2017 IN FOOD + COMMUNITY
Season 7: Year in Review
Part 2 of 4. For a short review of our whole season, please click here.
Collaborative partners played a vital role in expanding our Basilica community in our seventh season. Environmental advocates and green companies were among the voices heard this past year, while the farm-fresh and local produce of independent farmers was at the heart of the nourishing food on offer. Thoughtful, experimental voices closed out Basilica SoundScape, while our community radio station broadcast 24-HOUR DRONE to devotees of sound across the airwaves. Plus explosive fireworks and fiery freaks communed to raise flags and funds for art, ritual and exchange.
The health and destiny of the Hudson River was at the heart of many of our community gatherings in 2017, thanks in no small part to collaborators Good Work Institute and Ocean’s 8 Films. We book-ended our season with two free community events centered around talented filmmaker Jon Bowermaster’s beautiful Hudson River Stories film series from Ocean’s 8 Films; The Hudson River at Risk in April and Hope on the Hudson in October. Environmental advocates and green organizations including Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, Good Work Institute, Clearwater and more joined us to discuss their work and teach us how we can get involved in preserving this precious and timeless asset to our region. Follow the links to learn more about their vital, era-defining work. Chronogram also made the Hudson River the focus of their Basilica-hosted Chronogram Conversations event in August, with an informed and dedicated audience joining us to discuss advocacy for the Hudson. The crew of the Schooner Apollonia hoisted their sail in Basilica’s industrial church, inviting the local community to learn more about their quest to restore the vessel and become a carbon-neutral cargo vessel on the Hudson. The hard-working women at the helm of several local food businesses also joined us to support the various events, with Tin Can Juicery at Hope On The Hudson, Lil Debs Oasis at Schooner Apollonia’s event and Maya’s Jams at Chronogram Conversations.
2017 saw two occasions for us come together to celebrate local and independent makers, artists, farmers and chefs, with over 100 regional vendors at TWO Basilica Farm & Flea marketplaces. The talented chefs behind Alimentary Kitchen and Raven & Boar provided sustenance for shoppers with light, bright meals using locally-sourced and farm-fresh ingredients, while environmental sustainability was at the core of the event, with vendors like Tidy Thyme and our long-time friends and allies Good Fight Herb Co espousing the virtues of all-natural, environmentally friendly products, and Zero To Go helping us get one step closer to our goal of Basilica Farm & Flea becoming a zero-waste event. They processed 178 lbs of waste, only 16 lbs (1 bag) of which was trash. Local talent became an immersive, all-welcome affair, with Hudson percussionist extraordinaire Mounanou Badila leading Farm & Flea in a series of drum circle workshops, and the girls of Perfect Ten after-school club offering henna and face-painting for a small donation to support their valuable work within Hudson.
We were inspired and ignited by the activists and volunteers who joined us, and were honored to be able to give the factory over to the community organizers of Rally In The Valley, whose Hudson-wide events raised awareness and valuable funds for the vital, life-changing work of Planned Parenthood. Our community radio station, WGXC, joined us for our annual homage to sound, 24-HOUR DRONE, with a record fair raising money for their work. Wild Gather Hudson Valley School of Herbal Studies returned to our green trailer with a series of events and workshops focused on self-care and nourishment. Operation Unite and Danette Gorman hosted a special community screening of Ketermaya: Closer Than You Think, Lucas Jedrzejak’s moving documentary portrait of a Syrian refugee camp. And who could forget the gravity-defying antics of the talented performers of St Julian’s Juggling Troupe from Gregory the Great Academy in Scranton, PA, who entertained us with a series of free performances back in May?
Our community joined us in force for our annual weekend of music and art, presented in collaboration with The Creative Independent. A new free event on Sunday organized by local artists Shanekia McIntosh and Joey DeJesus put the focus on Prayer, Protest and Peace. The event – titled The Triptych – was a thoughtful and experimental way to close out our weekend of bold and revolutionary voices. The performers were joined by a community of local artists and makers, with LikeMindedObjects, Enkyu, CMYLOOK, Lumpland and more showcasing their one-of-a-kind hand-crafted goods. Nicole LoBue of Alimentary Kitchen returned with delicious meals and fortifying teas to fuel us through the weekend, while our friends at Irving Farm Coffee Roasters provided caffeine. Our friends at our sister neighbourhood bar The Half Moon again opened their doors to Basilica-goers with nightly after-parties playing thoughtful and danceable mixes. Our friends at Sacred Bones Records returned, while we were happy to partner for the first time with Brooklyn’s The Lot Radio, a like-minded group of music obsessives who broadcasted live from the Back Gallery throughout the weekend, inviting artists and friends alike to select the soundtrack.
Explosive fireworks and fiery freaks came together for our annual ritual of raising flags and funds for art and exchange. We communed in celebration of music, community and experimentation with (FREAK) FLAG DAY, our dark, sharp, freakier counterpart to the Americana of Hudson’s Flag Day parade.
Literary luminaries communed with chefs, cooks and food enthusiasts as we collaborated again with the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses for the return of READ & FEED in July. Poets LaTasha N Nevada Diggs and Simone White discussed the role of food in their lives and work while cooking up salmon and collard greens, while attendees browsed a marketplace of independent and innovative publishers including Mosaic, Jarry, Belladonna, Princeton Architectural Press and Fence. Chef Rohan Kamicheril collaborated with the girls of Hudson’s Perfect Ten after-school club to create the Community Kitchen, a canteen of affordable global foods for attendees to enjoy throughout the readings, conversations and performances. Beacon-based butcher Barb gave us an insight into her work with a live sausage-making demonstration, with tasters on offer to sample the finished product.
The partnership and support of our local and international music communities helps us define our scope and mission. We are grateful for the opportunity to have expanded SoundScape and 24-HOUR DRONE internationally this year, and to deepen the Basilica connection with faraway devotees of art and experimentation. We spread the wings of our big factory dreams across the globe in 2017, with a series of international satellite events in Canada, the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden, with like-minded collaborators including Le Guess Who?, Fat Out, Winnipeg New Music Festival and Dream Music, who have helped expand our international Basilica community
Good Work Institute, Jon Bowermaster and Ocean’s 8 Films, Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, Clearwater, Chronogram, Schooner Apolloni, Tin Can Juicery, Lil Debs Oasis, CLMP, Green Mountain Energy, Zero To Go, Perfect Ten, Brandon Stosuy and The Creative Independent, Nicole LoBue of Alimentary Kitchen, Bob Van Heur and Le Guess Who? Festival, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, Shanekia McIntosh and Joey De Jesus of The Triptych, Fat Out Festival (Manchester, UK) and Dream Music (Malmo, Sweden), Rally In The Valley, WGXC/Wave Farm, Wild Gather, Operation Unite and Danette Gorman, Gregory the Great Academy
Alimentary Kitchen at Basilica Farm & Flea Holiday Market by Elise McMahon, Schooner Apollonia sails by Jason Marlowe, Barb The Butcher courtesy of the Barb’s Butchery, Beacon NY, Basilica Farm & Flea Holiday Market by Elise McMahon, Basilica SoundScape by Samantha Marble for The Creative Independent, (FREAK) FLAG DAY by Kate Orne, Meredith Graves courtesy of Le Guess Who? Festival, St Julian’s Juggling Troupe of Gregory The Great Academy