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

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!


COVID-19 Coverage

We are extremely grateful to be able to serve our community during this pandemic. Producing hyper-local radio and video coverage of COVID-19 that can’t be found anywhere else is a reminder of how important community media is. None of this programming would be possible without the daily work of a team of volunteers and interns. Thank you to them, and to all of you who are listening.

Our intrepid team of Hudson Mohawk Magazine volunteer radio producers has continued to produce the show remotely, since The Sanctuary for Independent Media locked down on Monday, March 16. Our producers are doing an inspiring job of covering the justice and equity aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic that dominant media is not focused on.

If you’re not already subscribed to our podcast, now is as good a time as any to sign up! Click here to subscribe.

You can also listen Monday-Friday at 7 AM, 9 AM and 6 PM on WOOC 105.3 FM Troy and WOOS 98.9 FM Schenectady and (streaming right here on And thank you to WOOA 106.9 FM and WCAA 107.3 FM in Albany for carrying the show as well!

And bookmark this page for easy access to all of our COVID-19 segments:

Event Recap

Sanctuary Youth MEDIA Club | Troy Prep High School | Fall 2019

MEDIA club

Hello everyone! There were seven of us who joined this club in fall 2019 and we discussed topics within our community through multiple radio interviews. Our names are Aaron Pinder, Keimesha Kelly, Chris Timbaland, Madison Cora, Cederic Wilson Decent, Jamari Patterson, and Breanna Whiteback. Over the past ten weeks, each of us have interviewed or been interviewed on a specific topic we were interested in exploring. We also welcomed a special guest, Fire Chief Eric McMahon! Some subjects that caught our interest were drama with social media and in school, the LGBTQ+ community and conflicts, and the current political situation. But don’t take our word for it, look below!
Chris interviews Troy Fire Chief Eric McMahon:

Breanna interviews Keimesha on Blackfishing:

Jamari Interviews Chris on LGBTQ+:

Keimesha Interviews Breanna on LGBTQ+:

Cedric Interviewing Erika on LGBTQ+:

Chris interviews Jamari about Pres. Trump:

Breanna interviews Chris about his dream job:

Madison interviews Sheila about her Ideal Career:

Aaron Interviews Erika about Drama:

Chris Interviews Aaron about Immigration:

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
  • 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
  • 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!


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.


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).

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.


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.


Uptown Summer Week Five: Agency

The 2018 Uptown Summer program has now drawn to a close. The theme for our fifth week was agency. This week was the final push to perfect our radio projects before they are broadcast on WOOC FM. 

Eel sampling with the DEC.

Between all the audio editing, we still found time to go outside and get our hands dirty!

We collected soil samples from the new NATURE Lab site. We processed honey from the Collard City Growers Garden. We even electroshocked eels in the Poestenkill!

The youth left their mark on the neighborhood while creating safer streets for pedestrians. We used the text from our previous poetry workshop with D. Colin as the structure of our Creative Crosswalks. With the help of artist Barb Nelson, the words sacred, lavish, framily (friends + family) and ours were painted in 5-foot letters on the road adjacent to Freedom Square.

Everything came together on Friday for our final celebration, where an audience of friends and family came to the Sanctuary to see what we’ve been up to these five busy weeks. Cameron Toler unveiled the NATURE Lab building prototypes, with youth describing their inputs and the social problems they hope to address. We screened films documenting the program, beautifully shot by our videography interns. Finally, we presented our completed radio stories on topics including contaminated fish, police brutality, and negligent landlords.

The Sanctuary for Independent Media feels privileged to have had these eight youth on board for the summer! They produced relevant, local content for our radio programming and provided invaluable insights on how the Sanctuary can continue to be a resource for youth in the community. We hope they’ve left feeling empowered to continue producing media and art, exploring science and environmental justice, and engaging with the issues and projects they care about!

Read more about the 2018 Uptown Summer program.

Watch videos from this year’s program.

Photos by Catie Rafferty.


Orange and Lex

“Orange and Lex,” by Shatora Buckman, Jahsendah Dann, and Ayisha Menko, shares a razed childhood neighborhood. Created with Media Mentor/Editor Jamel Mosely.

Meet Shatora, Jahsendah and Ayisha! Click on their photos for their audio portraits and interviews…


Youth Media Sanctuary teaches multimedia skills to young people in North Troy. Youth producers created four documentary portraits on the theme of abandoned buildings in their economically devastated neighborhooods.

Youth Media Sanctuary teaches multimedia skills to young people in North Troy. Youth producers created four documentary portraits on the theme of abandoned buildings in their economically devastated neighborhoods. Produced during Uptown Summer ’16, with Media Mentors Jamel Mosely, Kathy High, and Branda Miller, with support from staff, interns and volunteers at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.


