Dear Miracle Believers,
Happy September! We hope that you have had a magnificent, beautiful, productive summer! At this time I think we are all transitioning and getting back to “reality”. Isn’t that always the case? We are always becoming. We had a very eventful summer with a lot of great things happening! We’re happy to share with you and give an update to you about what all took place.
This was our fifth year of The Community Basketball League in Jerry Burrell Park! What an amazing season. Every year we are out there on every weekend in July with music, food, activities for children, and the best talented basketball players in Schenectady. If you haven’t been to any of the games, catch us next year. The Showtime team brought home the championship trophy for the fourth year in a row! They are the team to beat. We want to give a big shout out to our volunteer coaches, refs, and organizers who help make this happen every year for the community!
This was our first season trying out Project Backyard and what a special program it really is. We worked with ten households to start their own gardens in their backyards. For most participants this was their first time growing food ever! We walked them through growing specific types of vegetables, harvesting, and storing their herbs and veggies. We are finishing up our program this month and will be putting all the gardens to bed and focusing on intentions for growing next year as participants go off on their own and begin to start their journey growing food and sharing with their families. We are planning to continue the program next season. Thank you to our donors Bellevue Builders, Honest Weight Food Co Op, Electric City Food Co Op and Home Depot for making this project Possible.
The best news of all is that we got approved for the CDBG Grant of $150,000 for the renovations of the Carver Center in July!!! Wohooo! This is our first big grant commitment for our project and we are so excited and grateful that the city has shown their support for our project by being the first commitment on the table! All of our hard work is paying off as we knew it would and we are forging along with additional grant requests to begin the first phase of renovations on the center! Miracle on Craig Street is coming!
As a grassroots organization we rely on our small constituency for support to help make our initiatives possible for the community. If you are interested in donating to our capital campaign or a specific program please feel free to contact us and/or mail in a donation to PO Box 357 Schenectady, NY 12301.
Much Love and Blessings,
Rosa Rivera <3
Good Afternoon Miracle Believers,
Happy Spring! We hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather that New York has to offer (for about 5 months but who’s counting?) We are happy to give you some updates on our project and let you know what we have going on this month and coming up this summer! A lot of new beginnings are in store for us and we are looking forward to all the abundance to be had and felt.
Our Paint for a Purpose was phenomenal! We had a blast with Art Diva who led the Painting session with her very own original painting! It is always beautiful to see all the very unique paintings and the art skills of our community. All of the people who say "I'm not creative" or "I can't paint" who end up leaving feeling more confident and with a painting that they actually feel good about is priceless. This was our last paint fundraiser of the summer so stay tuned for a fall Paint for a Purpose fundraiser!
Maybe we have seen you already during our community gardening this spring? We have launched Project Backyard 2018 and it has been amazing! We’ve had so much fun learning how to grow food together with our community. We have also enjoyed bringing new people into our community and expanding our network. Folks have been really excited to get dirty, get in the ground, and start their process of growing food this summer. If you are interested in setting up your own vegetable or herb garden in your backyard…you have a week or so to complete the survey and schedule a date with us here.
Next up this month we have our Poetic Justice Spoken Word Showcase featuring Ahmel Williams! Ahmel is a Schenectady native who grew up in the Hamilton Hill Arts Center with his brothers playing the steel drums. He will be returning home on Saturday June 16th at 7pm to bless us with his presence and artistry. Tickets are on sale now for $15. There is a lineup of other amazing artists before the featured poet that night. Please come and celebrate community and the living word with us in two weeks!
Next month we have our annual Community Basketball League in Jerry Burrell Park on Saturdays from 12-5 July 7th-29th. This is a basketball league, participants are required to pay a $10 registration fee and attend every Saturday. This is a community basketball league that we started five years ago now to create a fun and family friendly event in the park and offer the opportunity for organized sports/athletics in our area for teenagers and young adults. We will have a live DJ, mobile book library, a yoga class, and food/organization/and activity vendors every week. If you are interested in vending or receiving more information please contact us at email@example.com
Self Care Please!
