New programs and partnerships aimed at increasing climate action and sustainable community development in the City of Hudson
Hudson NY - Basilica Hudson, a leading nonprofit multi-disciplinary arts center founded by musician Melissa Auf der Maur and filmmaker Tony Stone, celebrates its 10-year anniversary with the expansion of BASILICA GREEN, the institution's mission to increase climate action through innovative cultural programming.
Building on Basilica Hudson’s long-standing commitment to the Hudson waterfront and environmental advocacy, BASILICA GREEN aims to join cultural activism with ecological responsibility to regenerate the planet, people and economy. In 2020, BASILICA GREEN will include new public programs, localized green initiatives and strategic partnerships to foster equity, environmental stewardship and sustainable community development.
“When we started Basilica, providing a platform for independent voices and artists was our goal. In the past decade, Hudson and the world has changed significantly and our responsibility is for the mission to evolve with the needs around us. With BASILICA GREEN, we look forward to aiding the creation of new green workforce development opportunities through the Basilica Net Zero Campus project, planting the seeds for the Hudson waterfront as an ecotourism destination and advocating for the City of Hudson to become a carbon neutral leader in the region as part of the 1000 CITIES Initiative for Carbon Freedom,” says Basilica Hudson Co-Founder and Director Melissa Auf der Maur. “We are going to go further in our support of our planet and our local community, and to hold ourselves up as a model for what is possible for an organization working at the intersection of art, climate justice and meaningful social change.”
This year, BASILICA GREEN will break ground on the Basilica Net Zero Campus Project, which will transform the institution’s reclaimed industrial building and campus on the Hudson Riverfront into a leading carbon-neutral destination for year-round programming and community engagement.
In addition to creating dedicated space for climate action, the Basilica Net Zero Campus Project will provide green workforce development opportunities, educational programming and new public green space in the City of Hudson for residents and visitors alike. The Basilica Net Zero Campus Project is made possible through a grant from NYSERDA’s Net Zero Energy for Economic Development Program. Initial planning has begun and will continue through 2023 with opportunities to actively engage the public for feedback to shape the project and guide the process.
Over the past 10 years, Basilica Hudson has championed climate advocacy, embraced sustainable energy alternatives and built partnerships with local leaders in environmental action, including CYCLEffect, Green Mountain Energy, The Good Work Institute and Hudson River Stories. Through BASILICA GREEN, Basilica Hudson will expand existing partnerships and forge new ones with local leaders, climate advocates and organizations to better serve its local community and increase access to sustainable energy alternatives in the City of Hudson.
Expanded collaborations include working with longstanding partner SunCommon to expand Basilica’s existing 50 kW solar array with a planned community solar system. The additional system will generate enough energy to power Basilica year-round, as well as serve local Hudson homes and businesses through electric bill credits. Basilica Hudson will also continue work with Regenerate Hudson to better utilize the HORSE, Hudson’s first micro anaerobic digester that turns organic waste into fertilizer and fuel, located on Basilica’s campus, for educational programs and community use. Basilica will also help initiate Regenerate Hudson’s green building fund to help residents of Hudson convert their homes to net zero buildings.
New partnerships include Toolshed, a platform to gather and share tools to build a more equitable, livable future; Pathway to Paris, a global climate action group; and The Spark of Hudson, a Hudson-based learning and training center dedicated to reinventing education.
Toolshed, created by artist duo Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris (Sayler/Morris), will partner with Basilica Hudson to shape and expand BASILICA GREEN. This integral partnership will include the creation of a site-specific permaculture teaching garden with environmentalist and educator Joshua Cohen, as well as an ongoing series of public talks, workshops, charrettes and gatherings to inform BASILICA GREEN programs, campus renovations and service to the community. Sayler/Morris are also co-founders of The Canary Project, a collective that has produced more than 20 art and media projects that deepen public understanding of ecological issues such as climate change, extinction, food systems and water resources.
“COVID-19 has only made apparent what was already there beneath the surface: a global emergency; a need for community; a re-centering of our relationship to earth (not The Earth, but earth). And here is the thing about Basilica Hudson: it already gets all that! Basilica is the sort of cultural institution we need post-virus—ecologically focused, rooted in place, open and forward-thinking,” say Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris. “We are so grateful to be working with Basilica to forge this vision for the future and to partner in developing our new project: Toolshed, an ambitious cultural platform where we gather and share tools for a livable future.”
