New Paltz to celebrate Juneteenth
The Elting Memorial Library, Historic Huguenot Street, Unison Arts and the village are teaming up to celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday, June 19.
A benediction and several speeches will take place at the Hasbrouck Park playground in New Paltz on June 19 at 11 a.m., as part of wider celebrations of Juneteenth in the community.
It was not until June 19, 1865, that some slaves in Texas heard that the president had freed them some two-and-a-half years earlier; the anniversary of that date is increasingly used to acknowledge the passing of the institution of one human being owning another as property into history. At the playground, mayor Tim Rogers will be joined by historian Susan Stessin-Cohn and history teacher Albert Cook in offering remarks. There will also be a performance by Resisterhood: New Paltz. The reverend Jennifer Berry will also speak and offer a benediction.
At last week’s Village Board meeting, trustee William Wheeler Murray said he would like to name the playground after Julia Jackson, a prominent 19th-century Village resident who was known as a storyteller, beloved by children. As Jackson was black, the hope was to include this naming as part of the broader Juneteenth activities, but Mayor Rogers suggested holding off to “build momentum” by getting opinions from historical experts and also public input on the idea.
Live music will be performed on Huguenot Street in New Paltz from 3 to 7 p.m. A family-friendly potluck or bring-your-own-picnic lunch on the lawn will also take place, and light refreshments will be provided.
Live music at Historic Huguenot Street will include Kyle G. Carlson, 7he 7eam, Dorian Randolph, Anthony Winn, Rich Kelly & Friends and an open jam/floetry session featuring Cosmal, who will be making both music and art, with the artwork created at the event to be raffled and the proceeds donated to the historic Pine Street African Burial Ground in Kingston.
“There are some things that are just bigger than all of us as individuals, which inspired me to shed more light on an important holiday like Juneteenth, which, more often than not, is overlooked and not widely celebrated,” said organizer and local musician Dorian Randolph. “As a community, and together with neighboring towns, I truly believe we can change that through education, music, film, love and togetherness in the future.”
At 7:30 p.m., the gates open at the Elting Memorial Library’s Vera Rushforth Reading Garden in the historic courtyard for an 8 p.m. guest speaker: Dr. Zelbert Moore, professor emeritus at SUNY New Paltz, who will address the origins of Juneteenth and introduce the documentary film Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre, to be screened in the courtyard at dusk. The event is first-come-first-served, free and open to the public.
“My hope was to create an experience that not only acknowledged the history, but celebrated the community and its commitment to social justice,” said organizer Anthony Winn. “Commemorating the end of our national horror and the growth of our society in the efforts over time to bend the arc toward justice, freedom and equality for all people. Our community has stood up for its neighbors to show that injustice is not acceptable, and we will not be silent when we face it, in any form. On the other side of this struggle is the need and value for celebrating this core sentiment, which I hope this event will represent: a celebration of our collective strength and shared appreciation for all that it has taken for society and communities like ours to stand and thrive in the spirit of unity and cross-cultural harmony.”
The Elting Library is located at 93 Main Street in New Paltz.
Unison Arts & Learning Center
The Unison Arts and Learning Center in New Paltz is also celebrating with the Juneteenth Prejudice Project Launch, taking place on Saturday evening, June 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Unison. A pair of tickets to this event will be raffled off at the Elting Library; stop in and visit the Library to enter your name and contact information. The raffle will take place during library opening hours through Thursday, with the winner being selected and notified on Thursday evening.
Unison is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz.
Primary & early voting info
Early voting for the June 22 primary will take place until June 20 in five Ulster County towns, as well as parts of the City of Kingston, for Democratic voters to select candidates to hold the Democratic Party line in the general election on Tuesday, November 2. Early voting will take place at the following locations: Woodstock Community Center, 56 Rock City Road, Woodstock; Saugerties Senior Center, 207 Market Street, Saugerties; Kingston Midtown Neighborhood Center, 467 Broadway, Kingston; SUNY Ulster, Senate Gym, Room 132, 491 Cottekill Road, Stone Ridge.
Polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 12, 13, 19 and 20; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 14, 16 and 18; and from noon to 8 p.m. on June 15 and 17. There will be no voting at the Saugerties Senior Center on Sunday, June 13. Eligible voters can cast their ballots at any of the early polling sites.