We have started our Self Care Series with LCSW Chelle Pean in April and it has been an awakening experience. In our last workshop we explored boundaries and what it looks and feels like to have the right to tell someone else how to treat you. Building community and sharing space and vulnerability with other women has truly been a blessing. Our next Self Care Event is in August look out for registration in July! Registration fills up fast as we usually only have about 20 available spots. So when you see it come through don't hesitate to register.
Check out the Hamilton Hill Arts Center's 50th Anniversary Sankofa Celebration next month on July 14th from 10am-10pm. There will be many different activities and entertainment for the whole family! They will have a poetry slam, a play (for colored girls), fashion show, musicians, film festival, art exhibits, vendors and workshops and more. You don't want to miss out on the festivities. For more information please contact Rachel Conn at (518) 346-1262.
Wishing you all much love and light and all the joy that the sun and earth have to offer you!!
Hi Miracle Believers,
Guess what?!?! Spring is here I think for real this time because May is approaching! As the weather transitions and lightens up, it seems that we too should feel lighter and warmer in spirit. Energy begets energy right? We have some great news for you and we hope you will share in our excitement and gratitude this month with all of the new beginnings and things happening!
We’ve had some really great press that gave an update on our project and revealed that we have been included in the proposal for the Community Development Block Grant funding for this year! It has been proposed that Miracle on Craig Street will receive 150K from Schenectady CDBG funding!!! Woohoo! Isn’t that amazing? We are so grateful that all of our important work and commitment to our community is being acknowledged through the support of the proposed grant. Final decisions will be made in June on the proposed funding. Check out the articles here for more updates on our capital project endeavors TU Article and Gazette Article.
We have a Paint for a Purpose fundraiser coming up on Saturday April 28th at 6:30pm at the Hamilton Hill Arts Center. If you haven’t been to any of our Painting fundraisers, please register for this coming Saturday’s event and come paint with us! We will have our lovely instructor Art Diva who has worked in the community for years facilitating art programs and events, great tunes, free wine, raffles, and good vibes. And you get to leave with your own picture. You can register here for the event. Come see why we love hosting these painting fundraisers!
We are continuing our self care monthly series with LCSW Chelle Pean on May 19th from 9am-11am! At our last session we talked about What is Self Care, we followed some journaling prompts together and shared out, and we ended with light yoga poses to close our circle. We offer tea, fruit, yoga mats, pens and pencils and the workshop is free! All you have to do is bring your intention to take care of yourself and your physical body and we will love up on you! Check out our journey notes next month to register for our next session on Saturday May 19th!
As if we didn’t have enough great things happening we have one more program to announce to you that we are so excited about! Project Backyard is launching next month!!! We are growing food and bringing it right to people’s backyard this summer. We are working with 25 households to teach them a thing or two about growing food and we will be supporting them to setup and maintain their own garden in their backyard. If you would like to learn more about this program please visit our site. We are still raising funds to completely subsidize the program. If you would like to donate specifically to this program you can do so online at www.youcaring.com/schenectadycares with a memo: gardening OR you can mail in a donation at PO BOX 357 Schenectady NY 12301.
We’d like to take a moment here to recognize some of our supportive sponsors who are supporting our summer programming this year and our communications!
Check out what some of our friends are doing and the fun and interesting things they have coming up!
Soul Fire Farm Reparations Map for Black-Indigenous Farmers
Schenectady Pride June 1st
Hamilton Hill Arts Center Annual Juneteenth Event
Umbrella Nation Black Panther Paint & Sip
Save our Streets Telethon
Love and Light,
Dear Miracle Believers,
We’re back! Sorry for the delay in communication. We hope you missed us. January through February is often our strategic planning time for the year. We are now moving ahead at full speed.
