Press Coverage

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05/15/2016 | "Julian Assange Addresses Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy"

By Katie Eastman

TROY, N.Y. -- Julian Assange, the now infamous Wikileaks founder, addressed the crowd at the Sanctuary for Independent Media from exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

He spoke about the upcoming presidential election.

"Donald Trump is not going to win," Assange said. "Because women make up 52 percent of the U.S. population."

He also spoke about how media shapes the information landscape.

05/11/2016 | "Media Sanctuary to screen Sundance award-winning 'Nuts!'"

Random book pick led filmmaker to explore life of doctor who got rich peddling a lie

04/28/2016 | "Fatou to play small, intimate show in Troy"

By Bob Goepfert

TROY >> The popularity of musical genres is a complicated thing to figure out. For instance rap, which not long ago was an urban phenomena is now so main stream that “Hamilton,” a Broadway show featuring rap music, just won the Pulitzer Prize for a musical.

In the same confusing way the Malian recording artist, dancer and actress Fatoumata Diawara, better known as Fatou, who regularly plays arenas and stadiums through the world is performing tomorrow night at the very small 200-seat space in the Sanctuary for Independent Media in North Troy.

Steve Pierce, the Executive Director of the Alliance expresses some frustration about the lack of attention being paid to the concert. “If this act were in any major city in the country it would be regarded as an important happening.”

Being a realist, Piece says he understands that because Fatou’s music falls into the broad category of World Music, she does not have a large following in the area. He also believes that there is a misunderstanding of what she and her genre are all about.

“Fatou is a brilliant performer. She has passion, theatricality and an amazing voice. Her music is a reflection of the world around us and touches you emotionally while being enormously satisfying.”

11/20/2015 | "Troy event explores alternative views of mental health"

Filmmakers provide perspective of people with direct experience

By Claire Hughes

Troy--Sera Davidow credits her unwillingness to comply with mental health professionals' orders with "saving her life."

The advocate, activist and filmmaker had six diagnoses of mental illness by her early 20s, but no one asked her why she took the self-destructive actions she did — why she cut or burned herself, for instance. No one asked about the trauma in her life.

"I want to own my own story," said Davidow, now 39. "Every time someone calls me mentally ill, it seems like it erases these things that happened to me."

Davidow, director of the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community, is among filmmakers whose work will be screened Thursday evening at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy as part of an event dubbed Voices from the Emotional Underground. The evening, devoted to alternative perspectives from people who have gone through the mental health system, is organized by Tracy Frisch, an Argyle-based writer who has explored unconventional views of mental health in her work.

11/11/2015 | "Thankful to serve others"

New programs, strategies are now going beyond soup kitchens in region

By Steve Barnes

Raven Kalter and her three kids—13, 10 and 4—have been going out to eat five nights a week since the beginning of this month.

They all get three-course meals from fresh, healthful ingredients. And it's free.

The Kalters are members of the South End Children's Café, a new, private, nonprofit concept in providing food to those in need. That it is in a restaurant setting instead of a church, shelter or soup kitchen makes it part of a growing movement to address hunger with different, varied and more nuanced strategies.

The Kalter kids go to the South End Children's Café after school to participate in programs and study with volunteers, and their mom joins them, along with dozens of others, for dinner.

"It's good food — probably better than something I would make," said Kalter, who lives near the café's Rensselaer Street location. "The kids are there, staying safe and off the street and getting their homework done, then we all get to have dinner together. I like that it's there for us."

We are in a season of abundance, from the orange riot of pumpkins brightening fields and front porches last month to Thanksgiving tables  that later this week will be laden with zeppelinesque bronzed turkeys.

08/25/2015 | "The Sanctuary for Independent Media builds community through food"

The Sanctuary for Independent Media's radical urban gardening

 Published 6:13 pm, Tuesday, August 25, 2015

07/21/2013 | Summer sights, sounds at The Sanctuary for Independent Media

By Francine Grinnell TROY — The arts are alive and playing an active role in keeping the youth of North Troy and beyond vitally engaged in the future of their neighborhood and the city of Troy. Passersby can’t help but notice bicycles of every size propped up on stands outside the Sanctuary for Independent Media, located in a former church at 3361 6th Avenue. The telecommunications production facility dedicated to community media arts has a steady flow of foot traffic in and out of its doors this summer as people of all ages take advantage of creative workshops and concerts being offered in hopes of maintaining the growing momentum on a block of 6th Avenue between 101 Street and Glen Avenue that has long languished from neglect. Teens from North Troy who obtained summer positions at the Sanctuary For Independent Media through the Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment Program can be seen at work throughout the neighborhood as well as helping out at the Sanctuary on the block that is now home to a series of community organizations, including The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Collard City Growers and Troy Bike Rescue, as well as social networks and religious and community groups. Australian bio-artist artist Natalie Jeremijenko recently conducted a workshop to build a public art sculpture that she calls a Butterfly Bridge.

05/29/2013 | "Creating mosaics out of everyday recycled items"

Creating mosaics out of everyday recycled items
Workshop to be held at Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy

Old ceramic tiles and broken mirrors can become art.

Isaiah Zagar, creator of Philadelphia's Magic Gardens mosaic art area, knows how to make this happen, and he's ready to show you how it's done.

Zagar will be in Troy this weekend to run a "Found Art Mosaic Mural Workshop," sponsored by the Sanctuary For Independent Media. The two-day workshop will teach participants how to create mosaic art from recycled materials — including how to safely break tile, cut mirrors, glue and grout. Participants will use their new skills to help Zagar create mosaic art on the Sanctuary For Independent Media's Freedom Square Art Stage.

9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. $5-$10. The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 Sixth Ave., Troy. 272-2390;

05/01/2013 | "Documentary celebrates gay activism of Catholic priest"

Documentary celebrates gay activism of Catholic priest

Documentary focuses on gay activism of Jesuit John J. McNeill

By Steve Barnes
Published 11:53 am, Wednesday, May 1, 2013

As a socially conscious teenager in Ireland in the 1970s, Brendan Fay was encouraged by progressive-minded forces in the Catholic church to protest apartheid in South Africa, human-rights abuses in Latin America, war and nuclear proliferation. Conspicuously and painfully absent, however, was another issue that was fundamental to Fay.

"I absolutely dared not speak out about my experience as a gay man," says Fay, noting that homosexual acts were not decriminalized in Ireland until 1993. He adds, "It was forbidden culturally, legally and theologically. As a result, I internalized what I now know to
be homophobia."