During the winter months, we've been building communities and connections, events, and programs. And now, brilliant as seasonal blooms, we're bursting with excitement at our calendar!
Forget showers! This April we're celebratingThe House on Mango Street, and in May our Gallery will blossom with the launch of Sewing in Kingston. There's much to cover, so let's spring ahead!
Join us April 30th for a Full Afternoon of Programs Celebrating Local Immigrant Arts
From 2-4 PM, Discover our Kingston Immigrant Oral History Project and hear Ávila Ensemble in concert
At the heart of it, our work at the Reher Center is to honor the historic legacy of the bakery we inhabit - by amplifying the voices and contributions of Hudson Valley immigrants, past and present.
To further that mission, we've partnered with the Kingston Library to record the personal stories of immigrant neighbors. The interviews kicked off earlier this month, and we can't wait to engage the community with these global, and local narratives. Next Saturday, April 30, from 2 - 4 pm, we'll provide snacks and invite participant sign-ups!. And, to help set the tone for cultural exchange and connection, at 3 pm the Ávila Ensemble will perform a range of folk and classical music traditions of Venezuela. We hope to see you there!
Kingston Immigrant Oral History Project is supported with federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the New York State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS; imls.gov) and administered by Southeastern NY Library Resources Council.
Big Reads Hudson Valley Heats Up as Month Winds Down
At 5 PM on Saturday, April 30th
Join a reading and panel discussion on small business owners and community
Friends and former patrons of the Reher Bakery know that our storefront was more than a place of commerce - it was a touchstone for the community. As part of the Hudson Valley Big Read, we're exploring that experience with contemporary owners and writers on Saturday, April 30 at 5 pm. We're proud to present In Conversation with Dinaw Mengestu: Small and Immigrant Business Owners on Community. You won't want to miss this free reading and panel discussion featuring:
Dinaw Mengestu, a recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Foundation Award, was born in Ethiopia and raised in Illinois. His fiction and journalism have been published in The New Yorker, Granta, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. Dinaw was chosen for the 5 under 35 Award by the National Book Foundation and was named on The New Yorker’s 20 under 40 list in 2010. He is also the recipient of a Lannan Fiction Fellowship, The Guardian First Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and more. He is the author of three novels: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2008) How to Read the Air (2010), and All Our Names. His work has been translated into more than fifteen languages. He is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of the Humanities at Bard College. Get a taste of Dinaw speaking on his identity and work as an immigrant writer here.
Tamika Dunkley is the co-founder of Seasoned Delicious Foods, a food product manufacturer in Lake Katrine. As a Benefit or 'B' Corporation, Seasoned Delicious Foods dedicates a portion of all sales to Seasoned Gives, the company's nonprofit branch that provides financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and job/life skills training with a special focus on BIPOC and women community members. Tamika's heart for service work has also been instrumental in the development of food equity and justice programs. In Ulster County, she hosts a “Support Your Neighbor Program” that has now distributed tens of thousands of pounds of food and meals to those in need. She is also co-founder of the Annual Caribbean Carnival in Saugerties and serves on numerous nonprofit boards and advisory boards.
Kwame Holmes, our panel moderator, serves as the Director of the Kingston Housing Lab, a Scholar-In-Residence in the Human Rights Project at Bard College, and Cohort Mentor for the Bard Baccalaureate program. He is a critical geographer, historian, and cultural critic with a particular interest in the emotional politics of urban development and inequality. He reads the history of modern cities and social movements through a black queer studies frame. His work has appeared in Radical History Review, Occasion and No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies. He is at work revising a book manuscript entitled, Queer Removal: Liberalism and Displacement in the Nation’s Capital.
Lydia Willoughby founded Kingston's Sassafras Mercantile with an interest in connecting community knowledge to personal liberation, and convening a beautiful, inclusive, queer, feminist, anti-racist space that asks questions with curiosity and answers with a full heart and a little bit of magic. From a family of pine tree farmers and geologists, Lydia has always been drawn to plant life and soil. With her Moon in the 12th House, Lydia’s work revolves around exchange and nurturance in integrating the unknown and the mysterious into accessible platforms for transformation and resolution built on systems of care. Lydia is a purveyor of plant gossip, a no-frills tarot reader, zine librarian, sometimes once and future drag king, and an artist in printmaking and community action.
This program is made free and possible through the NEA Big Read program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
Este programa es gratuito y posible por NEA Big Read iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperación con Arts Midwest.
Sewing in Kingston Opens May 7!
Enjoy free family-friendly programs, local fare,
and our major new exhibition
Sewing in Kingston is an exhibition and program series exploring the threads of community, immigration, women, and work. Join us to learn about 100 years of ups and downs in Kingston’s garment industry, the persistence of small businesses, the imagination of artists, and the power of family.
Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Ulster County Tourism, this major exhibition's opening day will bring to life the history of Kingston’s garment industry, stitching together makers past and present. Activities will include guided tours, family-friendly arts, and Spanish-language programs that spotlight the importance of immigrant communities, women, and families for understanding sewing in Kingston.
You can hear more about the exhibit and our opening day from our recent appearance on Rotary Radio, here.
Sewing in Kingston is made possible thanks to significant support from the Coby Foundation. Thanks as well to our Presenting Sponsor, Ulster County Tourism, and associated public program supporters Institute of Museum and Library Services and Humanities New York.
Opening day Spanish-language tours are made possible through the support of the Hudson Valley Foundation for Youth Health.
75 Attended April 9 Midtown March in Celebration of
The House on Mango Street
Wow, what an event! On Saturday, April 9, the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read book, The House on Mango Street, came to Kingston through a series of engaging events. As one of the community's monthlong celebrations of Sandra Cisneros’ best-selling novel - it was thrilling to see 75 friends come together!
The afternoon kicked off with crafting, as audience members created signs that answered the question “What does home mean to you?" Signs in hand, participants marched through Midtown and made stops to see the book brought to life by actors and performers from the Center for Creative Education, Maia Martinez of Dojo Dance Co., Alessandra Gonzalez, and Carol Fox Prescott. After the literary tour, we toasted with empanadas and music to kick off the Kingston Immigrant Oral History Project.
Thanks to the performers and musicians from Nueva Inspiracíon band, as well as our Big Read community partners The Kingston Library, Radio Kingston, and Bard College. We look forward to continuing this conversation at our panel discussion next weekend, April 30!