Volunteer Activity

I was wrapped up in work through most of my early career, but around the year 2000, in my fifties, I started volunteering for local nonprofits. This expanded my horizons and personal growth, which has been very gratifying. BTW, these groups are worthy of financial support no matter where you live; if you live locally, please consider volunteering.

Historical Society board mtg on zoom Crawford House

Historical Society

Founded in 1884, the Newburgh Historical Society acquired the Crawford House (1830) in 1958. I joined the board in 2006 and served as president from 2017 through 2020. I remain as VP.

ARC zoom mtg Newburgh facades

Architectural Review

Owners of property in the historic district must have plans approved by the Architectural Review Commission. I served from 2017 until I resigned in Feb 2021.

Community Cleanup Safe Harbors stage

Safe Harbors

Founded in 2000, Safe Harbors of the Hudson operates supportive housing and programs in arts & wellness for the whole community. I served on the board 2006-13. (Photo left: SHOH)

Urban Archive

Urban Archive Newburgh

Urban Archive is an Iphone app that summons archival photos based on geolcation. Begun in NYC in 2016, it grew to 80,000 images; in June 2019 it expanded to Urban Archive Newburgh. Walking around or clicking on an interactive map, you can view historic photos of Newburgh. Partnering with the local library and the statewide New York Heritage, the project was led by Naomi Hersson-Ringskog and her Department of Small Interventions. I participated by scanning and uploading photos from the Historical Society's archive.

Fred Douglass Vote

Frederick Douglass in Newburgh

Orator and writer Frederick Douglass visited Newburgh in 1870, when he gave an impassioned speech urging African-Americans to vote. Representing the Historical Society, I joined a committee formed 2018 to honor the anniversary. We sponsored discussions at black barbershops, published a walking tour map, organized a voting drive — giving out "I Voted" stickers to everyone who came to the polls — and mounted a temporary mural on the actual anniversary (8/22/2020). It was led by Naomi Hersson-Ringskog and Gabriel Hill.

Habitat logo

Habitat for Humanity

Formed in 1999, the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity is one of the most successful in the country. Habitat has completed more than 100 homes — most of them rehabilitations of the 19th-century houses in the historic district. Starting in 2000, I volunteered on the labor force a few times. (Walking by certain houses today, I still think "I helped paint that place.") In 2003, I created a Habitat website and maintained it for several years, until 2007.

NPA logo

Newburgh Preservation Association

Founded in 1978, NPA was revived in 2001 to serve as the nonprofit umbrella for a group focused on the restoration of Newburgh's Greek-Reviival Dutch Reformed Church designed in 1835 by A.J. Davis. Among our achievements was the building's inclusion on the "100 Most Endangered" list of the World Monuments Fund in 2005. Somehow the energy and dedication to the DRC lagged, and I resigned in 2007. The group has recently re-formed around other local preservation projects.

Newburgh seal

Arts & Culture Commission

In 2005, I was appointed to the City of Newburgh's Arts & Culture Commission, newly formed to promote arts and culture in the city. One major accomplishment was establishing a "One Percent for Art" program; the funds raised were used to sponsor a 10-panel mural on local history in the city court building. Energy soon lagged, however: I resigned in 2007. The commission was dissolved in 2009 but was re-established by a new administration in 2018.