P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2006
September 19, 2006
Local Documentaries Explore How Small-Town Life is Changing
(North Adams, Mass.) MASS MoCA celebrates the pluck and conviction of small town USA with a pair of eye-opening documentaries, Two Square Miles and Tapping Maple Ridge, by area filmmakers and activists on Thursday, October 19 at 8 PM. Two Square Miles illuminates the passionate display of local democracy that unfolded when the community of Hudson, New York felt threatened by a proposed multinational cement plant and how Hudson's colorful citizen fought back. Tapping Maple Ridge tells the story of the northeast's largest wind energy project which became operational this year in New York's maple syrup capital: Lewis County. The screenings will be followed by lively discussion with not just Two Square Miles filmmaker Barbara Ettinger and Friends of Hudson founder Sam Pratt, but also Tapping Maple Ridge filmmaker Dave Thompson on hand for the post-screening Q&A.Two Square Miles tracks the conflicts that unfold as a proposed coal-fired cement plant threatens to reshape a small community on the banks of the Hudson River. Footage of colorful and passionate citizens fighting to save the town's unique character and architectural heritage is interspersed with brief historical interludes providing context from Hudson's notorious past as a whaling port and an internationally famous city of vice and corruption. The questions that exist about the future of Hudson echo the concerns of citizens in towns and cities across America as they deal with issues of global economies verses mom and pop stores as well as balancing local economic needs with long-term environmental concerns. Fifth-generation dairy farmer William Burke grew up in his upstate New York farmhouse, all the while cursing the winter wind - until this season. A forest of almost 200 huge windmills (at 320' they're nearly the height of London's famed Big Ben) now converts the menacing sound of that wind into security. Tapping Maple Ridge discusses the ups and downs of the new Maple Ridge wind farm. Only seven of those turbines are on 58-year-old Burke's land and each one will generate an annual lease payment of $5,000 to $10,000, based in part on the electricity generated, that will allow the Burkes to stay on their land after they retire. When all 195 towers are operating at full capacity, they generate 320 megawatts of pollution-free electricity, the equivalent of a midsize power plant. Doors open for Two Square Miles and Tapping Maple Ridge at 7 PM, with food and drink from Lickety Split available before and during the screening. Club B-10 features comfortable couches and café tables as well as a full bar. Tickets for Two Square Miles and Tapping Maple Ridge are $7. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available in advance through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111. MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release