Gimme Roots

Gimme roots, ivy creeping on brick walkwayShe opens the door to a Lace Mill gallery. She reminds me of every favorite Art and English teacher I’ve ever had. She’s an accomplished writer, poet and Mom. A part of Ulster County and its thriving artist community for her entire life, Holly is one of the people that makes our area the amazing place it is.

As we sit on soft leather couches in the gallery, other residents stop in and out, asking for an opinion on an art project or quick feedback on an inspiration. I ask her if she knows her neighbors, really knows her neighbors. Is The Lace Mill a social building? Her eyes light up.  Residents of The Lace Mill bond over everything: their families, growing up, religion, even politics. At this point in time, almost everyone in the building seems to love the Netflix show, The Adventures of Kimmy Schmidt.

“I do know my neighbors, and I love my neighbors!” extolls Holly. “I was thinking just today that it would be weird for me to move away and not see them anymore. And that’s after less than a year.”  In that time, Holly’s life has changed for the better. Within a place she calls Home, she embraces her true self: a comforting, welcoming, and happy woman. With great shoes.

Holly at The Lace Mill

Holly dressed as Queen Bee for Sinterklaas, outside The Lace Mill

“It’s been a hard few years in these parts,” Holly says.  “Because the apartments are subsidized, my rent is lower than average local rents, and that’s changed my life substantially.  I had been fighting for a while the idea of having to leave Ulster County, which has been home all my life, to find some place more affordable. Since being here, I’ve applied for artist residencies (where you go and just write for an entire month), and I am leading a poetry workshop in Missouri this summer, at an academic conference about Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wrote The Little House on the Prairie books, which are important historical documents about pioneer life.  Maybe even more exciting, I am going to have an article in the local paper, which I have wanted to do since High School. Lace Mill has let me focus on creating the life I want, rather than imagining it to be somewhere else, in some imaginary future.”

 

She’s realized what a role being safely housed plays in much mental illness, something she spoke about at a recent public hearing in support of Landmark Place. She’s seen first-hand how housing stability plays a huge role in productivity, and what a difference secure housing makes in a person’s life.

Because she’s got a solid place to live, Holly can now open herself to new writing opportunities and collaborations. She plans to hold poetry workshops and finish her new book. Since moving in to The Lace Mill, she’s coordinated several group shows, called Samplers, and gave a public reading of A Christmas Carol in December. Seeing people excited to create new work is what makes the time putting together things like The Spring Sampler worth it, and she loves brainstorming with other creative spirits in The Lace Mill.

She and I agree that having a secure place to live makes you a happier person. Life is hard enough. There are lots of people suffering from all sorts of different things. “I think that when you chronically don’t know where you’re going to live in a year, mental wellness suffers. Everybody needs a place to regroup and ‘just be.’ Moving around a lot, or not having a place to land — it definitely makes a hard situation worse.”

Holly knows what Home means to her. She happily and knowingly appreciates her neighbors, and newfound opportunities. Having roots for the first time, Holly thrives, more and more every day.

This interview has been updated, reflecting a few of Holly’s more current artistic activities.

Rachel Barnett headshotFreelance writer Rachel Barnett wrote this interview while serving as Editorial Assistant in RUPCO’s Communications Department (Fall 2016) as part of the SUNY-Ulster Internship Program. Rachel too knows the important connection between housing and mental wellness; her brother strives for mental wellness, too. Rachel has seen the benefits of stable housing and its affect on his life, and hers. A lover of all things avante garde, Rachel too appreciates fabulous glasses and great shoes.  

 

 

UNITY: Artists’ Corridor Partners in Collaborative Exhibit

Election Night March 2017 by Leslie Bender

The UNITY show is a partnership of artists from along the Cornell Street corridor — the Shirt Factory, Pajama Factory, Brush Factory, Cornell Street Studios and The Lace Mill — whose works will be exhibited at The Lace Mill’s East Gallery and West Gallery, 165 Cornell Street, Kingston.  The show’s opening reception will be held Saturday, May 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Disciplines include painting, sculpture, ceramics, performance, installation, music, and dance, video, puppetry for kids, and sonic meditation. Artwork, like Election Night March 2017 by Leslie Bender, at right will be featured.

A closing reception the following on Saturday, May 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., features live performance-based art such as dance, video and music.

Inspired by the newly launched Midtown Arts District (MAD) last year, Lace Mill community arts liaison Sarah Carlson and Shirt Factory events coordinator Lisa Kelley started discussing the possibilities of joining forces to create a dynamic group show of the buildings’ artists while also supporting the mission and initiatives of MAD.

