Accepting Photos: Spirit Of Beacon Day 2019 Juried Photo Exhibit

Photo Credit: Howland Public Library

Photo Credit: Howland Public Library

The Howland Public Library Calls For Photography:
Show Us The Spirit of Beacon!

The Spirit of Beacon Day is a citywide celebration for the community of Beacon, NY, held annually since 1977 on the last Sunday of September. The parade and festival highlight local community groups, volunteer organizations and schools, all joining together with local businesses on Beacon's vibrant Main Street. A day to bring the city together, especially the children and youth. Members of the community should get to know one another better, learn to know what each other likes through conversation, feelings, entertainment, education, and food.

The Howland Public Library wants to know: “What does The Spirit of Beacon mean to you?”

The Howland Public Library and the Spirit of Beacon Day Committee are looking for photographs that best capture the essence of The Spirit of Beacon. What makes our community so unique? Can you capture it in an image? Is it the beautiful mountains, the historic architecture, the connection to the river, the vibrant community, all of the above, or something else? Share your vision with us! Photographers of ALL ages and skill levels are invited to submit their original photos.

Selected photos will be exhibited in the Community Room Exhibit Space at the Howland Public Library in Beacon, NY, during the month of September as part of the Spirit of Beacon celebration. A reception for the community will be held on Second Saturday, September 14.

How to Enter

  • Email up to three of your photos that you feel best capture the Spirit of Beacon for consideration to communityart@beaconlibrary.org.

  • Images should be in jpeg format. Maximum file size 1MB. Name your files as follows: Last Name + First name + underscore + title.jpg. Example: SmithJohn_MountBeacon.jpg.

  • In your email, please include the following information for each photo, 1) the title, 2) location and 3) year taken (approximate.)

Deadline

All entries must be received by Thursday, August 1.

Selection

The winning entries will be selected by a committee and all photographers will be notified by Saturday, August 10, if one of their photos has been accepted into the show.

Delivery

Photographs (unframed, prints only) must be dropped off at the Howland Public Library between Friday, September 6 and Sunday, September 8. All photos should be printed 8” x 10” or 8” x 8” for square images.

If you need help printing your photo, reach out to Accuprint on Main Street, next to Isamu Sushi.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Notification of Acceptance: No later than Wednesday, August 7.
Accepted Photos Delivered to Howland Public Library: Friday, September 6 to Sunday, September 8.
Exhibition Dates: Saturday, September 14, to Saturday, October 5.
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 14, 5 to 7 pm.

The Spirit in the Spirit of Beacon Day 2018 - Pictures from the Day of "Unity in Community"

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Everyone has their first Spirit of Beacon Day experience. If you moved here recently and didn’t know about it before, you may have woken up on Sunday morning to a lot of excited commotion, with a frenzy of people setting up tables and coordinating with one another on Main Street.

The Spirit of Beacon Day is one of the biggest efforts put on by the people of Beacon to strengthen the community of Beacon. If you just moved here from another place that didn’t really have a strong sense of community, then this feeling might be new for you, and you will most likely love it. The spell of the community is part of what you felt when you visited Beacon for the first time, and fell so unexpectedly in love with it.

Pictures of the Spirit of Beacon Day are below. But first, a brief history for those who have newly moved here or are newly interested in Beacon -because I hear the FAQs, and “What is the Spirit of Beacon Day” is an FAQ I hear often!

What Is The Spirit of Beacon Day?

The Spirit of Beacon Day festivities started in Beacon in 1977 as a call to mend a broken relationship between the youth of Beacon, and the schools and surrounding community. Well documented by the Beacon Historical Society’s book titled "Celebrating Our Centennial," in the winter and early spring of 1977, "racial problems became severe" for several days and nights. City leaders decided to meet several times to discuss the issues that were causing unrest. Organizers included a representative from the FBI's Community Relations office, Dutchess County Youth Bureau, then-Mayor Robert Cahill, local legislators, City Council, local churches, and representatives from youth-focused organizations like Beacon City School District, the Howland Public Library, the Beacon Community Center, and others.

It was decided that there would be a Community Day aimed at bringing the people of the city together in order to "get to know one another better, learn what each other liked, [via] conversation, feelings, entertainment, education and food." And so the Spirit of Beacon Day was born. Here are some pictures from over the years.