On Primary Day, Tuesday, June 22, eligible voters must vote at their regular polling site, except in Gardiner, where all voters will go to the Gardiner Town Hall. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• In Gardiner, two terms on the Town Board will end in 2021. Gardiner voters will choose two among Warren Wiegand, Carol Richman and Todd Baker for the Democratic nomination for Town Board in the June 22 primary.
• In Woodstock, Maria-Elena Conte, Howard Harris and Bennet Radcliff are on the ballot for the Democratic nomination in the June 22 primary.
• The Kingston Common Council will see two Democratic Party primary elections, highlighted by Ward 3, where incumbent Reynolds “Rennie” Scott-Childress will face off against former alderman Brad Will. In District 6 of the Ulster County Legislature, incumbent David Donaldson is seeking a 14th term, with a challenge from Philip Erner.
• Six candidates are running for two slots on the ballot for the Saugerties Town Board. The Saugerties Democratic Committee has endorsed Kevin Freeman and Kayleigh Zaloga. Also running are Lauren Ruberg, Nina Schmidbaur, Timothy Scott, Jr., and Diedre Miller. Chris Allen, Joe Maloney and John Schoonmaker are running in a primary election on June 22 for the Democratic nomination for District 2 representative on the Ulster County Legislature.
For more information on absentee voting, visit elections.ulstercountyny.gov/absentee-ballots-info.
Fluttering around Saugerties
Thirty-five butterflies appeared on the streets of the Village of Saugerties last week, where they will remain until Labor Day. This year’s theme is the same as last: “fluttering around Saugerties.” Every year, the theme is something related to Saugerties — like lighthouses and horses. Saugerties Chamber of Commerce Chair Mark Smith pitched the butterfly idea last year.
The butterflies were put in place at the end of May by Village of Saugerties Public Works Department employees. The Saugerties Chamber of Commerce includes a special walking map so residents and visitors alike can learn more about the artists behind each piece.
At the end of each summer, there is a “party-like” ticketed auction for each of the pieces of art to be sold, with the proceeds divided between participating artists, a chosen local charity, the Chamber of Commerce and a scholarship for a chosen Saugerties High School senior. Bidding is now open.
Photos of all the butterflies can be seen on the Chamber’s website at https://discoversaugerties.com/fluttering-around-saugerties-2021/.
Lara Hope, Kingston Happenings present Kingston Musicians’ Comeback
Kingston Happenings and Lara Hope will present the Kingston Musicians’ Comeback. This virtual event is a two-part series airing June 17 and 24, highlighting some of the area’s best talent through interviews and original video performances. Both shows will begin at 7 p.m., streamed from the Kingston Happenings Facebook and YouTube pages. Each night will feature ten performers.
Viewers can tune in to win gift cards from local businesses by answering Kingston-centric trivia questions in real time. All virtual donations made throughout the evening will go to Family of Woodstock’s John Herald Fund, helping local artists and musicians in financial need. The intent of the Kingston Musicians’ Comeback is to support local musicians who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Participating artists include Tony Lindsay (Santana), Rhett Miller, Mike + Ruthy, Dylan Doyle, Sarah Perrotta, the Mac $ Cheeze Balkan Power Trio, Geezer, Blue Museum, JK Vanderbilt, M’Bollo, Kortnee Simmons, Pitchfork Militia, Lucy FitzGibbon & Ryan MacEvoy McCullough, Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones, Shadow Witch, Greazy Kev, Nick Panken, Victoria Levy, Tonus Maximus and the Walking Bombs.
For information, visit Kingston Happenings Facebook at www.facebook.com/kingstonhappeningsofkingstonny or Kingston Happenings YouTube at www.youtube.com/channel/UC8UAvu3r3pjrJsWcYBJ-mKA/featured.
Ulster introduces at-home vaccinations
Ulster County executive Pat Ryan announced last week that the county is rolling out an initiative to vaccinate residents in their homes. Interested residents can either complete an online form or call the Ulster County Recovery Service Center to sign up. The form, at https://codev.ulstercountyny.gov/ihvp, can be filled out by any eligible individual who would like to participate.
This is part of the county’s efforts to ensure that the vaccine is as accessible as possible to all residents, especially those who are homebound or may have challenges traveling to walk-in clinics.