American Flag by Sarah Carlson

American Flag by Sarah Carlson

Carlson explains, “I wanted to do a show that was about what we have in common, rather than what divides us, and to have that conversation as a community. It seemed sweet to open that dialogue to the arts corridor right here and a nice way for us to dialogue about what’s happening on the local national stage. As artists, that’s what we do.”

Kelley adds, “I love Sarah’s idea for bringing our artists together with the theme of unity.  Over the last year, the Midtown Arts District and Mike Piazza’s artist factory buildings have supported this kind of collaboration between artists.  I believe we’re planting some fertile seeds for exciting partnerships in the future.”

High Water Mark by Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick

High Water Mark by Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick

Nearly two dozen artists will participate in UNITY including:

Leslie Bender
Micah Blumenthal
Stephanie Bonavito
Tania Canteli
Sarah Carlson
Amy Cote
Ray Curran
Joan Ellis
Alexis Feldheim
Rosalie Frankel
Green Palette Community Center
Patrice Heber
Nina Isabelle
Susanna Kearney
Lisa B Kelley
Maki Kurokawa
James Martin
Dan McManus
Diana Seiler
Charlotte Tusch
Frank Waters
Eli Winograd

For more information:
Sarah Carlson at The Lace Mill 917-428-3297
Lisa Barnard Kelley at The Shirt Factory  845-901-0244

MyKingstonKids Fest2017 at The Lace Mill

Kids Festival at The Lace Mill

The Lace Mill is the place to be for MyKingstonKids Fest2017, a free indoor/outdoor event created for local children. Your child will enjoy an eclectic experience of  interactive educational tools; engaging, fun-loving events; and age-appropriate entertainment. MyKingstonKids Fest2017 includes a children’s art show, music, performances, dance classes, arts & crafts, games, and more. MyKingstonKids Fest 2017 is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Lace Mill, 165 Cornell Street, Kingston.

For early-bird, get-up-and-go kids, MyKingstonKids Fest offers a Yoga Fun Class at 10:30 a.m.;  for parents and those young-at-heart, an adult beginners yoga class runs at the same time.

And who doesn’t love a Wonderland Tea Party? Tea Party-ers dress up, enjoy “tea & snacks,” parlor games and entertainment; choose from one of two age groups, ages 4-6 and 7-9. Register in advance as space is limited by visiting MyKingstonKids Fest2017.

Follow the latest updates on the MyKingston Kids Fest2017 Facebook page, too.

RUPCO recognized as one of “Preservation’s Best of 2016”

National preservation societies recognize The Lace Mill’s use of Historic Tax Credits to help revitalize the City of Kingston.

From an accomplished list of Historic Preservation Projects carried out across the United States, RUPCO’s Lace Mill has been identified as one of six historic preservation projects recognized as one of “Preservation’s Best of 2016.”

This award, granted by Preservation Action, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, brings attention to RUPCO’s success in using the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit to transform The Lace Mill, a historically significant building that was underutilized with boarded windows and turning it into a viable community asset for the 21st century. The awards are intended to bring attention to the success of the Historic Tax Credit as a driver of economic development across the country. The awards will be handed out at the Preservation’s Best Congressional Reception to be held on March 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Members of the Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus as well as Preservation Action members, partners and preservationists from across the nation are expected to be in attendance.

 “Preservation Action is very pleased to host this reception and recognize these exemplary historic rehabilitation projects. At a time when the future of the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit is uncertain, projects like The Lace Mill in Kingston, NY help to highlight the benefits of the program,” said Robert Naylor from Preservation Action.

 “We are pleased to be singled out with just a handful of projects from around the nation as a truly transformative project that adaptively restored a historic gem into a great community asset – one that is now key to the creative placemaking magic that is occurring in midtown Kinston,” said Kevin O’Connor, RUPCO’s Chief Executive Officer. “We saw early on the potential of this boarded-up building to meet one of Kingston’s varied community needs and we are thrilled with the results.”

“Having studied architecture and urban planning, I knew at the outset, that the project would make a difference in the neighborhood,” notes Scott Dutton, the project’s architect. “However, what I completely underestimated is how much of a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization this project would become and how quickly that would happen. The number of people that have told us that they made the decision to either purchase property or establish their businesses/residences in Midtown because of what they saw happening at the Lace Mills Lofts continues to astound me.”