We have updated our website with our planned programming dates and fundraisers so please check it out! We have also made available our feasibility study and proposal for the carver community center. If you would like to learn more about what we are planning to offer at the renovated community center and the total project scale please visit our website. Next month we will be officially kicking off our capital campaign aiming to raise the total funds to renovate the center by Spring 2019. Woohooo!!! I mean it's been 2.5 years it's about time right?
We do have a paint for a purpose Fundraiser this weekend Saturday, March 10th at 6:30pm at Hamilton Hill Arts Center. All proceeds go towards Miracle on Craig Street.'s efforts to revitalize Carver Community Center. We will be learning about renowned and legendary artist Basquiat. There will be free wine and good energy so come out and celebrate yourself and community with us!
Are you interested in learning how to grow your own food this summer? We want to hear from you! Project Backyard is launching this Summer! Are you or do you know a family from the community that would like us to come to your backyard and teach you how to setup your own vegetable garden? Getting closer to our roots, connecting with each other, promoting health and wellness in our communities and finding solutions to challenges through working the land has been a guiding force in our work. If you would like to start your own garden this summer and develop a connection to your land and mama earth please take our interest survey here. We will be collecting responses until April and launching the program in May of 2018.
Need Office or Program Space?!?! We are currently seeking out businesses, organizations, and individuals who are interested in being a tenant in the community center. We are specifically looking for social, spiritual, health, and entrepreneurial resources and services to provide at the center. If you are still looking to be involved with our organization, volunteer your time and/or a service, please contact us. We’re always looking for volunteers for writing, events and fundraising.
This month I am practicing staying connected and being moved by courage, love, and abundance. It seems too easy to get into a work routine where we are being moved by fear, anxiety, and stress. Often times when we get caught in this negative cycle our bodies suffer, our work suffers, and our mind suffers. Here is to breaking bad habits, being gentle and kind to yourself, a lot of loving positive self talk, being proactive, and feeling more gratitude for being. Ask yourself everyday, what is moving you? What is guiding you? Two people can be doing the exact same thing but the motivation is what determines your success, happiness, and fulfillment in those things. With all of the snow storms, the universe seems to be asking us to pause and take a look within and around us. Make sure you are taking the time to listen.
Hi Miracle Makers,
Thank you for being you! Thank you for sticking out this journey with us! Thank you for your constant support and dedication to our community and our work. Thank you for your faith that never seems to waver. When we are running low, we rely on you and the universe to replenish us. You always get the job done! Thank You! Here are our updates for you from Miracle on Craig Street this month.
MJ Vs Prince
Our MJ and Prince fundraiser was a success! It was sooo much fun to see all the Michael and Prince costumes. Our artists are so important to this universe, and we have to celebrate them more often. We needed some more Prince lovers in the building but, we held it down. We want to give a big thank you to Tropics Bar & Lounge for hosting and catering the event. Thank you to our community sponsors for making the event possible, you know who you are!
So we have some pretty awesome news about the building process. After submitting articles to the NYS Parks and Recreation Historic Preservation Department. We have gotten Carver added to the NYS website to be recommended for Historic Registry! We are awaiting to hear back about next steps but, they will likely be going forward with an application to NYS for Historic Registry!!! Woohoo! We are getting warmer :)
We are also starting to enter into our option agreement with the city this month. This means we are reaching out to organizations, businesses, individuals, entrepreneurs, and creatives alike to map out the vision, resources, and partnerships that will begin to form in this new space. This is super exciting, collective work and responsibility is magical and that is what this project is all about. Time to get into the meat!!!
We have an upcoming event with The Hamilton Hill Arts Center titled “Poetic Justice”. This is an open mic and poetry showcase event featuring Amani O, The Capital Region’s Best Named Poet by the Alt. There will be food available for purchase and many great artists you do not want to miss! We will be bringing some justice to our world, speaking our love and courage into existence in the sacred space of the Arts Center. We are excited for our first collaborative event together!