Toolshed will also co-present the first artists of the Hudson As Muse Basilica Back Gallery Artist in Residence Series, which will include an installation of artist Mary Mattingly’s Ecotopian Library, and an iteration of artist Kamau Patton’s Tel project. Thanks, in part, to the support of Basilica Hudson’s first NEA Art Works Visual Arts Grant, the Hudson As Muse Basilica Back Gallery Artist in Residence Series will continue to support the creation of site-specific work centered on Hudson’s unique location and community. Artists in residence have been selected by a Curatorial Advisory Panel and will collaborate with program partners, community members and neighboring cultural institutions to design, create, implement and present new works.
Pathway to Paris
Basilica Hudson will also partner with Pathway to Paris, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing together musicians, artists, activists, academics, mayors and innovators to help raise consciousness surrounding the urgency of climate action and offering solutions to turning the Paris Agreement into action. The two organizations will work to actualize Pathway to Paris’ global initiative 1000 CITIES Initiative for Carbon Freedom by advocating for the City of Hudson to become one of 1,000 cities around the world to develop and implement ambitious climate action plans, and become a leader in the climate and net-zero movements. Basilica Hudson will honor the work of artists/activists and Co-Founders of Pathway to Paris Becky Foon and Jesse Paris Smith as part of their Pioneering People Basilica Fall Benefit in October 2020, in addition to other honorees to be announced.
The Spark of Hudson
Building on The Spark of Hudson’s efforts to explore new ways of living, working and learning, Basilica Hudson and The Spark of Hudson will collaborate on new workforce development initiatives to grow awareness of jobs in the creative and green economies, create hands-on training opportunities with local employers through the Basilica Net Zero Campus Project and inspire job creation in the City of Hudson and surrounding region. In 2020, The Spark of Hudson has spearheaded Hudson community initiatives such as distributing hot spots to families without a home internet connection, and HudsonUP, a partnership with Andrew Yang’s Humanity Forward to bring a Universal Basic Income (UBI) pilot to Hudson.
BASILICA GREEN is an ongoing initiative that will continue to grow through community input and collaboration. More information on BASILICA GREEN and upcoming programs can be found at www.basilicahudson.org.
ABOUT BASILICA HUDSON
Founded in 2010 by musician Melissa Auf der Maur and filmmaker Tony Stone, Basilica Hudson, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Hudson N.Y., aims to foster a more sustainable community, ecology and economy through cultural activism and the presentation of innovative multidisciplinary programming.
Housed in a reclaimed, solar-powered 1880s industrial factory on the Hudson Riverfront, Basilica Hudson invites 40,000 annual visitors to discover the Hudson Valley’s rich legacy of cultural and environmental movements through its free and low-cost public programs.
In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Basilica Hudson brings local and global green initiatives to the forefront of its creative mission and looks forward to another decade of serving the City of Hudson, inspiring collective social and environmental action while bringing people together through the transformative power of art.
Toolshed was created by artist duo Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris (Sayler/Morris), founders of The Canary Project, a groundbreaking platform for deepening public understanding of climate change (2006-2020). Working at the nexus of art, ecology, education and activism, Toolshed gathers and shares tools for an equitable, livable future. Beginning at the local level, with an initial focus on the Hudson Valley, Toolshed brings together a diversity of people actively engaged in deepening our understanding of ecology while developing methods for living in balance and in consideration of others.
ABOUT PATHWAY TO PARIS
Pathway to Paris is the 501c(3) organization, and 1000 Cities is their main global initiative. Founded by musicians and activists Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon in 2014, the organization brings together musicians, artists, activists, climate experts, academics, politicians, innovators, and all citizens of the world to participate in a series of events, dialogues, and leading initiatives committed to turning the Paris Agreement into action. Pathway to Paris believes that in this urgent global crisis, collaboration is key to transforming our cities and moving into a new era of 100% renewable energy and zero emissions.
ABOUT THE SPARK OF HUDSON
The Spark of Hudson is an innovative, community learning center launching in Hudson, New York. A model for education and community development, The Spark is dedicated to supporting individuals from all corners of Hudson and beyond to learn, teach and grow. Founded by Susan Danziger and Albert Wenger, The Spark has recently spearheaded and supported a number of community initiatives in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Press Contact: Allison Young