A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

Positive News Briefs

Although we’re led to believe the world is a scary place, check out the wonderful things our neighbors are up to.


Saugerties Arts Surge Recognized

Last month saw the once-busy printer’s town of Saugerties heralded for its involvement in a global effort to recognize sculpture. The months before saw a flurry of pop-up gallery activity as a new artist/impresario moved to town from the Boston area, turning over the building she was buying for creative use. Cross Contemporary, Jen Dragon’s surly little gallery, has moved to larger spaces, and newer spaces such as Evolve are joining her efforts to bring top name arts talents to the village from around the region, as well as international art haunts. As if topping this all off, one of the top honors at the upcoming 5th Annual Ulster County Executive’s Arts Awards went to volunteer extraordinaire Barbara Bravo, coordinator/director of the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Best of all, the awards will be handed out June 6 at the Saugerties Performing Arts Factory, demonstrating how far a bit of recognition, and studio visits, can go. Other big awards being handed out are going to the Woodstock Film Festival for arts organization, the Center for Creative Education in Kingston for Arts in Education, RUPCO for its business acumen as an arts leader via the Lace Factory and other major efforts, Jane Bloodgood Abrams as individual artist, Norm Magnusson of Woodstock and Rhinebeck for Art in Public Places, Katherine T. McKenna as Arts Patron, and a special citation to Lynn Woods and Stephen Blauweiss for their film project, Lost Rondout: A Story of Urban Removal. Bravo all!

Spanish Immersion Holds Comida y Terra  

The Kingston Land Trust and Kingston YMCA Farm Project recently launched its first ever “Comida y tierra” (Food and Land) Spanish conversation series with more than 30 people gathered at the El Salvadorian restaurant Pupusería Mi Ranchito in Midtown Kingston for a conversation facilitated in Spanish by Kingston Land Trust Executive Director Julia Farr and Kingston YMCA Farm Project Director KayCee Wimbish around themes of food and land in the City of Kingston. “I found Comida y tierra to be a fun and valuable community-building experience,” said Sara Katz from the Hudson Valley Farm Hub. “I met new like-minded people who are also learning Spanish and doing good work around agriculture (urban and rural) and social services while supporting a local restaurant in Kingston. This work/leisure event should continue.” The next Spanish immersion conversation on Food and Land in Kingston will take place on Tuesday, May 16th from 6-7pm at Just For You, located at 375 Broadway in Kingston.

Getting Healthy In Woodstock…

In honor of Healthy Ulster County Week, the amazing Woodstock Library is presenting a series of classes in early May including an Introduction to Complementary/Holistic Healthcare Practices with local practitioners giving an overview of their modalities and how they address holistic health on Saturday, May 6, from 4:30 to 6pm; Foundations of Vibrant Health, with Joan Apter teaching about how modern life keeps us so busy that we are often overcommitted, juggling multiple priorities and feeling out of control. Topics will include healthy eating, stress reduction, connection (quiet time), and finding passion and purpose in this Tuesday, May 9 session from 4:30 to 6pm. Finally, on May 11 from 4:30 to 6pm, Apter will return to teach Healthy Living with Essential Oils, exploring oils’ history, production, benefits and safety precautions, including handouts. Visit www.woodstock.org for full info.

Gone Green? Drive The Thruway Cheaper…

Here’s a great deal that not only shows off but rewards New York’s growing sense of pride in environmental awareness. The Thruway Authority has started a new Green Pass Discount Plan. How does it work? If you own a vehicle that has over 45 MPG fuel efficiency, you qualify for a 10 percent discount on your EZPass through the New York State Green Pass program. Prius people and plug-in owners (among many others) are destined to do even better than their low-cost vehicles have allowed them. Visit www.thruway.ny.gov/ezpass/greentag.html for full information and to sign up now.

New Director At Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

WFS in High Falls recently announced not only the start of an energetic new season of visiting weekends and special events, but also the appointment of Rachel McCrystal as the organization’s new Executive Director, succeeding Jeff Lydon, who served as the Interim Executive Director since 2015. “Working in partnership with Rachel has shown me her natural gifts as a leader among leaders,” Lydon said in a press release of the shift. “The animals of the Sanctuary and everyone in the growing Woodstock Sanctuary community can look forward to continuing our best traditions and breaking new ground with Rachel as our Executive Director.” McCrystal first joined Woodstock Farm Sanctuary’s staff in 2014 as the organization’s first development director, overseeing the growth and stability of the organization and leading its move from Woodstock to its new property off Lucas Turnpike in High Falls. Prior to that, she served in senior leadership positions at Best Friends Animal Society and the Pennsylvania SPCA. To learn more, visitwoodstocksanctuary.org.

