- Chris Kendall
Improbable as it seems—for a variety of reasons to do with the general viability of print media, others related to the simple irreconcilability of the mind to the passage of time—Chronogram turns 25 next month. What started as the idealistic, hare-brained scheme of two 20-somethings—Amara Projansky and Jason Stern—to create a publication that would unify the cultural landscape of the Mid-Hudson Valley, has evolved into a multimedia company still committed to its core mission to stimulate and support the creative and cultural life of the region. Despite the stormy weather buffeting the media landscape, we are still sailing along, buoyed by the support of our community of readers and clients.
To celebrate our good fortune, we're throwing the Chronogram community a little birthday party. Please join us on Saturday, November 10 (8pm to midnight), when we'll be taking over the top floor of the Fuller Building, a historic landmark in Midtown Kingston. There'll be music, dancing, a light show, birthday cake—and a very short speech by the editor. (The partially renovated space is pictured above; by the time of our birthday party, it will be a dazzling 8,000 square feet of blushing blond wood.)
I want to tell you briefly about the amazing space we've secured for the soiree. The Fuller Building is a project of architect Scott Dutton, an adaptive reuse specialist who is in the midst of rehabbing the massive 67,000-square-foot building which formerly housed the Fuller Shirt Factory. Like many towns on the Hudson River, Kingston was once a vibrant manufacturing center. The Fuller Shirt Factory at its peak employed 500 people at its Pine Street location. The building, which has been vacant for decades, is now in the midst of a renaissance, with Dutton building studio and office spaces for creative enterprises. Our 25th birthday party will be a coming-out party of sorts for the revitalized Fuller Building, and we hope you join us on November 10 to celebrate Chronogram and the ongoing rehabilitation of the Hudson Valley toward a brighter future. Save the date! For all the details, visit Chronogram.com/birthday.
Chronogram ConversationsWe'll be hosting another event in our Chronogram Conversations series on Thursday, November 1, from 5:30-8pm, at CO. in Rhinebeck. The topic will be "The State of Local Media" and will feature a keynote address by Jim Friedlich, executive director and CEO of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Friedlich's talk will be followed by a panel discussion—moderated by yours truly—with a who's who of movers and shakers in regional media: Geddy Sviekauskas, Ulster Publishing founder and publisher; Gary Chetkof, president and principal owner of Radio Woodstock; Lisa Green, editor of Rural Intelligence; Jimmy Buff, executive director of Radio Kingston; and Mariel Fiori, editor of La Voz. We'll be discussing what it takes for small media organizations to survive at a time when time-tested models have broken down and existential threats abound. What's the next phase for local media? What platforms and funding models will be used in the next decade? I know that our panelists have been experimenting with new ideas and programs at their outlets and I look forward to chatting with them about what the future holds for media.
I'm especially excited to have Jim Friedlich on the program. As executive director of Lenfest, Friedlich is on the front lines of developing sustainable models for local journalism. If you're unfamiliar with Lenfest—and unless you follow the nonprofit media landscape closely, I imagine you are—it was started in 2016 by cable TV mogul Gerry Lenfest. In addition to an initial gift of $20 million, Lenfest also gifted his ownership of the Philadelphia Media Network (the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, the Philadelphia region's largest local news website). These properties serve as a live lab for the Institute's innovation efforts, which I'm personally excited to hear the latest on. All of us working in this embattled space can use a leg up.
As usual, we'll be serving tasty vittles—this time from Cinnamon and T-Spoon—and delicious bevvies from local artisanal providers, all in the salubrious confines of the region's newest coworking space, CO. For more information and tickets: Chronogram.com/conversations.