“While we have made major gains in our vaccination progress, we still have a ways to go, and ensuring that we can vaccinate all of our residents in a safe, rapid and equitable manner remains our top priority,” County Executive Ryan said. “If you are not able to come to us, we will come to you. We want to make getting vaccinated as easy as possible through offering in-home vaccinations. I encourage anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.”
For more information and questions, visit the Ulster County COVID-19 website or call the Recovery Service Center at (845) 443-8888.
Woodstock Diamond Dance Festival will be held on June 19
The Woodstock Diamond Dance Festival 2021 will take place on Saturday, June 19 at 2 and 4:30 p.m., outdoors under a tent at l766 Glasco Turnpike in Woodstock. This celebration of the art of contemporary dance and music is an event suitable for all ages. Opening the program, which has two showings, will be a premiere of Architects of Triumph, with music by Jo Blankenburg and choreography by Linda Diamond, performed by the entire Linda Diamond & Company. An outreach of hope and an uplifting message of renewal, this new work includes a section danced by Diamond with two student dancers: nine-year-old Niyah Berger and ten-year-old Luna Anata, who symbolize hope for the future through our children.
Other works include Music of the Spheres by Diamond, set to music by award-winning Woodstock composer Tom Desisto. Dancers who will perform this choreography, based on the Big Bang theory, are Michaella Barron and Marcos Antonio
Two sections from DanceVisions of Picasso will be presented. An excerpt from the Guernica section was created by Diamond under an award presented by Mayor David Dinkins for the Manhattan Cultural Council Foundation. The Les Saltimbanques section is based on the circus characters in Picasso’s Blue Period, reflecting the behind-the-scenes sadness of the glamorous circus characters. Originally the art was based on the commedia dell’arte style of performers who performed for royalty in Italy. Some of the masks are copied from this style and were obtained by choreographer Diamond during a visit to Venice while completing her MA at NYU.
“We need humor and an uplift during these difficult times. What better venue than the art of dance and music to enlighten our community with hope and reassurance of a better world?” said artistic director Diamond.
General admission costs $14, $6 for children. Reservations are required by calling (845) 679-7757.
Survivors of Racism Anonymous Support Group forms
A new Survivors of Racism Anonymous Support Group will meet via Zoom, bimonthly, on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 7 to 8 p.m. Survivors of Racism Anonymous is based on the Twelve Steps (adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous).
This is a new meeting, and all members of the community are welcome. Attendees are asked to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and a Zoom link and login information will be sent.
Topic of Cancer to convene September 22
Topic of Cancer, a new support group for cancer survivors and co-survivors, sponsored by Family of Woodstock Inc., will not meet on June 30, as previously advertised, due to competing vacation schedules, travel plans and general issues of availability during the summer months. The first meeting will take place on September 22 at 7 p.m. at the Woodstock Reformed Church on the Village Green. Subsequent meetings will be held on the fourth Wednesday of every month.
The group will be led by Jane Young, RN, NP, and Eric Glass; both are survivors. For more information or to reserve a spot, call (914) 466-2917 or (845) 750-1253.
“Owning Earth” exhibit opens June 26 at Unison
An opening event for Unison Arts & Learning Center’s “Owning Earth” Sculpture Garden Exhibit will be held on Saturday, June 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz (the rain date is Sunday, June 27 from 1 to 4 p.m.). Guests are asked to wear a mask when not seated and maintain social distancing.
“Join us at Unison’s sculpture garden for the launch of a truly incredible and ambitious exhibit,” says Ally Bell, Unison’s director of marketing and design. “This exhibit couldn’t be more timely, and incredibly talented artists from all over the world are coming together at Unison to explore the issues that plague the very survival of humanity.”
“Owning Earth” consists of 19 artistic responses to systems of human domination over our environments and the urgent need to enact futures guided by mutuality and reverence. The exhibition will be accompanied by a public event series and educational programs.
To help monetarily support the artists and their pieces in this show, donate to Unison’s GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/20c7421a.
Unison is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz. For additional information, e-mail email@example.com.
Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center hosts summer arts fair July 31
The Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, located at 9 and 12 Vassar Street in Poughkeepsie, celebrates its in-person return of the arts with CHAC Is Back! a summer arts and crafts fair on Saturday, July 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This outdoor and indoor event includes local artists and craftspeople displaying their work outside on the grounds of the 9 Vassar Street location and in that building’s Hallway Gallery, as well as in the two galleries of the Vassar Brothers Institute theater building, located at 12 Vassar Street.
