This week in WHMK
Women’s History Month Kingston continues this coming week with a number of events.
A presentation on Native American women and the Wise Woman Tradition at the AJ Williams Myers African Roots Center at 43 Gill St. on Saturday March 7, from 4-6 p.m. begins weekly WHMK programming at the Ponckhockie anchor space.
In collaboration with Kingston’s robust arts scene and the many women who contribute to and lead it, four First Saturday exhibitions are part of WHMK. Two shows at Arts Society of Kingston at 97 Broadway feature the work of painter Isabel Nazario and a group show of women, femme and nonbinary visual artists curated by PUGG (Pop-Up Gallery Group) students. Just down the block, at Sassafras Mercantile at 37 Broadway, the work of artist, arts organizer, curator and WHMK Steering Committee member Jamie Sanin will be on view from 5-8 p.m.
“The aspect I focused on for WHMK was the arts,” said Sanin, founder of CelebrateWomxn845, whose mission it is to organize, recognize, and celebrate women, femme and nonbinary creatives via pop-up events across the Hudson Valley. “I think that highlighting the perspectives of not only women but also femme and nonbinary folks is imperative to Women’s History — in order to truly be intersectional, it’s time to get to know one another, pool our resources, and help each other win.”
The Source of Self-Regard, a group show of the art of women of color curated by Freedom Walker Dickerson, continues to be on view at the idea garden, 346 Broadway. That First Saturday reception from 4-7 p.m. will be catered by outdated: an antique café, and will collect clean/still usable items of baby or women’s clothing, and/or tampons/sanitary pads, to be donated to the Darmstadt Shelter/Family of Woodstock.
On Sunday, March 8, WHMK events are all about empowerment. The second annual Kingston Women’s Bike Fest will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Everette Hodge Center at 15-21 Franklin St., where workshops will teach women who don’t identify as cyclists what they need to know to feel comfortable riding. “The Kingston Women’s Bike Festival grew out of a recognition that cycling should be as accessible to women as it is to men,” says Emily Flynn, a festival organizer. “Barriers for women are often lack of mechanical knowledge, childcare requirements, and concerns for safety. Our workshops address those concerns, and offer camaraderie and encouragement.”
From 4-6 p.m. on March 8 at Arts Society of Kingston, 97 Broadway, a student showcase will feature the talents of local children as they celebrate Women’s History with drama, dance, music and more. It’s curated by youth organizations New Genesis Productions, The Vanaver Caravan and Hudson Valley Youth Chorale, which empower girls and children of all genders as they enrich our community through the arts.
As the monthlong celebration of Women’s History continues, there will be more performances, panel discussions, workshops and renowned keynote speakers. For a complete list of WHMK events, visit WHMK.org.
Spireng, Parisio to read
Poets Matthew J. Spireng and Richard Parisio will read at the Word of Mouth poetry series, Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m. at Artbar Gallery, 674 Broadway. It’s an open reading and admission is $3.
‘Farming While Black’
On Friday, March 13 at 5:30 p.m., the African Roots Center presents the program “Farming While Black” with Leah Penniman at the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County, 507 Broadway in Kingston. This program is presented as part of Women’s History Month Kingston.
According to Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm, “For thousands of years, Black people have had a sacred relationship with soil that far surpasses our 246 years of enslavement and 65 years of sharecropping in the United States.” Restoring this connection is central to the mission of Soul Fire Farm, she said.
In this presentation, Penniman will share her wisdom, wit, knowledge of history and love of the land, with particular focus on uplifting the contributions of Black, Indigenous, Women of Color. She will guide us to an understanding of how we can be part of the movement for food sovereignty and help build a food system based on justice, dignity and abundance for all members of our community. Autographed copies of Penniman’s book, Farming While Black, will be available for sale.
This program, part of the African Roots Center Real History Series, is sponsored by Kingston YMCA Farm Project, Radio Kingston, Rise Up Kingston, The Kingston Land Trust, Women’s History Month Kingston and YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County. It is funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Admission is free. Food and childcare will be provided. The event will be live streamed by Radio Kingston to both the Radio Kingston and African Roots Center Facebook pages.
