November 22, 2011

Sanctuary ‘Raising the Roof’

Date published: 12/16/2010
Publication: Troy Record

By Stephen Douglas
The Sanctuary for Independent Media’s fifth year is coming to a close and it is having a party to celebrate. On Saturday night The Sanctuary will hold its final Raise the Roof event of the year.
Branda Miller, a professor at RPI, has been with The Sanctuary since the beginning. Miller says the Raise the Roof event has something for everyone. “One of the things that is great about this event is that it’s a bunch of different things rolled into one. It’s a birthday party, a holiday party, it’s a thank you for all our volunteers and all the people who have supported us.”
Steve Pierce has been with The Sanctuary since its inception in 2005. “It was made up of all kinds of people who were in alternative media projects who had been meeting for a while. Eventually, they decided to purchase a meeting space that turned out to be a historic former church in North Troy.”
The Raise the Roof series refers to two things according to Pierce. “First the party to celebrate five years in our location in North Troy. It’s also a party celebrate some major renovations we’ve done on our building. It’s pretty exciting. We’ve had 15 different events from film to music to speakers to a play. All different kinds of stuff.”
“We wanted thank our volunteers that have supported the Sanctuary over the last five years and the organizations that have been involved with the Sanctuary – basically everyone who has come together to create such a valuable space in North Troy,” said Miller.
The final Raise the Roof show caps a new project and will premiere by Youth Media Sanctuary.
Young artists from North Troy have been working on the project for three months according to Miller. “They are creating a video that highlights the community they live in. The making of the video was funded by the Rubin Foundation. That’s a local family fund that supports the creation of its work. There are 10 core teenage youth media producers who have been working on this along with our Media Artist Educator team at the  Sanctuary.”
This goes hand-in-hand with The Sanctuary’s “Be The Media” workshops said Miller. “We’ve been doing this for the past five years. This is very much realizing the vision of being the media. It’s created directly from the youth of Troy. This workshop plants the seeds of the future. Next season we’ll be working with WMHT and Tech Valley High School on Adobe Youth Voices Project.”
Miller explained the purpose of The Sanctuary. “Because at the corner of the mission of the Sanctuary is the goal to create media reform. In other words, to give more voice to the locals. There is an increasingly homogenized mass media environment that we live in. We don’t have enough positive stories for citizens of Troy, in particular youth who are rarely heard from. We’re part of a diverse community in Troy.”
Pierce says that The Sanctuary’s goal is to gradually build and create programming and host different productions. “We do a little bit of everything there. The programming has a little bit of everything. We have a TV studio and recording studio.”
Pierce made sure to mention the many local groups that had helped The Sanctuary for Independent Media throughout the process. “The Missing Link Street Ministry, funded by The Louis and Hortense Rubin Community Fellowship (a Troy-based organization that funds faculty-community collaboration) and the New York State Council on the Arts.”
The Raise The Roof Project was made possible by grants from the Troy-based Howard & Bush Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as “hundreds of large and small contributions from our funders.”
In addition to the debut of the new video, there will also be food, music and a special installation that attendees can be a part of according to Miller. “There will be a potluck dessert party and people are going to come with their memories. Any memories of the past five years at the Sanctuary will be part of an installation that people will hang their memories on. ”
It’s the perfect way to wrap up The Sanctuary’s first half-decade according to Pierce. “It’s a celebration of five successful years.”
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