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hope

Why spend countless hours indoors in front of screens when being in nature feels so good? In learning why and how to nurture our emotional connection with nature, we can also regenerate the ecosystems on which we depend for our survival.

"Renewal: How Nature Awakens Our Creativity, Compassion, and Joy" by Andrés R. Edwards explores the science behind why being in nature makes us feel alive and helps us thrive.

Having an illness or a disability is stressful. It brings up lots of negative emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, and anxiety. It's easy to get caught up in, or commiserate around, these feelings. But study after study shows that stress is detrimental to the body and mind. Physically, it weakens the immune system and is connected to a host of illnesses. Mentally, stress breeds more stress, making it debilitating and contagious.

For someone living with a disease or disability, stress and negative energy can further compromise health and impact relationships with those most important – families, friends, and caretakers. Because of this, Beyond My Battle focuses on helping people with diseases and disabilities get to the root of their stress so they can better detect, manage, and reduce it.

Beyond My Battle is a not-for-profit organization founded by Martel Catalano and Nell Pritchard in 2016. “Beyond My Battle: Art with Heart & Hope” is an exhibition celebrating the healing power of art for those with illnesses, disabilities, and caretakers. The event will take place on May 9 from 6-9 p.m. at Spring Street Gallery in Saratoga Springs, New York.

What if you had the chance to listen to living Holocaust survivors?

SageArts local songwriters and creative arts facilitators met with local survivors and their caregivers to compose songs and craft meaningful pieces of art – including masks, collages, prints and paintings – based on the themes that emerged from their conversations. This spring, they'll share these powerful pieces in an event that highlights the healing power of the arts.

“Honoring Holocaust Survivors: A Concert of Resilience and Hope” will be held on May 5th at 1:00 p.m. at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh. The entire Hudson Valley community is invited to join Jewish Family Service of Orange County in honoring survivors.

To tell us more we welcome: Elise Gold, Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Orange County; Julie Last, Musical Director of SageArts; and Jude Roberts, Songwriter of SageArts.

Gloria Steinem is an icon. She also is a writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer. She travels in this and other countries as an organizer and lecturer, and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality.

She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice.

Steinem is the author of the bestsellers “My Life on the Road,” “Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem,” “Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions,” and “Moving Beyond Words,” and was a co-founder of Ms. magazine.

We spoke with her Friday in Troy, New York while she was in the region to speak to a sold-out crowd for a program sponsored by the Hudson Valley Community College Cultural Affairs Program.

Pam Houston is the author of the memoir, "Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country." In it, she delivers her most profound meditations yet on how "to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief to love the damaged world and do what she can to help it thrive."

On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, Houston learned what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all.

Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds and a spirited troupe of horses, donkeys, and Icelandic sheep, the ranch becomes Houston's sanctuary, a place where she discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her after a childhood of horrific parental abuse and neglect.

Houston will be at Northshire Bookstore in Manchster Center, Vermont on February 24.

Young people are usually eager to change the world, but not given a chance. Eric Dawson's new book "Putting Peace First: 7 Commitments To Change The World" empowers young people to make change happen now. Eric David Dawson is the CEO and Co-founder of Peace First.

The Battenkill Chorale opens its 24th season with “Children of the Holocaust, Immigrants of Hope” featuring "Annelies" by James Whitbourn with English texts translated from Anne Frank’s diary, soprano soloist Sylvia Stoner, and chamber ensemble.

Also on the program are Ronald Perera’s "The Golden Door," a cantata based on interviews with immigrants who passed through Ellis Island, and "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" by Charles Davidson, with texts written by children at Terezin concentration camp and performed by the Glens Falls Symphony Children’s Chorus.

The performances is January 19 at 3 p.m. at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. Janet McGhee, Artistic Director of the Battenkill Chorale and composer Ronald Perera join us.

Note: There was a scheduled performance for January 20 but it was cancelled due to a predicted snowstorm.