To reserve seats, visit the African Roots Center Facebook Events page or Eventbrite at http://bit.ly/pennimanafricanroots.
Alice Divine exhibit
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack announced the second display in the “Historical Profiles” series. The profile will feature prominent physician and suffragist Dr. Alice Divine and will be on display for the month of March on the second floor of the Ulster County Office Building, 244 Fair St., Kingston.
Divine was born in Ellenville on Jan. 20, 1868 to Dwight and Millicent J. (Hatch) Divine. In her early to mid-20s, Alice became an active participant in the suffrage movement, serving on committees and canvassing the community. She went on to receive her medical degree from Cornell University in 1900 and practiced for almost 50 years in her hometown of Ellenville. She was well known for her compassionate care and charitable efforts, advocated for women’s rights and child welfare as well as supporting Civil War veterans as a Daughter of the Union.
“Alice Divine is a wonderful example of the benefits of hard work and dedication,” stated Postupack. “She pushed the boundaries of social acceptance and fought for equal rights for all. She is a true inspiration.”
Master Gardener hotline offers horticultural help
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) Master Gardener volunteers staff the Horticulture Hotline, located at the CCEUC Education Center, 232 Plaza Road in Kingston Plaza, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon from March through October. The Horticulture Hotline offers free, unbiased, research-based information and advice to more than 1,000 home gardeners annually. The number to call is (845) 340-DIRT (3478).
Other services offered include pH soil testing and plant, insect, and disease identification. The cost for identification is $5 plus $1 for each additional sample. Testing for soil pH (acidity or alkalinity of soil) and soil texture costs $3 for the first sample plus $1 for additional samples. Home gardeners will receive a recommendation of how much lime or sulfur to add to adjust the pH, based on what will be grown and the size of the garden. Full soil analyses are available by purchasing a Rutgers soil test bag or a Cornell soil pH test kit, each priced at $25. For more information about the Master Gardener Program, contact Dona Crawford at (845) 340-3990, ext. 335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on all services offered, visit http://ulster.cce.cornell.edu/gardening.
Lara Hope to be honored
Lara Hope, local rock, country and rockabilly chanteuse, has won the 2020 City of Kingston Distinguished Artist Award. An award ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 23, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.
One of Kingston’s most iconic creatives, she’s known for her work with Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones and The Gold Hope Duo. The recipient of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Female Rockabilly Artist, Hope has performed at many local events and tours the globe. Hope succeeds the 2018 inaugural awardees, Julie Hedrick and Peter Wetzler.
“I am delighted to see the Distinguished Artist Award presented to such a vibrant member of our community,” said Mayor Steve Noble in a press release. “This award offers a chance to highlight amazing artists who live in our community and do so much contribute to our quality of life.”
“I am so honored and thrilled to be chosen for the Kingston’s Distinguished Artist Award,” Hope stated. “I’ve seen how much the city has grown and blossomed over the past decade, and I look forward to doing my part to help this continue. After traveling the country extensively, there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s a special kind of magic here. I am proud to call Kingston my home, and plan to see the arts thrive here for years to come.”
High school equivalency classes
The SUNY Ulster Office of Continuing and Professional Education will offer several courses to help prepare students for the Test Assessing Secondary Competency (TASC) needed to earn the High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma. Designed for students who did not graduate from high school but want a certificate equivalent to a traditional high school diploma, the program provides instruction and comprehensive review in language arts, writing, reading, math, science, and social studies. The course will focus on preparing students for college and assist those seeking enrollment in a SUNY Ulster degree or certificate program.
Classes will be held at the Kingston Center, 94 Mary’s Ave. A daytime class meets Monday through Thursday from March 9 through April 27 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The evening class meets Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from April 6 through June 9 from 5-8 p.m. Additional classes will be offered beginning in May. The fee for the class is $20 with an additional $20 textbook fee. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call (845) 339-2025 or register online at www.sunyulster.edu/ce.