2018 Marked a New Year for Spirit of Beacon Day

This is an event put on by the people, and not an official sponsored City of Beacon event. The organizers usually were behind the scenes, sought very little recognition, and for the most part, the majority of Beaconites didn’t know who they were. That is, until the longtime organizers decided to retire from the role in 2017 (don’t worry - they didn’t really retire).

This prompted a new group to say: “Wait! What? No! The Spirit must go on! We will help!” And so the Spirit of Beacon Day has continued, under new leadership, with the help of the former leaders. The Spirit of Beacon Day has a new website to help get the word out, new megaphones, and new T-shirts to help people know what’s going on during the day. This year, the motto on the T-shirts was: “Without Unity There Is No Community!”

Your Spirit of Beacon Day 2018 In Pictures

There are so many photographable moments. Here are a few we found or captured. As for the schools, the PTA/PTO/PTSO is usually behind the production of designing and building each school’s parade contribution. It’s a challenging job to come back to, just after summer break - to dive into a big float-making project! But they do it each year (I’ve been a part of it for the past two years with South Avenue).

South Avenue Elementary School

Representing the parade theme of “Celebrating Unity” by celebrating our differences and beauty in the the moments when we become one, together, despite our differences. The Hudson River flows in two opposite directions, yet is one river. The fish and other wildlife make up one ecosystem, just as we do in Beacon!

J. V. Forrestal Elementary

These cutie pies from J. V. Forrestal Elementary all got together on Family Fun Nights at the school to make an underwater world, full of jellyfish and flowing lace.

Photo Credit: J.V. Forrestal PTSO and Gate House Realty

Sargent Elementary

It’s rainbows and unicorns at Sargent Elementary! And they shared some behind-the-scenes photos of how those magical balloon arches got made.

Photo Credit: Sargent Elementary PTO

Glenham Elementary

The kids of Glenham Elementary drew their pictures, cut out their handprints, and hung them together to symbolize togetherness rooted in the world.

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Walking down Main Street after the parade, the street was alive with options. The Spirit of Beacon Day is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the various community organizations, so you and/or your kids can get involved.

Let’s take a look at a few scenes from the day!

The Beacon Players, which is the theatre club of the Beacon High School.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Beacon Players, which is the theatre club of the Beacon High School. Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Highlands Current, a local newspaper based in Cold Spring that is devoted to covering Beacon as well. Beacon beat reporter Jeff Simms usually writes the Beacon articles and this day is representing at the newspaper’s table.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Highlands Current, a local newspaper based in Cold Spring that is devoted to covering Beacon as well. Beacon beat reporter Jeff Simms usually writes the Beacon articles and this day is representing at the newspaper’s table. Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Beacon Historical Society. Without them, we wouldn’t know the many iterations of what Beacon’s community has been like, as it changes over generations as different people migrate to and from here, from all over.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Beacon Historical Society. Without them, we wouldn’t know the many iterations of what Beacon’s community has been like, as it changes over generations as different people migrate to and from here, from all over. Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Beacon Fire Department.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Beacon Fire Department. Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Beacon Police Department.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Beacon Police Department. Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Beacon Elks Club. It’s that brick building on Wolcott Ave. that Frequently offers line dancing and car shows!

The Beacon Elks Club. It’s that brick building on Wolcott Ave. that Frequently offers line dancing and car shows!

The Mt. Beacon Eight. A group dedicated to sharing the story of the eight veterans who died when their plane crashed into Mt. Beacon, after they had survived many war battles.  A Little Beacon Blog wrote about them here.

The Mt. Beacon Eight. A group dedicated to sharing the story of the eight veterans who died when their plane crashed into Mt. Beacon, after they had survived many war battles. A Little Beacon Blog wrote about them here.

Animal Rescue Foundation, located along the Fishkill Creek, off of Wolcott avenue as you head out of town.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Animal Rescue Foundation, located along the Fishkill Creek, off of Wolcott avenue as you head out of town. Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Salvation Army, located near Beacon Pantry.   Photo Credit:    The Salvation Army Beacon

The Salvation Army, located near Beacon Pantry. Photo Credit: The Salvation Army Beacon

The  Sisters of Strength S.O.S.  They are an outreach ministry affiliated with the Springfield Baptist Church, making a difference for other organizations like the Salvation Army Beacon and others.

