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There Goes the Neighborhood Film Festival
The Sanctuary for Independent Media
Troy, NY
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There Goes the Neighborhood Film Festival
There Goes the Neighborhood Film Festival is a community event to view compelling films around the theme of urban struggles and hopes, culminating in a celebration of youth media makers from across the Capital Region.

Join us in a conversation between filmmakers, urban planners, community organizers and film fest enthusiasts!  Youth media filmmakers from across the Capital Region--including Youth FX in Albany, TBU Productions in Schenectady and Youth Media Sanctuary in Troy--will be on hand to screen and discuss their work. There Goes the Neighborhood Film Festival is co-sponsored by Breathing Lights and iEAR Presents!


   Noon - What Do You Tear Down Next?
   12:45 - 98 Acres in Albany
   1:15 - Crossroads: The History of Rapp Road
   1:45 - Slow Motion Riot
   3:00 - Youth Media Makers
   6:00 - 7:30  Community Potluck


   Noon - 12:45 What Do You Tear Down Next?, Roland/ Stoney, 1964; followed by discussion led by Charles Touhey, Board Chair of the Albany County Land Bank Corporation

What Do You Tear Down Next? is an historic documentary on the conflict of old versus new in building the Empire State Plaza in Albany. The film asks what should be torn down and what should be preserved when a city rebuilds. Produced by WNET; a George C. Stoney Associates Production in cooperation with the University Council on Education for Public Responsibility.

   12:45 - 1:15 98 Acres in Albany, with project team members Ann Pfau and David Hochfelder

Drawing on government documents, oral histories, and local reporting, this blog tells the stories of the 98 acres seized by the State in 1962 via eminent domain for construction of the Empire Plaza, before demolition and during renewal.

   1:15 - 1:45 Crossroads: The History of Rapp Road, with Beverly Bardequez

The Rapp Road Community Historic District--a 14-acre residential neighborhood located in the Pine Bush area of Albany, New York--was established in the 1920s by Rev. Louis W. Parson, an African American minister, and his wife, who had moved north from Mississippi in the Great Migration out of the rural South to industrial cities.  Produced by The Rapp Road Historical Association in conjunction with Science in a Nutshell Productions, The Bender Foundation and the New York State Museum.

   1:45 - 2:45 Slow Mo Riot, WMHT, 1993 with Dr. Alice Green, Janice Mwapaga and Danielle Brutus

This program produced by WMHT more than two decades ago, looks at the 25th anniversary of the Kerner Commission. We will screen excerpts of the program and then have people react.   Dr. Alice Green was on the panel in 1993... and is still doing the work, almost 50 years since the commission. Whats changed? Co-sponsored with WMHT.

   3:00-6:00 Youth media films: Youth FX/ Albany, TBU Productions with Proctors/ Schenectady, and Youth Media Sanctuary/ Troy

Youth Media Mentors Jamel Mosely, Prince Sprauve, Bhawin Suchak and Darian Henry will lead a discussion with youth media makers and audience.

   6:00 - 7:30 Community potluck


Youth FX

In Albany, Youth FX has been working on a series of experimental documentary vignettes that explore the concept of home, community and belonging. These films are a form of resistance and empowerment telling stories of racial profiling, police brutality, and the refugee and immigrant experience from the perspective of young artists of color. The stories are deeply personal, highlighting the oppression and injustice these young people deal with, which causes a feeling of a loss of home. Their aim is to force viewers to confront the realities of young people living in communities that have been systematically and historically marginalized. Several of the pieces were originally developed by director Noelle Gentile as part of the multimedia theater production of Which Way Is Home a collaboration between Albany High School, Capital Repertory Theatre, National Coalition Building Initiative, Arts, Letters and Numbers and Youth FX.

Told By Us (TBU)

TBU Productions is a nonprofit organization founded by Prince Sprauve, offering disadvantaged youth an outlet for creative expression through music and film projects. TBU inspires participants to strive for greater academic performance, embrace responsible behaviors and promote awareness of social issues. TBU is contributing three media projects: "Lights On, a music video filmed in a vacant house in Schenectady, with original song written and recorded by Trevor Yarter, Alexis Rivera, Josh Cseh, and Steven Rivera. "Vacancy" is a poem written by Hope Edwards, describing the emotional impact vacant houses invoke within the community, along with metaphorical comparison between the emptiness of a person and a house. "Community Hero" is a documentary of Schenectady resident Joe Piazzas purchase and renovation of a vacant house on Paige Street, now his primary residence. TBU hopes these projects will inspire others to take notice and invest in the city of Schenectady.

Youth Media Sanctuary

YMS teaches multimedia skills to young people in North Troy. Youth producers created four documentary portraits on the theme of abandoned buildings in their economically devastated neighborhoods. Jerrys House by Kai Griffin, Bryanna Mangual, Diajah Grier, Milan Miles, Andrew Pintro, tells the story of a family forced out of a deteriorating rental now abandoned, with a happy ending of owning a home. Safer than Yemen? by Bryan Mangual, Rachel Lord, Arianna Young, explores violence through a corner bodegas view, opened by 1920s Italian immigrants, now transferred to Yemeni owners. Lex & Orange by Shatora Buckman, Jahsendah Dann and Ayisha Menko views childhood neighborhood now razed. Sadies Grandmothers House by Sadie Anson recounts restoring a vacant building into a loving home. Abandoned Building Haikus were also created, in collaboration with  Breathing These Words poetry workshop. Produced by Media Mentors Jamel Mosely, Kathy High and Branda Miller.