Sadie’s Grandma’s House

Sadie’s Grandmother’s House,” by Sadie Anson, with Media Mentor/Editor Kathy High, recounts restoring a vacant building into a loving home.


Meet Sadie! (click on her photo to hear audio interview)


Youth Media Sanctuary teaches multimedia skills to young people in North Troy. Youth producers created four documentary portraits on the theme of abandoned buildings in their economically devastated neighborhoods. Produced during Uptown Summer ’16, with Media Mentors Jamel Mosely, Kathy High, and Branda Miller, with support from staff, interns and volunteers at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.


Jerry’s House

“Jerry’s House,” by Kai Griffin, Bryanna Mangual, Diajah Grier, Milan Miles and Andrew Pintro, tells the story of a family forced out of a deteriorating rental “now abandoned,” with a happy ending of owning a home.

Meet the media makers–click on their pictures for their audio portraits and interviews…

Youth Media Sanctuary teaches multimedia skills to young people in North Troy. Youth producers created four documentary portraits on the theme of abandoned buildings in their economically devastated neighborhoods. Produced during Uptown Summer, with Media Mentors Jamel Mosely, Kathy High and Branda Miller, with support from staff, interns and volunteers at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.


Abandoned Building Haikus

“Abandoned Building Haikus” were created, in collaboration with the “Breathing These Words” poetry workshop, led by Danielle Colin Charlestin with Nancy Klepsch.



Take Me Back

Youth Media Sanctuary teaches multimedia skills to young people in North Troy. Youth producers created four documentary portraits on the theme of abandoned buildings in their economically devastated neighborhoods. Produced during Uptown Summer, with Media Mentors Jamel Mosely, Kathy High, and Branda Miller, with support from staff, interns and volunteers at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.



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.


News Video

Connecting with the Land Through the Senses: Youth Media Sanctuary School 2


YMS ’12 visit: WGXC "Radio Explosion!"


Today the Sanctuary was excited to have WGXC stop by for an episode of their “Radio Explosion” youth media radio show. WGXC is a “community-run media project, re-envisioning radio as an innovative platform for local participation.”

The young radio producers, along with supervisor Sara Kendall, joined the Sanctuary team at Collared City Growers for a DIY Snack Shop, had conversations with each other about issues that effect them, and then had extended interviews in the Sanctuary basement about media in their lives. The radio producers then went to Troy Bike Rescue to speak to more Summer Youth Employees and members of the public. Topics included living in South Troy, making media, and racism on television.


Click here to listen to their last Sanctuary episode: Audio Montage: NY Shout Out! Youth Media Workshop & Festival April 28, 2012

Event Recap News

YMS '12 Day 1 Recap

Summer 2012 is here, which means a new group of Youth Media Sanctuary workers have joined the Sanctuary team to spend the next five weeks learning how to create their own media. This summer YMS has teamed up with Collard City Growers just a few steps away from the Sanctuary to host and document DIY Snack shops using fresh garden ingredients. The goal this summer is to create media that aligns with the Sanctuary’s typical work and to increase nutrition awareness for a young generation that is exposed to unhealthy eating habits, according to supervisor Branda Miller.

Collard City Growers is a grassroots demonstration garden that the community has helped sprout up in a vacant lot. This summer they have three Youth Summer Employment members that are being led by Abby Lublin.

Helping to bring everything together is local photojournalist Ellie Markovitch. On day one Ellie dived right into lessons, teaching the youth about interview techniques and leading them on a DIY Snack video shoot. Click here to see the zucchini and squash spaghetti DIY Snack recipe.

Our two youths, Greg Darnley and Denise Delvalle, come from within the city of Troy and join nine other peers as part of the Youth Summer Employment. Neither have had experience working with cameras or editing media, and until now neither have visited the Sanctuary before. By the end of day one they have shot one snack video ready to be edited during post-production on Thursday, when they will learn how to edit their clips together using Final Cut Pro software to make a video available on SanctuaryTV. The goal by the end of the five weeks is for the youth to produce 10 videos total.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks to get to know our team members more closely.

Click here to see all the photographs from YMS ’12.


YMS Spring 2012: Day 7, April 4th

We were into the last weeks of the Youth Media Sanctuary.

Hours upon hours of editing, editing, and editing (so serious, so meticulous!), calls for some silly.


Darian’s shoes (adored by many here).










Showing some love for the camera.


