Working at the Sanctuary

Our Vision

Art and science are attempts to understand and describe the world around us – media is the force that communicates them. It’s the trinity underlying our work at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.

Even as media, science and art undergo withering attacks at the national level, The Sanctuary is offering the infrastructure and programming necessary to project a nuanced vision of just, peaceful and sustainable life. Serving as a hub for creative resistance – we have created a unique grassroots model for using creativity and participatory action to inspire social change.  

Our Community & Programming

The Sanctuary builds community through art, culture, and food. We bring together people from our North Central Troy neighborhood, activists from across the greater Capital Region, and a large community of culture aficionados from around the globe through our online archive of programming.

We we host a wide range of local, national and internationally-known artists working in a variety of disciplines through concerts, panel discussions, workshops, and open lab hours.

We have an extensive event archive – we post videos and recaps of the events as they become available.

Our Collaborative Team

Like most non-profits we have a tiny staff. But our staff is deeply connected and committed to The Sanctuary. Sina – our programming coordinator – was an intern almost a decade ago and now runs Hudson Mohawk Magazine; Emily – our development and communications director – is our newest staff member but enthusiastically stepped into the role after attending events at The Sanctuary previously.

We also have a devoted group of long-time volunteers, sustainers and board members so that small staff has support and can accomplish so much more than teams double or even triple their size.

Illustration of the front of the Sanctuary for Independent Media in North Troy, NY

Our Location & Campus

Since 2005, we have occupied a historic former church in Troy, New York as the home base for programs. Over the past 17 years, we have transformed seven formerly vacant spaces into safe, productive, and beautiful places.

Growing beyond the walls of the Sanctuary, we have leveraged abandoned buildings and vacant lots to create a campus spread over a city block, with public gardens and a food forest (Collard City Growers), an outdoor art stage (Freedom Square), a community radio station (WOOC 105.3FM), NATURE Lab (a citizen science lab and People’s Health Sanctuary), and a living sculpture garden.

Supporting the Sanctuary will help make our clinic space into a reality.

This is an important time to support the Sanctuary because there are so many projects in motion that could use resources. There’s a building that is in construction right now, our NATURE Lab, your money could go towards our citizen science lab and also increasing our reach and programs for young people.

Resources go a long way at the Sanctuary. There’s a lot going on and it’d be great for you to support it!

Ariela Zamcheck

Ariela Zamcheck Family Medicine Physician & Sanctuary Board Member

I became a Sustainer because of the work the Sanctuary does with youth, teaching about the media and how to be the media. A lot of us in the nonprofit community teach people how to find good housing or find healthy food, and the Sanctuary focuses on helping people learn how to think for themselves.

They’ve done so much work building infrastructure here in the neighborhood and we all need to pitch in and build the infrastructure of the media sanctuary itself.

Barb Nelson

Barb Nelson Architect and Executive Director of TAP Inc.

This is a community that needed a lot of work, but also it needed an organization for a movement to bring hope and healing to this community that needs it the most. Starting with the youth, that is the most important asset we have — we at The Sanctuary for Independent Media are bringing empowerment, we are exposing youth to artists, to scientists, to professors, to mentors that will be able to open up their mind into all of the possibilities they have. The Sanctuary for Independent Media is building in the future of Troy.

Aileen Javier

Aileen Javier Community Outreach Educator & Sanctuary Board Member

There is no other organization in the area that I’m prouder to support – the Sanctuary has so many things going, the great music, film, and creative activist presentations, Collard City Growers, Freedom Square, Uptown Summer, NATURE Lab, and WOOC 105.3 FM!

Igor Vamos

Igor Vamos

It’s a place to call home, where ideas are encouraged, needs are met, nurturing and learning for all ages and all families. The emphasis on low income is a reason that the Sanctuary has meaning to me.

I hope you’re getting from this that it sustains us.

So if something sustains a community, and sustains an individual and a family, then it’s almost a duty to sustain it!

Bernice Elizabeth Green

Bernice Elizabeth Green Co-founder, publisher, and editor of Our Times Press

There are so many needs here that need to be addressed. What’s important to me here is their work youth, their families, they strengthen them, through resiliency, through science, through arts, through finding out who they are and who they want to be and how to work through the issues of the day. I love what they do here, I love the work, I am committed to making the change that we need to see.

