Michael Bisio Hits the Right Note in Home-Life Symphony

Michael Bisio holding bass black and white headshotMichael Bisio is an accomplished bassist player, music connoisseur, and long-time adjunct professor. Bisio also moved around many times, from Washington State to NYC, adding to his repertoire of cultural experiences.  He found stability at The Lace Mill in Kingston, where he lives with his wife and fellow artist Dawn Bisio.  Their apartment is his happy place with wiggle room to jive in and hang prized artwork hanging. Now, he can balance professorship, musical gigs, traveling, and love—a harmony he’d sought for years.

Bisio was a reserved student in college, shy and unassuming. Professors took note of his talent and realized self-confidence was holding him back from excelling. They routinely pushed him to step outside of his comfort zone in his work, to self-reflect on the success he wanted. They challenged him to see his potential, flaws included, modeling a budding artist into a star performer. For him, it was tough—to stand in front of sheet music and critics for hours a day. By graduation, he collected his degree and the payoff of a sharper sense of confidence.

Years later, married with a son, Bisio owned a home in Seattle. After experiencing a “high point” in home life, he divorced and moved cross-country for his musical career. He came to NYC, hopping from apartment to apartment for about a decade until he heard about The Lace Mill through a friend. He applied, and a “fantastic” opportunity unfolded for his music, housing and finding the love of his life next door. Dawn and Michael met passing through the door of ASK Gallery in Kingston—Dawn caught Michael’s eye. He flirted with a coy “you’re hot.” Dawn reciprocated, and the two instantly bonded. They soon moved in together and made their own hub for artsy exploration.

Now, Bisio is part of a large pool of artists who help each other out with events hosted at The Lace Mill. He’s glad he is in the mix, but with enough privacy to focus on his ever-evolving career. “I think in the abstract, it created a community that in the long run has proven to be diverse. It [The Lace Mill] gives me a platform to produce concerts, which benefits the community.” Artist-residents attend his concerts and they bring friends. Word of mouth spreads concert details quickly around town. Engaged audience members are key in these live concerts; they are an important “ingredient in the process” and contribute vibes—either high or low frequency—that Bisio feeds off for a unique emotive atmosphere. Live performance, he recognizes, is a special relationship between performer and audience. If the audience doesn’t understand the tradition behind the musical number, “they can still feel it—the overwhelming intensity of it.”

Bisio isn’t going to halt the torrent of gigs soon. He plans on affecting more people through his bassist work as long as he “remains creative and positive.” There’s always more good energy to create in the universe, and he feels it is his responsibility to contribute high-frequency vibrations that align people’s energies into a state of bliss. And after the shows are over, he comes home to his apartment, to relax and rejuvenate as he pleases. Indeed, his sacred space couldn’t be more loving and personal, a place which can be completely silent or filled with music, whichever, and whenever, he prefers. His home is where he can fluctuate between living and prepping for a show, balancing out the dynamics of being and doing, in symphony with his life partner.

Michael’s next Lace Mill concert is Saturday, March 24, from 4-6pm in the East Gallery of The Lace Mill, 165 Cornell St, Kingston. Suggested donation is $10.00. Guest parking is available on South Prospect Street and Manor Avenue. For more information, e-mail Michael at bisio@earthlink.net or visit MichaelBisio.com.

Annual Ulster County Continuum of Care Meeting – Update on Local Homelessness


Ulster County Continuum of Care logoThe Ulster County Continuum of Care is hosting its Annual Meeting on Wednesday March 21st from 1:30-3:30 at the Kirkland 2 Main Street in Kingston. This meeting is open to the public. The group works to coordinate homeless resources and identify the needs of homeless individuals and families in Ulster County. The Ulster County Continuum of Care submits an application to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that brings over $1 million dollars annually to Ulster County homeless providers. Funding is determined on an annual basis and all parties serving the homeless are eligible to apply. 

The group is comprised of local government; non-profits; homeless housing and service providers; local elected officials; Veteran groups; faith based; for profit and educational representatives that assist the homeless; and The Continuum welcomes new members that are interested in understanding the local homeless issues and finding creative solutions to reduce homelessness in Ulster County.

At the Annual Meeting The Continuum will review the results of our annual HUD homeless Count, discuss our Strategic Plan to reduce homelessness and introduce our Coordinated Entry System as well as fill vacancies on the Board of Directors for the Ulster County Continuum of Care.