Musicians from the Hudson Valley Folk Guild will be performing live throughout the day, and there are planned activities for children, courtesy of Renaissance Kids and Crazy over Art on Tour. Guided tours of both historic buildings will also be part of the festivities, along with food and beverages for purchase supplied by Schatzi’s Pub & Bier Garden.
“We are thrilled to be back after what seemed like an eternity, and are elated to provide this platform for artistic expression, which has been sorely missed,” said J. Andrew Burgreen, executive director of the Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center. “Once again, the arts can enrich our healthy personal interaction and humanity in a joyous community-oriented environment.”
Admission to CHAC Is Back! costs $5 for adults, with chances to win door prizes. Children under 16 years old will be admitted for free. Tickets can be purchased online at cunneen-hackett.org or by calling (845) 486-4571. Free parking will be available at the Main Street municipal parking lot. The Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center will follow all COVID-19 protocols in place at the time of the event.
Visual artists and craftspeople interested in displaying their artwork can contact Carol Padron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Active members’ group show on view at WAAM
Each year the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum (WAAM) invites five active members to exhibit their work. Each artist is awarded a wall to install a vibrant grouping of work. These artists have received active member status either through selection for a solo exhibition, because their work was accepted into four juried shows over the course of two years or because their work was accepted through WAAM’s in-person or online active-member jurying process.
The exhibit, on display through July 18, features work by Judy Abbott, Gail Albert, Cristeen Gamet, Calvin Grimm and Claudia Waruch.
WAAM is located at 28 Tinker Street in Woodstock. For additional information, visit www.woodstockart.org/featured-active-members-group-show.
Catskill Center founder Sherret Chase dies at 102
Catskill Center for Conservation and Development founder Sherret Spaulding Chase died on Monday, June 7 at his home in the Town of Olive, surrounded by his family. He was 102. Sherret Chase is remembered as a Catskills visionary, having founded the Catskill Center in 1969 with the dual mission of protecting the environment while spurring the region’s economy.
“The Catskill Center will take on the mantle of Sherret’s advocacy and try to make him proud,” said Jeff Senterman, executive director of the Catskill Center. “His unparalleled advocacy for the Catskills continued until the very end of his life, and he believed, as we do now, in the benefit of collaboration among the region’s stakeholders. While a Catskills region without Sherret Chase seems unimaginable, and he is inextricably linked to the Catskill Forest Preserve, the Catskill Center will carry on with his goals of conservation and development. Right now, our thoughts are with his family.”
In his biography from the Catskill Center’s 50th Anniversary publication in 2019, Natural Resources: 50 Stewards of the Catskills, Chase said that the ideas of conservation and development may have seemed antithetical to some. He said that the goal was to use the two principles together to protect against “mis-development” of the pristine Catskill region.
“Sherret Chase’s vision helped to significantly protect and enrich the Catskill Mountains,” said Margaret DiBenedetto, president of the Catskill Center Board of Directors. “The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development is one of Sherret’s many legacies, and will endure as long as there are people who live among and enjoy these mountains. On behalf of the Board of Directors, our hearts go out to the family and are heavy with his loss, but are light with the memories we have of his insightful leadership and gracious friendship.”
Sherret’s daughter, Helen K. Chase, serves as vice-chair of the Catskill Center’s Board of Directors.
Prior to founding the Catskill Center, Sherret Chase performed groundbreaking work in plant-breeding, including in corn genetics. He earned an undergraduate Botany degree from Yale University, a doctorate in Genetics from Cornell University and was awarded a fellowship at Harvard University in the area of forestry. Chase received numerous honorary degrees and awards.
Sherret Chase was born June 30, 1918 in Toledo, Ohio, son of the late Clement E. and Helen Mar Kelsey Chase. He was predeceased by his wife Catherine on November 2, 2012.
“Silhouettes” exhibit at Phoenicia Ulster Savings Bank
Ulster Savings Bank would like to invite the public to its 58 Main Street, Phoenicia branch to enjoy the latest art exhibit by photographer Mark McCarroll. His exhibit, called “Silhouettes,” will be on display at the branch for the month of June.
