There is amazing work happening locally to retrofit homes and a brand new group organizing to help homeowners install solar systems. The Southern Tier is becoming a model of what a significantly more sustainable economy can look like. These renewable efforts also are an important piece of our continuing to beat back fracking here in NY.
But before I pitch these programs, I strongly encourage folks to keep your eyes peeled for emails regarding a visit from Governor Cuomo. It is likely that he comes to town within the next couple of weeks, to tout his 4th on time budget. In the mean time, we will continue to keep the pressure high and fight the proposed infrastructure that is invading our communities.
Binghamton New York is a city which has recently taken a dive, but which is beloved by its residents. The city itself has witnessed better economic times and has succumbed somewhat to the drug traffic between New York City and Syracuse, but its beauty is still in the background and there are people who aim to bring Binghamton back to its former glory. The city is home to a fair deal of drug trafficking which could be worse if the people of Binghamton did not hold a love of their city and demand control of the drug trade. Binghamton has much more to offer than its reputation of being a stopover for New York City vagrants, and it shows through numerous businesses and groups who want to breathe new life into Binghamton.
Want Assurance That Tax Dollars Are Being Accounted For: "Our City Needs A Plan, Not Attempts At Political Payback"
BINGHAMTON - At Monday night's Council Work Session, City Council Democrats agreed to adjust the 2014 capital plan to shift more than $535,000 from the Capital Improvement Plan into road repairs, but rejected the Mayor's reckless proposal to defund important investments that would improve public safety. These investments include a new fire truck to replace one that is more than 20 years old and has many costly problems that could put our firefighters and residents at risk; demolition of the dilapidated First Ward pool, which was part of a long term plan to improve the Park and eventually lead to a new pool for First Ward residents; and a shooting range simulator that would result in more cost-effective training for our police officers.
The Democrats also expressed concern that more than $120 million in ongoing investments could be at risk because of lack of planning and direction by the Commissioner of Public Works, Gary Holmes.
"The Commissioner is responsible for overseeing more than $120 million in ongoing investments," said Councilwoman Lea Webb. "Monday night we agreed to shift more dollars to help address the potholes created by a bad winter, but the Commissioner, who has ultimate responsibility for all capital investments across multiple divisions, came to our work session with no concrete plan and a last minute list of streets scheduled for repair – a list he continued to revise during the meeting." In addition, when questioned on his strategy, he admitted that he hadn't even calculated the combined distance of streets that needed repair or decided which would be completed by City Crews and which would be subcontracted out. These are all requirements for accurately estimating the costs.
The Cooperative Gallery is challenging artists to think "off the wall" for a show in July. "This means art on the ceiling, the floor, 90 degrees from the wall, 3 D, street painting, performance art, video, and more," according to Judy Salton and MaryRose Griffin who are curating the show. It is an all member show and new members are encouraged to join for $30/year. "Off the Wall" will run July 3-26th, 2014. There is a May 15th deadline for idea submissions. There are size and space considerations so submit your idea on the attached form. We strongly encourage you to call for pre-approval of your submission. Questions? call MR or Judy at 584-4733 or 584-4715. or email email@example.com.
ARTS 230: Producing Public Murals, a course that Kady Perry, Bruce Greig and others will be teaching this summer at SUNY Broome summer session 1, June 3-July 4th. The class will be taught at the downtown Binghamton Campus located at the Roberson Museum. To follow is a link with more information on the learning objectives of the course and how to register for the 3 credit class. Arts 230-Producing Public Murals. Senior citizens over 60 can audit the course and High school students can get advance credit for the course too.
Please keep in mind that the studio component will include learning mural arts painting techniques, featuring guest instructor Bruce Greig from New Zealand and will feature several Binghamton based artists. If you could please share the course information with anyone you know that may be interested in learning the intricate details of planning a public art mural project.
Kady Perry has posted the following query:
I am writing to you to include you on a small project I am working on to document the history of murals in Binghamton/Broome County. I am asking for the who, what, where, when, why and how of your mural project(s) in an effort to build on the rich history of murals in Binghamton. Please see attached. The information that you provide will be included in the timeline that is being created. I will be adding this information to mural publications for the Greater Binghamton area and national websites.
As you may know I entered the scene in 2008, when I conducted research at BU on space and place making. I painted my first mural that year, launched a creative collective in 2010 (QuarterYellow), helped organize 4 mural projects in 2011, started to manage a gallery in 2012 and then helped to launch the Dept of Public Art (DPA) in 2013. In 2014 the community worked to pass ordinance RL-13-193 establishing an advisory board for public art. In addition, this year I am working with the Director of the Philly Mural Arts program to build up the DPA, am managing 4 public art projects in downtown Binghamton, partnering with reBOLD Binghamotn to have a May Mural Arts Festival, hosting a mural jam in August and will be teaching ARTS 230 Producing Public Murals this June at BCC. In 2015 I hope to launch a mural arts company with my partner Bruce Greig.
I am not fully aware of past projects and find it very important to include information on them. Also, please let me know if you are engaged in any future projects, so that they can be documented as well. QuarterYellow@gmail.com.
