Catskill Waters Autumn Banquet
Catskill Waters’s first public event is a fundraiser like no other—in fact, the fundraising part is only a small aspect of it. It’s a hybrid of a multi-media art project, culinary bliss, and a social and economic experiment.
Old Glenford Church
210 Old Route 28, Glenford, NY
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Cocktail reception begins at 5:30pm, dinner at 7pm
Rebecca Martin, Founder, KingstonCitizens.org
What is the fundraiser for?
It is for launching a podcast series as an extension of Catskill Waters. We have been collecting stories and interviewing people in the NYC watersheds located in the Catskill Mountains. As we head into the production phase of the project, we have come to believe that an additional podcast series would be a perfect vehicle to keep the stories going, bring our community to the world, and to take proactive steps by addressing real issues and searching for real solutions.
Is Catskill Waters a not-for-profit project?
Yes, Catskill Waters is sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions for the purposes of Catskill Waters are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. It is made possible in part with funds from Rondout Neversink Stream Program, a project of Sullivan County Soil & Water Conservation District funded by New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program, a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County and the Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District, funded by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
What is the main attraction?
A 4-course dinner prepared by David Waltuck, owner of the legendary Chanterelle (1979–2009). Chanterelle was a restaurant like no other. Although it was one of the most expensive restaurants at the time, if you only ate there once, they still made you feel like you were a long-time customer. Dining there was an experience described by New Yorker journalist Adam Gopnik as “a three-hour engineered transcendence of the mundane.”
The venue is Old Glenford Church, a project of our hosts Mor Pipman and Eric Hurliman. In this historic building which was moved from the site of Ashokan reservoir, they have been cultivating a robust supportive community by hosting Hudson Valley Music Nights for years. The intimate paradise they have created—solar panels, grape vines, a fig tree, an orchard garden, a pond—is a beautiful example of the spirit of our community.
Who is the Honoree?
Rebecca Martin, a founder of KingstonCitizens.org who raised community awareness about the Niagara Bottling Company’s proposed plan to purchase a large share of Kingston water supply, resulting in the withdrawal of their proposal.
How is it an art project?
It is an evening curated with artists’ curiosity and their persistent pursuit for it. Our principal artist Sergey Jivetin always wanted to create an optical lens with ice. Our fundraiser presented itself as a perfect opportunity for this idea, so he is doing just that, and much more; Bob Lukomski who teaches composition in electronic music at SUNY New Paltz will be performing live using samples of audio recordings from interviews; there will be a variety of video projections.
Paying an homage to the Chanterelle tradition (they had an artist design a menu cover once every six months), we have seven local artists designing a menu cover. Their original works will be on view along with several original menus from the Chanterelle collection (many thanks to Omar Lopez-Chahoud for bringing me to the attention of the menu collection). Furthermore, David Waltuck’s cuisine is art. Chanterelle was an art project.
- Jenny Lee Fowler
- Dave Hebb
- Margaret Helthaler
- Beth Humphrey
- Segey Jivetin
- Bob Lukomski
- Will Lytle
- Norm Magnusson
- Alicia Mikles
- Keiko Sono
- Chris Victor
How is it a social/economic experiment?
Most artists never go to fundraisers because we can’t afford to, but we always contribute to them. For free. I always imagined those fundraisers to be fun and exciting—until I went to one. An annual gala for a major art not-for-profit in New York. I was invited because they used my video as a backdrop for the dinner. I was beyond excited. But what I saw there was misery. It was in a huge convention-like hall on the west edge of Chelsea with no soul at all. Artworks in display were thrown together with no attention what-so-ever. The entire evening was orchestrated by a professional slick event production company. All the artists were shoved into the corner table, and had nothing but complaints. Even the main honoree, Christian Marclay, declared in his speech that he was there only as a bait for the wealthy donors.
Where is the art in that?
Since then I’ve wondered, why give all that money to the venues and professional promoters? Why not give the money to artists and let them design the event? Even if that decreases the amount raised for the organization by increasing cost, you would be supporting the artists by paying them and giving them jobs that rely on their creative skills.
Not only would this inject cash into the local community, but it would maximize the intangible capital by elevating the shared experience. If the guests take away a memory of rich shared experience, its effect could be much longer lasting and far reaching than what money could bring alone.
This is why we are involving many artists and none are asked to donate their work. They will exhibit their original pieces for sale at the event, with all of the proceeds going to the artists, not Catskill Waters. It is our attempt to use an opportunity and share the benefits among all those involved.
I’m a business owner. Can I sponsor Catskill Waters?
Absolutely. There are two sets of sponsorship tiers and benefits, one with event tickets and one without.
Why is the ticket so expensive?
We believe the event is worth it for what we are offering. It represents our vision to shift from object-based to experience-based art, in order to cultivate new ways for visual artists to work with the community and with each other. But we realize the $200 price is out of reach for many of us. That’s why there is a way to receive a ticket for being a part of our team (see below).
I can’t afford the ticket. Is there a way I can still attend?
Yes. Join our “Our Sponsors, Our Community” program. It’s easy and a great way to build network among our local entrepreneurs and the art community, and for you to be a part of Catskill Waters team.
I can’t attend the dinner, but can I make a tax-deductible contribution?
You are very kind. Catskill Waters is sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions for the purposes of Catskill Waters are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.