The Sisters of Strength S.O.S. They are an outreach ministry affiliated with the Springfield Baptist Church, making a difference for other organizations like the Salvation Army Beacon and others.

Photo Credit:    Humans of Beacon

Photo Credit: Humans of Beacon

Kids from Compass Arts’ Rompatom class playing music.   Photo Credit:    Screenshot from video from Angela Helland.

Kids from Compass Arts’ Rompatom class playing music. Photo Credit: Screenshot from video from Angela Helland.

Yanarella School of Dance performance. Photo Credit: Yanarella School of Dance

Watch the video below produced by the City of Beacon:

We Got Stickers! And Totes! Visit A Little Beacon Blog at Spirit of Beacon Day

This year’s table experience is going to be a little different. For the first time, Main Street businesses are allowed to have a table. Normally the vendor opportunity was reserved for nonprofits, since the genesis of Spirit of Beacon Day was rooted in community organizations and schools coming together to create dialogue and improve relations.

A Little Beacon Blog has a table near our office at 291 Main Street. Come by and say “Hi!” We will be handing out stickers, and selling our first-ever tote bag for $25. We will donate $5 of every bag sold to ARF and the Beacon Historical Society. These two organizations are participating orgs in this year’s Spirit of Beacon Day. Without the Beacon Historical Society, we would not know as much as we do about the many iterations of Beacon. ARF matches homeless dogs and cats with their furever human families. We have 100 totes. So that could be pretty good! 

But first, I’ll be marching with South Avenue Elementary in the parade, as I helped out with making the float.  

See you soon!

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SEEKING STATEMENTS FOR ARTICLE: Float Themes for Spirit of Beacon Day Parade

If you are an organizer of a float or presentation that is participating in the Spirit of Beacon Day Parade, we would like to hear from you about the meaning of your float in keeping with this year's theme. If you would like to provide a statement about how your organization is showing how it is "Celebrating Unity," please email your statement to editorial@alittlebeaconblog.com.

Thank you!

Photographers Wanted -> Howland Public Library & Spirit of Beacon Day Committee Wants to See Your Spirit!

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PHOTO CONTEST
Submission Deadline: August 1st, 2018
Exhibition Dates: September 8 – October 6th, 2018
Submission Rules & Details >

The Spirit of Beacon Day has been a part of the community since 1977, always held on the last Sunday of September. Over the past year, they have gone through a lot of changes - including a new website! The event is organized and run by a volunteer committee with help and donations by local citizens and businesses, alongside the support of the City of Beacon. The Spirit of Beacon Day is set for Sunday, September 30, with a rain date of Sunday, October 7.

Spirit of Beacon Photography Contest

This year, the Howland Public Library and the Spirit of Beacon Day Committee are looking for photographs that best capture the essence of The Spirit of Beacon. They are looking for images  capturing what makes the community so unique. Is it the mountainous backdrop? Our connection to the Hudson River? The historic architecture? The colorful, vibrant, and diverse community? The backyard gardens and/or chickens? What makes Beacon Beacon, in your eye?

How to Enter the Photo Contest

Photographers of ALL ages and skill levels are invited to submit their original photos by the deadline of Wednesday, August 1. Photos should be submitted with a certain format and naming structure. Read more about the submission requirements here

Selected photos will be displayed in the Community Room Exhibit Space at the Howland Public Library during the month of September as part of the Spirit of Beacon celebration. A reception for the community will be held on (Second) Saturday, September 8. 

You can get more details and information on how to register at the library's website.

2018's Spirit of Beacon Day Will Be Under New Leadership - Gwenno James Steps In

Photo Credits: Dan Rigney

Photo Credits: Dan Rigney

UPDATE April 2, 2018 - Spirit of Beacon Day now has a website - www.spiritofbeacon.org and you can now follow them on Facebook.

