February 23, 2015

Spring 2015 Newsletter

Back to the Future as 10th Anniversary Sanctuary Season Approaches!

WOOC 105.3 FM is Coming

Virtually every advance in communications technology since the telegraph has been accompanied by claims that it would bring more understanding, more empathy, more democracy – in essence, more hope to the human condition. 

Wait no longer! Community radio is headed to the Capital Region… but it won’t happen without your support!

A few weeks ago, we received word that the Federal Communications Commission granted a construction permit for our new radio station, WOOC 105.3 FM, to broadcast from studios at The Sanctuary for Independent Media. It’s what’s called a low power radio station – operating at 100 watts – but that’s enough to cover all of Troy and beyond. Of course, we’ll also be streaming on the Internet… and our long-term plans are to work with other local community groups to expand broadcast coverage throughout the entire Capital Region.

Imagine! Just when you’d given up on broadcast radio, a non-commercial, community station – dedicated to bringing you local news, local public affairs, local music, local culture and just plain fun – is on the horizon.

We need YOU to organize your family, neighbors, co-workers and friends (including people with whom you don’t always agree!) to buy one of the 100 watts with which we’ll be broadcasting. If 100 people contribute (or fundraise) $250, we’ll have the $25,000 we need to go on the air this fall!

What’s this all about?

Free Press founder Bob McChesney, who spoke at the Sanctuary in 2013, said it best: “The clear trajectory of our media and communication world tends toward ever-greater corporate concentration, media conglomeration, and hyper-commercialism. The notion of public service – that there should be some motive for media other than profit – is in rapid retreat if not in total collapse.  The public is regarded not as a democratic polity but simply as a mass of consumers. Public debate over the future of media and communication has been effectively eliminated by powerful and arrogant corporate media, which metaphorically floss their teeth with politicians’ underpants.”

Over the past two decades, a new wave of community radio activists confronted the narrowing vision of broadcasting that accompanied de-regulation in the name of free-market reform. Their challenge to commercial broadcasters’ control of the regulatory environment, driven by outright civil disobedience, has resulted in the creation of a new class of service: low power FM!

Expect a radio station that provides sanctuary for the discussion of a wide range of ideas, to advance our mission of using art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of expression.

We’re excited to be a part of this movement for media democracy! Please help us make it a reality here in the Capital Region!

NATURE Lab Update

Our NATURE Lab initiative (North Troy Art, Technology and Urban Research in Ecology) is moving forward to green the 3300 block of 6th Avenue!

We are slowly making progress on the stabilization and re-development of 3334 6th Avenue, a once-beautiful brownstone fallen victim to the ravages of the mortgage crisis. We recently purchased the building at bank auction and are finalizing architectural plans to put the space back into productive use.

Last year, we purchased the historic carriage house adjacent to our Collard City Growers garden and repurposed it as the North Troy Environmental Media Education Center. A hoop house will be constructed on the site this spring. 

Amidst all this work, NATURE Lab has upcoming residencies planned with returning artists Brenda Ann Kenneally, Brandon Ballengée and Oliver Kellhammer – artists committed to collaborating with our community for environmental health and sustainability in North Troy.

Uptown Summer

It’s going to be a media-centric Uptown Summer!

We’re looking forward to working again with the Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment program. We’ve had a great time engaging with young people in our neighborhood over the past few years; it’s fantastic to be part of such a mutually-beneficial  arrangement.

We’ll be taking on a number of environmental and media projects between July 6 and August 7.

A major focus is our low power FM barnraising, during which we’ll be erecting the broadcast tower for WOOC 105.3 FM and installing the transmitter and antenna.

We’ll also be developing Green Screen Troy, a Capital Region Economic Development Council-funded project to document the gardening and bio-art activities underway in North Troy.

Follow us at @mediasanctuary on Facebook and Twitter for all the updates!

Excitement Builds As Fall Sanctuary Season Nears 

As the Sanctuary’s first decade comes to an end, we’re working to make our 10th anniversary fall season something really special!  

In addition to a great lineup of films, music and speakers, we’re planning to be on the air with our new non-commercial community radio station, WOOC 105.3 FM.

We also hope to be well underway with renovations to the historic 6th Avenue brownstown that will house our NATURE Lab programs.  

Be sure to stay in touch as our plans develop!

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

You can help by making a tax-deductible donation.

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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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