Culture & Arts

Imagine a morning walk through the underground cistern at College Hill Park – a walk that reveals the story of our city using ancient engineering practices to deliver clean water to everyone.  Imagine your afternoon spent at a waterfront Museum of Hudson River Art…then a late afternoon lecture by a visiting Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Adriance Memorial Library followed by dinner at a local restaurant that offers diverse cuisine you’ve never tried. 

Tomorrow, you’ll take a walking tour of our historic neighborhoods before listening to an afternoon concert by the Poughkeepsie High School Orchestra.  Dinner might be curated by a visiting Japanese chef at the World Heritage Hub on Main Street. The following morning you head to the Eastman Park Community Center where the Dean of the Vassar-Marist Medical School is leading a seminar on pain free living and wellness.  Then off to the Walkway for a front row seat at Poughkeepsie’s take on New York Fashion Week, organized by a PHS graduate interning during her final year studying Fashion Design tuition-free at Marist College. 

These itineraries could be in our future.  But in fact, we already have impressive cultural resources and great stories to share with our visitors.  Each neighborhood in our City’s landscape is an architectural experience from every era of American History.  Before the Walkway Over the Hudson brought 600,000 annual visitors to Poughkeepsie, we held one of the nation’s most widely attended collegiate regattas—attracting some 100,000 visitors to the City for the weekend’s competition.  The City of Poughkeepsie has always been only a short drive from so many wonderful historic sites, award winning vineyards, and even a Presidential Library in Hyde Park.  

We have all the ingredients necessary for Poughkeepsie to become a thriving arts community.  Here’s how I will use Culture and the Arts to transform our City.

My Capital Investment Plan will reimagine our public schools and community gathering places into a walkable, City-wide, all-season campus.  Music and performing arts education must be returned to our kids, giving them the chance to be in a play, sing in a chorus, march in a band, learn an instrument.  Under my Administration the City will establish fellowships for visiting artists of all mediums – actors, designers, chefs, musicians, craftspeople - to share their work and help us make our public spaces inviting and enjoyable for all.  Partnerships with business, colleges and our community at large will help us sustain the exchange for years to come.

Under my administration, the City of Poughkeepsie will establish formal relationships with Sister Cities around the world.   We will not just receive artists; we will send our artists and chefs, our performers and young talent into the world to learn from other cultures.  When they return, Poughkeepsie will welcome our fellows back with a platform to share what they experienced. With my 20% affordable housing mandate on all new construction, Poughkeepsie will offer a stable, high quality of life for our new and native artists to live and practice their crafts––even when they are between projects.   From opera, to culinary arts, to musical production, to gallery curation—we will endow an exciting exchange of Culture and Arts. 

Airbnb named the Hudson Valley one of the 19 places to visit in 2019— and as more people visit, we need more places to dine.  In partnership with the Culinary Institute of America and our local restaurants, breweries, farms, and food entrepreneurs, I will incentivize exciting food experiences at a variety of price points and locations throughout the entire City.  The culinary arts will become a vibrant opportunity for entrepreneurship and a source of pride (and fun!) for all residents. Centering our food experiences on local products and services will promote healthier habits, support small businesses and help create new jobs.  Our goal will be to have food for everyone: for the visiting cyclist passing through on the NYS rail trail; for the local family celebrating closing on their first home; for the heritage tourist checking out our architecture; for the Poughkeepsie High School Class of 2024 graduating at 100%!