September 13, 2017

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Uptown Summer ’17

Another year, another inspiring five weeks with Uptown Summer! For the seventh year in a row, we partnered with the Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment program to offer local teens an opportunity to work side-by-side with media makers, artists, scientists, historians, and other community leaders to inspire positive change in our North Troy neighborhood.

This year’s focus was the health of the Hudson River, just one block from the Sanctuary. We sampled water for antibiotic resistant microbes, collected marine specimens for NATURE Lab, learned about chemical pollutants and combined sewer overflow infrastructure, and so much more! We made art and recorded media to be weaved into the forthcoming documentary “Echoes from Lock One,” exploring the legacy of the Erie Canal and the Industrial Revolution in North Central Troy. Our neighborhood, once a jewel of industrial prosperity, is now left with the environmental legacy of negligent practices and little of the wealth generated. Our Uptown Summer youth shined a light on local problems and took action to help solve them.

Thank you to McCarthy Charities, The Bender Scientific Fund of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and Stewart’s Shops for supporting Uptown Summer 2017. “Echoes from Lock One” is made possible with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Hudson Mohawk Magazine

Earlier this fall we launched a local news and public affairs show on WOOC 105.3 FM broadcast live Monday through Friday from 6-7 PM and repeated at 7 AM and 9 AM the following weekday.

The Hudson Mohawk Magazine is a locally-produced news hour 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. 

This is an all-volunteer effort–let us know if you’d like to join in!


This fall, stop by the NATURE (North Troy Art, Technology and Urban Research in Ecology) Lab Gallery on Tuesday afternoons for art viewing, conversation, and an assortment of science, art and urban ecology activities. Whether you want to take in the exhibit, pick up a plant identification guide, or get more hands-on bio-mapping the area, packaging seeds or coloring postcards with plant-based ink, our doors are open to you! Open Hours for Art & Ecology are an opportunity to share your experience of nature in North Troy. What part of our urban ecosystem caught your eye this week? What do you love? What could you live without? We are partnering with a range of collaborators in an effort to better understand the environmental challenges we face in our shared urban habitat. Your contribution can help us further our mission of environmental remediation through education, resource access, and inspiration! This season’s open hours are hosted by artist-naturalist Ellie Irons of the Next Epoch Seed Library, and a rotating selection of artists, researchers and other community members.

Join us at Open Hours for Art & Ecology at NATURE Lab, 3361 6th Avenue in Troy.

4-6 PM every Tuesday, 
October 24 -December 12

Help us develop WOOC 105.3 FM!

You are WOOC 105.3 FM’s fuel. Our programming depends on countless hours of research, production, and technical expertise contributed by dozens of volunteers. A daily local news and public affairs program is an ambitious undertaking and we are so grateful to all those who are making this possible!

Can you help us grow? Email [email protected] or call (518) 272-2390 to get involved. Please consider making a donation by visiting or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 35, Troy, NY 12181. 

With your help, The Sanctuary for Independent Media and WOOC 105.3 FM are providing a local independent voice on the airwaves, an alternative to for-profit media driven by commercial interests. Help us amplify the voice of the people by contributing and by tuning in!!

“The Sanctuary for Independent Media was one of the reasons I chose to move to Troy, and I have been involved ever since. It really is a ‘sanctuary’ for me personally and has been a constant source of love, growth and inspiration. Today, places of resistance and hope are more important than ever. I give my time and skill and dollars because I believe in the transformative power of grassroots art and activism.” 


Jillian Hirsch’s commissioned public art works can be seen throughout the Capital Region. She has been sharing her art practice with the Sanctuary for years: from street murals, to workshops at the Ingalls Avenue Boat Launch, to face painting in Freedom Square. 

Join Jillian in formalizing her deep support for The Sanctuary by signing up to make a monthly 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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