Cheers!  Vitamina de Abacate (Avocado Smoothie, serves 4)

2 ripe bananas
1 avocado
1 cup of orange juice (cold)
1 cup yogurt (plain or low fat vanilla) or milk 

Blend everything and serve. Great treat if you can freeze the bananas in advance.
*A big thank you to Capital District Community Gardens ( for the delicious avocados.



YMS Spring 2012: Day 6, March 28th


…with orange poppy seed frosting*

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
2/3 cup beet, cooked and pureed
1tsp vanilla
2 tbsp strong coffee 
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1 cup milk

1) Stir oil and cocoa
2) Add eggs, vanilla, coffee and beets. Beat until well combined.
3) Add flour, baking powder, soda, alternating with milk
Bake 350 for 25 minutes

Frost with whipped creme, orange zest and poppy seeds

*poppy seed/orange combination inspired by David Lebovitz Moist-Chocolate Beet Cake 


YMS Spring 2012: Day 5, March 21st


Today we started shooting…


















Cassie’s piece examines insecurities, so she was interviewing via text.


















(Kenneth and Andrew making a shot list)


AND Abby and Darian were busy skyping with WGXC’s Radio Explosion (check out archived show here) and we are just a wee bit excited that they will be broadcasting LIVE at NYShoutOut! 2012


Ellie’s delicious snack: Crumble-Top Muffins using whey 



(no muffins were left alive)


Whey or Milk Serum is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained–it is the liquid I get after I strain my yogurt.

(1 cup whey contains 1/3 of the calcium you need daily, 1/6 of the potassium you need on a daily basis (almost as much as in a banana) and about 25% of the protein, and is fat-free, as well.)


1 cup of all-purpose flour

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 beaten egg

3/4 cup whey

1/4 cup cooking oil

1/4 cup apple sauce

2 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Fill 12 muffins tins. Bake 400 for 20 minutes or till golden. 

For topping, 

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ginger, or cinnamon

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup chopped nuts or coconut


In a mixing bowl combine oats; brown sugar; flour; and nutmeg, ginger, or cinnamon. With a pastry blender or two knives next to each other, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts or coconut. Sprinkle topping over filling.



YMS Spring 2012: Day 4, March 14th

Most of today’s session was spent mind mapping ideas and giving feedback and advice to one another. This is the heart of where conceptual turns into actual and we are pretty excited to start shooting next week!



Pina Colada


2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line with paper or spray cupcake mini pans.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
In another bowl, using electric mixer, beat soften butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add 3 eggs. Beat well. eating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Alternate adding flour mixture and coconut milk.  Scoop batter with ice cream scoop into the prepared pans. Bake cupcakes 17-18 minutes. Cool completely on rack before frosting.

For the Caramel, I call it caramel, but it is doce de leite (portuguese) or dulce de leche, anyway, here it is how I make it: I empty 1 can of sweetened condensed milk in a canning jar. Close the lead and cook inside the crockpot on low for 8 hours (on high for 4 hours). Add enough water to completely cover the jar. If you do not have a crockpot, put the closed canning jar in a large pan with 4 quarts of water; bring to a boil, then simmer at low heat for 1.5 to 2 hours. Let it cool. Keep refrigerated.
For the warm sauce (bath): Once you have the caramel, mix that with 1 cup of chopped pineapple (can is fine), 1 cup of
coconut milk and a large pinch of ground clover and cook until bubbly warm and add a shot of rum to serve.

OR, add all ingredients to a crockpot for 2 hours: caramel,  pineapple and coconut milk and 1/4 tsp cloves.
I say put everything in a crockpot because it keeps warm without having to worry about it burning.
To serve, start with warm sauce, add cake upside down on top and splash with rum. Garnished with pomegranate seeds or mind leaves.


News Recipes

YMS Spring 2012: Day 3, Feb. 28

Sometimes things just sync, like today. As we came in, it just so happened that Brenda Ann Kenneally, photojournalist extraordinare, was just finishing up the last details of the Santuary’s Spring 2012 Facing Change Exhibit…

She took us on a tour! 

She showed us concepts like composition, framing, and setting in photography!




We ate some goodness from Ellie (see recipe below*)…


And brainstormed scenes for our very own shorts! brainstorm


*Peanut Butter recipe bar:


1/2 cup butter

2/3 cup superfine sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 cups rice puff cereal

1/3 cup chia seeds

2/3 cups old fashion rolled oats

In a large bowl mix melted butter, peanut butter, salt and mix well. Add vanilla, puff cereal, oats and chia seeds. Mix well.

Press firmly into a 11’x13′ pan. Cool in the fridge or room temperature. Cut bars–makes 18.