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Nyack Sketch Log’s Guide to Giving

Nyack Sketch Log’s 2014 Guide to Giving.

Consider supporting one or more of these Rockland County based-community initiatives:

Amazing Grace Circus
Edward Hopper House Art Center
Elmwood Playhouse
Historical Society of the Nyacks
Nyack Center
Rockland Center for the Arts
Rockland Farm Alliance
Soup Angels
Toni Morrison’s Bench by the Road
United Hospice of Rockland

Full disclosure: I am a board member of the Nyack Center, the Historical Society of the Nyacks and the Nyack Bench by The Road project.

by Bill Batson

In a decisive 15 -2 vote, the Rockland County Legislature recently affirmed that “non-profits matter,” when they over-rode County Executive Ed Day’s budget that cut funding from local community groups. Now that our elected representatives have done their jobs, it is time for us to do ours. Toward that purpose, here is the Nyack Sketch Log’s guide to giving.

According to Paul Trader, Executive Director of the Institute for Non-Profits at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland, supporting non-profits is a form of enlightened self-interest. While leading the effort to restore the cuts, Trader argued that community-based groups spend $486 million within the county annually and directly support at least 7,800 jobs.  Nyack Center has demonstrated that breakfast and after-school programs make it possible for single parents to work, keeping families out of poverty and contributing to the tax base.

These are ten non-profits that I have profiled over the years.  Non-profits represent our better selves, serve the public good and are operated by modestly paid and volunteer workers who tirelessly address the unmet material and educational needs of our community. Please give generously to one or more.

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Amazing Grace Circus!

A video produced on the 12th anniversary of Amazing Grace Circus! in September 2014 chronicles how a program that sends the spirits of young people soaring, sprang from the emotional abyss that followed the attack on Lower Manhattan. Read more.

Originally published September 11, 2014

Edward Hopper House Art CenterHopper House_Featured Thumbnail

This house was saved from destruction in the early 1970s by an ad-hoc coalition that included neighbors, Rotarians, labor unions, students and artists. The family that once lived at this home at the intersection of North Broadway and Second Avenue provided the motivation. This is the childhood home of one of America’s greatest visual artists, Edward Hopper. Read more.

Originally published on August 7, 2012

NSL_Elmwood Playhouse_Featured ArtElmwood Playhouse

Elmwood Playhouse has staged almost 350 productions over the last 67 seasons to an audience of over 300,000. It is driven by the devotion of over 1,800 people who have stood on the stage of this intimate 99-seat theater since 1947. Read more.

Originally published September 4, 2012

 Historical Society of the Nyack’s

HSN_Featured Art_Square society nyack1Historic preservation is not an esoteric luxury, but an invaluable tool in helping a community honor past achievement and avoid past mistakes. When we treasure our history, which is arguably eclectic and storied, we are also helping to secure our future. Read more.

Originally published October 9, 2012

Nyack Center

NSL168_Thumbnail_revisedThere is a life force emanating from the building that stands at Broadway and Depew Avenue: an aura from almost 200 years of uninterrupted community activity. If it were not for an enlightened congregation and a dynamic woman, this building would have been demolished in 1990. Read more.

Originally published December 6, 2011

Rockland Center for the Arts

RoCA featured art

RoCA employs 45 instructors who offer 200 arts classes annually for everyone from the advanced practitioner to the hobbyist.  For 53 summers, RoCA has offered a day camp style arts program for children ages 5 – 12. Read more.

Originally published on September 18, 2012

Rockland Farm Alliance

NSL172_Giving_featuredBecause of the enlightenment of the property’s owner, incentives from local government and a non-profit now led by John McDowell, instead of a field of 40 private homes, we have productive public farmland. Read more.

Originally published May 28, 2013


NSL_New Rector at First Reformed Church_Featured Image_Revised

Soup Angels

For the hungry, this tower is a beacon of hope. Inside the building an organization called the Soup Angels delivers food and comfort to the needy. I am drawn to the tower, not only because it is an impressive object to sketch, but because I was once homeless. Read more.

Originally published November 29, 2011

Toni Morrison’s Bench by the Road

A commemorative bench to honor Underground Railroad conductor Cynthia Hesdra will be NSL167_featured thumbnailinstalled on May 18, 2015 in Memorial Park. Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize winning author and Grand View-on-Hudson resident will be invited as a special guest at the dedication ceremony. Read more.

Originally published November 18, 2014

 United Hospice of Rockland

NSL_UHR_thumbnailThe staff that work from this serenely situated suite of offices tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac in New City have given great comfort to thousands. United Hospice of Rockland, Inc. (UHR) provides a wide range of services to individuals facing serious illness and their families. Read more.

Originally published October 7, 2014

Bill Batson is an activist, artist and writer who lives and sketches in Nyack, NY. “Nyack Sketch Log’s Guide to Giving” © 2014 Bill Batson. In Dec. 2014, Batson published “Nyack Sketch Log, An Artist and Writer Explores The History of A Hudson River Village.” Copies of the book can be purchased at


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