February 13, 2012

Spring 2012 Newsletter

Community Summit

It was a great day in North Troy as we ushered in the new year – and a new city administration – by hosting a fabulously well-attended summit of Troy neighborhood organizations, attended by newly-elected Mayor Lou Rosamilia, City Council President Lynn Kopka, and City Council members Nina Nichols and Mark McGrath. The infectious spirit of cooperation and optimism that filled the gathering of more than 100 people on the historic evening of January 9, 2012 bodes well for all of us!

Settled: Art≠Terrorism

Our lawsuit against the City of Troy and former Troy Public Works Commissioner Bob Mirch, which was several days from trial by jury in Federal court, has been settled. Visit our website for details about the agreement, and while you’re there watch the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center’s fascinating video about the events surrounding Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal’s anti-war installation that triggered this case in March 2008. We are grateful for the tremendous backing we have received from our supporters and look forward to a new era of cooperation with the City of Troy, as we work together using the arts to upgrade community relations and help improve previously neglected neighborhoods.

Juneteenth: A New Birth of Freedom

The Fourth of July isn’t the only Independence Day in America. In June 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston, Texas, bringing news to the town that the Civil War had ended and that all slaves were free – nearly two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth, a holiday in 40 states, is the oldest known celebration commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States. We are bringing the party to Troy with a free outdoor event in Freedom Square (at 101st Street where 5th and 6th Avenues meet), featuring an all-day music lineup headlined by the Afrobeat big band Shokazoba. 

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We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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