2016 IN FOOD + COMMUNITY
Season Six: Year In Review
Part 4 of 4. For a short review of our whole season, please click here.
What a year for community! Double the Farm & Flea with the springtime unveiling of a new event, a delicious pairing of Hudson Valley-made edibles on the rise, a marathon reading of Cage-ian proportions, a plethora of new partnerships, free film screenings for old and young, the return of wunderkind jugglers throwing fire around our industrial church like WHAT… and… the birth of Baby Basilica! Continued good work from our beloved neighbors-in-the-nest and a talented, potion-making chef, the return of a local-led business expo, and a recent end-cap which brought together a growing community of Hudson Valley activists who reminded us that thinking globally and acting locally is still the way to go. And wait until you hear about all the carbon a community supporter has offset while being on-site.. in our monument to industries past. Hooray for our tiny-but-mighty city nestled between the ancient Taconic foothills and the grand Hudson River!
Basilica Farm + Flea
Since Farm & Flea’s inception in four years ago, we have expanded! This year we were proud to present three dynamic and seasonally appropriate markets— our fourth annual Holiday Market during Thanksgiving weekend, our Mini Farm & Flea, once again the Sunday “recovery day” during our whirlwind weekend of music and art that is September’s Basilica SoundScape, and new in 2016, our first annual Spring Market, during Mother’s Day weekend.
Basilica Farm & Flea Spring Market featured vintage objects for home and garden, wild edibles, crafts and more. Dedicated to making, collecting, and exchange the market proudly honors various traditions, passions and our shared responsibility to maintaining a sustainable collective community. The weather was blustery with rays of sun, green buds peeped from trees, and over 4,000 visitors from far and wide met down at Basilica to herald in the warmer months with many-a-mom in tow. And to top it off, Swoon Kitchenbar, Bonfiglio & Bread and Rivertown Lodge transformed our West Wing into a bonafide restaurant and bar.
Etsy Hudson brought a volunteer force to be reckoned with, helping the event run as smoothly as ramp butter spread on a piece of Camphill bakery rye, and has generously sustained their support the whole season through. And speaking of which, Camphill Copake supported us through and through, from spring to fall, as a stalwart supporter of Basilica Farm & Flea. It’s an honor to offer a platform to showcase their sunshine community and products of utmost quality and integrity. And of course, energy pioneer Green Mountain Energy has been an incredible pillar of support — more on that below!
Basilica Farm & Flea Holiday Market is both an alternative to Black Friday shopping as well as the late fall bookend to Basilica Farm & Flea Spring Market which premiered earlier this year. Three action-packed days of community exchange, awesome food, sharing with friends and powerful conversations marked the return of this beloved event, supporting our local economy. This years’ Holiday Market brought with it the return of old friends’ support such as aforementioned Green Mountain Energy, Etsy Hudson, Camphill Village, Columbia County Tourism, Upstate Diary and All Over Albany, with the addition of new friends Lumberyard, Nicole Vidor Real Estate, Stair Galleries and Wm Farmer + Sons. Fish & Game / Lady Jayne’s Alchemy were back on site for a second year of highbrow holiday mixology merriment. And the weekend was made a little brighter by the wonderful and capable young women from the Perfect 10 After School program — relieving vendors who needed quick breaks, painting the faces of willing passersby, and making hand-crafted items on-site. These ladies are the coolest and their energy is infectious.
Basilica Farm & Flea is dedicated to supporting the abundance of passionate and talented farmers, collectors, local businesses, chefs and artisans in the Hudson Valley. This year we presented Spring Market in collaboration with Hudson River Exchange, and Holiday Market in collaboration with Elise Mcmahon of likemindedobjects. We are honored to provide a platform and gateway to support and sustain a growing “Buy Local” economy here in the Hudson Valley.
(FREAK) FLAG DAY
For the 5th year in a row, on Saturday June 11, Basilica Hudson hosted the after-dark (FREAK) FLAG DAY party—a freakier counterpart to the city of Hudson’s annual Flag Day parade and fireworks show. The event raised flags and funds for Basilica’s nonprofit arts programming, bringing innovative and avant-garde artists and art happenings to upstate NY.
But before we get there — earlier on Saturday, the city of Hudson’s Flag Day festivities included a parade down Warren Street and a festival at the Henry Hudson Riverfront with entertainment, kiddie rides, food, an air show and more! 10,000 – 12,000 people gather for this annual event. It is a true small-city community experience with a good dose of Lynchian-Americana! And this year, Basilica worked with Catskill artist Matt Bua to create a “Baby Basilica,” a scaled-down model of our beloved Industrial Church, which fit atop a Volkswagen Beetle and was paraded down Warren Street in broad daylight as part of Hudson’s annual Flag Day parade, spreading Basilica love and inclusivity all the way down Warren Street, back to our factory down by the river.