To register to attend or for more information please contact Kathy Germain, at RUPCO (845) 331-9860 or kgermain@rupco.org. On-street or municipal parking available. 

All welcome. The Ulster County Continuum of Care represents a broad range of agencies working together to understand issues surrounding homelessness in the county with the goal of coordinating and maximizing homeless services that leads to a reduction in the number of homeless.  

This forum is open to the public; please share this post with others.
WHO:  Ulster County Continuum of Care (UCCofC) 
WHAT:  UCCofC Annual Meeting
WHERE:  The Kirkland, 2 Main Street, Kingston 12401

WHEN:  Wednesday March 21st, 1-3 p.m.
WHY:  To 
review the results of our annual HUD homeless Count, discuss our Strategic Plan to reduce homelessness and introduce our Coordinated Entry System as well as fill vacancies on the Board of Directors for the Ulster County Continuum of Care.
“Sowing Seeds” Art Exhibit hosted by Seed Song Farm at The Lace Mill

An art exhibition “Sowing Seeds: Cultivating Art & Agriculture,” hosted by Seed Song Farm, will take place at The Lace Mill, 165 Cornell St, Kingston from March 3-31, 2018. Teaching Art with Families on Saturday, March 10 from 11-12:30pm will be led by A. Kaminski and costs $15. A workshop led by Star Nigro titled, “ECO-Card Art” on March 24 from 11-1pm will delight all ages. Costs is $10; please RSVP to reserve a spot. A free closing reception is on Saturday, March 31 from 4-7pm, open to all ages and includes live music, performance and bilingual social justice storytelling. The entire exhibition will feature the works of Seed Song’s CSA members Star Nigo, Andrew Kaminski, Toni Weidenbacher, Grandpa Woodstock and Philip Gurrieri.

Through photography, mixed media, painting, the fiber arts, and sculpture, these artists will share inspired works from their farm experience. The show is sponsored by CSA member/photographer Tracy Stellingwerf, and curated by farmer coZmoz jaYa and artist Star Nigro.

Come learn what being part of a CSA (Community Sustainable Agriculture) is about and meet your local farmers from Seed Song Farm & Center located in Kingston who will be present with their farm stand to share their CSA model, agro-ecologically-grown vegetables, farm products and their weekly farm pick-up program options and price ranges. They will gladly answer your questions about programs and events. Refreshments provided for free and live music will be presented by Sean Cortright and his band “The Turn-Ups,” composed of musicians from the farm community.

All ages are invited to this event and to add to the festivities attendants may enter a drawing to win a free 1- week CSA pickup. New CSA subscribers will receive a special earl-bird gift.

Free and open to the public; donations toward Seed Song Center’s community work gratefully accepted.

You’ll have the opportunity to join our CSA on the spot with the price range that suits your needs.

Free available parking on South Manor Avenue and Progress Street.

For more information, please e-mail info@seedsongfarm.org; call coZmoz jaYa at (845) 399-9388; or visit www.seedsongfarm.org

New homebuyers invited to orientation workshop

Homebuyer education classesHomeownership is a fundamental facet of the American dream. Yet, many people feel that homeownership is unattainable to them, in part because they lack the necessary tools to navigate the process of becoming a homeowner. At RUPCO, we think homeownership can be a reality. Eighty-one families became homeowners in 2016 thanks to RUPCO’s homebuyer education program.

RUPCO provides first-time homebuyer education starting with a free homebuyer orientation workshop. This workshop allows future homebuyers to learn about grants, tools, savings programs and the overall benefits of homeownership.

Ultimately, these workshops answer the essential question that many people who aspire to homeownership ask themselves: “Is homeownership right for me?”

RUPCO’s next homeowner orientation workshops are scheduled for: Wednesday, February 22nd, Monday, March 6th, and Wednesday, March 22nd. They are held twice a month at The Kirkland building, located at 2 Main Street, Kingston, from 6-7pm.

Those interested in attending a free homebuyer orientation session can enroll via our website,  watch an online video orientation series, or call RUPCO’s NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center (845) 331-9860 to sign up for an orientation class.

Mercedes Cecilia

CooperLake-2015“I enjoy painting when the light plays on the surface of water, when trees, mountains and sky weave their forms with a lake or a stream. I am drawn by the movements of light and wind revealing a tapestry of colors on the waters. While painting I follow the rhythmical movement of the water. I paint as mapping time exploring the spaces of light. I paint the same streams and lakes, every season year after year. In this way I record the changes taking place in our environment. Following in the footsteps of the Hudson River Artists, I celebrate our environment and wish to preserve the beauty of our region.