Preservation Action has been hosting National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week for over 30 years. By honoring exemplary rehabilitation projects, its annual reception helps to highlight the benefits of the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit. The HTC is the largest federal investment in historic preservation, responsible for redeveloping over 40,000 buildings, and contributing to the revitalization of cities and towns across the country. The Lace Mill investment was $18.7 million and fully one-third of the costs were paid for by private sector purchase of the Federal and New York State Historic Tax Credits. Morgan Stanley served as the investor.

RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said, “HCR is proud to be part of this impressive and critically important development. The Lace Mill is once again an anchor to midtown Kingston. The preservation of this historic building will contribute to a more economically vibrant community and will provide safe, affordable housing for local artists. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, HCR will continue to invest in the adaptive reuse of vacant, historic buildings so that we can revitalize our neighborhoods while preserving our most significant buildings.”

RUPCO is an affordable housing advocate and innovative community developer in the Hudson Valley, is a charter member of NeighborWorks America, a national network of 245 housing and community development change agents. RUPCO affects the lives of over 8,000 people through its work with homelessness, rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, first-time homebuyers, home rehabilitation and energy efficiency and real estate development. RUPCO is currently working on $75-million worth of real estate development in the Hudson Valley, including Energy Square, Landmark Place, and The Metro in Kingston and the Newburgh Neighborhood CORe Revitalization. For more information, visit www.rupco.org

Preservation Action is a 501(c) 4 nonprofit organization created in 1974 to serve as the national grassroots lobby for historic preservation. Preservation Action seeks to make historic preservation a national priority by advocating to all branches of the federal government for sound preservation policy and programs through a grassroots constituency empowered with information and training and through direct contact with elected representatives.
 

RUPCO receives national award for innovative historic rehabilitation financing

Chuck-Snyder-Guy-Kempe-Joe-Eriole-Frank-Paulo-Kevin-O'ConnorFrom a highly distinguished roster of nationally recognized affordable housing developers, RUPCO received the David Reznick Award for Most Advanced Financial Structure Award in early November. Affectionately referred to as “The Timmy’s,” the J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation are given annually by the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA), one of the country’s top housing industry groups. RUPCO was also a finalist in two other categories: Best Historic Rehab Utilizing LIHTCs (Low Income Housing Tax Credits) and Best Historic Mill or Factory Rehabilitation.

“To be recognized by the NH&RA and a finalist running with national private and nonprofit developers of this caliber is an honor,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “As financing diminishes for housing construction for those most in need — seniors, veterans, working families and those requiring supportive housing — we are forced to get creative in our financial partnering. Exploring outside-the-box alternatives allow new home creation like The Lace Mill to fill the vacuum of safe, affordable housing. We’re at a crisis in our communities; seven out of 10 renters are paying more than 50% of their monthly income on housing costs. By finding new ways to finance housing creation, we can come through construction, delivering on the demands of our communities. I credit RUPCO’s Chief Financial Officer, Frank Paulo, for keeping our development team true to cost and managing a fiscal portfolio worthy of this award. We pulled together 18 different finance vehicles totaling $18.9 million to create a true public-private partnership in developing The Lace Mill.”

RUPCO combined investment vehicles such as federal low-income tax credits with syndicator National Equity Fund, New York State Historic Tax Credits, a NYSERDA energy grant, private investment through Morgan Stanley, and a private mortgage with CHASE to meet its funding objectives. “The complexity of this financial structuring combined many sources willing to see RUPCO’s vision of what this vacant building could be and the impact its revitalization could have on the surrounding community,” notes Frank Paulo, RUPCO’s Chief Financial Officer. “Local investors included TD Bank Charitable Foundation, City of Kingston, Central Hudson, Ulster Savings Bank, and RUPCO also contributed to meeting the construction budget. We’re thankful to have national partners like NeighborWorks America, Urban Initiative, and Federal Home Loan Bank, as well as state partners NYSERDA, NYS Housing Finance Agency, and New York Main Street Program. Together we created this historic financing structure.”

The 2016 Timmy winners in 11 categories represented visionaries from California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, and North Carolina. “While The Lace Mill has enjoyed accolades for its design and construction integrity, the recognition of the project’s financial structure by the NH&RA on a national stage speaks directly to the commitment that RUPCO brings to both this project and this community,” notes Chuck Snyder, Director of Construction. “The assembly and administration of multiple funding sources at this level requires determination, knowledge and perseverance that is unparalleled within the development community and is a credit to the work delivered by the RUPCO organization.” Snyder oversaw the construction process at The Lace Mill.

