September 29, 2020

Fall 2020 Letter

North Central Troy Youth painting a sign that says "Resist illness & wear masks in public"

Dear Friend,

I have a confession to make. Despite emails and social media posts filled with at-a-distance activities, things at The Sanctuary for Independent Media aren’t as normal as they seem. 

We’re going to need each other to help to weather this storm. 

While the potlucks and dance parties are on hold, the Sanctuary community is alive. You can feel it at every virtual event, in every weekly Hudson Mohawk Magazine meeting, and with every egg collected at a six-foot distance in the Collard City Growers garden.

If you are already a Sanctuary Sustainer, you are literally keeping us going. Thank you. 

If you’re not already a Sustainer, can you take a moment to visit and sign up for a monthly contribution of any amount? 

Virtual event at The Sanctuary for Independent Media
Online screening of “The Condor and the Eagle” and Be The Media! workshop “Indigenous Voices: Media for Organizing”

The pandemic has significantly reduced the grant opportunities available to us at the same time that our ability to raise money through in-person events disappeared. It’s also slowed the flow of dollars to us that have already been promised from multiple state agencies. Waiting on reimbursement funds from NY State temporarily slowed our renovation work on the new NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center. The advance payment for an air conditioning system we installed last year has yet to arrive.

But we feel incredibly lucky that so far we’ve been able to keep up our work.

Now is not the time to slow down!

To maintain capacity, the Sanctuary needs to add at least 50 new Sustainers this fall. If you sign up for a $10 monthly contribution right now, you will be making a significant impact.

If you’re not able to give money these days, there’s still a lot you can do! To start, you can join us at any of the events we are hosting. Seeing your face will help keep us connected. You can also help spread the word! Check out and make sure you are on our email list for the latest information. And don’t let cost keep you away! Just as always before, the Sanctuary’s events are all by-donation. 

As I write this we’re in the midst of planning a virtual screening of filmmaker Gavin Guerra’s “Let the People Decide” accompanied online by a Town Hall meeting with local activists and a Be The Media! workshop, and on-the-ground voter registration efforts right here in the Capital Region.

In addition to virtual events, we are continuing to:

  • sponsor youth activities
  • renovate the new NATURE Lab Center
  • grow food to share in Collard City Growers gardens

…and much more!

Troy youth collecting a water sample from the Hudson River.
Sampling the Hudson River. Photo: Jamel Mosely

This summer we also kicked off a long-term partnership with Riverkeeper called the Water Justice Lab. Earlier this year they approached us to use the new NATURE Lab Center as the northern site for testing the Hudson River and its tributaries.

That initial idea blossomed into a multi-year collaboration, making it possible to hire three Youth Scientist Fellows. All three are young women from Lansingburgh High who are developing the water testing knowledge and skills that will transform them into mentors. In the coming years they’ll teach sampling and testing techniques to our Uptown Summer participants!

We need to keep it up, and we need your help. 

If you’re already a Sustainer and would like to increase your contribution, please let us know.

Asking for financial support is always difficult, and doing it in the midst of skyrocketing unemployment is especially hard. But if you’re financially secure and you care about the Sanctuary, now’s the time to step up and donate what you can.

If setting up a monthly, recurring contribution is just not something you’re ever going to feel comfortable with, you can still help! You can make a one-time contribution on, or support the USPS and send a check made out to “Media Alliance” to P.O. Box 35, Troy, NY, 12181.

Times like these demonstrate that our investments in relationships, in infrastructure, and in our communities will keep us strong. 

“Sustaining the Sanctuary” has taken on new meaning. Suddenly, we are in need of your committed support with an urgency we never expected. Once again, if you are not already a sustaining contributor, please consider becoming one now.

Thank you,

Melissa Bromley
Development Director

P.S. Whether or not you can become a Sustainer, you can help the Sanctuary meet its need to add 50 new monthly contributors by helping spread the word! Make a post on social media and tag a few friends you’ve spent time with at the Sanctuary in the past! Thank you.

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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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