Uptown Summer 2017: Echoes from Lock One

The 7th annual Uptown Summer 2017 was dedicated to a creative convergence around the legacy of our Hudson River Estuary! 10 youth worked on the multi-media collaborative documentary “Echoes from Lock One,” about the 200-year legacy of the Erie Canal and how it relates to their own community in North Troy.  “Echoes from Lock One” is an evocative call for environmental and water justice from the eyes and voices of youth in Troy, NY.

Media makers, artists and scientists worked with teens in camera, audio production, script writing, music production, dance, historical research as well as scientific testing, to create this experimental, participatory documentary with a message for change:

We live along the shores of the Hudson River at the beginning of the Erie Canal, Lock One, the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. The history of the Erie Canal and the devastating effects of industrialization are mostly unknown… even to the people of Troy, who live right next to it.  Our river and our neighborhood have been poisoned by a legacy of pollution. This is our call to action. For justice and for our future. No more waiting!”

Over the span of 5 weeks, our neighborhood youth become community leaders, environmental stewards, media producers, storytelling artists, scientists, researchers, and local volunteers. Via all these diverse roles, the youth and their mentors will create a multimedia documentary called Echoes from Lock One. Join us for three events: An in-progress showing of Echoes from Lock One at Troy Night out with the Rensselaer County Historical Society; End of Uptown Summer Party and Echoes from Lock One documentary showing; and Bio-Art After Dark: A Sanctuary Sustainer Soiree.

The final film Echoes from Lock One was featured in:

  • Environmental Film Festival of the Capital
  • North Dakota Environmental Film Festival
  • Kansas City Environmental Film Festival

–Workshops with Artist/Mentors

As a biologist and artist, Ballenge created environmental at and public field trips for “ecosystem activism.” Brandon participated in workshops with US 17 youth. They created art which was exhibited at Rensselaer Historical Society with very positive community reception! Funded by NEA Art Works “Urban Art Reclamations: Our Upper Hudson Heritage.”

Several of the US17 youth presented this video, the first small edit (that grew into the final Echoes from Lock One), in a screening at the Water Way Youth Video Exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art for the World Canals Conference 2017, September 24-28.

After 5-weeks of working diligently on the video production, the youth celebrated the process and accomplishments they achieved. During this event, they screened a rough cut of their multimedia documentary Echoes from Lock One and shared the history of the Erie Canal from the perspectives of the North Central Troy youth.

Mistah Jayohcee is an Artist, Activist, Performer, songwriter, producer, engineer, and promoter – a jack of all trades. He is a First Nations Mohawk Warrior who is also a hip-hop artist. Jayohcee is featured in Echoes from Lock One, teaching youth how to write and perform hip hop for their video, and offering a private performance for them.

Co-created by Youth Media Sanctuary/Uptown Summer Youth and Mentors in collaboration with The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Executive Producer Branda Miller.

The Sanctuary for Independent Media is a place for community-engaged interdisciplinary experimentation, with the overarching goal of shedding light on the intersectional role of media, science and art in the process of building a democratic society.

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

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