Inspired by local legends Thomas Cole, Pete Seeger and Rip Van Winkle, McCarroll brings his dog and camera on a journey of exploration and discovery for views of the Hudson River Valley and the Catskill Mountains. Contact McCarroll for sales and additional information at (845) 688-0120 or email@example.com.
For more information concerning the exhibit, contact Samantha Awand-Gortel, Phoenicia branch manager, at (845) 688-5965, extension 6701.
Highland’s Deyo House designated historic site
The Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society (TOLHPS) has received designation by both the New York State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places for the Hendricus Deyo Homestead, built in 1778 at 161 Vineyard Avenue in Highland. Donated to TOLHPS by Scenic Hudson, the Deyo Homestead is being restored and will become a museum and research library for the Town of Lloyd.
TOLHPS commissioned a Historic Structures Report, prepared by Larson Fisher Associates, Inc. This report includes a complete genealogical survey of the property ownership, going from the first deed records through the current day, as well as a complete survey of the existing structures and the physical progressions of architectural changes based upon subsequent ownership. Utilizing this document, a plan of restoration for the interior and exterior of the building has been created. This report was submitted to the New York State and National Registers, in support of the TOLHPS application.
The building has been stripped of the impact of later-20th-century improvements, and modern utilities have been brought into the house, including town water and sewer and underground electric service. The original wide-board floors, beams and fireplaces have been exposed and stabilized, awaiting further restoration. The front porch was demolished due to its deteriorated and hazardous condition. Ongoing stone repair and repointing are being accomplished.
TOLHPS has started a fundraising drive to fund the restoration. Contributions may be mailed to TOLHPS, PO Box 322, Highland NY 12528.
Upstate Films reopens in Rhinebeck June 18
After 460 days of a pandemic-related closure, Upstate Films has announced its return to the big screen at 6415 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck. Beginning Friday, June 18, Upstate will present a slate of new films, including In the Heights, Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street and Nomadland.
As far as safety measures, Upstate has upgraded its HVAC system, added touchless ticketing and reconfigured its lobby. Ticketing and reserved seating will be available via its new box office system, which will ensure that social distancing is maintained. By New York State mandate, all non-vaccinated patrons are required to wear masks when inside. Vaccinated patrons can choose whether to wear a mask.
Tickets cost $10 for the general public, $8 for students and senior citizens and $6 for Upstate members.
For additional information, call (845) 876 2515 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bearsville Theater launches Sunday jazz brunch series
The Bearsville Theater’s Lizzie Vann now presents Jazz in the Catskills, as the venue announces its jazz brunch concert series taking place every Sunday through Labor Day. Enjoy live jazz music, food and summer walks in the park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The brunch menu features handmade cocktails and an array of breakfast options.
“Our jazz brunch concert program was created largely as a platform to provide a home for jazz artists in the Catskills to be properly presented, compensated and supported. The majority of ticket revenues go directly to the artists, and patrons can be certain that they too are involved in supporting the heritage of our jazz community right here in Woodstock,” said Vann.
The complete lineup for the Bearsville Theater’s Sunday jazz brunch concert series includes: June 20, Pete Levin; June 27, Christine and Elliott Spero; July 4, the Peter Einhorn Trio; July 11, Elliott Spero; July 18, Chris Milletari; July 25, Ken McGloin and Jim Curtain; August 1, the Peter Einhorn Trio; August 8, Pete Levin; August 15, the Marrotta Trio; August 22, Baron Raymonde and Bennett Hiscox; August 29, Perry Beekman; and September 5, the Peter Einhorn Trio.
The admission cover charge is $10. The Theater is located at 291-297 Tinker Street in Woodstock.
Blue Mountain Church yard sale June 26
The Blue Mountain Reformed Church will hold a yard sale on Saturday, June 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the church, located at 10 Blue Mountain Church Road in Saugerties.
Bard College wins NEA grant for Big Read in Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Kingston
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with Arts Midwest, has awarded Bard College a $19,985 NEA Big Read grant to support the Big Read Hudson Valley: Spanning the Hudson River with Words in 2022. This dynamic communitywide reading program will offer reading groups, performances, workshops and events in Red Hook, Rhinebeck and Kingston, focused on the Big Read selection The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
Big Read Hudson Valley, which will take place next March and April, is a collaboration among Bard College and its Master of Arts in Teaching Program and La Voz magazine, with support from Bard’s Written Arts Program, the Bard Conservatory and Conjunctions literary journal, along with partner libraries and community organizations, including Radio Kingston, the Kingston Library, Red Hook Library, Tivoli Library, Starr Library, the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, Ramapo for Children, Oblong Books and Rough Draft Bar & Books.