Support Local Community
Community Fathers Inc. Annual Fatherhood Conference is coming up November 7th at Union College’s Park Hall. This year’s theme is "Fathers: The Community's Hidden Resource". Learn More Here https://www.communityfathersinc.org/
Bling out a Bra for Breast Cancer with SHE at The Hamilton Hill Arts Center tomorrow October 14th 2017 at 2pm. To register for tickets visit their Facebook Page here https://www.facebook.com/events/153201921932894/
Have you checked out 518BLK??? 518Blk.com is a site for the black community to discover events and information in the capital district. They are an amazing resource for our community. Lets support each other. Visit their Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/518Blk/
If you would like to become more involved with our efforts to revitalize the Carver Center please get in contact with us! You can also stop into the Arts Center Tuesday and Thursdays from 4-6pm and chat with us!
Dear Miracle Believers,
“Ask and you sha’ll receive, continue the faith to stay on your journey.” We have been continuing to move forward towards building community, collective work, and reclaiming our sense of agency and ownership in our community. We just ended our Community Basketball League in Jerry Burrell Park, we are planning for our upcoming fundraiser on September, we’re in the garden harvesting food for the community, and architects are helping us to plan and visualize for the space in our community center!
Yoga & Basketball Jerry Burrell Park
This past month has been jammed packed with our Community Basketball League in the park. There were live local performances, yoga fitness classes, books being borrowed and read, and so much talent and athleticism in one space. Of course, this happened with the commitment of several community volunteers who helped organize, implement, and donate all of their Saturdays in July to our community and this work. They are the real MVP’s!!!
Upcoming Fundraiser – MJ Vs. Prince
We are very ecstatic to let you know that our next fundraiser is September 14th at 6:30pm at Tropics Bar & Lounge. The theme is Michael Jackson Vs. Prince! Yessss! Please come dressed in your best MC or Prince Costume. We will have trivia, karaoke, impersonations, performances, raffle prizes, and great food! Please join us for a night of fun. This is a 21+ event. Please register for this event on Eventbrite.
We are continuing steps to move forward to renovating the Carver Community Center. We are very happy to be working with Barbara Nelson from TAP Architect firm who has been helping the team to visualize the space and offerings inside the building as she starts to make layouts of the spatial opportunities. We are also very thankful to be working with Ted DeBarbieri, David Craft, and The Albany Law School’s Development Clinic on this project.
We’re still in the process of sending information over to the NYS Dept. of Parks & Preservation to see if the building will be eligible for historic registry, so stay tuned! We look forward to continuing re-creating this center with the help of many, many, community residents, businesses, organizations, and countless individuals all over.
It has been quite a rainy season and this has caused for a ton of weeding! But, we made it! We are still learning how to grow food for ourselves and our community together. We have beans coming up, tomatoes, collard greens, carrots, onions, and maybe potatoes. This summer many individuals and organizations have visited and helped with our garden including Schenectady Girls scouts, Seat center, youth serving community service hours and many, many friends in the community! We’re always looking for folks to help weed and water in the garden. Also, if you have a group you would like to bring for a visit, please contact us! We’d be happy to host your group and educate them on urban gardening.
Our Next Open Meeting is September 6th 2017 at 6:30pm. Our meetings are open to all community residents. As community building is the top priority for us, members of organizations and other formal groups are asked to schedule to meet with us at a separate time. If you are not sure where you fit in, please don’t hesitate to reach out, we encourage your support.
We’ll check back in with you all in September!!!
Hi Miracle Makers,
I hope this message finds you well! We have our monthly update for you from The Miracle Crew and we are excited to share some news with you! The theme of our month has been “Hold on to yourself”.
June has been a very busy month for us and we have been moving, and working, and meeting, and dreaming. We’re in the garden, we’re fundraising, we’re moving our office, we’re planning for the building, and planning for our events coming up. In the midst of all the busyness, we have to remember ourselves, we have to remember to hold on to ourselves, who we are, why we are here, and what is important.
We had some great fundraisers this month and last month that were a huge success! Our dinners were a hit as usual! Thanks so much to Kanema Haynes for volunteering her time to cook for Miracle on Craig St. Thank you to all the Schools and County Offices that ordered dinners from us!