I began painting the lakes of the Catskill Mountains in October 1980. It was then, for the first time in my adult life, I felt at home. In 1986 I made my home in these mountains. This is the place I love every day, in every season.”Mercedes Cecilia Flyer














Hudson Valley Homeowners to Benefit from Homeownership Service Provider Affiliation


Faith Moore, Executive Director for RDAC, and Kevin O’Connor, CEO for RUPCO are all smiles over the affiliate relationship effective April 1, 2015.

Hudson Valley homeowners stand to benefit from the affiliation of two affordable housing powerhouses this week. On April 1, RUPCO, the Hudson Valley’s leading affordable housing advocate and community developer, is incorporating Orange County Rural Development Advisory Corp. (RDAC) into its housing services model, thereby expanding its impact into Orange County. The collaboration will preserve regional access to homeowner and foreclosure counseling funding in Orange County while maintaining the delivery of much needed homeownership services to the region.

“We’ve created a parent-subsidiary relationship,” explains Kevin O’Connor, CEO at RUPCO. “As of April 1, RDAC will be an affiliate of RUPCO, working jointly with our NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center, to deliver services to new, established and in-crisis homeowners. This expanded relationship allows RUPCO to officially regionalize its housing efforts, a move that’s in line with RUPCO’s strategic plan.

“Like RUPCO, RDAC is a rural preservation company (RPC) funded by New York State Homes & Community Renewal (NYS HCR). Our primary reason for affiliation is to expand our collective reach and impact while maintaining state funding of each RPC to continue providing quality homeowner programs to those who need it most. Bringing like agencies together and to partner and affiliate with a Rural Preservation Company with a great track record like OCRDAC was a natural progression. By coming together, we will have greater ability to deliver more services to those in need. RDAC has Orange County relationships and boots on the ground in those communities. RUPCO brings grant-writing expertise, and efficiencies that will benefit both organizations and the clients we help. RUPCO and RDAC have already been collaborating on grant writing, counseling and training; to become parent-subsidy makes sense financially and programmatically.”

“RDAC has a long history of serving the homeownership community in Orange County,” continues O’Connor. “Maintaining the legacy built by Founding Executive Director Alice Dickinson, building on RDAC’s enduring reputation, and teaming up with current Executive Director Faith Moore, RUPCO sees this joining of forces as the best way to serve the Hudson Valley community with a longstanding community leader who keeps neighbors strong and thriving.”

“RDAC will remain RDAC in name,” notes Faith Moore, Executive Director at RDAC. “And we will continue the outstanding work of RDAC in three key areas: foreclosure counseling, energy-related work like weatherization and retrofits, and sponsorship of affordable housing projects in Orange County. RDAC’s key leadership will stay in place with Chairman Mike Bliss and board members Lynn Piscopo and Barbara Carr.” Also joining the RDAC board are RUPCO board member Joan Lonegran and CEO Kevin O’Connor. “We’re looking forward to the expanded opportunities in homebuyer education, owner-occupied rehabilitations, and grant opportunities, as RDAC works side-by-side with RUPCO. We can also foresee taking RDAC’s retrofit programs into the Hudson Valley and teaming up with RUPCO’s Green Jobs | Green New York to offer homeowners energy-efficiency and cost-saving options in 2015.” RDAC will remain in its offices at 2 South Mongomery Street, Walden. RUPCO’s main office is at 289 Fair Street, Kingston and has additional offices at 2 Main Street, Kingston (Ulster County) and 8 Lower Thompson Street, Catskill (Greene County).

RDAC is now a subsidiary of RUPCO, the region’s leading provider and advocate of quality, affordable housing and community development programs aimed to provide opportunity and revitalize communities in Hudson Valley. With over 30 years’ experience, RDAC has rehabilitated or constructed more than 1,000 housing units in Orange County. Since 1983, RDAC has been instrumental in assisting thousands of residents to obtain financing, mortgage restructuring and services to remain in existing homes or apartments. RDAC, which assists locally employed households and senior citizens, administers various state and federal housing grant programs and offers counseling services. For additional information, visit www.ocrdac.org.

RUPCO, RDAC’s parent company, 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.