“To be recognized in three separate categories reflecting both the complexity of the financing and the innovation of the project as a whole is a tribute to the expanding breadth of organizations like RUPCO nationwide,” adds Joe Eriole, Vice President of Real Estate Development at RUPO. Eriole and Snyder accepted the award on RUPCO’s behalf at NH&RA’s ceremony in Boston.

According to NH&RA, the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit is a tax incentive used by developers to help finance the renovation of historic buildings of all types for continued use as offices, apartments, hotels, stores, and other purposes. Available nationwide, federal historic tax credits are instrumental in revitalizing urban downtowns as well as suburbs and rural communities. NH&RA created the Timmy Awards in 2005 in memory of J. Timothy Anderson, a Boston architect, educator and preservation advocate. A singular figure in the historic rehabilitation business, Anderson’s legacy includes numerous Boston area projects and a seminal study that helped preserve Miami’s South Beach Art Deco District.

Add This Book to Your Holiday Reading List

earlymarketing-social_crosssectorcollaboration-customCommunity development success stories from around the country are available December 12. The new book, “NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions from America’s Community Development Network,” highlights innovative solutions to community development and housing challenges from the NeighborWorks America (NWA) network of local nonprofits. RUPCO is one of 140 organizations featured from the NWA membership.

“We actually have two stories in #OurNWBook,” says Kevin O’Connor, chief executive officer at RUPCO. “The first is about the collaborative nature The Lace Mill and how the community influenced our design and living dynamic there.” The story also includes comment from local photographer Rubi Rose, one of the Lace Mill’s 55 resident-artists and can be found in the “Place-based Investments” section of the book.

“The second story focuses on RUPCO’s energy efficiency program, Green Jobs | Green New York (GJGNY),” adds O’Connor. “We’ve extended specific effort to connect with the Latino community, as many of these families can benefit most from the energy audit and weatherization services.” In the last five years, GJGNY has helped 2409 families in 10 counties with free and low-cost home energy assessments and helped homeowners minimize utility bills through home energy savings recommendations. The monetary impact of this energy-saving work totals over $5.3 million. This story is listed in the section “Affordable Homes.”

RUPCO is a member of the NeighborWorks network—more than 245 nonprofit organizations based in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The network was founded and is supported by NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities.  As a member of the NeighborWorks network, RUPCO has been rigorously assessed for high standards of performance and operation. In 2016, RUPCO received “exemplary” status for its performance in five areas. NWA awarded RUPCO chartered member status in 1998 and audits the community developer every three years to ensure the excellence of the network. 

“Community-based nonprofits are creating economic opportunity for more Americans through cross-sector collaborations, complementary investments and collective problem-solving,” says Paul Weech, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America (NWA). “This book will allow us to share what works, as well as what doesn’t work – an important part of innovation.”

essays inside “NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions from America’s Community Development Network” demonstrate how housing can be a platform for advancing health, education, workforce development, and youth leadership. Featured success stories illustrate how to facilitate affordable housing, whether owned or rented; supportive housing for senior citizens or the disabled; engage residents of varying ages, cultures and races; revitalize declining neighborhoods; and measure outcomes. Policymakers at the local and state levels, funders, and journalists will find it a rich source of ideas related to community development trends, challenges, and solutions.

“RUPCO is offering the book as part of our year-end fundraising appeal,” notes O’Connor. “For a donation of $50 or more, you receive NeighborWorks Works; a signed limited edition print “Give Housing a Voice” by local artist Stephen Hargash; and the satisfaction knowing your donation makes home matter here in the Hudson Valley.”

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Free Wellness Clinics at The Lace Mill

HCHR-web-imageHealthcare is a Human Right (HCHR) brings free, alternative wellness modalities to the public each month at a variety of locations.

RUPCO, HCHR and The Lace Mill resident community are committed to sharing this opportunity with midtown Kingston. HCHR offers a consistent monthly clinic at The Lace Mill, 165 Cornell Street on the second Thursday of the month.

The next HCHR Kingston Clinic is Thursday, November 10 from 4-7 p.m.

Visits are scheduled on a first-come basis. Between 8 and 20 practitioners share their skills in many wellness modalities including energy work, Reikki, massage, cranial-sacral therapy, aromatherapy and herbal tinctures. 

Can’t make it to Kingston? HCHR holds a quarterly wellness clinic at the Woodstock Community Center (Rock Hill Road); the next scheduled clinic is Saturday, November 5 from 4-7 p.m.

