Fall 2023 Newsletter
Health, Healing & Justice
A Message from the Director
As I reflect on all that was learned during a spring of transitions and summer of forging new paths forward, I find myself filled with gratitude. Last season countless volunteers and collaborators welcomed me warmly and shared their knowledge of the Sanctuary’s past and vision for our future. Not only that, but 165 of you contributed more than $20,000 to help us eliminate two of our mortgages! I stand in awe of the people power behind this wonderful organization, and proud of our staff for continuing to approach their work with enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment to our mission.
While preparing for our fall season, themes of healing and health justice emerged in ways we couldn’t ignore. From looking at how our capitalist healthcare systems exacerbate inequity, to imagining and practicing new ways of achieving health justice for all, the Sanctuary will continue to hold space for individual and collective healing. We acknowledge the toxic legacy of settler-colonialism and honor the important Indigenous history of the land we occupy through the ongoing Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail project, and welcome conversations around health, healing, and justice.
We simply could not do this work without each of you. Thank you for being a part of this community.
The lifeblood of The Sanctuary for Independent Media is volunteer labor and individual contributions!
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People’s Health Sanctuary on Healing and Health Justice
Dr. Xavier Coughlin
Since July, People’s Health Sanctuary (PHS) has been hosting monthly Healing Days as a way to connect with healers, community organizations and neighbors. These Healing Days are an experiment in what community health could look like, and have consisted of bodywork offerings, yoga, and energy healing. In addition, we hosted space for community organizations offering movement sessions, high blood pressure awareness, harm reduction, grief work, violence prevention, and the arts. As we move into the fall, we hope more partner organizations will utilize the PHS space to offer consistent healing services and events.
With the coming decades of radical change upon us, we propose fewer answers and more questions for how to reimagine a way of being that fosters health. We know deep in our bones, just as our ancestors did, that our individual and collective health are inseparable. We begin by finding each other. We welcome you, and as the Zapatistas invite us, let us “walk together while questioning.”
Free Food Fridge
& Period Pantry
We recognize that fixing broken systems that leave some of us under-resourced and more vulnerable to continued trauma is a major component to healing. Free Food Fridge Albany and Cornell Cooperative Extension are addressing these broken systems through their Free Food Fridge and Period Pantry programs respectively. We are thrilled to offer space for these important mutual-aid initiatives and bring free fresh food and personal hygiene supplies to our campus. These valuable resources create barrier free access to items that can otherwise be out of reach for some. If you would like to help us keep the fridge or period pantry stocked, please reach out to [email protected]
Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail:
Look forward to an upcoming year of activities with support from NEA “Our Town” Creative Place-making grant!
Over summer 2023, we launched the Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail project, building the foundations for a block-wide urban nature walk combining art, culture, history and ecology. Visitors experienced Azuré Keahi’s “Medicine Garden: Earth Burial” in the NATURE Lab yard, “Stockbridge-Munsee Sacred Stories & Song” with Shawn Stevens, Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Youth and Flying Deer at Freedom Square, and Margaretha Haughwout’s drawing and plant-sensing workshop “De-Fence: Medicine in the Margins” across the Sanctuary Campus. Stay tuned for more events that bring stories of environmental justice, ecological restoration, and the living legacy of Indigenous presence on these lands to our campus through sculptures, gardens, multimedia, murals, and live events and workshops.
ECO-ART TRAIL ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE & WORKSHOP FACILITATOR
I conceived StoryHarvest as part of my masters thesis at RPI in 2011. This community building festival was, and is a way to explore food and the stories attached to eating with people in and around the Sanctuary. After years away, I am delighted to return to give a series of workshops with Amy Halloran on corn, to explore its history, recipes, and our personal connections to this incredible food.
HMM Producer Willie Terry Collaborates with Skidmore on Oral Histories on Labor
Beginning in the summer of 2022, MDOCS Co-Creation Initiative (CCI) out of Skidmore College supported a collaboration with Willie Terry of Hudson Mohawk Magazine (HMM) and Prof. Eric Morser (History) related to labor history. Students in Morser’s ‘American Labor History’ course conducted oral history interviews with local union leaders, rank-and-file workers, and labor movement organizers. These interviews are the beginning of a larger oral history project and will eventually be accessible via radio pieces on HMM and WSPN.
Check out the Fall 2023 Schedule
Health, Healing & JusticeView Schedule
The Sanctuary for Independent Media is part of Media Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in upstate New York. Our mission is to use use art, science, and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression. Since 2005 we have been building an arts and environmental campus in North Central Troy. We operate indoor and outdoor presenting and production facilities (the Sanctuary and Freedom Square), a radio station (Sanctuary Radio), community gardens (Collard City Growers), a STE(a)M learning center (NATURE Lab), and youth programs (Uptown Summer and Youth Media Sanctuary). None of this would be possible without the support of countless volunteers, many individual donors, and organizations. View our full list of donors and supporters.