2018 Year In Review
In the wake of our eighth season of programming, we embark on hibernation and gain perspective on where we went together this year. As always we welcomed talented new individuals to the Basilica family in the form of visiting artists, activists, collaborators, supporters and team members. We dreamed big and expanded our programming across the board, from film, to music, to visual art, to environmental advocacy. Thanks to enhanced support we increased the number of FREE programs that we were able to offer, to more readily come together in this remarkable river city.
Here are some highlights:
Our 2018 music program focused on presenting a genre-spanning, international array of artists pushing the boundaries of what is possible when collaboration and interaction are placed at the forefront.
Our two annual music festivals, Basilica SoundScape and 24-HOUR DRONE invited artists – from contemporary Indonesian gamelan to politically motivated post-punk – who eschew conventional aesthetics in favor of true innovation.
We recreated Montreal here in Hudson for a one-off show with old friends Godspeed You! Black Emperor. We hosted a fully improvised sunset homage to jazz icon Jeanne Lee by alt-composer Matana Roberts. Our friends at Art Omi returned, inviting their 2018 music residents for a free afternoon of avant-garde improvisations. La Force (Ariel Engle of Broken Social Scene) celebrated the release of her debut record with a full band show. Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Zachary Lipez and Stacy Wakefield showcased a live music, photography, reading hybrid of their new book 131 Different Things.
Our biennial Pioneering People Basilica Benefit this year honored artist, feminist and pioneer Courtney Love, with musicians from Justin Vivian Bond & Kenny Mellman to the teenage girls of Woodstock’s Rock Academy honoring Courtney Love’s music with innovative reworkings and reimaginings.
Film & Media
Thanks to new support in 2018, we were able to make our film program entirely free for the first time since we opened, inviting audiences to experience the power of the big screen at no cost to attendees. Our Basilica Non-Fiction Screening Series focused on showcasing diverse stories from one of a kind voices, from a special preview hometown screening of Daniel McCabe’s unflinchinng, affecting This Is Congo to Stephanie Wang-Breal’s intimate, intricate Blowin’ Up, with many filmmakers joining us in discussion following the screenings.
The scope and breadth of our film program was also bolstered by a new partnership with YouthFX and NeXt Doc – an Albany-based organization committed to training and inspiring the next generation of filmmakers – who screened a selection of work by their own young filmmakers.
Young film-lovers were also represented in our new partnership with the Hudson Area Public Library, who joined us for a FREE public screening of the work created by Hudson tweens as part of their Hack The Library summer program, with support from filmmakers Zia Anger and Theo Anthony.
Our family matinee series was expanded thanks to a new collaboration with the New York International Children’s Film Festival, whose Kid Flicks series of international shorts kept us entertained through summer Sunday afternoons, including a special Spanish language program.
The health and future of the region in which we make our home is our key concern at this crisis point in our planet’s climate. We once again partnered with National Geographic filmmaker Jon Bowermaster of Oceans 8 Films to present Basilica’s Hope On The Hudson Series, screening Jon’s stunning short films focusing on different threats and opportunities to our region’s waterways.
Our Basilica Back Gallery artist in residence program returned for its second year, inviting a broad range of local artists into our white cube gallery to create work inspired by Hudson and the surrounding region, from Joe Mama-Nitzberg’s affecting Things Remembered to Annie Bielski’s Clearance.
Visual artists brought color and light to all our programs, including Jungil Hong’s lush, tactile textiles to Laleh Khorramian’s ambitious, striking Main Hall takeover installation at Basilica SoundScape. SoundScape’s literature component also returned in full force, with the poems and essays of Hanif Abdurraqib sticking in our minds well into the fall. Our Psychic Green Trailer also hosted two separate residencies in 2018, from Drew Joy’s sound art residency ahead of 24-HOUR DRONE to sculptor Marka Kiley’s multimedia nature photography. Our Pioneering People Basilica Benefit honoree Courtney Love inspired performance work by Zia Anger and Annie Bielski and Davon, among others. Weaver Margot Becker joined us as the sole time-keeper at our 24-HOUR DRONE long-form homage to sound, weaving uninterrupted for the full 24 hours.
Food & Community
We once more presented two large scale Basilica Farm & Flea marketplaces, inviting over 20,000 visitors to sample the bounty and splendour of our beautiful region at the booths of over 200 local and independent artists, makers, farmers, collectors and chefs.
Basilica’s chef-in-residence Nicole LoBue of Alimentary Kitchen returned for our 8th season, serving up light, bright and locally sourced meals at Basilica Farm & Flea Spring Market, 24-HOUR DRONE and Basilica SoundScape.
We once again opened up the Sunday of SoundScape as a free event, hosting both Hudson community radio station WGXC’s Record Fair and the return of Triptych – a multidisciplinary day of performance hinged on queer performers of color. Hosted by Hudson writer/performer Shanekia McIntosh and NYC poet Joey De Jesus, Triptych also featured the talents of dancer Davon, musician Don Christian and queer performance artist Martine Gutierrez, among others.
We were proud and honored to place our reclaimed factory in the hands of many of Hudson’s inspiring community groups for their own programs. Our neighbors at alternative education non-profit Kite’s Nest hosted several programs in the factory this season, from their ambitious and creative Camp Cardboard to their multidisciplinary Social Justice Leadership Academy summer program, whose participants created an Afrofuturist public Back Gallery visual art show open to all. We expanded our partnership with Perfect Ten after-school club, welcoming teens Quianna and Zarria to Basilica to take part in a work training program ahead of Basilica Farm & Flea Holiday Market.
Over the next two years, Basilica will redouble our efforts to provide free community space, and to expand our free programs and regional partnerships by taking on the immediate climate and energy crisis our planet faces. Help us expand our programming into 2019 and beyond by contributing to our programs, or by becoming a Basilica Member.
COLLABORATORS: Ocean’s 8 Films, Good Work Institute, True/False film festival, Youth FX, NeXt Doc, Le Guess Who?, Alimentary Kitchen, WGXC/Wave Farm, Shanekia McIntosh, Joey De Jesus, The Creative Independent, Second Ward Foundation, The Half Moon, LikeMindedObjects, Sarah Van Buren
IMAGE CREDITS: Samantha Marble, Jennifer Lynn Morse, Tomm Roesch, Catherine Dodge, Richard Lovrich, Zebi Williams, Elise McMahon