“The Hudson Valley is the birthplace of the American environmental movement, with the Hudson River as central Muse and catalyst,” says Melissa Auf der Maur, alt/rock musician and co-founder/director of Basilica Hudson. That’s a fair statement, whether one takes it to signify the role of the Hudson River School of Art in teaching Americans to think of wilderness as something to be cherished rather than feared, or the legal milestone of the 1965 Scenic Hudson Decision that first gave ordinary citizens legal standing to fight to preserve natural resources. We may not have as much sunshine as the Southwest or as much wind as the Atlantic coast, but there’s no reason why our region can’t be leading the way when it comes to embracing sustainable sources of energy over fossil fuels.
Auf der Maur gets this, citing a sense of “increased urgency to address issues around climate change and the disconnect between the way we live and the life of the planet.” The cavernous space of Basilica Hudson has already hosted a number of gatherings focused on promoting sustainable technologies and local self-sufficiency; the latest, called the Our New Energy (ONE) Fair, is coming up this Saturday. Co-sponsored by the community design studio Virago Futures, ONE is billed as “a modern-day county fair” whose focus is “connecting Hudson Valley residents with local environmental sustainability organizations, and on giving attendees practical advice and tips as to how they can embrace renewable energy in their homes.”
The ONE Fair setup will include a marketplace, community stage and creative studio workshop series. A broad range of local environmental organizations will be in attendance, including Catskill Mountainkeeper, Hudson Solar, Riverkeeper, Seeding Sovereignty, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, New Yorkers for Clean Power, New York Heartwoods, Sustainable Hudson Valley, LabX presented by the National Academy of Science, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline, Citizen Advocates for Sustainable Energy and Transition Catskills. Jon Bowermaster will screen Seeds of Hope, the latest film from his Oceans 8 Films Hudson River Stories series.
The ONE Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 7. Entry is free. For more details, visit http://basilicahudson.org/one-fair. Basilica Hudson is located at 110 South Front Street in the City of Hudson.