2014 IN FOOD, COMMUNITY + EDUCATION
Season Four: Year in Review
John Waters popped our fundraiser cherry! October 18th, 2014, marked our first, major annual fundraiser event. Inspired and lead by our daring guest of honor John Waters, who offered gracious support of Basilica and the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. Photo above of the simply stellar turnout with special guests Amanda Palmer, Jemima Kirke, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Jennifer Venditti, Jesse Peretz, Natasha Lyonne, Fred Armisen, and the man himself – you don’t want to miss next year!
Basilica Farm & Flea, our biggest event of the year, capped off the 2014 season and promoted the resources and talents in our community while providing an alternative to the Black Friday “big box” holiday shopping experience. The wild onion of myth and mystery was again hailed, interpreted, and enjoyed at the 4th annual Ramp Fest. We educated ourselves on the sobering effects of crude oil transport along the Hudson River at a community meeting hosted by Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson and the Hudson Sloop Club. In the realm of community action, we were proud to host and support the Buy Local Chamber of Commerce Expo, the Hudson Sloop Club and Kite’s Nest, who are constantly teaching us things about discovery, the community and our place in it.
JOHN WATERS: ICONIC FILMMAKER COMES TO TOWN
With a mountain of smut and an ocean of heart, the inimitable John Waters commanded the Basilica stage with his hilarious and completely uncensored one-man-show This Filthy World Volume II. A performance to benefit Basilica Arts and the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, it was Waters’ only performance in the region, as well as his first, having arrived on the heels of his Lincoln Center retrospective. Part confession, part vaudeville act, he shared his origins in the trash genre and his subsequent adventures navigating everything from fashion to true crime. We LOVED bringing this pioneering entertainer to Hudson and hearing him riff on taboo topics as only the Pope of Trash can do.
BASILICA FARM AND FLEA BRINGS FESTIVE FUN
Farm and Flea, our Thanksgiving weekend marketplace, was a fantastic homegrown success. Only in its second year, we saw overwhelming support for small, authentic businesses and the Anti-Black Friday movement, with a turnout of 6,000+! With the help of our amazing roster of sponsors and our tireless event partners Hudson River Exchange, we worked with farmers, producers and makers in our region and beyond to serve up all things farm-fresh, handmade and community-minded. There was something for everyone to sample, sip, or sell: the Black Friday Soirée served up oysters, cocktails and pork belly sandwiches; a reading by Tessa Edick of FarmOn! Foundation; music all weekend; and wares offered by over 100 selected vendors. A sumptuous assortment of farm-to-table eats was on hand by local favorites Raven and Boar and others, and the local beer flowed from generous bar hosts Chatham Brewing– a fitting start to holiday season indulgences.
Abundant in the Hudson Valley, chefs and diners alike are swooning for these pungent wild spring onions and increasingly recognizing our region as a farm-to-table food mecca. The annual Ramp Fest celebration invited chefs from upstate New York and the big city to craft dishes featuring these popular forageable greens. It was a feast not to be missed down at the Hudson Waterfront, and founders Jeffrey Gimmel of Swoon Kitchenbar and Alison Riley once again brought together a high caliber of participating chefs who yielded excellent and creative dishes for the crowd.
CRUDE OIL ON THE HUDSON
Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson and Hudson Sloop Club hosted an informative presentation on the increasing hazards of crude oil transportation on our beloved Hudson River. The “virtual pipeline” created in New York State to transport millions of gallons of crude oil per day by rail car and river vessel also carries threats to public health, safety and the environment. Basilica, Scenic Hudson, and Riverkeeper all urged (and continue to encourage) the public to educate themselves about these risks and help in protecting our beloved watershed.
John Waters, Sean Nightingale, All Over Albany, Penelope Queen & the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, Finch: Life Curated, Columbia County Council on the Arts, Hudson River Exchange, Modern Farmer, Green Mountain Energy, Alimentary Kitchen, John Doe Records, Like Minded Objects, Swoon KitchenBar, Kite’s Nest, Hawthorne Valley, Camphill Village, Green Mountain Energy, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, FarmOn! Foundation, Tanamachi Studio, Hawkins New York, Hillrock Estate Distillery, Greene and Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, Hudson Sloop Club, Jeffrey Gimmel and Alison Riley of Ramp Fest
Benefit with Amanda Palmer, Jemima Kirke, Natasha Lyonne, Fred Armisen, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Jesse Peretz, Jennifer Venditti, Melissa Auf Der Maur, and John Waters by Joe-Mama Nitzberg, Farm and Flea courtesy of Hudson River Exchange, Ramp Fest by Akemi Hiatt, The Future of Oil on the Hudson courtesy of Hudson Sloop Club.