February 13, 2017

Spring 2017 Newsletter


Just a year or so ago we were skirmishing with a minor Troy politician who accused us of sending coded messages when we put the word “resist” on the image of a sturgeon. What a difference an election makes! Resistance has gone mainstream.

With that word on the minds and lips of many Americans—and people around the world—the critical importance of institutions prepared to resist threats to our freedoms, our environment, and our bodies has become obvious.

The Sanctuary for Independent Media was born in 2005, when a small group of anti-war media activists repurposed and renamed an old church in North Troy.  The members of Hudson Mohawk Indymedia made videos documenting widespread protests against the looming second Iraq war. Despite the outcry, willful blunders—crimes of the state—have killed millions and destabilized nations, undermining the future of all of us.

Like the violence, our resistance has lasted a generation.

The current moment marks an extraordinary shift. Once revered traditional media heroes—already badly bruised by cataclysmic changes in their business model—are now demonized and dismissed. It is left to those of us in the “networked Fourth Estate” to carry on the resistance.

It’s no accident that arts and education—culture itself—are in the crosshairs of the sociopathic Philistines who have seized control of our nation. Our work is creative resistance—we live and breathe it.  Media literacy, environmentalism, the arts, and journalism—under assault—are more important now than ever.

Xenophobia, racism, sexism, and greed are expressions of a dying system, one that threatens to take us down with it. We need your support—physical, emotional, financial—to survive… and resist.

NATURE Lab update:

The North Troy Art, Technology, and Urban Research in Ecology program is a growing umbrella for local grassroots environmental activities. Our outdoor campus is a living learning laboratory: Collard City Growers’ five lots, two greenhouses and a carriage house for gardening; a building housing a DIY science center, gallery and bio-art residencies; and Freedom Square for events.

Spring workshops will focus on water testing, water security and mapping biodiversity in neighborhoods along the Hudson River.  Upcoming projects include a youth media celebration of the 200th year anniversary of the Erie Canal, educational activities around the Hudson River Estuary, and artist residencies exploring our upper Hudson heritage.

The momentum for environmental justice is growing in our community—join in our collective NATURE Lab activities by contacting us at [email protected]!

Out: old, In: new

We have finally replaced the vintage carpet in the main Sanctuary space, thanks to support from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust in Saratoga Springs. We’ll also be painting the walls and ceilings, and taking care of a myriad of small problems at the same time.

The Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity at RPI made a huge contribution when they removed the old carpet. The energetic CEO YouthBuild crew came right behind them, quickly and carefully installing a beautiful red oak floor.

This is the first phase of a three-year project to revitalize the space we use most at the Sanctuary: there’s been a constant stream of speakers, musicians, and filmmakers across that stage for years. 

There are big plans afoot! We’ll need your help to realize them…

Egg Benefit Celebrates a Year

We just celebrated our first year of broadcasting on WOOC 105.3 FM, belatedly announcing ourselves with an awesome benefit concert at the Egg in Albany featuring South African anti-apartheid icon Vusi Mahlasela and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Many thanks to everyone who came out in support!

Keep an ear on us in the coming year, as we develop local programming and continue to grow. If you’re outside our broadcast coverage area, remember you can listen anytime at MediaSanctuary.org—where you can also find playlists and our two week archive! 

“The Sanctuary is my refuge from a society too often fueled by skewed values and backwards thinking. Sanctuarians teach individuals to productively question the status quo while offering a platform to explore, express, and share their findings through a variety of media. I look forward to my children growing up here—learning from a diverse, intergenerational mix of positive thinkers and activists. Where else can you go to garden, cook, learn to mosaic, dance to live music, see an art exhibit, make media, and help the community all in one day? I happily donate my time, skills, and dollars to the Sanctuary because I want it to continue thriving ’til the end of time! Even a nominal monthly donation will go far! Do it!”


Azuré Keahi is a Troy-based artist, permaculture farmer, and mother. With her partner, Christian,
Azuré heads up Collard City Growers—the Sanctuary’s community gardens and food forest.

Join Azuré in formalizing her deep support of the Sanctuary by signing up to donate $10 each month.

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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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