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Poughkeepsie

Paul Oakley Stovall
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Abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered a speech about U.S. politics to an audience of several thousand at Poughkeepsie’s College Hill Park in August of 1858.

Celebrating the African Spirit in will commemorate the event on August 1st where you can hear parts of his powerful speech recited by acclaimed actor - Paul Oakley Stovall. Stovall played George Washington in the touring production of "Hamilton."

Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson - screencap from "A DIOS" video - From the MEXODUS concept album about the Underground Railroad that led south to Mexico.
Brian Quijada/Nygel D. Robinson via YouTube / via YouTube

“Mexodus” is a new musical work by Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson inspired by the estimated 4,000-10,000 enslaved people in the Southern part of the United States who found new lives in Mexico instead moving to the northern United States.

With the support of New York Stage and Film, Quijada and Robinson started working on “Mexodus” at the the beginning of our recent global pandemic. They have been collaborating while physically separate through technology -- releasing one track per month, with accompanying video of the two artists performing, for twelve months. Track 7 was recorded last February at Vassar’s Modfest.

New York Stage and Film will present “Mexodus” at Vassar College on July 17 at 7 p.m. and at Marist College on July 24 at 3 p.m.

Poughkeepsie house formerly owned by the late Joe Mendillo (Joe Netherworld) destroyed by fire in January 2021
Courtesy of Falon Eduard Blutig

Back in mid-January, an arsonist set fire to a well-known house in Poughkeepsie’s so-called “Witchcraft District.” It’s an area where some Church of Satan members reside, as well as residents who have a penchant for the macabre. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with one of the residents who lives near the now ruined local landmark.

Activist Poughkeepsie MLK Event Is Held Virtually

Jan 18, 2021
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meet at the White House, 1966
Public Domain / Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March for Social and Economic Justice in Poughkeepsie began in 1996 and became an annual activist event until a few years ago. This year, during COVID-19, it was held virtually, and hosted by one of the original organizers — former Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner. Tyner resigned in Janaury 2019 amid sexual harassment allegations and then moved across the country. Yet Zoom brought together some of the usual participants.

Retablo of José Cruz Soria, 1960 Oil on metal Princeton University Art Museum: Gift of Jorge Durand and Patricia Arias, L.2019.6.11
Princeton University Art Museum / Princeton University Art Museum

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. Vassar was the first college or university in the country to include an art museum as part of its original plan.

During our current pandemic, the museum has been able to open for Vassar students and faculty -- and separately to the general public. The current exhibitions are navigating those challenges in addition to goals of diversity, equity, access and inclusion, and community engagement.

Current exhibitions are “Visible Bodies: Representing Blackness;” “Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States;” “Monumental Misrememberings: Photographs and Statues of Contested Histories” and a virtual exhibition: “The Hudson River School Collection at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center: A 3D Virtual Exhibition.”

We are joined now by the Anne Hendricks Bass Director at Vassar College’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Bart Thurber, and Professor of Anthropology at Vassar College David Tavarez.

Poughkeepsie DPW Workers Test Positive For COVID-19

Nov 12, 2020
COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC / cdc.gov)

Seven Department of Public Works employees in Poughkeepsie have tested positive for COVID-19.

City of Poughkeepsie seal
Courtesy of the City of Poughkeepsie

In New York, the Poughkeepsie Common Council will hold a special meeting and town hall Monday night on police reform and racial justice.

A protest is planned in Poughkeepsie Tuesday afternoon in the aftermath of the George Floyd death.

Poughkeepsie Creates A COVID-19 Parks Response Team

May 8, 2020
Courtesy of the City of Poughkeepsie

In New York, City of Poughkeepsie officials are reminding the public about park policies along with social distancing and mask-wearing rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

Emmy Award-winning musician, author and philanthropist Peter Buffett has been performing "A Concert and Conversation" all over the United States, Canada, and China since 2010.

He will be performing on Tuesday March 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York – he’ll sing and play piano accompaniment by cellist Michael Kott.

Peter tells stories about growing up, career choice, and philanthropic learning while taking questions from the audience throughout the show.