What Do You Tear Down Next?

An historic documentary on the conflict of old versus new during the construction of the Empire State Plaza in Albany.  George Cashel Stoney was a legendary documentary filmmaker who was considered by many to be the father of public access television, and a dear friend and mentor at the Sanctuary.  He mentored hundreds of young filmmakers as a professor of production and media theory at NYU, where he taught beginning in 1970. At NYU, he co-founded the Alternate Media Center, and his interns eventually went on the start the Alliance for Community Media.  George passed away peacefully at home on July 12, 2012 at the age of 96.

The Touhey Homeownership Foundation and Charles Touhey have been offering affordable 2 family homeownership opportunities to first time homebuyers in New York State for more than 40 years.  They are pleased to be partnering with Habitat for Humanity on a new venture which, with partners, will transform the entire Sheridan Hollow neighborhood in Albany.  It is the mission of the Touhey Family Foundation to support efforts to address the impacts of poverty, racism, and other forms of social injustice and empower those adversely affected by this legacy.

Charles Touhey is currently Board Chair of the Albany County Land Bank Corporation.

98 Acres in Albany (Courtesy of the New York State Archives)

On the morning of March 27, 1962, thousands of families learned that the State of New York had appropriated their homes and businesses in downtown Albany via eminent domain. In their place would be built a massive modern office complex, the Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, named for the man who envisioned transforming "historic but shabby" Albany into a "brilliant, beautiful, efficient and electrifying capital."

Within the 98 acres seized by the state lived a diverse population of roughly 7,000 people, old and young, black and white, immigrant and native-born. Among them were renters, roomers, and homeowners. They were served by more than 400 businesses, most of them smallneighborhood groceries, grills, taverns, tailors, and shoemakers. Over the course of two-and-a-half years, as the State demolished 1,150 structures to clear 40 city blocks, residents and businesses were forced to move out. In their wake, an army of architects, contractors, and construction workers moved in.

Dave Hochfelder is associate professor of history at University at Albany, SUNY. His research interests are in urban history, digital history, history of technology, and history of capitalism.

Ann Pfau is the author of one book on World War II history and working on a second. She is also co-principal investigator of the 98 Acres in Albany project.

Dr. Alice Green is the Executive Director of the Center for Law and Justice, a civil rights organization she founded in 1985.  She has a doctorate in criminal justice and advanced degrees in education, social work, and criminology.  The Center provides community education in civil and criminal justice, legal guidance and advocacy, crisis intervention, and community planning and organizing around criminal justice, civil rights and civil liberties issues of particular concern to poor communities and those of color.

Crossroads: The History of Rapp Road

The Rapp Road Community Historic District is located in the Pine Bush area of Albany, New York. It is a 14-acre residential neighborhood. In 2002 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It was established in the 1920s by Rev. Louis W. Parson, an African American minister, and his wife, who had moved north from Mississippi in the Great Migration out of the rural South to industrial cities, originally settling in Albany's South End. He was followed by other members of his congregation. Neither he nor they liked urban life much, and eventually he bought the land along Rapp Road where they all moved.

Half of the original purchase was taken by the state for road projects in the 1970s. The remaining half, today's historic district, has many of the original buildings. Most of the original families' descendants still live there. It is a rare intact example of a chain migration community from the Great Migration, although many such communities formed in northern cities. Produced by The Rapp Road Historical Association in conjunction with Science in a Nutshell Productions, The Bender Foundation and the New York State Museum.

Breathing Lights

This October and November, nightly from 6-10 PM, Breathing Lights will illuminate the windows of hundreds of vacant buildings in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Warm light will fill each window with a diffuse glow that mimics the gentle rhythm of human breathing. Concentrated in neighborhoods with high levels of vacancy, Breathing Lights will transform abandoned structures from pockets of shadows into places of warmth. Breathing Lights was a winner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge which engages mayors to collaborate with artists on developing innovative public art projects that enrich communities and attract visitors.

There Goes the Neighborhood Film Festival youth media projects were developed by Youth FX in Albany, TBU Productions in Schenectady, and Youth Media Sanctuary in Troy to educate youth in video, radio, interviewing, scripting and storytelling and to give voice to residents and stories directly illuminated by the public art project Breathing Lights.

There Goes the Neighborhood Film Festival is co-sponsored by Breathing Lights and iEAR Presents! and is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, volunteer labor, and small financial contributions from thousands of patrons of The Sanctuary for Independent Media.

The Sanctuary for Independent Media is a telecommunications production facility dedicated to community media arts, located in an historic former church at 3361 6th Avenue in North Troy, NY. The Sanctuary hosts screening, production and performance facilities, training in media production and a meeting space for artists, activists and independent media makers of all kinds.


The Sanctuary for Independent Media (View)
3361 6th Avenue
Troy, NY 12180
United States


Film > Festivals
Film > Movies

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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