By Phil Drew
Five years into its mission, even the founders of Troy’s Sanctuary for Independent Media concede that mission isn’t always easy to define.
"Sometimes it is hard to communicate," says Steve Pierce, director of the Sanctuary. "People coming to our events aren’t always sure what to expect. We’re exposing them to information and culture that isn’t generally seen in the corporate media" — by which, he means the mass culture as well as local daily newspapers.
"I don’t mean to sound anti-corporate," he says. "But there just isn’t much money to be made at this."
"This," is the unique mix of entertainment, speakers, training programs and media-arts presentations offered by the Sanctuary, located in a former church at Sixth Avenue and 101st Street in Lansingburgh.
The mix is aptly described by the title given this sixth season of events, already underway: "Raise the Roof!: Celebrating Our First Five Years." The title was inspired in part by the recent completion of a phase of the ongoing renovations to the building, including a new roof; but also by the rabble-rousing nature of the facility’s programming.
"I think all of our programming is really about creativity," says Branda Miller, an RPI professor and Pierce’s partner in programming at the Sanctuary.