City of Poughkeepsie seal
Courtesy of the City of Poughkeepsie

The Common Council in Poughkeepsie is set to vote on a resolution Tuesday that would move the city toward establishing a land bank.

Celebrating its 18th season, Modfest 2020 is Vassar College’s annual exploration of the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. This year’s theme, “reflect to project,” looks backward to move forward. All events are free and open to the public.

Jeff Snyder is a composer, improviser and instrument-designer. He is the founder and lead designer of Snyderphonics, for which he designs and builds unusual electronic musical instruments. In 2009, he co-founded an experimental music record label, Carrier Records. In 2011, he received a doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University. He is now the Director of Electronic Music at Princeton University, as well as Director of PLOrk , Princeton's Laptop Orchestra.

At Vassar, Snyder will present an open rehearsal of “Opposite Earth” on Wednesday, February 5 (a collaboration between Modfest and THinCs [The Humanities in Cognitive Science]) and on Thursday, February 6 he will give a lecture and performance entitled “Build, Destroy, Build: Spontaneous Creation of Structure.”

Scenic Hudson, Dutchess County Secure Rail Corridor

Dec 12, 2019
Courtesy of Scenic Hudson

Scenic Hudson and Dutchess County have acquired a rail corridor that will enable the creation of a trail in Poughkeepsie, linking the city and town.

Pete Souza - former Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and Director of the White House Photo Office - will give a visual presentation of exclusive photographs contained in his #1 New York Times bestseller "Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents" at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, New York for an Oblong Books event on Sunday, November 3 at 7 p.m.

Shade tells the tale of the Obama and Trump years through visual juxtapositions that begin on Inauguration Day and move through the release of the Mueller report. Some call this "throwing shade." Souza calls it telling the truth.

Activists Plan Climate Rally In Poughkeepsie

Oct 13, 2019

Climate activists and organizations from across New York will gather in Poughkeepsie Sunday afternoon.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Central Hudson is cleaning up the site of a former manufactured gas plant in the City of Poughkeepsie. The remediation is taking place on the shoreline and in the Hudson River. But until there is agreement about plans to protect the river and a drinking water source nearby, the river portion of the cleanup has been delayed.

The Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, New York and UPAC in Kingston, New York have a very exciting slate of events this autumn.

This coming Sunday, seven-time Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight and her band will perform at The Bardavon’s 150th Anniversary Gala.

Other events this season include: The Mystical Arts of Tibet: “Sacred Music Sacred Dance;” the stage musical “Once;” stand-up comedy from Jay Leno; David Bromberg Big Band with Los Lobos; Dino Light; a play starring John Malkovich; former White House photographer Pete Souza – and so much more.

Bardavon Presents Executive Director Chris Silva joins us.

It was highly anticipated for months. Then it was finally released. Now comes the regional tour. Two Dutchess County residents are holding a nonpartisan reading of the Mueller Report in Poughkeepsie beginning Friday. The two-day reading of the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Election comes after the document has been read aloud over the past few months in other parts of country. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with one of the organizers of the local reading.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was in the mid-Hudson Valley Thursday as part of his fourth annual statewide tour. He visited a center in Poughkeepsie that provides community services and programs before heading for lunch at a restaurant in the city.

Beth Henley
Courtesy of Beth Henley

Since 1985, Vassar and New York Stage and Film have been proud partners in the Powerhouse Season which is known for being the springboard for new stories that go on to theaters across the country and around the world.

This summer, Powerhouse’s second Mainstage production is Beth Henley’s “Lightning (or The Unbuttoning).”

In a cabin high on a peak surrounded by the blue mountains and a vibrant, swirling sky, a young woman is visited by a traveling salesman as a lightning storm brews. A mysterious, mystical visitor, he awakens in her the promise and the peril of something more.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Beth Henley returns to Powerhouse with this story of resilience and determination in an unforgiving world.

Modfest, Vassar College’s annual exploration of the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries, celebrates its 17th season with the theme, “In Motion.” Assorted arts events take place through February 10th and include a panel discussion and concert by Ensemble Mik Nawooj on Saturday, February 9. The 4 p.m. Panel Discussion: Method Sampling and a New Aesthetic will take place at Skinner Hall on the Vassar Campus, and the 8 p.m. concert will be performed at the Trolley Barn in downtown Poughkeepsie, New York.

