Multimedia exhibit at Philipstown.info in Cold Spring
By Michael Mell
Philipstown is an amazing place and we cherish its history and the wonder of the natural world in which we are blessed to live. But, how much do we really know about our Philipstown today? That is the question asked by Philipstown.info publisher Gordon Stewart and answered in the new, multi-media exhibit, curated by Amy Lipton, and running through the summer at 69 Main St.
The exhibit begins even before you enter the premises with a monitor in the front window showing man-on-the-street interviews taken at the Farmers’ Market and in front of Foodtown. Residents and non-residents interviewed are unanimous in praise of life in Philipstown. The worst quibble is dealing with deer ticks. Second to the wine and cheese table, this was a prime area for people to discuss the exhibit itself and the question it poses.
Upon entering the front room (the first of three), the walls are covered with photographs of people and places in Philipstown taken by Philipstown.info staff and resident photographers. It is smaller than Ruth Eisenhower’s photo collection at Grey Printing, but nonetheless gives a panoramic view the town’s variety. Many viewers were quick to identify the persons, places and events pictured.
The second, middle room, presents a more formal answer to the question. On the walls of the small room are demographic maps of Philipstown each identifying different aspects, such as: population, average income, percentage of foreign-born residents, percentage of residents with a high school diploma and those with a B.A. Setting off these multi-color graphics is an older 19th century map, which many will recognize. An accompanying note describes the data illustrated by the maps.
“Data presented here on the economic, educational and demographic profile of Philipstown and Putnam County come from the resources of the U.W. Census Bureau. Overall population counts for sections of Philipstown, and the change in population between 2000 and 2010, are from Census 2000 and Census 2010. this information is presented for seven “block groups” within Philipstown. Block groups are geographical units designated by the Census Bureau, which range in population size from about 500 to about 3,000 in Philipstown.
All other data for Philipstown and Putnam County come from the American Community Survey (ACS), a separate product of the U.S. Census Bureau. Each year the ACS surveys about 3 million households across the country, asking a wide range of questions about the ages, occupations, commuting habits, educational profiles, and incomes of household members. Information from the ACS is used by policy-makers, researchers, journalists, businesspeople and the general public to help them make informed decisions for and about their communities. Because Philipstown has a relatively small population, we have used five years worth of data from the ADS spanning the years 2005-2010 to put together an adequately large base of data from which to draw conclusions about household income, educational attainment and place of birth of the population of parts of Philipstown and Putnam County. Data are presented at the level of “census tracts’ which are the smallest Census Bureau-defined subdivisions of counties that we could get the data for. Census tracts have populations averaging around 4,000 each.”
The third room, at the rear, continued with more photographs, but also another monitor showing interviews with Philipstown residents: young and old. According to the exhibit’s notes, these are the first of what is expected to be a large compendium of video interviews that will be made available on Philipstown.info. The goal is to create an audio/visual history of Philipstown. Accompanying this display is a solicitation for contributions to the ongoing Who is Philipstown? exhibition, reading:
“Philipstown.info invites you to submit your story. Tell us what Philipstown means to you as a resident. This is your own story and can be about anything — including, but not limited to: you and your family’s history, the people that inspire your, y our neighbors and friends, your home or garden, your favorite places, a special recollection, the possibilities are endless — we want to hear about your life in Philipstown.
Please submit a photograph, artwork, short story, poem, song, short video, etc. to describe your relationship with Philipstown (Cold Spring, Garrison and Nelsonville.)
Your contribution may become a part of our collection to be viewed on our Philipstown.info website. We will also be making a special selection of received submissions available for viewing at an art exhibition at our offices at 69 Main Street in Cold Spring.
Deadline for submissions is July 15, 2001. Please send all materials to email@example.com or by mail to Philipstown.info, 69 Main St., Cold Spring, N.Y. 10516.”
Who is Philipstown? is scheduled to run through the summer at 69 Main St. Exhibit hours are Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. — 5 p.m.