Cultural centers like the Basilica Hudson in New York have been hit especially hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though everyone is well aware of the human and economic tolls of the Coronavirus, fewer people are as aware/focused on how the pandemic has impacted artists, musicians, and performing arts centers. Unfortunately, a lot of “starving artists” (and the event venues that used to hosts them) are having a difficult time surviving without any in-person events.
Like so many other people, I have missed being able to attend concerts and other in-person events during 2020. While there are countless stories that I could tell about COVID’s assault on the arts, I decided to use this blog post as an opportunity to share the interesting story about the Basilica Hudson, as well as the benefits that it has provided creators, performers, and visitors; and how you can help it survive during the pandemic.
From Industrial Factory to Cultural Factory
The historic building that would become the Basilica Hudson was originally an industrial factory built in Hudson, New York, during the 1880s. Over the next 100 years, the factory was used to build a wide variety of industrial products from railroad car wheels to glue. However, like many old industrial sites, the factory had closed and the building was just sitting empty by the 1990s.
In the early 2000s, the old factory site was purchased and converted into an arts center called the Basilica Industria. The historic building became a very popular local venue for artists and civic activists.
The Basilica Hudson was founded in 2010 by my favorite female bassist Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins) and her husband Tony Stone after they purchased the building. Since then, the old industrial factory has been producing innovative art, music, and culture for its audiences to enjoy.
About the Basilica Hudson
The Basilica Hudson is a non-profit, solar-powered, multipurpose arts center with a mission of supporting the creation and presentation of cultural events while promoting a sustainable community. What makes this such a cool events venue is that it combines the best of the old with the best of the new in one of the most picturesque settings imaginable.
As mentioned, the Basilica Hudson is an old factory site – so the venue has that really cool industrial look and vibe. If you are a big fan of history and interesting architecture like me, then you will love the building! Furthermore, the arts center is located in the beautiful Hudson River Valley with scenic views of the Catskill Mountains in the background. Plus, the Basilica Hudson is powered by solar energy and the creative juices of co-founder and director Melissa Auf der Maur. All of these things combine to make it one of the coolest cultural arts centers in America!
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Basilica Hudson hosted many cultural programs for attendees to enjoy:
- Live Music Performances
- Marketplaces for Farmers and Antique Collectors
- Film Screenings
- Art Exhibits
- Art and Music Festivals
- Creative Space for Artists
- Spotlights on Pioneering Musicians and Filmmakers
The historic building was also a popular place to rent for weddings and corporate events.
As you can probably guess, the Basilica Hudson has been largely funded by revenue earned from these in-person events. Unfortunately, since its program events were cancelled due to the pandemic, the arts center hasn’t been able to earn revenue from attendees to fund its operating expenses.
Support the Basilica Hudson
The Basilica Hudson is really a testament to Melissa Auf der Maur’s love for supporting music, art, and culture. However, like nearly every other performing arts venue, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a serious financial strain on them. I am sure that I can speak for all patrons of the arts in saying that we don’t want to see these cherished institutions have to permanently close do to a lack of funding. Without our generous support, many of our favorite arts centers might never reopen when things get back to “normal” after the pandemic is over.
If you feel led, you can learn more about supporting the Basilica Hudson. Since it’s a non-profit organization, donations are tax deductible (depending on your applicable tax laws).