Middle Main

A neighborhood just a little off center

Report from Monthly Community Meeting: MMR is Up and Running

Over 15 people were gathered at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center for Middle Main's Monthly Community Meeting on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011. Middle Main Revitalization holds monthly meetings every second Wednesday at 5:30 pm. Visit middlemain.com for updates on upcoming meetings.

Roy Budnick shared the vision and goals of the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, which is located at 317 Main Street, Poughkeepsie. He states that the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center (MHHC) is a place where the heritage and history of the people who have passed through the Mid-Hudson region and have settled here can be celebrated. MHHC's mission, Budnick states, is "to tell the stories of these peoples [who have passed through and settled the Mid-Hudson region] through collections, demonstrations, exhibitions, festivals, tours, educational programs, lectures, and collaborations."

Currently, local artist Nestor Madalengoitia has an art exhibition at the MHHC. The MHHC will have will have an African-American Heritage Quilt Show up in April and a Photography Show by artists Michael Sibilia, Roberto Cruz, Felipe Santos & Sasha Bush up in May.  This photography show will recount the visions of Poughkeepsie through the eyes of two Oaxacan natives as well as the visions of Latin America by Poughkeepsie residents.

Linda Roper of Over the Pond to Poughkeepsie invited everyone to a staged reading of Lettice and Lovage that will take place in the MHHC on Sunday, February 27th, 2011 at 3pm.

Elizabeth Celaya, Community Relations Manager at Hudson River Housing, spoke about the projected meeting and event schedule for 2011 that the Middle Main Steering Committee has been working on. For March 9th's community meeting, discussion will focus on "Addressing issues of vacant space" and will take place on 546 Main Street. Learn more here.

She also encouraged people to drop by the Middle Main Resource Center, which is located in the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, to learn about what's happening in Middle Main, to post information and events that might interest the community, and to pick up a subscription of La Voz or the Chronogram. The Middle Main Resource Center is staffed Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 12pm-8pm and Thursdays from 12pm-4pm.

Andrew Sawtelle, Community Outreach Coordinator at Hudson River Housing, discussed the 2010 NY Main Street Grant Program which granted ~$400,000 worth of matching funds for renovations on properties in the Middle Main neighborhood. Sixteen applicants competed for this grant opportunity of which Hudson River Housing is the administrator. Grant recipients have been notified.

As part of the NY Main Street Grant, Sawtelle states, the Middle Main neighborhood has Street Scape enhancement funds. An urban planning class from CUNY is collaborating with Middle Main Revitalization on ideas for street scape enhancement that are both tangible and visible. Franc Palaia advocated for work-live spaces for artists as a means to address vacant lots. Working with the arts community in gateway signage was also mentioned. Your input is solicited; if you have any suggestions, send them to Andrew Sawtelle at asawtelle@hudsonriverhousing.org.

Andrew Sawtelle also mentioned block by block business meetings on Middle Main in the month of March to hear from Middle Main business owners themselves about their experiences on Main Street and to learn their concerns and needs. Sawtelle admits that it is difficult for business owners to make the monthly community meetings and feels that these block by block business meetings will provide beneficial insight to steer the work of Middle Main Revitalization in the upcoming months.

Jenny Coronel, an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer at Hudson River Housing, shared the Middle Main Profiles project which recognizes that one of the most important assets of the Middle Main community is the people who work, live, & volunteer in the neighborhood. She is seeking nominations for candidates for the Middle Main Profiles project. Know someone whose contributions to the Middle Main neighborhood should be recognized? Fill out a nomination form & send it to Jenny at jcoronel@hudsonriverhousing.org. She is also seeking a volunteer with experience in film editing to help with this project.

The Neighborhood Survey results from the Fall and the Common Council Meeting from September were discussed in reference to recent accomplishments from last year.

John McCartin, a local college student, told us to be on the look out for his art installation on 546 Main Street (the old Sharkey's building). WVKR will be broadcasting LIVE from there 12-3 pm on the 27th with "DJ Bill Skills". And don't forget that Lettice and Lovage is also on the 27th...Make the 27th a Main Street day in Poughkeepsie!

Andrew encourages you to explore your creativity and help lead the creation of a Middle Main float for John Flower's Father's Day Parade. Contact Andrew at asawtelle@hudsonriverhousing.org if you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved.

If you made it to the end of this blog, I salute you. Here's a brief video from the community meeting courtesy of Andrew :

http://vimeo.com/19789547 Enjoy!

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Comment by Elizabeth Celaya on February 11, 2011 at 1:23pm
Do you have suggestions about what Middle Main should take on in 2011?  Share them with us here!

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