100 episodes

Beaconites! is a podcast about Beacon, New York and the people who live here. Interviews with artists, business owners, educators, students and other local figures provide a window on Beacon and a point of entry for listeners to get involved.

Beaconites‪!‬ Zachary Rodgers

    • News
    • 4.9 • 32 Ratings

Beaconites! is a podcast about Beacon, New York and the people who live here. Interviews with artists, business owners, educators, students and other local figures provide a window on Beacon and a point of entry for listeners to get involved.

    Fifty-plus years of music, with the Towne Crier owner Phil Ciganer

    Fifty-plus years of music, with the Towne Crier owner Phil Ciganer

    The Towne Crier, founded by Phil Ciganer in the early 70s, has a long history staging folk acts in the Hudson Valley. As a young man, Phil prowled the folk scene in Greenwich Village, a wellspring of American music during the 60s. He initially based his venue in Beekman and has moved twice, most recently to Beacon 11 years ago. 
    Among the first musicians to play the Towne Crier was Pete Seeger, and this interview contains some great lore about Beacon's favorite late native son. Speaking of which, the Crier will host its annual celebration of Pete's life on May 3, the anniversary of his birth. This year’s event will be hosted by David Bernz, a dear friend and collaborator Pete’s who has authored a new book called “Pete Seeger - Chopping Wood, Thoughts and Stories of a Legendary American Folksinger." 
    This episode is sponsored by Healthy In Color, a purveyor of delicious and healthful salads, breakfast options, wraps, warm bowls located at 259 Main Street. 
    Photo by Michael Isabell. 
     

    • 35 min
    Adam McKible on his book, ‘Circulating Jim Crow’

    Adam McKible on his book, ‘Circulating Jim Crow’

    Adam McKible is an associate professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He grew up in Newburgh and moved to NYC, where he met his wife Julie and started a family before moving back to the area. “We spawned then swam upstream,” he says. 
    Adam’s new book, “Circulating Jim Crow,” examines how The Saturday Evening Post advanced a racist ideology that supressed Black modernity through dialect fiction authored by white writers. In our interview, Adam talks about his research, the major themes of this book, and the freakish popularity of black minstrelsy in the first half of the 20th century (including in Beacon).
    Photo credit: David Sampliner 

    • 38 min
    Ruth Danon, Poet and Literary Instigator

    Ruth Danon, Poet and Literary Instigator

    Ruth Danon grew up on the grounds of a mental hospital where her mother was a psychiatrist and many neighbors were European immigrants fleeing the devastation of World War 2. She forged a winding literary path, publishing four poetry collections and developing a style of teaching that treats writing as a studio art. She moved to Beacon in 2020 and now teaches privately and curates literary events such as the Spring Street Reading Series at Atlas Studios in Newburh and the Beacon Lit Fest, 
    In this interview Ruth talks about her life and reads a cluster of poems from her new collection, “Turn up the Heat.” 
    Photo credit: Meredith Heuer 

    • 42 min
    Should we build vertically or protect the view? With council member Pam Wetherbee

    Should we build vertically or protect the view? With council member Pam Wetherbee

    Pam Wetherbee grew up in Newburgh and moved to Beacon in 1986 for an almost unfathomable reason: affordability. In this episode, she talks about changes to Beacon in the 38 years since she moved here and her hopes for the city now. In this episode... 
    Affordability. Pam also shares her perspective on housing affordability, including a recent study that found the city needs more of both lower income and luxury homes, but not necessarily middle-income homes. Can this be believed? 
    Views. And, Pam wants to preserve views of Mount Beacon for as many residents as possible. “Looking at the mountain from Fishkill Avenue, to me it’s just a gem, and to lose that because we’ve built higher and blocked it? That needs to be considered.” 
    Social services. How many people in Beacon are in need, but we don't know? Pam is concerned that older and poorer resident may be experiencing isolation and health risks, and she sees a role for the city in identifying and helping those in need. 
    Want to support local media? Donate a few bucks to Beaconites.
    This episode was recorded and edited by Beacon AV Lab. Photo courtesy of Michael Isabell. 
    Visit Beaconites.com to hear past episodes, subscribe to our newsletter and more.

    • 26 min
    Confronting Beacon's housing crunch, with Ward 1 council member Molly Rhodes

    Confronting Beacon's housing crunch, with Ward 1 council member Molly Rhodes

    As she kicks off her second term, Molly Rhodes comes on the podcast to discuss the major issues facing Beacon and her Ward. Molly grew up in New York City, the child of UK immigrants. Her first exposure to the Hudson Valley came when she was young and her family rented a house in Cornwall. 
    This episode includes a lengthy discussion of the Fishkill Avenue Corridor zoning process, which could have a huge impact on Beacon's future building stock.

    • 41 min
    Art, archeology, and the 'neolithic package,' with Greg Slick

    Art, archeology, and the 'neolithic package,' with Greg Slick

    Greg Slick is an artist whose work reflects a fascination with late stone age art. In this interview he shares childhood memories of neolithic ruins and how their “muteness” provided fodder for his creative practice. Greg also shares memories of Beacon’s gallery scene in the years after Dia:Beacon opened and assesses the Hudson Valley art scene today. Greg was the co-owner of a celebrated gallery, Go North (2006-2009), and his wife Karlyn Benson operated her own gallery, Matteawan (2013-2018). 
    Learn more about Greg and his art at his website. 
     

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

JR_LES ,

Insightful and Interesting

Insightful and interesting podcast with a local Beacon focus

RustyStahl ,

Excellent

Beaconites is a well-produced, thoughtful, informative, and enjoyable show! Covering a whole range of topics across society -- all happening here in our little slice of America between Mt. Beacon and the Hudson River!

LynnF-M ,

Small-town podcast, big-city quality

You can’t believe a town of 20,000 has a podcast this good. Zach conducts immersive, NPR-level interviews with all these just fascinating locals. As a Beaconite, I get to know my town and its people + issues so much more deeply through the show. Residents, visitors, and anyone who cares about the Hudson Valley will find something of interest here.

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