August 13, 2021

The Sanctuary for Independent Media: Where Social Justice, Science and Art Meet

Katy Peace for The Preservation League of New York State

Along a stretch of 6th Avenue in Troy, between 110th Street to the north and Glen Ave to the south, the Sanctuary for Independent Media has transformed vacant buildings and empty lots into an incubator for science, art, and social justice. The Sanctuary first took up residence in Troy in 2005, moving into a vacant church that was more than 100 years old. This building has been repurposed as a telecommunications production facility — complete with their own radio station — with the goal of supporting the vital role of media arts in the process of building a democratic society. The training they offer in media production is the backbone of their social justice work.

Since coming to Troy, the nonprofit has also turned one empty lot into an outdoor performance space, two more into an urban garden, a vacant house into housing for their interns, and a land bank property into an environmental education center. The church building continues to serve as their base of operations, and their continuing efforts to preserve it led them to the League. The Sanctuary received a NYSCA-funded Technical Assistance Grant in 2020 to finance a Building Condition Survey that will help the organization prioritize necessary maintenance and repairs moving forward.

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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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