Fall 2014 season ends at The Sanctuary for Independent Media!

Fall 2014 brochure cover imageSchedule featured StoryHarvest at Freedom Square, musical performances, films, speakers, workshops and a new gallery show.

The Fall 2014 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media kicked off outdoors in Freedom Square on September 27th with the fourth annual StoryHarvest celebration, featuring performances by the Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra and Nation Beat, plus art activities and a free community potluck BBQ.

Throughout the season, The Sanctuary for Independent Media presented many events ranging from music to films and speakers. Highlights include musical performances by the alt LA band Las Cafeteras, pianist Myra Melford and the genre-bending Jaimeo Brown Transcendence, a talk by radical environmentalist Leslie James Pickering, screenings of new films (with the filmmakers) including "The Yes Men Are Revolting" and another on the highly controversial subject of Palestinian rights, and much, much more!

StoryHarvest 2014!

StoryHarvest posterThe fourth annual StoryHarvest Festival community celebration, featuring free food, music, art activities and more, took place from 3:30 PM until sunset on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Freedom Square in North Troy (101st Street where 5th and 6th Avenues meet). 

Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra took the stage at 3:30 PM, performing their amazing original blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms including salsa, merengue, cha-cha, bomba, plena and Latin jazz.

At 5 PM, the band Nation Beat brought on their 21st century mash-up of the thunderous grooves of northeastern Brazil fused with the strolling swagger of New Orleans funk.

It was a party!

Uptown Summer 2014: Environmental Justice for Our Local Community and Beyond

Uptown Summer participantUptown Summer is a 5-week series of arts and sustainability activities for young people in North Troy, NY. Now in its fourth year, this summer's theme was: "Environmental Justice for Our Local Community and Beyond." 

Check out the profiles of all the Uptown Summer Youth Employees here


Join in a workshop! Help paint a mural on the Sanctuary facade, learn about permaculture as we strive to bio-remediate toxic soil, become part of the choir in a singing ritual to bees, and collaborate in "eco-actions!" For more info on how you can be involved in Uptown Summer workshops, check out each week's listing below. 

Spring 2014 season closed with a bang at The Sanctuary for Independent Media

The Spring 2014 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media kicked off on March 15th with the Matthew Shipp Trio and concluded on June 7 with the Freedom Festival, featuring the Brooklyn-based Pitchblak Brass Band and Albany's own Oobleck on the outdoor concert stage at Freedom Square.

The season featured many events ranging from music to films to speakers. Highlights included performances from groups led by Brazilian singer Luísa Maita and Malian guitarist Oumar Konate, a look into the exciting field of bio art with Oron Catts, a career retrospective hosted by "Gimme Shelter" documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles as well as several new documentaries with the filmmakers including Sean Gallagher and "Brothers of the Black List," an investigation into the consequences of shale gas production, and much much more!

Spring 2014 season blasts off with the Matthew Shipp Trio!

The Matthew Shipp Trio launched the Spring 2014 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media while celebrating the release of their new recording, "Root of Things" (Relative Pitch Records), and the Sanctuary's newly donated 9 foot Baldwin concert grand, with Matthew Shipp, piano, Michael Bisio, bass, and Whit Dickey, drums.  

Matthew Shipp TrioThe acquisition of this Baldwin is a major addition to the Sanctuary; manufactured in 1984, it spent the first few years of its life on loan to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  In 1987, with the help of the New York State Council on the Arts, the piano was obtained by the IMAC Theater in Huntington, Long Island and remained there until its move this year to The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY.

During its lifetime, it has been played by many illustrious pianists including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Dr. John, Elaine Elias, Joe Sample, Marsha Ball and Sun Ra, to name a few.  The great pianist Matthew Shipp will be will be added to this elite list on March 15th!


NATURE Lab (North Troy Art, Technology and Urban Research in Ecology)

NATURE Lab uses arts as a seed to reclaim public space and build community.  Situated on a neglected block in Troy, NY, this living learning laboratory engages networks of artists and scientists, media makers and gardeners, community organizers and neighbors in collective actions stimulating environmental health and sustainability.

Funding for development of the NATURE Lab by Media Alliance has been announced as part of Round 3 of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative through the Capital Region Economic Development Council and the NYS Council on the Arts.


Eco-Action in the Industrial Wasteland: Ingalls Ave. Boat Launch

Troy Brownfields Research

Project goal is reuse of abandoned lots employing art to reclaim public space and build community relationships.


NATURE Lab will call 3334 6th Ave. its' home:

The NATURE Lab will integrate art, science, and technology in a series of community workshops, public art installations, and inter-regional arts and cultural exchanges. Artist teams will work with the community around issues of "curing" our local ecologies, environmental health and sustainability.

Fall 2013 Season Comes to an End!


Caravan for Peace: Mali’s "Festival in the Desert" came to Freedom Square this summer

Tartit/Imhartan photoThe traveling edition of Mali's award-winning "Festival in the Desert," featuring two of Africa’s most powerful musical groups, stopped in Troy NY for a free all-ages show in Freedom Square on Friday, July 26, 2013. Freedom Square is located at 39 5th Avenue, where 101st Street meets 5th and 6th Avenues in North Troy. Bring lawn blankets and chairs.

War can’t stop the music, and Malian artists continue to practice their art despite upheaval and violence. In support of and to highlight their tenacity, the Festival au Desert - Caravan for Peace, brings to the US legendary Malian artists adored in Mali.

The Festival in the Desert has featured everyone from rock idols to Saharan nomads, Now it is coming to several U.S. and Canadian cities this July and August, 2013. In addition to Freedom Square, stops include New York (Lincoln Center Out of Doors), Montreal (Festival Nuit d’Afrique), Santa Fe (Lensic Theater), Northampton MA (Iron Horse), Trumansburg NY (Grassroots Festival), Spiegeltent at the Hudson Valley’s Bard Music Festival, and more in Brooklyn, Washington DC and beyond.

"Found Art" Summer Season Ends

A spectacular summer 2013 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media began on July 9, 2013 and ran through August 9, 2013 featuring the new outdoor stage at Freedom Square with music, films, workshops, food, and more (see schedule). All activities taook place on one block of 6th Avenue in North Troy, between Glen Avenue and 101st Street. Rain location was The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 6th Avenue. Everything was free!

An astonishing transformation has taken place at Freedom Square, the mystical corner in North Troy where 101st Street meets 5th and 6th Avenues. Artists, construction crews and community volunteers have toiled for weeks to create a landmark setting for outdoor screenings and performances!

We hope you were able to join us this summer in the shadow of the mural birthed by Philadelphia Magic Gardens creator Isaiah Zagar in collaboration with our local community, for some of the most exciting arts activities and events in the region.

"Found Art" at Freedom Square!

We're coming together as a community! Stop by Freedom Square to check out the newly created magical results! 

On June 15th, the Sanctuary put Freedom Square's new "Art Stage" to the test, as we hosted our first "Freedom Festival" with musical performances Taína Asili y La Banda Rebelde, Albany-based Afro-Latin-reggae-rock fusion inspiring audiences to dance to the movement of rebellion, and M.A.K.U Sound System, the NYC based Afro-Columbian band infected with jazz, rock, hip hop, punk and Columbian folkloric rhythms.

This event was inspired by "Juneteenth," the oldest national celebration of the abolition of slavery, which commemorates the announcement of abolition in the state of Texas in 1865. The "Freedom Festival" began with a ceremony to honor the community youth whose ceramic handiwork is to adorn the stage, followed by a potluck.

Sanctuary at night image

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