Our Yoga Fundraiser was also a very peaceful, pleasant, experience! Thank you to Chelle Pean for volunteering her time to guide our first outdoor yoga fundraiser! It was such a beautiful day, with beautiful people, and beauty in nature all around us.
On June 13th, we walked through the building at 700 Craig Street for the first time since 2015. There has been a lot of vandalism to the building, mostly notably a lot of broken windows. We will be taking another walk through the building in a few weeks once the building is cleaned up. At that time we will begin measurements with TAP Architect Firm and continue working on a rehabilitation plan for the space. We cannot wait to start this process with TAP!
In more exciting news, The Miracle on Craig Street Office is moving to The Hamilton Hill Arts Center at 409 Schenectady Street. We are expected to be set up there by the beginning of July. The miracle crew is very thankful and grateful to Rachel Conn and The Arts Center Family for providing space for our needs and welcoming us in. We look forward to working with the Hamilton Hill Arts Center on this important journey together.
Things are a growing slowly but surely in the garden. With all the rain, our plants are very well hydrated and I think we’re all looking for some dryer days. Speaking of gardening, we are taking a youth field trip up to Soul Fire Farm on July 12th! We are so very excited to be back up at the magical place that is Soul Fire Farm with youth from Schenectady!!!
Lastly, our Community Basketball League is starting back up in the month of July! Starting July 8th, and every Saturday thereafter we will be running our annual basketball league for ages 16+ at Jerry Burrell Park from 12-5pm. Come out and support some of our great local, talented, athletes here in Schenectady. DJ, live performances, snacks and activities for children every Saturday!
Until next month, much love and light and a million blessings from us to you!
Dear Miracle Believers,
May's Theme: Letting Go Letting God
We are practicing the art of letting go and the power of No! As change agents, healers, and activists, we give a lot. We work a lot for others and sometimes don’t take a moment for ourselves. We all need to remember to keep the balance and know when to let go and let god, when to take care of our selves (which should not be like a special holiday but, daily practices) and when to just say no and be selfish in a good way! Our community needs the best us, we have to be our own heroes first, if we are not good to ourselves we cannot be good for anyone else.
Hooray! The 700 Craig Street property and corresponding parcels of land are now city owned! This means that the City of Schenectady currently has title to the Carver building and remaining parcels of land surrounding Carver and, is in a position to sell the property. We are currently working with our Albany Law team and the development staff at the City of Sch’dy to assess the building in its current state, next month. We have not been able to do this since we started fundraising in 2015!!!
Growing Food & Gardening
Some of our plots have already begun growing sprouts. This year we chose to do a lot of planting from seed. We also chose to plant a few different crops than last year (specifically green beans, soy beans, and peas, because legumes are good for the soil). Our next garden work day is on May 20th from 10am-2pm at the Craig and Wiley Street, Capital Roots Garden. If you are interested, come out and get your hands dirty this Saturday! Stay tuned for details on our small CSA share that will benefit our work to re-open Carver Community Center.
As we get closer and closer to reopening The Carver Center. Our focus really begins to narrow on our mission. We would like to really bring clarity to the purpose of reopening Carver to “root a culturally competent network of people, resources, and opportunities in Hamilton Hill.” We are seeking to provide resources to existing organizations that already serve the neighborhood and make them well equipped to carry out their mission, foster collective work and responsibility, practice cooperative economics, and provide service to the people in the neighborhood. To get us closer to this end we will begin surveying several different organizations, groups, and individuals in our community about their scope, needs, and resources. This will help inform the direction and scope of our resources and opportunities at the center.
Our next open meeting is Thursday, June 1st at 6:30pm at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church at our office at 1055 Wendell Ave. Meetings are for the purpose of community and building and planning, therefore they are open to all community residents and organizations in Hamilton Hill. Other organizations and members from other communities are asked to make a separate appointment with our team, to learn more about what we're up to!