As darkness fell, Basilica embraced everything dark and comedically tragic as we presented Darkwave Comedy hosted by Hudson-based artist Annie Bielski, music by NYC duo MIRROR MIRROR and DJs VEENGER CLUT, DJ Nick and SVB.
Co-Founder & Director Melissa Auf Der Maur said, “We are committed to doing this annual event in response to and in celebration of Flag Day. Excited to participate in the dialogue of Hudson pride traditions, in our own Basilica way…There has been a great response to past incarnations of this event, by locals and visitors alike.”
This year will have a whole new taking-back-the-flag meaning! We’re looking forward to exploring that with our Hudson community.
Read & Feed
Basilica Hudson and CLMP (Community for Literary Magazines and Presses), presented Read & Feed on July 30. A non-traditional book festival, Read & Feed offers a platform for writers to connect in new ways with fans within the performative context of Basilica’s space. This projected annual event brings together two distinct-and-growing communities in the Hudson Valley — artisanal makers of food and artisanal makers of literature. Our inaugural “mini-festival” featured panel discussions featuring writers, farmers and chefs, cooking and mixology demonstrations, a marathon reading of John Cage’s Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) co-presented by The John Cage Trust and featuring two dozen performers, a marketplace featuring more than twenty small press publishers and artisanal food makers, plus spectacular eats and drinks courtesy of Spotty Dog Books & Ale, MOTO Coffee/Machine and Raven & Boar. Much of Read & Feed was broadcast live on Wave Farm’s community radio station for Columbia and Greene Counties, WGXC 90.7-FM, and streamed online at wavefarm.org.
Read & Feed was an exciting pilot program for us, with many lessons learned and we are deeply grateful for the incredible commitment that everyone offered to the event this year. This event was supported in part by Amazon Literary Partnership.
Hudson Valley Cider & Cheese Tasting and Market
Over 30 hard cider producers and cheese makers from across the region kicked off Hudson Valley Cider Week, proving that cider and cheese are a perfect pairing. The event was co-presented with Glynwood, a nonprofit based in Cold Spring, NY whose mission is to ensure the Hudson Valley is a region defined by food, where farming thrives. Basilica and Glynwood worked in collaboration with Talbott & Arding and Gaskins, who transformed Basilica’s West Wing into a farm-to-table restaurant and bar.
Participating cider makers included Breezy Hill Orchard, whose founder Elizabeth Ryan has been working with conservation groups in hopes of having her farms permanently protected from the rampant development that has taken over the Hudson Valley region, making it difficult for farmers to secure land. This is part of a larger conversation amongst farmers, conservation groups and lawmakers in an effort to set aside money in the state’s municipal budget for the preservation of farmland in the Hudson Valley. Read more here.
Other cider makers echoed the importance of land preservation and sustainability. One friendly cider maker from Aaron Burr Cider in the ‘Gunks explained that cider apple trees are heirlooms, cherished for successive generations — much like old grapevines in Tuscany; much different than the arguably less sustainable practice of harvesting grain and hops for brewing beer.
At the end of the day, both visitors and vendors alike left with full bellies and fuller hearts. So… cheers to that!
Our next-door-neighbor and stalwart provider of innovative and inclusive alternative education, Kite’s Nest, has been an anchor on Hudson’s waterfront. Kite’s Nest creates safe supportive learning environments that nurture the confidence, skills, joy, and collective leadership of young people while building justice and equity in our communities. Basilica hosted workshops and a culminating event related to their after school teen programs and their summertime Social Justice Leadership Academy (SJLA), a five-week summer leadership training for teenagers growing up in Hudson, based on the principles of social justice and youth-led change.
We are eternally grateful for the partnership and friendship of Nicole LoBue, Culinary Arts Director of the Alimentary Kitchen and former Co-Director / Program Director of Kite’s Nest. A professional chef, herbalist and educator whose kitchen achieves an artful balance of natural, wild, holistic and refined, Nicole savors the raucous joy of meals, from her collaborations with renowned kitchens, institutions, and individuals to running cafes and apothecaries with children and teenagers. Under Nicole’s guidance, the Alimentary Kitchen is dedicated to linking deliciousness with wellness and education, supporting people in integrating local food into daily life and participating in the wellness of their communities. Look out for Nicole’s transcendent cuisine, served at many Basilica community events throughout the season, and more projects to be announced.
