Warwick hosts Orange County Pride Parade
Despite the ninety-plus weather, this year’s Pride Parade was a rainbow-hued celebration. The theme of the day was family, and it showed. LGBTQ youth and adults, friends and allies, came out to strut their stuff. “Warwick is an open, inclusive village, and the Pride Parade was the only one in the county and drew hundreds of people --- many of them young -- from an even wider area,” says Bill Steinhaeur, board president of the Warwick Valley Community Center who hosted the event.
The party began at noon at the Center with plates of rainbow-colored bagels. Going with the color scheme, marchers brought tie-dyed T-shirts to screen print with this year’s logo. Advocate groups were on hand to talk about their locally supportive organizations, including The Orange County Youth Bureau, who helped fund this year’s parade. Food donations came from Shoprite and Price Chopper in Warwick, and from local volunteers.
Melissa Shaw-Smith, who coordinated the event with the Community Center and Danielle Barbour from Safe Space America, says, “We invited folks to come and put their own touches on the parade design, led by a talented team from Wickham Works.”
Student volunteers from the Center’s Youth Advisory Board, Acting Out Playhouse, and the Library’s Teen Advisory Board helped decorate the floats. Marchers painted their faces, and made signs to carry. Karen Decher from the Warwick Arts Festival was on hand with her stunning hats and puppets to add another layer of creativity to the parade.
Grand Marshals Danielle Barbour and her family, rode in the gaily-colored Pride Mobile, and as part of the Village of Warwick’s Sesquicentennial celebrations, Mayor Michael Newhard led the crowd. Afterwards, he stressed the importance to the assembled crowd of providing Safe Spaces in our community for all.
“Diversity is a top priority at the center,” says Bill Steinhaeur, “and under Executive Director Karen Thomas’ guidance, the Pride Parade and LGBTQ initiatives have been a reflection of that for several years. Especially in today’s political climate, we’re proud to give the LGBTQ community a voice.”
The Center has recently launched a support group, Outloud that offers a forum for the adult LGBTQ community, their friends, and allies to explore common concerns and share triumphs through social and educational events. Outloud is facilitated by Bonnie Schonfeld, a long time member of the WVCC family and an advocate for civil justice: "Advocating for social change that embraces and applauds gender diversity and human rights can only serve to promote balance and well-being for our community and our planet!" Outloud meets the second Monday of the month at the WVCC from 7PM-8PM. A similar group for youth is starting soon. For more information call 845-986-6422 xt 4.
Here are instructions for several fun and easy crafts to make at home using items from your recycling bin. When finished you can bring them into your classroom for collection no later than Friday April 28th. They will be included in the Tree Sculptures. Or better yet, bring them to the event on Saturday 29th or Sunday 30th and hang them on the trees yourself!
Pie Plate Ornament
The Plastic Bag Dragon will be making an appearance at Treecycle, but luckily, so will
The Green Man! Come and help defeat the dragon with your own Dragon's Breath. Dragon's Breath instructions.
A lot of you have asked how the plans are coming along – how much closer we are to our stated mission: To enrich our community by providing a workspace and materials exchange where new and experienced makers can learn, collaborate, offer workshops, and spark new business opportunities.
Wickham Works is a local non-profit organization committed to creating a Makerspace for the benefit of our community. To that end, we are hosting Meet Your Maker, a holiday gift market that highlights the talented makers in our midst and introduces them to the community.
The Meet Your Maker Holiday Market is the place to find a unique gift, a handcrafted item that will last a lifetime, or a chance to learn about a range of exciting, hands-on workshops offered in our area. In addition to our vendor booths and shop, there will be live maker demos, music, children’s craft activities, food and a raffle – something for all ages, so bring the family!
Meet Your Maker takes place at Wickham Woodlands Manor, 255 State School Rd, Warwick, NY 10990. The Market Opens on Friday, November 25, 4-7 with a welcome reception, and on Saturday 26, Sunday 27, 10-5.
Recently, out of the blue, I received a phone call from a sculptor up in Sullivan County who wanted to commission some glass pieces for a large outdoor fountain piece he was making. The piece will be installed at the Center For Discovery located near Hurleyville just north of Monticello. I decided to drive up and deliver the pieces because I had heard that the Center had opened a Maker Lab in downtown Hurleyville last Spring.
After handing the glass over to the sculptor, Richard Rulli, he gave me a tour of the center which has several of his pieces on display. One of the largest is pictured above. It is a very large eagle carved from black walnut. The carving was begun outside and as the work progressed, the structure was built around it! He also does steel and concrete pieces for outdoor installation.
We also toured the Maker Lab which is quite impressive. It has many of the tools and spaces that we hope to acquire for Wickham Works. I highly recommend a visit if you are up in the area. I am planning to return later this month with a few others to continue the conversation with some of the supervisors about the maker movement and how we can work together. They are in a different situation than us in the sense that they were front loaded with funding and are seeking community involvement. We are beginning with activating a community interest first and then seeking funding. Both approaches have challenges but all agree that our location in relation to a larger population base (NYC, Bergen County, Rockland County) is an advantage for membership involvement. I have posted a few photos of the workshop above.
It’s very exciting to see all the response to the idea of “making” and MakerSpaces. Even on a local level both the Warwick High School and the library have plans to develop limited models to attract interest and validate the Wickham Works mission. We have ambitious plans for building community and making practical spaces for a large, diverse audience to engage in authentic making activities. With the space and tools for self guided exploration, intergenerational mentorship and practical workshops we will build on what has been started to become a MakerSpace available to the entire Warwick community and beyond.
The proposal for Wickham Works is for a MakerSpace and Material Exchange to be created
at Wickham Woodlands in the Town of Warwick, New York. This site (formerly the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility) was turned over to the Town by the State of New York after closing in 2013.
The entire733 acre site is in the process of being developed for both commercial and recreational purposes.
There are a few buildings remaining in the recreational portion that we are planning to re-purpose;
most notably the 12,000 sq.ft. dairy barn and adjacent hen house. The Town has offered to lease
these buildings on a no tax/no rent basis to Wickham Works. The renovation and operational costs
of this endowment are up to us at this time.
Over the last year there have been meetings with over 50 interested people attending from diverse demographic sections of our locality. From those meetings a group of 12 of us have come together
as a core to shape and move the project forward. We have actively solicited input from individuals
and civic groups in order to create a compelling vision that benefits the entire Warwick community
and beyond. We are now in the process of obtaining our 501-3C non-profit status in order to begin
raising the capitol needed for renovation and operational cost as detailed in our business plan. We
are looking forward to formalizing an Economic Impact Statement that will specify the possible regional economic benefits of our project.
The space available is larger then needed for our project. We are seeking partnerships with like-
minded non-profits and social enterprises in order to reach a sustainable level of operation.
Our aim is to nurture this place into a destination for innovative activity, cultural events,
and socially responsible commerce. It is a community building effort that will have positive
economic impact in addition to preserving these wonderful, iconic buildings that represent our common heritage of cultural support for family, friends and neighbors here in the Warwick Valley.