We are glad to give you some updates on what we have going on this month and all that has happened. On Friday we are holding our first fundraiser for the year since our strategic planning hiatus. We are planning to refocus on fundraising and continue to strengthen our ties with the community to help us reach our goals. There is so much work to be done; fundraising, planning, legal counsel, networking, programming but the most important is doing it together and building community together. This ensures the sustainability of our work. “Together everyone achieves more” is one of the saying’s that is frequently used among the MOC members. We are looking forward to consistently evolving our work to reflect all of the diverse and intricate webs of people at the center of this work.
We had our first wisdom council meeting this month where we gathered a group of community members who have served the city of Schenectady and aided in it’s prosperity over the years, at the grassroots level and several institutional levels. The purpose of the wisdom council is to seek guidance from the elders who’ve paved the way for us young people and whose tall shoulders we stand on. Very bad photo credit to Damonni Farley :)
Painting for a Purpose
We are planning and preparing for our first fundraiser of the year which will be a Paint Night. The fundraiser is called “Paint For A Purpose”. The paint night will be inspired by Frida Kahlo and hosted by Ms. Malika Hewitt a.k.a Art Diva. We plan to have up to 60 participants attend the event. Our focus for fundraising this year is to be creative and explore our culture while raising money for our community. We are kicking this off with our Paint For A Purpose fundraiser on March 31st.
We took a trip to Soul Fire Farm to do some Garden Planning for the upcoming season! A lot of us remembered how to do algebra again and we had an intentional, learning, amazing experience as per usual J Our community planting dates are April 29th and April 30th (please check our calendar for corresponding times). We plan to have our share sign ups ready next month! We are looking for volunteers to help us with watering and weeding during the season. If you are interested in learning and helping us grow healthy food for our urban community, be sure to apply here Garden Volunteer
We have also been working on doing door to door outreach to the community, passing out flyers and our monthly newsletter. Social Media works well for us however, we are aware that there are members of the community who do not use social media and those people still have to be reached. We want to make sure that new information about Miracle On Craig Street is easily accessible by the community. This is a lot of hard work but, most important!
Our next meeting
for Miracle on Craig Street is April 3rd Monday at 6:30pm at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church at 1055 Wendell Ave. We will be discussing a few different architect proposals received and looking into our concept proposal for the center and identifying different approaches to working together. Meetings are open to all neighborhood and community residents. Refreshments and childcare are provided (please let us know ahead if you are planning to bring a child/children in advance).
PLEASE NOTE: Persons employed at local organizations/institutions and persons who are not from the community but who would like to support our work are encouraged to schedule a different time to meet with organizers and/or community residents as our meeting time is a time for place based community building amongst residents.
We would like to thank Soul Fire Farm for hosting us this month and being so supportive of so many different community leaders, organizations, and initiatives in the Northeast and beyond! Check them out there Soul Fire Farm Program Calendar 2017 if you have not already done so!
We would like to give a big shout out to our good friends at the Universalist Unitarian Society of Schenectady for donating $1200 to our organization this month!
We would also like to thank Stewarts Shops for donating $1000 to our organization and resident Leonard Herman for donating $200.00 this month!
Check out MOC's calendar for important dates and events you don't want to miss! MOC Calendar
4 days away!!!--->Paint Night Fundraiser- March 31st at the Friendship House 955 State Street Schenectady, New York 12307 6pm.
Register Here (You can also sponsor a seat for someone who may not be able to afford it, if you cannot attend)
Looking to Get Involved?
If you are still wondering how you can support our work and help out with Miracle on Craig Street please contact us! We will be happy to learn about your interest and figure out how you can be a part! In the meantime here are some areas we are currently looking for help in:
Donate towards a specific need?
If you would like to donate to MOC we would be so happy for you to help us bring resources into our community! We are currently seeking donations for help with costs of:
You can donate at www.youcaring.com/schenectadycares or mail in a check to PO Box 357 Schenectady NY 12301
You can visit our website for more information about where we are at in our planning and process of development. www.miracleoncraigstreet.org
Miracle Crew <3