Gregory the Great Academy
As spring turns a corner into summer at the end of May, we anxiously anticipate the return of Saint Julian’s Juggling Troupe from Gregory the Great Academy in Scranton, PA. Every year, this talented band of brothers storms Basilica and dazzles an all-ages crowd with their old timey circus skills. This year, their pirate-themed Dead Men Tell No Tales show was a delightful swashbuckling adventure on the high seas complete with fire juggling, sea shanties and sea monsters on eight-foot unicycles. Basilica is proud to host their annual performances, from which all proceeds go towards costs associated with their senior class pilgrimage to Rome.
Green Mountain Energy
Basilica Hudson is 100% solar powered! Our commitment to clean and renewable energy is enhanced by the presence of our great friends and supporters at Green Mountain Energy for three years in a row. You may have seen them (or spoken to them, or even signed up for their clean, renewable energy) at many of Basilica’s community events throughout the season.
Orange & Rockland Sales Team Leader Scott Weissman tells us if you add up all the customer sign-ups they’ve achieved at Basilica events since we began our partnership in 2013, based on 700KwH of average monthly electricity usage, it offsets over 2,430,000 pounds of CO2 annually!
That’s equivalent to:
- Planting over 252,000 trees
- 2,641,664 car miles not driven
- 1,176,184 lbs of coal not burned
- 2,552 barrels of oil not consumed
- Switching 39,072 incandescent lamps to LEDs
Basilica’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in Green Mountain Energy’s mission. Together we are changing the way power is made in the Hudson Valley… and beyond.
We’ve enjoyed our ever-growing partnership with Etsy Hudson, which began back in the Spring when their volunteers helped our tiny team accomplish the first ever Basilica Farm & Flea Spring Market. What a weekend! It was a joy to work alongside each of them, especially HR/Hudson Site Lead Triona Fritsch who really got the ball rolling (as she rolled up her sleeves). It didn’t matter what the task involved — Etsy Hudson GOT IT DONE.
As the season progressed, we were lucky to host several subsequent visits from the Etsy cohort… always a dream to see their faces!
And last fall, Etsy’s nonprofit arm, Good Work Institute, paid a visit to Basilica, engaging our Co-Founder and Director Melissa Auf der Maur and Hudson’s first elected woman mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton in a rousing conversation about creative placemaking and social responsibility. And the conversation continues!
Community x Film + Media
Basilica Free Community Screenings are part of Basilica Hudson’s broader roster of free and accessible programs for new and local audiences. Basilica Hudson is committed to extending and expanding its partnerships with its community through two programs: Bollywood @ Basilica and River’s Pics, to serve new audiences and offer platforms for new programming. Basilica Free Screenings highlights the magic of the big screen for all in our North Hall, generously supported by the Milling-Smith Family. For more information about our Film + Media programs, please click here.
Basilica and Second Ward Foundation teamed up again, in association with VISIONAIRE FILM, last June to present Matthew Placek’s 3D moving portrait, 130919 • A Portrait of Marina Abramović, an immersive site-specific installation. The work, originally created in the town of Hudson, was installed in the Second Ward Foundation’s ground floor and open to the public for view for three weeks. And as part of our annual (FREAK) FLAG DAY festivities on June 11, Basilica and Second Ward presented a new work-in-progress screening by Placek entitled Balloons, Umbrellas, and Snow, which continued Placek’s ongoing exploration of memory and the immortalization of people, relationships and time through Placek’s 25-year archive of 17,000 35mm snapshots.
At the close of our season, Basilica offered our screening room to local Oscar-nominated director and activist Fidel Moreno, who screened a rough cut of STANDING WITH STANDING ROCK and engaged the audience in a lively conversation. Culled from 18 hours of interviews with 33 people at the Standing Rock encampment — including youth, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, First Nation people and non-Indian supporters — STANDING WITH STANDING ROCK is an ongoing documentary project, still being shot on location, chronicling the story of the protesters at Standing Rock and their connection to the history of the American Indian Movement on their treaty-given lands of the American west. 100% of event proceeds went towards the Standing Rock encampment.
Kite’s Nest, Alimentary Kitchen, Hudson River Exchange, Glynwood, clmp, likemindedobjects, Swoon Kitchenbar, Talbott & Arding, Gaskins, Bonfiglio, Rivertown Lodge, Spotty Dog, Fish & Game / Lady Jayne’s Alchemy, Hudson Chamber of Commerce, Green Mountain Energy, Camphill Village, Perfect Ten After School, Etsy Hudson, Gregory the Great Academy
Basilica Farm & Flea Holiday Market by Bryan MacCormack and Jeff Newell, (FREAK) FLAG DAY by Tomm Roeschlein, READ & FEED courtesy of CLMP, Cider & Cheese by Andi State, Kite’s Nest Social Justice Leadership Academy by Bryan MacCormack, Saint Julian’s Juggling Troupe by Sarah Roberts Hale, Still from 130919 • A PORTRAIT OF MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