Kids’ Summer Programs

young white child experimenting with brightly colored paintsStarting July 1, RUPCO’s Program Services is offering two creative programs for resident children.

Lace Mill Kids is open to children ages 3-5 who live at the midtown Kingston community. Children will learn dance and rhythm in a fun and interactive way as a warm-up to activity each day. The group will create a “Lace Mill Kids” mural with different art mediums to commemorate the summer program. The program meets Tuesdays and Thursday from 10am to noon.

A second program, Woodstock Commons Kids, is geared towards children ages 5-13 who live at the intergenerational campus. Children will warm-up with basic acting skills and created a “Woodstock Commons Kids” mural with various materials and art supplies. This session meets from 2-5pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Summer Program Coordinator Jara Childs oversees both free programs which run for four weeks through the end of July. To register or for more information, email Program Services Supervisor Kim Mapes or call (845) 331-2140 ext. 307.

168 Applications Make Deadline for Lace Mill Lease-up Lottery

Lace-Mill-sheetrocking-IMG_3663As of the March 31 deadline, RUPCO has received 168 applications for The Lace Mill, a creative placemaking project in the artistic heart of midtown Kingston. RUPCO is preparing to lease 55 newly developed, live/work apartments preferenced for artists in Ulster County later this summer.

“We’ve had a terrific turnout from the artist community for this affordable housing opportunity,” notes Kevin O’Connor, CEO at RUPCO. “With 55 units and 168 interested parties, this 3-to-1 submission rate demonstrates the demand and need for affordable housing in the region. At RUPCO, we’re looking forward to screening applicants efficiently and expeditiously in the coming weeks. All 168 applications received through March 31 will now be entered into a lottery and processed for eligibility. To those who missed the deadline, you can still get your application in late, as we will continue to accept tenant applications.” Applications are available online at www.rupco.org and can be submitted by mail or in person at 289 Fair Street, Kingston, NY 12401.

Since breaking ground last year, RUPCO has been steadily renovating The Lace Mill, a century-old lace curtain manufacturing facility, located at 165 Cornell Street, Kingston. “Over the next six months, our conservative lease-up schedule for The Lace Mill is for 14 residents to move in by June 15. Then, depending upon unit completion, seven tenants per month will take up residence at The Lace Mill. By December 15, 2015, the last six households should be in,” adds O’Connor. “If more units are available, we’ll invite residents to move in early. There’s going to be a lot of activity going on at The Lace Mill in the coming months and Midtown will bustle with creativity. We see The Lace Mill as an integral part in Kingston’s ongoing urban revitalization, in this case through affordable housing for artists.” Located within the City of Kingston’s Midtown Arts District, The Lace Mill joins art-focused business neighbors Bailey Pottery Equipment Corp., R&F Handmade Paints, American Made Monster Studios, ColorPage, Cornell Street Studios, and The Shirt Factory. The blossoming arts district connects the dots between established businesses and attractions like the Ulster Performing Arts Center on Broadway, Arts Society of Kingston in the Rondout, and citywide galleries. The Kingston Midtown Arts District designation is part of Mayor Shayne Gallo’s larger BEAT (Business, Education, Arts, Technology) Initiative.

RUPCO has been creating homes, impacting lives and building community since 1981.  A leader in homeownership, foreclosure counseling, energy-efficiency and rental assistance programs, RUPCO is expanding its programmatic offerings throughout the Hudson Valley with the recent RDAC affiliation and urban revitalization projects in Newburgh, Saugerties, and Kingston. For more information, visit www.rupco.org.

Released from Kingston, NY on April 1, 2015 by RUPCO Communications

The Lace Mill Application

The Window of Opportunity is open at The Lace Mill! Watch the virtual tour video above and check out The Lace Mill floor plans here.

As we conduct the artist interviews, we will continue to accept applications until all units are leased. If you have questions about the interview process, call the Property Management Office (845) 331-2140, ext. 237 or email the Property Management Office.

Download this simple application and support documents. Complete, sign and return by mail or in person to 289 Fair Street, Kingston, NY 12401:

These forms above are not fillable PDFs and RUPCO is not accepting electronic submissions.

The documents below are for your information and can be reviewed online or downloaded for your personal files:

To our Spanish-reading friends, some documents are available below in Spanish. You may email LaceMill@rupco.org or call (845) 331-2140 ext. 237 and we will arrange a verbal translation or in-person document review.