“For 15 years, the NEA Big Read has supported opportunities for communities to come together around a book, creating a shared experience that encourages openness and conversations around issues central to our lives,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We congratulate all of the new NEA Big Read grantees and look forward to seeing the range of meaningful activities they create for their communities.”
Clarence Schmidt: The artist, the legend, the legacy
In 1928, 31-year-old Clarence Schmidt (with his cousin-bride) built a cabin on inherited acreage just outside Woodstock. Its stunning view of the Ashokan Reservoir is worth millions today. Not long after, Clarence began building a castle he’d seen in a childhood dream, constructed entirely from America’s castoffs, AKA: “our garbage.” He worked night and day for the next two generations in all but total seclusion.
He was resented, laughed at — if secretly feared — by most artists of Woodstock; neighbors brought lawsuits to have the “Dadist Disneyland” removed.
Clarence had long before been abandoned by his wife and — most would say — his mind. In 1963, he bought a shotgun and acquired a lawyer to protect his work. Then the counter-culture flocking to Dylan’s Woodstock supplied a rescue, embracing and defending him, as photographers and journalists fast following. Arson destroyed the castle. Clarence reeled but rebounded. Fire struck again. Hospitalized, he fought “institutional assistance” and vowed to return to his mountain. He never did.
Clarence died at the age of 81 in 1978 at Greene County Nursing Home (the same day as his polar opposite, Norman Rockwell, 200 miles away).
His tireless labor of nearly 50 years is — but for treasured artifacts — utterly gone today. And but for devotees in Outsider Art, he is forgotten. But — particularly at this moment when Woodstock has all but lost its identity as “haven for marginal figures” — Clarence’s lifelong labor in the “Land of Ecstasy” cries out for rediscovery.
Join native Woodstock artist, environmental activist and collector/defender of Schmidt, Calvin Grimm — along with Woodstock artist and Outsider Art expert, Roger Ricco (retired co-founder of Ricco-Maresca Gallery) and Tad Wise, whose extensive 2010 Woodstock Times article, “Clarence’s Ashes,” reawoke passionate interest in Schmidt a decade ago — with artifacts and films — they bring the legend back to life.
Two short films by Beryl Sokoloff documenting Clarence’s achievements will be shown on Saturday, June 26 from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum (WAAM). Purchase tickets in advance at woodstockart.org (select “events” then “tickets” under June 26).
Bring a mask. Distanced seating will be limited.
2021 tour dates for John Burroughs’ Slabsides
John Burroughs’ cabin Slabsides will be open for tours from noon to 4 p.m. on June 19 and 26; July 10, 17 and 24; August 7, 14 and 28; September 11 and 25; and October 2. Slabsides and the John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary are located at 261 Floyd Ackert Road in West Park.
Eleanor’s piano returns home
A treasured instrument returned to Eleanor Roosevelt’s home at Val-Kill in Hyde Park on June 4. Through a generous donation by Maria Gurewitsch Brand and her family, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Steinway baby grand piano is now part of the historic collection of Mrs. Roosevelt’s possessions at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.
Purchased by Mrs. Roosevelt on November 5, 1936, the New York Grand Model M was delivered by Steinway and Sons to her Hyde Park residence on June 23, 1937. The piano added to the welcoming environment of Mrs. Roosevelt’s home at Val-Kill, where she and President Roosevelt received friends, family, state dignitaries and political colleagues. In 1959, Mrs. Roosevelt gifted the piano to her personal physician, Dr. David Gurewitsch, on the occasion of his wedding to Ms. Edna Perkel. The piano has remained with the Gurewitsch family since that time.
Before settling into the house at Val-Kill, the piano will be on exhibit this next year at the Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library. The National Park Service is partnering with the National Archives at the Presidential Library to showcase this special instrument, along with stories, photos and history of the Roosevelts and the Gurewitsches.
More information on the exhibition and opening dates will be released this summer by the Presidential Library.
Read with Dogs at Gardiner Library
The Gardiner Library will hold its Read with Dogs program in person on Thursday, June 24 from 4 to 5 p.m. Beginning and struggling readers sign up for a 15-minute time slot to read to certified therapy dogs.