What does hope look like? How do we find and hold onto it in the midst of personal turmoil, communal suffering, global chaos and the everyday challenges of being alive in this world?

Best-selling author Anne Lamott looks to answer these questions and more in her new book, "Almost Everything: Notes on Hope."

Tommy Orange and book cover for "There There"
Author Photo - Elena Seibert

Tommy Orange’s powerful and urgent Native American voice has exploded onto the landscape of contemporary fiction. His debut novel, “There There,” interweaves the experiences of twelve people who gather in Oakland for a pow wow. It is a multigenerational story about violence, recovery, hope, and loss.

Sasson Gabay and Katrina Lenk in The Band’s Visit
Evan Zimmerman for Murphy/Made

In “The Band’s Visit,” The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra is traveling from Egypt to play a concert in Petah Tikva, Israel but after language confusion at the border end up in Beit Hatikva - a small city where civic pride is low. Without a means of transportation out of town until the morning, the band is taken in by the locals.

With music and lyrics by David Yazbek, a book by Itamar Moses, and directed by David Cromer, "The Band's Visit" won 10 Tony Awards last June.

The show is at once charming and uplifting, humorous and moving, global and deeply personal. The band, who you see on stage as they are characters in the show - is out of this world and the music is lively and inviting.

Tony Shaloub originated the lead role of Tewfiq on Broadway - winning a Tony Award. Succeeding him is Sasson Gabay, the Israeli actor who played Tewfiq in the award winning 2007 film that the musical is based on. Gabay has been an actor for more than 40 years and has been a member of the Beit Lessin Theatre in Tel Aviv for 20.

In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions by challenging Trump's call to stop Muslims from entering the U.S.

In response, Trump questioned the Khan's motives and religion, even though they are Gold Star parents whose son was killed in Iraq. Today, Donald Trump is president and Khizr Khan is the author of a new book, "An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice" – just out in paperback. He has also written a book for young readers entitled, "This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father."

Khan was in Albany, New York to participate in New York State Writers Institute's Albany Book Festival at the University at Albany.

Kate Davies MA, DPhil, has worked on environmental and social issues for her entire career.

We are living in an era of unprecedented crisis, resulting in widespread feelings of fear, despair, and grief. Now, more than ever, maintaining hope for the future is a monumental task. In Davies' new book, "Intrinsic Hope: Living Courageously in Troubled Times," she offers an antidote to these feelings and shows how conventional ideas of hope are rooted in the belief that life will conform to our wishes and how this leads to disappointment, despair, and a dismal view of the future. As an alternative, she offers 'intrinsic hope,' a powerful, liberating, and positive approach to life based on having a deep trust in whatever happens.

Richard M. Cohen is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: a memoir, "Blindsided," detailing his struggles with MS and cancer and his controversial career in the news business; and "Strong at the Broken Places," following the lives of five individuals living with serious chronic illnesses. His distinguished career in network news earned him numerous awards, including three Emmys and a Peabody.

After more than four decades living with multiple sclerosis, New York Times bestselling author Richard M. Cohen finds a flicker of hope in a groundbreaking medical procedure. His new book is "Chasing Hope."

Stefan Merrill Block and book cover for "Oliver Loving"
Author Photo: Beowulf Sheehan

Stefan Merrill Block frequently covers bleak territory in his novels, and his latest, “Oliver Loving,” is no exception.

Block takes us inside the mind of a comatose West Texas teen who has been hit in the head during a mass shooting on the night of his high school prom.

  Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and National Humanities Medalist Krista Tippett has interviewed the most extraordinary voices examining the great questions of meaning for our time. The heart of her work on her national public radio program and podcast, On Being, has been to shine a light on people whose insights kindle in us a sense of wonder and courage. 
 
In Becoming Wise, Tippett distills the insights she has gleaned from this luminous conversation in its many dimensions into a coherent narrative journey, over time and from mind to mind.