Home Matters theme will dominate event at the Bearsville Theater

For Immediate Release
October 23, 2013
Contact: Joan Lawrence-Bauer
845-331-2140 x 263

Kingston, NY — 10/23/2013 — RUPCO, the region’s leading provider and advocate of quality, affordable housing and community development programs will present an exclusive private screening of First Name: Jogger, Last Name: John at its 2013 Community Lunch in November. Kaleigh Griffin who produced and directed the documentary film about a long-time Woodstock resident, will introduce the work and follow it with a question and answer session. Two local initiatives that are changing lives in the area will be recognized with Community Partner Awards. The O Positive Festival and Health Care is a Human Right will be honored for their contributions to health and wellness care for those who ordinarily can’t afford it.

Community Lunch 2013 will be held at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on November 22 at Noon. The Bear Café will cater the luncheon and RUPCO staff members will be on hand to showcase the work of the agency throughout the region. “Each year we highlight and explore an important issue that community members should consider,” said RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor. “We are really excited to have the opportunity to introduce Kaleigh Griffin and her work because she tells a very important story that resonates in communities, large and small, throughout the United States.” He noted that while Griffin’s film was featured in this year’s Woodstock Film Festival, the showing of it actually occurred in Rhinebeck. “Griffin grew up here, found her subject here and filmed here,” said O’Connor, “so we’re very honored to be the first group to screen this film in its hometown.”

Griffin, who earned degrees in English and in and in Media Production, with a minor in Journalism, is a May graduate of SUNY New Paltz. Though she grew up in Olive Bridge and graduated from Onteora High School, the up and coming film maker currently resides in New Haven, CT. “I was the first SUNY New Paltz student to have a film shown at the Woodstock Film Festival,” said Griffin, “which is astounding when you realize how close we are. I am really happy with the level of interest it has generated.” Griffin, who has submitted the film to a number of other film festivals throughout the country, must limit viewing to private screenings for the better part of a year before making the film widely available.

Home Matters

The theme of the documentary, and the focus of RUPCO’s work, converge on the concept that home matters and will tie in information on a Home Matters movement uniting America around home as the place where lives and families thrive, and as the bedrock for a stronger nation. Speaking for the campaign, O’Connor said “Home is where we’re protected. It’s where our health and spirits are restored. It’s where we become empowered, encouraged, and inspired. Too often, though, home is taken for granted in America. Home Matters returns the national focus and attention to home!”

“There is some irony here in that a young, local film maker and the region’s largest housing provider, developed work with the same theme, without ever meeting each other until it was completed. “That a young film maker would choose this topic is a testament to how the theme resonates with people of all ages, in all communities.” O’Connor added. “Woodstock Commons is already garnering national and even international recognition and this film could do the same.”

The CEO, who was recognized by the National Neighbor Works Association practitioner of the year, added that “RUPCO understands the true value buildings have to our community – as the foundation of success for economic development and as more than just a roof overhead for people. We work tirelessly toward the transformation of communities and the betterment of people through quality housing, sustainable development and impactful programs.”

Community Partner Awards

Founded in Kingston in 2010, the O+ Festival is a three-day, community-run celebration of music, arts and wellness. Artists who participate exchange contributions of their time and talent for health and wellness services from art-loving doctors, dentists, and other medical providers at the O+ Pop-up Clinic during the festival. “We’ve worked with O + from day one, ” said O’Connor, providing three days of free use of the Kirkland for the largest of the clinics they offer for the weekend.” O’Connor went on to note: “We have always been amazed by what they are able to do and the way in which they do it. There is an important intersection between health and housing that many people just don’t understand,” said O’Connor. “If you’re poor and struggling, you probably can’t afford good housing. And if you can’t afford good housing, your health is compromised.”

O+ is a grassroots, band-aid solution to inaccessible health care for the creative community. By programming the festival’s art and music events in various venues (bars, restaurants, storefronts, even offices) throughout one neighborhood, O+ supports and unites local businesses, residents, artists, musicians, doctors and other care providers, strengthening the fabric of a community to make it stronger, more sustainable, and more vibrant. “This year, the festival organizers added a second event – in San Francisco, CA. How often can people say they started in Kingston and expanded to San Francisco,” added O’Connor.

Health Care is a Human Right takes a different approach to providing healing and wellness services. The organization is committed to bringing holistic wellness care to all, regardless of socio-economic status. Founded in 2003 Healthcare is a Human Right has operated quarterly free clinics in Woodstock and Phoenicia and monthly clinics in Kingston under the auspices of Family of Woodstock.

Like their O + counterparts, they operate their Kingston clinic at the Kirkland, serving in wide variety od healing modalities such as acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, massage, homeopathy, energy psychology, shiatsu massage, flower essences, reflexology, reiki, feldenkrais, chiropractic, nutritional counseling, and aromatherapy. The group also provides monthly clinics for Family’s Darmstadt and Family Inn residents.

“These people do the work of angels,” said O’Connor of the HCHR group. “We know that their clinics have been life changing for some of our residents and we are humbled by the effort they put out on a year-around basis to improve the lives of others.”

Sponsorships & Tickets Now Available

Funding generated from the Community Lunch helps provide services where there are gaps in federal, state and county programs. Local businesses who wish to help sponsor the Community Lunch event may do so by contacting Joan Lawrence-Bauer at RUPCO. Sponsorships are available in a variety of ranges and must be reserved on or before November 13. Reservations for Community Lunch can be made by calling 845-331-2140 x263 or by e-mailing [email protected] Tickets are $35 each and can be reserved with a check or credit card. More information on RUPCO and all of its programs is available at www.rupco.org.

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