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Friday: Celebrate community science at Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy


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In September, my colleague Sebastian Pillitteri and I traveled North to visit The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, located near the mouth of the Mohawk River and Federal Lock, as a potential spot for an upcoming Water Quality Community Science celebration event to be held later in the year. It turned out to be a perfect venue, and we invite you to join us there at 6 p.m. Friday, November 1. (Please visit this page for details and register here.)

We were greeted by their key staff Branda Miller (Arts and Education Coordinator), Steve Pierce (Executive Director) and Laqueena Lajas (Volunteer Organizer/Outreach Coordinator) who very generously gave us their entire afternoon to tour the church and to learn all about their work in the community.

Founded in 1977, the ‘Media Alliance” moved its headquarters to North Troy in 2005. Media Alliance owns, operates, and has offices in The Sanctuary for Independent Media, a century-old former church that has been re-purposed into a telecommunications production facility dedicated to community media arts. It is a place where community-engaged interdisciplinary artists experiment with aesthetic forms and challenging content, with the overarching goal of shedding light on media arts’ vital role in the process of building a democratic society.

With many programs created to address a range of environmental and social justice issues, it includes a Nature Lab that engages artist and scientist teams to work to empower the community by bringing knowledge about the local ecosystem and the skills to intervene in creative ways that can address the issues that are unique to the North Troy ecosystem and community.

At the end of our visit, we were led to the Sanctuary’s non-commercial radio station, led by youth on that day, who helped to develop questions and to tape an impromptu interview to share our work at Riverkeeper and upcoming event in Troy.

LISTEN: Rebecca Martin, Water Quality Program Senior Program Coordinator, and Sebastian Pillitteri, Community Science Coordinator discuss their work at Riverkeeper in the Sanctuary’s media lab.

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