September 30, 2019

Fall 2019 Newsletter

Uptown Summer 

Our ninth annual Uptown Summer youth program was a rousing success! The participants did a fantastic job–focusing on environmental education and leadership training with activities ranging from neighborhood soil and water testing to bottom-lining the logistics for our ambitious Spirit of the Suffragettes concert series and community resource fair. It’s a great ongoing collaboration with the Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment Program backed by a growing number of supporters ranging from folks like you to a broad spectrum of private foundations and governmental agencies.

Lots of News

The Hudson Mohawk Magazine, our hour-long community volunteer-produced news and public affairs program, turned two years old on September 11. It’s been a wild ride exceeding all expectations, bucking the trend of disappearing local journalism! The effort has been noticed. HMM producer Willie Terry, a long-time local union organizer turned journalist, was honored by the Capital District Solidarity Committee at their annual Labor Day picnic for his media work as our Roaming Labor Correspondent. Check out the Hudson Mohawk Magazine weekdays at 7 AM, 9 AM and 6 PM on WOOC 105.3 FM Troy and WOOS 98.5 FM Schenectady (streaming live and on-demand at

NATURE Lab Fall ’19

Activists around the world are inviting arrest to call attention to the climate crisis–now is the time for environmental action! Our new “Urban Ecology Discovery” exhibition showcases our commitment to nurturing an enhanced awareness of our urban environment… such as training community scientists with water and soil testing events, and creating infrastructure for them to work. You’ll see highlights of local grassroots science initiatives over the last year, from bioart to community science archives and even a mini seed library, on display in the Underground Gallery at The Sanctuary for Independent Media. 

NATURE Lab is undergoing big changes! Come see the design plans for the NATURE Lab Urban Environmental Education Center in a new home at 3319 6th Avenue, a formerly abandoned building a few doors south of the Sanctuary. We are growing our space to include participatory science laboratories, multipurpose classrooms, a teaching kitchen, and experimental gardens with a commitment to environmental justice for our community. It’s an exciting initiative—please join us!


Volunteers Wanted

Laqueena Lajas, the Sanctuary’s volunteer and outreach coordinator, joined us this summer after graduating with her Masters in Social Work from the University at Albany. Her goal is to build a structured volunteer program accessible to members of both our homegrown and academic communities. A native of Troy, Laqueena grew up in the North Central neighborhood and is committed to providing opportunities for community engagement and participation.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can get involved, email Laqueena!

“We are Sanctuary Sustainers because we are so grateful for this space to gather with our radical and generous neighbors. The Sanctuary has been pivotal in finding affinity groups for us to organize for collective action – it’s important to invest in sustaining this space!”


Ellie Irons is an interdisciplinary artist and educator focused on urban ecology and socially engaged art. Dan Phiffer is a software developer and artist, who works at the ACLU. They live in Troy’s Hillside neighborhood with their child.

Join Ellie and Dan in their support of the Sanctuary – a place where you can find people with similar passions and organize for action – by signing up to donate $10 to the Sanctuary each month!

Become a Sustainer

Stay Informed

Sign up with your e-mail address to keep up to date with events, workshops and other announcements from The Sanctuary.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Don’t worry, we ❤️ privacy and won’t sell your information, ever—and you may unsubscribe at any time.

About The Sanctuary

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

Learn More