections

Teamwork and a lot of cement

I went to the Sanctuary for Independent Media last Wednesday to help out with the hoop house. People told me they needed assistance with pouring cement. I thought to myself, “This should be fun, I’ve never worked with cement before.” I did not know what to expect.

Students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitutes service group, local neighbors, and volunteers of the Santuary attended the garden that day to help.

 

 

The truck arrived at around 2:30 P.M. with cement. Parking the truck in the garden was a challenge of its own. Volunteers were ready to pour cement, once the truck was parked. Our major challenge was to pour the cement within a certain time frame. Otherwise, we would be charged an additional fee for surpassing our allowed time. Time constraints forced us to work in a methodical manner. People were running back and forth between the cement truck with wheelbarrows and buckets.  

  

Cement was poured into certain parts of the hoop house.

It was amazing to see the teamwork involved during this process. We accomplished our task with minutes to spare. Volunteers continue to work on the hoop house. Construction of the hoop house will be completed soon. 

 

Categories
Event Recap News

Peacestock 2014

Everyone experiences emotions such as stress, anxiety, and frustration. Emotions are caused by a variety of factors, like having a bad day at work or school. Emotions may be overwhelming and difficult to cope with at times. Many doctors are resorting to medication. Over medication is an increasing epidemic in the United States. People may consume more than one medication in a day for the same disease or illness. Today doctors are prescribing multiple medications for an illness. Prescribed medications can have detrimental effects on our body. A diabetes medication may alleviate some symptoms, but cause side effects such as drowsiness and nausea. Too many people are medicated for something that can be fixed by a simple change in lifestyle. Simple activities include physical exercise, meditating, reading a book, filming a short video, drawing, or listening to and playing music. Some people prefer alternative forms of coping with emotions because they are much healthier for us.

Claudia Israel, a health worker at a local hospital in Troy developed Peacestock. Peacestock took place on September 27th at Freedom Square. The event focused on methods for dealing with emotions through art, music, and meditation. The goal of Peacestock is to help people reach a state of inner peace through these alternative methods. The most important thing to remember is to find something that allows you to express who you are.  In the end, you will reach inner peace.

See video
Categories
Event Recap News

Making Magic on Freedom Square (with Isaiah Zagar)

Categories
Event Recap News

Freedom Festival 2K14 In Review

The Freedom Festival was a major hit for the people of North Troy this past Saturday, June 7th. The day was spread out between 1 PM until sunset with many different events and happenings that took place. At the beginning, there were many people who came out and participated in the different events each table around Freedom Square had to offer. People made Tibetan Prayer Flags, got their bikes fixed by Troy Bike Rescue, learned how to make and consume their own yogurt thanks to the DIY Yogurt Stand, and drank smoothies produced by solar energy thanks to Solarize Troy and Anasha Cummings.

Many people also took part in the fishing trip on the Hudson led by environmental activist Brandon Ballengee. This trip helped to make people aware of the effects that toxic waste and pollution has on our aquatic environment. It also allowed kids to catch fish and be apart of an environmentally aware project that Ballengee prides much of his work effort upon.

Once 4 o’clock rolled around it was time for the free food to start flowing onto Freedom Square. Thanks to Pastor Willie and Chef’s Consortium there was an abundant supply of food for everyone at the Freedom Festival. There was an array of BBQ options such as cheeseburgers and hot dogs as well as healthy options like salad, rice, beans and many other greens. The supply of water was plentiful as well as each and every person a part of the Freedom Festival ensured that everyone was satisfied with their meal. 

After the meal concluded the first act, Oobleck, commenced. Here’s how Oobleck desrcibes themselves: “Oobleck (ooo-bleck), founded in 2008, is an original, analog funk band out of the Capital Region of NY. Our funk is that raw, in your face, booty shaking funk. Gritty funk, like that forgotten 78 you just found in your basement. Mix that with the poly-rhythms of afrobeat, add spacey weirdness and improvisation, add the sensibilities of jazz and blues, the blast beats of hardcore, the distortion of grunge and you’ve just made Oobleck. Oh, and if youcan;t dance to it, Oobleck doesn;t play it. No gimmicks, or synths, or fluorescent jumpsuits, just horns and funky beats to get your feet moving.”

Oobleck’s band members are as follows: 

Audrey Van Genechten – Trumpet/Percussion

Scott Vorwald – Tenor Sax

Bill Murray – Guitar

Sam Parker – Bass

Kevin Van Genechten – Kit

Oobleck gave the crowd a terrific variety of different instruments that created positive vibes and allowed for a great amount of audience movement. Oobleck performed a short setlist of songs:

Wombat

Waiting For Ryan

57

In/Out

Jekyll + Hyde

Houma

Soul Strut

Funk Sucker

In The Pocket

My Kid/Elusive/Anti/My Kid

Then it was time for the Pitchblak Brass Band to take the stage. 

The Pitchblak Brass Band provided a terrific musical atmosphere for everyone gathered at Freedom Square. Their mixture of jazz, rock, and hip-hop was an intriguing and entertaining combination. The amazing part of their performance was their ability to incorporate mulitple different instruments and tones.