Please sign up ahead of time. Spaces are limited. The program will also have available reading slots on July 22 and August 19.
Gardiner Library presents Slow Jam
The Gardiner Library will once again offer a Slow Jam on Sunday, June 20 from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m. Players meet outdoors, maintaining social distancing. All musicians and acoustic instruments are welcome.
The Slow Jam allows those new to playing an acoustic instrument to practice with some friendly local musicians. Musicians gather to play old-time, folksongs, bluegrass, Western and other homespun-type songs. Participants play at a slower pace, so everyone is given the chance to learn the songs. There’s no audience and no pressure. The Slow Jam takes place on the third Sunday of every month.
The library is located at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike in Gardiner. For further information, call (845) 255-1255 or visit www.gardinerlibrary.org.
Hudson River Playback Theatre is back
The New Paltz-based Hudson River Playback Theatre will offer an outdoor in-person show on Thursday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m., at the Rail Trail Café, where audience members will be invited to share personal stories and see them enacted on the spot, along with improvisational music.
The Rail Trail Café is located at 310 River Road Extension in New Paltz, right beside the parking lot on Stone Mountain Farm off Springtown Road. The Café serves food and drinks.
Admission is free and all are welcome.
Saugerties Dems to elect new officers
The offices of secretary and treasurer of the Saugerties Democratic Committee have been vacated by the individuals now holding those positions. The election of two new officers will take place at the June 27 meeting of the committee.
To be elected, one has to be an enrolled Democrat residing in the Town of Saugerties, but it is not necessary to be a member of the committee. An officer nominated must be approved by a majority of the voting members of the committee present and eligible to vote. The persons elected will complete the term of the resigning officers, which is September 2022. To be considered a candidate, a person must be nominated and seconded by voting members of the committee. If you are interested in being considered for these positions, please contact the committee chair at email@example.com.
Food Bank’s Walk to Fight Hunger at Dutchess Fairgrounds June 19
The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley’s Walk to Fight Hunger will be held on June 19 at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. Every dollar that is raised helps the Food Bank and affiliates provide four meals for members of our local community. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at 6636 Route 9 in Rhinebeck.
For additional information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ulster County Italian American Foundation announces award winners
The Ulster County Italian American Foundation (UCIAF) has announced the 2021 recipients of its annual educational and community grants.
Anna Brett, the educational awards chairperson, and her committee selected the following winners for the annual $750 award: Jordan Carbone, Marlboro, High School; Joseph Ciardi, Kingston High School; Alaina Cupo, Highland High School; Cambria D’Aprile, Onteora High School; Gregory Marcinik, Wallkill High School; Margo Picuri, Rondout Valley High School, Lauryn Ronk, New Paltz High School; and Charlie Ann Sasso, Saugerties High School. The Foundation has been awarding these grants for the last six years to Ulster County high school seniors who are planning on attending a two- or four-year college in the fall.
In addition to the educational awards, UCIAF will award five $500 community grants to a group of outstanding Ulster County not-for-profit organizations. The 2021 recipients are: Angel Food East, Boy Scouts of America/Rip Van Winkle Council, Hudson Valley Hospice Foundation, Resource Center for Accessible Living (RCAL) and the Ulster Literacy Association. This grant program is in it’s second year and is part of the Foundation’s Community Care Program.
Since its inception in June of 2015, UCIAF has in total awarded $38,500 in Educational Awards, $5000 for Community Grants and approximately $8,000 in Community Care donations.
Both these awards and grants will be given out at the Thursday, June 29 membership meeting at the HITS Pavilion in Saugerties starting at 6 p.m. This dinner, catered by Diamond Mills, costs $37.50 per seat and is open to the public. Reservations can be made at www.uciaf.org.
“We are very excited to meet again as a group in person and continue to support our community,” said Les Lombardi, UCIAF president. “The Educational Awards have been part of our Foundation since the beginning and the Community Grants have added another dimension. We look forward to a great evening”.
UCIAF is an all-volunteer 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit foundation dedicated to preserve, promote and celebrate the rich Italian American culture of Ulster County and support the community. Membership is open to men and women of Italian Heritage and currently numbers around 300. For dinner reservations, more information about the organization and its numerous upcoming activities, visit www.uciaf.org.