Janice Pride-Boone

Janice Pride-Boone Pediatrician, Certified Marriage and Family Therapist, People’s Health Sanctuary Councilmember

The Sanctuary is a haven – for the immediate community in Troy, the greater capital region, and beyond. A fantastic community has been cultivated – the events, workshops, initiatives and programming document meaningful social justice work so communities near and far can learn how they can also build a more just and sustainable world through art, science, and media.

Melissa Mykal Batalin

Melissa Mykal Batalin Artist, Web Strategist & Designer, Sanctuary Sustainer

The Sanctuary is an amazing community of people and a manifestation of ideals put into creative practice. There are now places in Troy where it will cost you $10 to buy a single glass of beer. It is a no-brainer to make a place in our monthly budgets to support the Sanctuary. I do what I can to ensure that grassroots spaces like the Sanctuary and Troy Bike Rescue become evolving institutions of justice and solidarity as we continue to envision a better world and struggle against environmental destruction, white supremacy, media monopolization, and the homogenizing influences of pop culture.

Andrew Lynn

Andrew Lynn

You rebuilding a democratic socialist open society, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, and this is the only help we have… if we are going to save ourselves. But our ability to endure will be measured by our capacity to sustain our neighbor, and that is really what The Sanctuary is about. If we have hope, it is going to rise up organically from local acts of resistance. I mean, take over this city first. So don’t ever get discouraged, don’t ever think that it’s small, because it’s not. This is it. This is where it is going to start. Everything has to begin here, organizations like this, this is where it’s going to come from. You are either going to save us or we are not going to get saved.

Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges

The Sanctuary is awesome. I have never been around so many progressive and forward thinking environmentalists and artists. I feel this place is really filled with people who care about this community in Troy, and I think that is amazing. It’s a great place that provides many services to our community, like the community gardens, NATURE Lab, Hudson Mohawk Magazine, youth programs, internships… everyone wants the community to have positive outlets and positive organizations that teach and provide and have value to the people who live there, and the Sanctuary does just that.

Tatianna Moragne

Tatianna Moragne WOOC Producer, Mental Health Professional

My name is Taina Asili, and The Sanctuary has been a very important venue for me and my music. I am a social justice focused artist and activist, and the Sanctuary has been a really important space for me to share my work, share it unedited and in its full creativity. Venues like this are really really hard to find. As somebody traveling around the nation, performing in spaces, I would say that this — right here in our community—is a very unique and very important space to speak our truth. I think we have to take care of these spaces. We have to make sure that these spaces can continue to be in the community and also grow in the work. And I’ve already seen the amazing amount of work in the community and in this space and the amount of growth that has happened.

Taina Asili

Taina Asili Sanctuary Sustainer, Activist, Singer-Songwriter

This is really important right now. If you look outside, you go on television, you go online, you see things are really changing right now. A lot of things we took for granted, aren’t behaving like we thought they would… democracy is under question, science is being challenged, the future as we know it isn’t given. A lot of people look at this and are scared and afraid.
The Sanctuary, an institution that does more than just go online and say what they believe, is a place for people to build things that they believe in, that makes space for people to make art they feel is important, that makes space for people to come and talk about issues in their community that matters, to really be in the community and not merely talking about the community, to continue making choices and making content that really matters.

Dan Lyles 

Dan Lyles 

It really means a lot to me to be around people who clearly care about what they are doing. The fact that this care spills out into the community in so many ways, all of the different connections that happen through these programs and events, I just don’t see why you wouldn’t want to be involved here and why you wouldn’t want to be helping to sustain this wonderful organization.

Azuré Keahi 

Azuré Keahi 

The Quick Facts

We are a 501c3 nonprofit.

We are located blocks from the Hudson River Estuary.

We’ve beautified several local lots, and grow crops for community meals.

Hudson Mohawk Magazine, our hour-long local news show is released every week day.

NATURE Lab runs a community DIY biology laboratory.

We provide hands-on workshops and trainings with professional video and audio equipment.

We host a neighborhood holiday celebration and tree lighting each year.

We house three art galleries that show work from local, national and international artists.

Join The Sanctuary!

We are currently seeking an executive director.

Learn more about the position

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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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