Oakland based Ensemble Mik Nawooj is led by composer/pianist, JooWan Kim. EMN creates Meta Music by sampling principles of Hip-Hop and Classical music. The ensemble features MC/lyricists Do D.A.T. and Sandman along with a lyric soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, drums and bass.

Composer and pianist JooWan Kim began his formal training in composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.M. in composition in 2003. He continued his education in composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, from which he received a M.M. in 2006. JooWan founded Ensemble Mik Nawooj in 2010.

Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s second Main Stage Powerhouse production this summer is “The Waves,” a musical adaptation of the novel by Virginia Woolf. The piece, which features a book by Lisa Peterson and music and lyrics by the late Davick Bucknam, was produced nearly 30 years ago in New York City. The version running at Vassar July 19-29 is directed by Peterson, features additional music and lyrics by Adam Gwon, and employs four time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza as creative consultant and actor.

Esparza’s Broadway credits include “Cabaret,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Taboo,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “Company,” “The Homecoming,” “Speed the Plow,” “Arcadia,” and “Leap of Faith.” Television credits include “Pushing Daisies,” “Hannibal,” “The Path,” “BoJack Horseman,” and he recently finished a six-season run as ADA Rafael Barba on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Esparza joins us to talk about his work.

The cast at Powerhouse features Ken Barnett, Eleasha Gamble, Douglas Lyons, Alice Ripley, and Lauren Worsham.

New York Stage and Film Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer
Jenny Anderson / broadwayworld.com

Since 1985, Vassar and New York Stage and Film have been partners in the Powerhouse season, a collaboration known for being the springboard for new stories that go on to theaters across the country and around the world. The 2018 season begin this weekend with the first of two Readings Festivals and continues through July 29 bringing some of the most influential theatrical voices working today to Poughkeepsie, NY for fully-staged and workshop productions of new plays and musicals, and readings of other works in progress.

Johanna Pfaelzer is the Artistic Director of New York Stage and Film and she joins us with a preview.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Democratic New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was in Poughkeepsie Monday to announce legislation to ensure low-income tenants have alternate housing in the event of an emergency. Maloney and the city’s mayor say a recent occurrence at an affordable housing complex in Poughkeepsie is an example of why such a bill is needed.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Seven communities along the Hudson River are banding together to enhance water quality protections. They get their drinking water from the Hudson and want to ensure their source is protected. The move is part of recommended actions from a report commissioned by a local environmental group.

The Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District will hold its annual Holiday Book Sale from Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19 at Locust Grove, the Samuel Morse Historic Site on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, NY.

The Friends Book Store, at the Boardman Road Branch Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 18 as well.

The Holiday Book Sale features gift-quality books and media, sorted into multiple categories. This year’s sale, with the most books ever in the history of our Holiday Sale, includes a large selection of needlework and crafts books, as well as fine arts and arts-instruction books and manuals.

There will be a separate room for individually priced vintage items, coffee-table books, books of local interest, collectible books and books signed by authors.

The Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District is an all-volunteer organization that supports the district’s programs and services and Mark Nelson and Patricia Breen join us. 

WAMC, Allison Dunne

The funeral service for Petty Officer First Class Corey Ingram was held Tuesday at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie. Family, friends, service and community members filed in past lined-up Patriot Guard riders to pay their respects.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker was in Poughkeepsie earlier this week as part of a series of events across the state marking National Public Health Week. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne reports.

March Snowstorm Walloped Poughkeepsie's Budget

Mar 29, 2017
Courtesy of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison

The blizzard that hit Dutchess County and elsewhere in the Hudson Valley earlier in March has taken a financial toll on the City of Poughkeepsie.

A Refugee Family's Arrival To Poughkeepsie Is Immiment

Jan 27, 2017

The arrival of the first family under a refugee resettlement program in the Poughkeepsie area is imminent. This comes as President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order halting the nation’s refugee resettlement program for 120 days.

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