Rural & Migrant Ministry’s Menu of Hope 

Issues of immigration greatly impact the people served by Rural & Migrant Ministry, a locally based non-sectarian nonprofit founded in 1981 to work for the creation of a just, rural New York State by nurturing leadership standing with the disenfranchised, especially farmworkers and the rural poor and changing unjust systems and structures. According to a recent press release from RMM, the latest threats against immigrants has been particularly rough in the state’s Lake Ontario area, where Border Patrol activity has intensified. “In recent years, in an effort to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters, RMM has sought to build bridges between recent immigrants and those who have resided in New York State for longer periods of time. We know that we work with many who are undocumented, however we believe that all human beings deserve to be treated with respect and equality and should not have to live in fear,” they noted in the same release. “Recent federal legislation has disrupted the lives of many of our sisters and brothers in the immigrant community. RMM has received numerous calls for assistance during this time of great change, and recognizes that there are many powerful ways to accompany our immigrant neighbors during this time of uncertainty. In response, RMM staff, board members and allies have developed a Menu of Hope to direct allies towards resources, strategies, and sparks for creative action.” The Menu includes sections on human rights, legal and civil rights, pastoral activities and scripture — welcoming the foreigner, and loving your neighbor – and sections on how to help bring systemic change to your community, sanctuary efforts, engaging in coalitions, training and educational opportunities, and more. To receive a copy of the Menu of Hope, visit www.ruralmigrantministry.org. 


Art With A Generational Pedigree

There’s a generation of artists in the Hudson Valley who got their starts with a visionary instructor many decades ago. Now, that legacy gets a new push, and new engagement, with Wired Gallery’s opening of the one woman exhibit Elektra Buhalis: Articulture from 5-7pm on May 13 for a run through June 4 at the High Falls arts spot. Born and raised in Woodstock to working artists Nicholas and Sandra Mackintosh Buhalis, Elektra studied fine art with her father (and many of the region’s current top artists) before attending SUNY Purchase and Goddard College. She’s since studied as a backdrop muralist, and is a member of United Scenic Artists Union local 829. Buhalis lives in High Falls and works to recreate the natural world utilizing a variety of painting styles she’s dubbed “articulture,” meaning a cross between art and agriculture. Subtitled “A Solo Show of Works Drawn from the Land,” her work may be best known for the 2012 mural she painted to welcome visitors to her hometown, commemorating the barges that once passed through town along the Delaware & Hudson Canal. She’s the real thing, and her opening should draw the best of several generations of local artists.

Stuck Inside Of Kingston With The Planning Blues Again

Everyone’s been wondering how to get tickets to the Bob Dylan concerts planned for the old Hutton Brickyard run by Smorgasburg since last summer, even though the June 24 and 25 events sold out immediately. Now it seems there’s more difficulties with this big gig other than disgruntled would-be concertgoers. It seems that when the site got its special permits in recent years no concert or similar large-sized special events ever got mentioned. Sponsors of the concert, which includes site owner MGWest Holdings of California and the Bardavon 1869 Opera house, owner of Ulster Performing Arts Center, have said they’ve been meeting with city officials about the event, with the Kingston planning board set to discuss matters on May 8. Let’s home the times won’t be a-changing too much.

Open Housewarming At Rondout Valley Growers

The Rondout Valley Growers Association (RVGA) will be celebrating the 2017 growing season with its very first “Open Housewarming” on Wednesday, May 17th from 10am to 2pm at its Cottekill offices in the Rondout Municipal Center at 1915 Lucas Avenue. It’s also the launch of an exciting collaboration with the ARC of Ulster-Greene School to Work Program to create a raised bed garden on their shared campus. The students will learn about local farming and participate in growing food for local food pantries. On May 17th, RVGA is also participating in the Hudson Valley Gives “day of giving” — an online fundraising campaign that many regional nonprofits are participating in this year. For RVGA it is an important part of the organization’s “Spring Forward Campaign” between Earth Day and Memorial Day to build awareness about local agriculture and build needed support for RVGA’s programs and operations. The RVGA welcomes the community to stop in — pick up the 2017 RVGA Food and Farm Finder (its grower directory hot off the press), hear some local music, have refreshments, meet a few farmers, make a donation if possible, sign up to volunteer, and find out what’s doing at RVGA — from 10am to 2pm on May 17th at its Cottekill offices in the Rondout Municipal Center.  For more information contact Stephanie at 845-626-1532 or office@rondoutvalleygrowers.org.