An almost-big local story of 2017 was that the volunteer organizers of the annual autumn Spirit of Beacon Day were stepping down, and would not be appointing a successor. Panic set in among those who heard the fringe rumors, but those who keep an ear to the ground didn't miss a beat. Longtime Beacon resident, building owner and textile designer Gwenno James heard the open call for replacement volunteers voiced by Mayor Randy Casale during a City Council meeting in July 2017, and decided to step in and step up to take on the enormous task of organizing a parade to celebrate the entire city.

Gwenno James, the new volunteer organizer for the Spirit of Beacon Day, in her Beacon textile studio.  Photo Credit: Gwenno James

Gwenno James, the new volunteer organizer for the Spirit of Beacon Day, in her Beacon textile studio.
Photo Credit: Gwenno James

Over the years, organizers have for the most part been invisible enigmas, except to their friends and community members who knew who they were. While the succession of the organizers is described clearly in "Celebrating Our Centennial," a book produced by the Beacon Historical Society, the newest members of the Beacon population tended to not know who produced the parade, only that it happened year after year and was the most celebrated time to show off public schools, nonprofit groups, and other initiatives that strengthen the Beacon community by helping neighbors get to know neighbors.
Trivia tip: Gwenno herself penned several pages in the Historical Society's book! 

We wrote about the Spirit of Beacon's backstory here, and have interviewed Gwenno below for the latest on what the future holds for the Spirit of Beacon Day.

ALBB: Some have said: “Beacon has changed. It doesn’t need a Spirit of Beacon Day anymore.” What’s your response to that?

Gwenno James: The Spirit of Beacon Day has been a wonderful celebration bringing everyone together across our community for forty years. When the original founders met in 1977 at the Howland Cultural Center, they agreed that “the community should get to know one another better. We should learn to know each other’s likes and dislikes regarding conversations, feelings, entertainment, education and food." I think that this intention/manifesto is as relevant today as ever, and helps us continue to grow together as a community.
 
ALBB: How did you come to take over the Spirit of Beacon Day Parade?

Gwenno James: First of all, I’d like to say that we are all so grateful to the committee who have been running the Spirit of Beacon Day parade for many years, for their dedication and hard work, including Rose Story, Roy Ciancanelli, Diane Sedore, Tony Lassiter and Bob Outer. They will continue to provide their support and advice going forward, which is great, and will enable us to transition smoothly and pass on the “torch.”

I look forward to leading the new committee with volunteers from all across our community. How the transition came about was: In July, an announcement was made at the City Council meeting that the committee would be stepping down. The Mayor and others encouraged folks from the community to step up and help. I had already been in touch with Rose Story, the committee Chair, earlier in the summer to offer help and to volunteer for the 2017 parade, so when I heard the news, I contacted Rose again and said I would be happy to help with any transition and, as needed, lead going forward.

We then further discussed with Mayor Casale, and he gave his support, alongside the City. An announcement followed at the next City Council meeting. Others also came forward to help and I spoke at the Beacon Chamber and Beacon Arts joint meeting, where members showed their support and volunteered.

During this year's [2017] parade, I “shadowed” Rose and Roy to learn more about how the parade is run on the ground. I also connected in person with the volunteer organizations and school groups.

ALBB: What will the upcoming year look like for you as you prepare?

Gwenno James: There will be a kickoff meeting around March with everyone who has expressed an interest to become involved. We will plan from there and assign volunteer tasks going forward. We will have continued meetings throughout the Spring and Summer and there will be plenty of opportunities for folks to provide input and help.

[Editor's note: As for a website and social media presence for the Spirit of Beacon Day - that is coming, and we will return to this article to update it with the new link.]

ALBB: How can others submit to volunteer?

Gwenno James: We welcome anyone who would like to volunteer and become involved. Folks can get in touch via email: spiritofbeacon@gmail.com

The good news is that many members of the original committee would like to continue helping and advising going forward, so we can build upon the great efforts they have done and have continuity. 

ALBB: Will anything different be done for businesses on the day? Traditionally it has been for nonprofits only.

Gwenno James: This is certainly a matter that we will discuss at our next committee meeting. It’s great to get input and we will be connecting with the Main Street businesses to hear their feedback over the coming months.

ALBB: Thank you Gwenno, and good luck! We look forward to experiencing next year's parade!