Cultural Sustainability

Growing Community in the Courthouse Community Garden

Currently in its fourth season, the Courthouse Community Garden’s evolution into a community fixture in Salem, New York, started more than four years ago from an idea tossed around for at least a couple of years before the seed of the idea took hold. The mission statement reads in part: The Courthouse Community Garden (CCG) includes an enthusiastic group of individuals that have come together… to plant a garden on a parcel of land adjacent to the Courthouse Community Center campus in Salem…[to] offer opportunities to teach youth of all ages to grow, process, and market food, developing intergenerational community relationships.

“Local Sustainability in the Battenkill Valley”

“Sustaining Culture: A Regional Conversation” was the topic for the historic Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Folklorists Retreat in Saratoga Springs, May 22–25, 2012, in partnership with Folklorists in New England, the Folk Arts Program of New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York Folklore Society. Participants hailed from as far away as Washington, DC, up to northern New York State and east through the New England states.


Most New Yorkers recognize … the heart of New York
City is not only found at the Met or Lincoln
Center, but in the hustle and bustle, the
c acophonous mix of ethnic groups, social
classes, folk, pop, and high art….With passionate interest in what’s distinctive
and local about New York, we have
issued, for the fifth year, the People’s City
Report Card 2015.

Craft Revisited

Today’s Western economic structure, based on technology and services, is radically different from the one that existed before industrialization and has resulted in many of the economic crises that face us in the early 21st century. The control of goods has been concentrated in the hands of a few large corporations, rather than distributed throughout the community of small, independent businesses. The production of goods by corporate manufacturing, through modern machinery and technology, has displaced the labor force, separated the mind from the production process, depersonalized and devalued the act of manual skill, and enslaved us to a system of forced consumption. The consequences of these manufacturing practices have had profound effects on us and on our communities.