Six years ago this month in 2009, the website binghamtonbridge.org was created by Stephen Schweitzer and Peg Johnston as a news site and calendar for the local progressive community. The newspaper called the bridge had been published for 3 or 4 years prior to that with decreasing frequency. Known for excellent political analysis and local coverage of progressive issues, the bridge finally could not afford the high cost of printing a newspaper.
Both venues were part of the Binghamton Independent Media Center, which is part of a global network of IMC’s. In some places, where freedom of speech is limited, the IMC’s are the only places where it is possible to speak out and organize.
Articles have been posted continuously on the bridge and a calendar has been sent out every week for all six years of its existence. Sometimes the bridge has been critical in getting the word out: when City Hall installed a digital “Cost of War” clock and critics dominated the mainstream media coverage, progressives were able to read posts from those who opposed the Iraq War. Another example was when Michael Libous, Senator Libous’ nephew, wrote an open letter about gay marriage. The Press would not print it, but when posted on the binghamton bridge site it became an issue that was covered by the media.
In the past two months, Peg Johnston and Shawna Stevenson have spearheaded a revitalization of the site. “It is our vision to have a place where progressives can communicate in an in-depth way about their activities and ideas,” said Johnston. “Grassroots activists can broaden their reach and deepen people’s understanding of their issues.” So far, Stevenson has changed the look of the site with a new banner of the many bridges in Binghamton, made the site more user friendly, and sorted out numerous technical issues. She has also streamlined the weekly e-calendar/newsletter to be more readable.
Next, the pair plan to recruit more “community reporters” to keep up the current rate of posts. Posting articles on the site can provide the “back story” for local organizing and provide history, background, national significance, as well as local initiatives. This is useful for folks who are not conversant in an issue, but want to understand it or possibly get involved. Groups can also advertise events and campaigns. Once an article is posted, a link or url is generated that can be shared with contacts via Facebook, Twitter, emails, or other outlets. These articles will last for years and can be found with the new search function on the site. “We want to build community through communication,” said Stevenson, “and help local projects increase their exposure.”
Registration to post on the bridge is simple with a valid email address, and posting articles and events easy to figure out. Click on the newsletter link on the right hand side of the site to sign up for the weekly e-calendar/newsletter. The site is managed by the Center for Gender, Art, and Culture, an umbrella organization for progressive projects. Donations are most welcome!
See this video by Markeee about mural artist Man One's recent visit to Binghamton.
Man One visits Binghamton NY, March 2014 from Markeee on Vimeo.
Do you believe in ghosts? Do you think that the spirit world can influence the earthly world? The show at the Cooperative Gallery for the month of April may have you wondering.
The series of charcoal and graphite drawings that are shown by artist Kathryn Niles are inspired by relics that were collected by a previous professor at Binghamton University, Charles Eldred. Kathryn, once a student of Charles Eldred, now teaches drawing to today’s students.
Kathryn not only occupies his office (where he died), but has taken his treasure trove of unusual still life objects and created a wonderful group of drawings that both graphically depict their subjects in artistically rendered drawings and have imbued them with life and vitality, very much in the spirit of Professor Eldred.
An outboard motor turned upside down expresses its personality and feelings in “Shame”, “Moving Forward” (a profile view of “Shame”), “Exhale” and “Looking Down”.
A metal faucet comes to life in “Preparing for Rain”. Knowing both the life it was intended for and sensing the water soon to come, the handle becomes its umbrella.
I leave it to the viewer to imagine the whimsical inanimate objects that inspired the rest of these lively drawings.
Those of you who have enjoyed Ms. Niles colorful paintings of the Grand Canyon in a previous show will be happy to know that for this exhibit she has captured the beauty of Quechee Gorge in Vermont. The gorge and the river running through it are the subject matter for three large oil paintings that show the colors of fall in New England. One of the paintings will leave to take part in the Binghamton University Faculty Show, and will only be exhibited at the Cooperative Gallery during the first weekend.
The artist’s diversity is further shown in five small abstracts that have a completely different feel from the nature paintings while using a similar color palette. The cadmium red echoes the leaves of fall and the Prussian blue the water of the river.
This show opens on First Friday, April 4 from 3-9 PM and closes on April 27th. There is a Special Reception on Sunday April 6th beginning at 2 PM. The hours of operation of the Cooperative Gallery are Friday from 3-6 PM, Saturday from noon to 4 PM and First Friday from 3 to 9 PM.
Southern Tier Actors Read (S.T.A.R.) in a staged reading of Aaron Sorkin's play about the invention of television.
Production dates are May 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. at The Cider Mill Playhouse
Rehearsals will be at selected dates during April, and May 4 and 5, no more than 8 total.
Roles require no memorization.
Looking for men 30s to 60s to portray several characters; lab technicians, bankers, various friends and supporters of Farnsworth and his nemesis, David Sarnoff
Looking for 2 boys approx. 10-14 years of age to portray the Young Farnsworth, and the Young Sarnoff.
To set up an audition appointment, or for further information call Judy McMahon, Director, at