Their band consists of 10 members:

Chanelle Crichlow – Sousaphone/MC

Alison Shearer – Alto Saxophone

Brayn Walters – Trumpet/MC

Brian Lotze – Trumpet/MC

T.J. Robinson – Trombone/MC

Alaina Alster – Trombone

Max Sholl – Trombone 

Ben Brody – Guitar/French Horn

Chris Johnson – Percussion/MC

Ashely Baier – Drums

Their setlist consisted of multiple different songs:

Blak Snare Dark Horse

Dino Pimp

Coup de Tat

1988 Gregorian Swagger

Q.U.E.E.N. 

Virus

###

All To The III

Doppelganger

Anticipation

Party

Wine Dat Gyal

Redemption HO

Stopping Power

Get It & Run

Rawling

My co-intern, Jacob Freeman, said, “Pitchblak Brassband provided high energy, and so many people so that when they would sing for awhile they would have backup. Something especially interesting rather than bass guitar they had a sousaphone which is better for walks/scales and different types of sounds.”

Overall, the two bands shredded the stage and provided a great amount of entertainment for the people at Freedom Square. After the sun went down, Brandon Ballengee provided a nighttime insect watching workshop where people who stayed around could observe the different type of wildlife at Freedom Square. 

The entire day was a success and there was a great amount of entertainment and different activities which everyone enjoyed. When it comes to festivals this one had an immense variety and was extremely enjoyable for everyone who attended.


~Ian~

Categories
Event Recap News

Oumar Konate Post Concert

Oumar Konate and his band shredded the stage on Friday night! A crowd of people gathered inside of the Media Sanctuary to witness a great performance. The volume of the concert was booming, allowing everyone around the block to hear what was going on inside of the Sanctuary. The combination of the ample volume and the great rhythm that was coming from Oumar and his band created an amazing atmosphere for everyone in attendance.

The reason why Oumar was so entertaining was due to the fact that he had so many different styles to each one of his songs. On some songs he would go soft on the vocals while steadily strumming the guitar while on others the pace would pick up as he aggressively rang out his vocals and played the guitar with excellent accuracy. 

The part that made the entire show so thrilling was the crowd’s involvement. Everyone in the crowd was feeling the vibes that Oumar and his band provided. The majority of the people in the crowd were standing and dancing during the show. If they weren’t standing and dancing they were moving and grooving in their chairs. Even if you didn’t want to dance it was difficult to resist the rhythm and the urge to bust a move.

A pivotal moment of the show was after Oumar played a very slow song that had to do with stopping violence. After the song was over he took a moment to speak to the crowd directly. As his stage manager, Chris, translated the overarching message which was: Put the guns down and spread the love through the power of music. 

The love was most definitely spread through his terrific rhythm and excellent use of musical instruments. Oumar played guitar and sang vocals, while his two other band members played guitar and drums. This concert provided great entertainment and a terrific atmosphere for the people of North Troy and Media Sanctuary.  Good job Oumar and company!

Categories
Event Recap News

3 "StoryHarvest Cooking" workshops next week!

The “StoryHarvest Cooking” workshop series offers three opportunities to create the most delicious, on-the-go and on-a-budget, food for Bread and Puppet parade goers and StoryHarvest participants! 

Feed the masses, home-made and with love! *Attention, Moms — it’s ok to bring your kids!

Free!  Please RSVP or ask questions at: [email protected] 

Moday, Oct. 15 Harvest Soup workshop, in the Sanctuary Kitchen

Join Nancy and Ellie to incorporate the harvest donated by local urban and rural farmers into a soup!

Thursday, Oct. 18  Pastor Willie’s Oven, in the Missing Link Kitchen

Visit Pastor Willie Bacote’s kitchen in the Missing Link Street Ministry, and learn from the expert how he feeds thousands!

Friday, Oct. 19 Burrito Making Workshop, in the Missing Link Kitchen

Join Nancy and Ellie as they make 200 burritos for StoryHarvest parade goers!

Categories
Event Recap News

Mind Body Soul Carnival Celebration!

WHAT: A celebration marking the end of Mind Body Soul Carnival!

WHEN: May 2nd, 2012 from 3:30 – 5:30PM

WHERE: Missing Link Street Ministry Mission, 3370 6th Avenue (at 101st Street) in North Troy

The Mind Body Soul Carnival is a workshop series created by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students in the “Art, Community Technology” course.  This workshop, offered on Wednesday afternoons at the Missing Link Street Ministry Mission, consists of activities for neighborhood youth including arts and education projects from bookmaking to computer graphics, cooking and nutrition, music and song-writing, science, martial arts and exercise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The celebration features neighborhood chefs cooking meals, delivered by Capital District Community Garden’s  “Veggie Mobile Sprout”, which brings fresh vegetables and produce to the “food desert” in North Troy and around Rensselaer County.  Students and youth participants will create signs to  feature Community Garden’s Healthy Convenience Store Initiative.

The “Art Community Technology” course, taught by Professor Miller in the Arts Department of RPI, is designed for students to engage creatively with Troy’s diverse communities. The festival will display music, photos and graphic arts projects created through a collaboration between the students and the youth of Missing Link.

 

Missing Link Street Ministry Mission’s motto is “Be Blessed, But More So Be a Blessing in Somone’s Life today.”  Their core mission is to feed people, physically and spiritually.  Pastor Willie Bacote says about the Mind Body Soul Carnival:  “ Through art, let us serve our people.”

The event is co-hosted by The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Capital District Community Gardens, Troy Bike Rescue and Collard City Growers.