February 14, 2014

Spring 2014 Newsletter

A Gift of Music

The Sanctuary has been blessed with incredible music over the years, but the lack of a high quality piano has been a major limitation to our programming. A few years ago we presented a concert by the Matthew Shipp Trio – the CD release of which made dozens of “Best of” lists in 2011 – but we had to do it off-site. We finally have an instrument worthy of the finest pianists of our time… a 9-foot Baldwin concert grand! It started life on the stages of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, moving on to the Inter-Media Art Center in Huntington, NY. Thanks to stellar matchmaking by folks at the New York State Council on the Arts and the generosity of IMAC co-founder Kathy Bodily, it has a new home in North Troy! We’ve rebuilt our stage to accommodate this amazing instrument. Now world-class pianists can play at the Sanctuary – starting with the explosive Matthew Shipp Trio for our March 15 spring 2014 season opener!

Radio, Radio

All over the country, micro radio stations are pumping out high-impact content with the power of a light bulb. We’re about to join their ranks with a strong local coalition! The Federal Communications Commission launched the low power FM service in 2000 after grassroots pressure demanded community control of the airwaves. Unfortunately, as the FCC was starting to approve new stations, corporate broadcasters convinced Congress to restrict opportunities. After an incredible fight led by our allies at the Prometheus Radio Project, the Local Community Radio Act was signed into law in 2011 – freeing the FCC to license new low power stations. We hope ours will be on the air late this year; we’ll need your support to do it!

From Food Desert to Food Forest

This summer, with support from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Justice grant program, we’ll be planting fruit trees and berry bushes on the vacant lots scattered around our 6th Avenue headquarters! It’s all part of an effort to produce food right on the block to fuel our activities and nourish the local community. Free lunches for interns and summer youth employees, donations to local Feed-A-Kid programs, community meals at events, outdoor BBQ celebrations, and contributions to area food pantries are all on the horizon if things work out as planned. We’ll need a lot of help – let us know if you’d like to participate!

The Patio

We’ve long dreamed of making use of the land-locked parcel behind the Sanctuary, hoping to turn it into a patio to enjoy the outdoors during warm months. This spring we’ll be inaugurating the new space, which will soon feature art that mirrors the spectacular mural next door at Freedom Square. One of our projects is to build a found art wall inspired by the work of Philadelphia found artist Isaiah Zagar!

Trillion in Troy

Youth Media Sanctuary filmmakers head to Washington D.C. this spring to premiere “Trillion in Troy,” an official If I Had A Trillion Dollars Youth Film Festival selection. Their on-the-street interviews reveal how to strengthen community instead of spending on war!


Inspired by the blossoming creativity and green space realized through our National Endowment for the Arts funded projects, we’re moving forward with NATURE Lab (North Troy Art, Technology and Urban Research in Ecology) – a new community-based urban nature center and laboratory for do-it-yourself experiments. 

NATURE Lab uses art to reclaim public space, build community and cure local ecologies. This living, learning laboratory engages networks of artists and scientists, media makers and gardeners, community organizers and neighbors in collaborations to stimulate environmental health and sustainability.

The lifeblood of The Sanctuary for Independent Media is volunteer labor and individual contributions!

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About The Sanctuary

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

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