Alternative Albany Institutions to host open houses Saturday

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Saturday in downtown Albany you can meet some animals and learn what goes on at the Radix Center, as well as two other nearby alternative institutions all hosting open houses.

Three organizations in downtown Albany want people to realize more than politics is taking place. They’re all hosting an open house Saturday.

Inside St. Anthony’s Church you can see the work being done to bring Grand Street Community Arts back home. The church was once a hub for the Italian community.

The parish closed in 74 as a direct result of the Empire State Plaza project

Alexis Bhagat is the executive director of the grand street community arts which stabilized the church building in 2005 and used it as a performance venue until 2011. Yet limited funding and rough winters took a toll, forcing the closing of the church in 2012.

Now with an architecture grant, work has begun.

“To start redesigns this building from the bottom up so that we can restore it and create a hub for community arts and culture,” said Alexis Bhagat, Grand Street Community Arts.

You can see the progress Saturday and then take a walk to two other open houses, the Albany Free School, the longest-running inner-city independent alternative school in the United States, and the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center, with a nice view of the Corning Tower.

Radix is a nonprofit, urban environmental educational center with chickens, ducks, goats, fish and a farm.

“Focusing on bringing in kids in school groups and teaching what we call ecological literacy – which is having greater familiarity with the natural systems that allow us to survive,” said Scott Kellogg, the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center.

Scott Kellogg is the educational director. He showed us the aquatics system inside the solar green house.

“We are raising fish and plants together in a closed loop re-circulating system where the waste produced by the fish, become nutrients for plants that are also grown in here, “said Kellogg.

The Radix also had a composting business. They pick up food scraps which part goes to feeding animals its complex. Be sure to check it out this weekend.

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