Kaatsbaan hosts artists’ reception, sculpture tour
A special reception in honor of the 13 sculptors who have loaned their artwork to the Kaatsbaan Cultural Park for the summer season of performances, dance residencies and festivals will be held on June 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Kaatsbaan Cultural Center, located at 120 Broadway in Tivoli. These contemporary sculptures are installed throughout the meadows and woodland walkways of the 153-acre property that is now an internationally renown dance residency. Along with the reception, the sculptors will be available to discuss their art and work process during a casual tour of the grounds.
Because of the nature of the Kaatsbaan Dance Residency Program, quarantine protocols are in place and guests need to sign up for this free event in advance. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Jen Dragon via e-mail at email@example.com or text/cell (845) 399-9751. For additional information, visit https://bit.ly/ccpkbaanex.
SunCommon hosts first in-person team event, plants trees with Kingston Land Trust
After a year of working remotely, the SunCommon team took a first step towards returning to in-person gatherings with an all-staff day of community service on May 14.
Pausing operations for the day, the team split up between four sites in Kingston and the Town of Ulster to support ecological land stewardship projects. Roughly 40 SunCommon staff members, along with staff from the Kingston Land Trust and Seed Song Farm, planted and prepared the ground for hundreds of native perennial shrubs and trees while also constructing a tree nursery at Seed Song Farm. SunCommon closed its offices in New York and Vermont for this annual volunteer day.
“We are working to renaturalize the floodplain of the Esopus Creek for the many environmental benefits a natural buffer offers, including filtering runoff, capturing atmospheric CO2 and providing food and habitat for wildlife”, said Greg Shaheen, conservation manager for Kingston Land Trust. “We like to choose plants that also have edible or medicinal uses for humans and to build spaces for the community to grow vegetables alongside the native plants. We are so grateful to SunCommon for their support in all of this and the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program’s ‘Trees for Tribs’ initiative for providing the native shrubs and trees.”
“Tree planting is a natural fit for SunCommon as we’re always looking for ways beyond our work installing solar power where we can address the climate crisis,” said Jake Elliott, SunCommon’s partnership manager and the event organizer. “With the majority of our team having received the Covid-19 vaccine, the timing was great to host an outdoor event to safely get people together after so much time apart.”
While SunCommon hopes to reopen their two offices by the end of the summer, they, like many other companies, have adapted to remote work. Since last March, SunCommon hired over 35 people, so for many new staff members, this event was the first time they were meeting their coworkers face to face. “It was a great event to get to know many of our new colleagues, working side by side planting trees,” said Susannah Bradley, marketing director for SunCommon.
Learn more at https://suncommon.com/work-at-suncommon/.
Mushroom Shed extends grow kit sale to increase partnership with Poughkeepsie Farm Project
Mushroom Shed, in partnership with Poughkeepsie Farm Project, is extending its pre-order deadline for community members to purchase mushroom grow kits for in-person pick-up. When you buy a kit, you give a kit to Poughkeepsie Farm Project’s (PFP) Green Jobs Youth Internship and Poughkeepsie Food Power/Grow at Home programs. Orders placed by June 20 will be available for pickup Saturday, June 26 from 3-5 p.m. at 6 Broadhead Avenue on Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz. Visitors can tour the community mushroom garden and learn more about the project from Mushroom Shed volunteers. Orders can be placed at Mushroomshed.us.
The mushroom grow kits include everything needed to grow oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds and cardboard in a quart container (small kit) or bucket (large kit), including a simple how-to video. Kits include PDFs with cooking tips and information on how to grow and care for the mushrooms. After purchase, customers will receive an email confirmation that must be presented at the time of pick-up. Pricing is on a sliding scale.
Amanda Heidel, member of the Mushroom Shed Collective said, “The Mushroom Shed started as a thesis project in sculpture at SUNY New Paltz and has grown and evolved with the community to meet the needs of those involved. We are excited to pilot this new program and to partner with PFP to make mushroom education more accessible.”
To learn more about Mushroom Shed, the kit sale or Volunteer opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Takeout ham dinner June 26 at Shady Methodist Church
A takeout ham and strawberry dessert dinner will be available on Saturday, June 26 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Shady Methodist Church.
The cost is $14 for adults and $7 for children. No reservations are required. The church is located on Church Road — Route 212, five miles west of Woodstock.