Soldier Billboard Project Comes To Albany

Soldier Williams 396 Days in Iraq

Thousands of American soldiers are returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We may wonder what they saw, what they did and how their war experience has affected them as they return to civilian life. These are the questions posed by an artist’s billboard appearing in Albany featuring the photograph "Soldier Williams 396 Days in Iraq."

The national Veteran’s Day holiday was established to invite us as a nation to contemplate “the cost of war” and to “honor the cause of peace.” To that end, The Sanctuary for Independent Media sponsored a number of events beginning with the mounting of a “soldiers face” billboard on the west side of I-787 near the Port of Albany/South Pearl Street exit, part of a national campaign by internationally-recognized photographer Suzanne Opton.

Web Distribution Workshop - December 6, 2009 - 1-5pm

Your videos can be used to build and strengthen communities! Learn how to take your finished work and strategically distribute it on the internet. We will post videos from Community Digital Storytelling Lab to the internet, demonstrating technical process and illustrating audience targets and social networking. If you have a video to post on-line, or are thinking about making one, this workshop is for you!

Fall 2009 Season Ends

Our Fall 2009 season has come to a close, and we'd like to thank everyone who presented, performed, played, spoke, shared media and art, and participated in our events in any way. Special thanks to volunteers, interns, and all-around Sanctuary heroes who helped make everything happen behind the scenes, behind the cameras, and below the Sanctuary space, at computers, video and audio controls downstairs.

We're actively planning the upcoming Spring 2010 season, which will start in February. If you'd like to receive a paper schedule of events, please send us your name, address, and email address using the "Contact" form linked above.

Vertical Mushroom Garden


For the opening of the Fall '09 season  Troy-based artist Sara Worden brought her Vertical Mushroom Gallery to The Sanctuary for Independent Media.   

Folks came to watch these mushrooms grow, and learn more about permaculture in urban environments!  Check out photos from the opening on Sept. 26, 2009, when permaculture and art friends stopped by to share  Kombucha (homemade fermented iced-tea) and conversation in the Wish Garden in front of the Sanctuary.

Installed by Sara Worden and Jack Magai.

FALL 09 "Be the Media" Workshops

Our "Be the Media" workshop series provides local artists, producers, and citizen journalists with opportunities to acquire and improve the skills necessary for successful and powerful independent media-making. We offer an interdisciplinary approach to diverse media arts practices with new technologies, with core focus on creative practice and artistry.

October 4 Digital Preservation

with Nan Ruben

October 17-18 "Community Media" Quilts Project

It's not all electronic! Share in a collective celebration of the history of community media with this quilt-making workshop. Bring your community media t-shirts that you cherish, but no longer wear, and we will add them to our quilt. Whether you are an experienced quilter and/or sewer, or someone whose always wanted to participate, join us! The final quilt will be auctioned in the Spring '10 season as part of our upcoming 5th Anniversary Celebration...

October 25 1-5pm Community Digital Storytelling

This two-part workshop is aimed at organizations and citizens from the regional community, to get their stories heard!

We're gearing up for the Fall '09 Season!

Get ready for the Fall 2009 production season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media!

Featuring a wide-ranging schedule of activist writers and poets, photographers and filmmakers, multi-media artists and musicians, join diverse communities networking through creative action!  Share in the fun with Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men!, get inspired with Kathy Kelly and Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and join in the critical discourse...

Kathy Kelly

Send us your address; we'll mail our upcoming Fall 2009 season brochure!  You can also sign up (above right) for email updates  by joining our announcement list!

2009 Spring Season Comes To A Close

The Spring 2009 production season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media that began on February 14 concluded on June 6, featuring a wide-ranging schedule of activist writers, poets, filmmakers, and musicians. Join our mailing list, and we'll let you know when we start back up again in September!

The Sanctuary for Independent Media is a community media production center located in an historic former church in Troy, NY.  The venue is an intimate and acoustically excellent space which seats about 150. The Sanctuary hosts screening, production and performance facilities, training in media production and a meeting space for artists, activists and independent media makers of all kinds.

"Black Panther Robert Hillary King tells his story"

Date published: 

Robert Hillary KingBy Tom Keyser

Robert Hillary King spent nearly three decades in solitary confinement at the notorious Angola state prison in Louisiana. As a member of the Black Panther Party, he and two party members became nationally known as the Angola 3 — political prisoners who spent decades in solitary confinement for, they contend, organizing prisoners to improve conditions.

King, 66, will speak Friday at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy in support of his book, "From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Black Panther Robert Hillary King" (PM Press, 224 pages, $24.95).

After becoming a Black Panther in prison and organizing inmates, according to the book's dust jacket, "prison authorities beat him, starved him and gave him life without parole after framing him for a second crime. He was thrown into solitary confinement, where he remained in a 6-by-9-foot cell for 29 years as one of the Angola 3. In 2001, the state grudgingly acknowledged his innocence and set him free."

"Iraqi Children make art from war"

Date published: 

By Danielle Furfaro

Wead Jassim, 16, is a freshman at Albany High School, and one of the Iraqi refugee children who worked on a mural that now hangs in the Albany Public Library. The mural enabled the refugees to express their sorrow over the Iraqi war and wishes for peace. (Luanne M. Ferris / Times Union) The three Iraqi teenage girls show up at the library wearing red and black. The red, they explain, symbolizes the blood of dead Iraqis. The black represents the tears and sadness of their country.

Shahad Jassim, 18, Wead Jassim, 16, and Tethkar Ahmad, 15, are refugees.

They fled their war-torn country with their families within the past two years. They fled the scourge of dead bodies in the streets and bombed-out buildings. They fled what they felt would be their own certain deaths.

Now living in Albany, they aim to use art to educate the world about atrocities happening in Iraq and to express their hopes for peace. When they speak about their homeland, they can't help but cry. Their art gives them a voice, and it seems to help. At least a little.

"'Upstate Girl' finds voice in photography"

Date published: 

‘Upstate Girl’ finds voice in photography

By Bob Goepfert The Record

Brenda Ann Kenneally has an addictive personality. That addiction has produced "Upstate Girls: What Became of the Collar City," which opens Saturday at the Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 Sixth Ave. in Lansingburgh. It is a photographic study of six young women living in North Troy. The images are stark, real and disturbing as they chronicle the lives of the powerless and disenfranchised. Though fraught with social, political and economic implications, the images are visually hypnotizing as they capture the lives of innocence lost.

Kenneally refers to herself as New York Times Magazine’s "photographer of choice when it comes to capturing images of kids living in poverty." Her first assignment for the magazine was in 2003 when she was asked to supply pictures for a series written by her friend Adrian Nicole Leblanc titled "Random Family." It was a work about neglected, unsupervised kids living on the streets of New York City. Her work was so successful, in 2006, the Times sent her to New Orleans to portray the plight of displaced children trying to survive after Katrina. An entire issue of the New York Times Magazine was devoted to that work.

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