By Madalyn Warren
An Andes-based agricultural and arts non-profit, formed in 2007 on the former Ackerley farm on Route 28, announced that it has received a two-year grant from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). The group, whose goal is to host twelve artists-in-residence in the next two years, welcomed its first two artists this month.Andes Sprouts Society, a new media arts organization and co-op farm located on twenty-three acres in Andes, NY, wishes to showcase the Catskill Region’s cultural heritage as well as stimulate bio-cultural productivity. We are creating an environment and work center that promotes interdisciplinary artistic experiments integrating emergent technologies and organic farming. Re-purposing of a 1940s kit barn will allow for six workstations for artists and programmers, as well as a construction workshop for Sprouts staff and volunteers. In addition, a dedicated server will be sited in the farmhouse and the existing Wi-Fi signal, courtesy of Margaretville Telephone Company, will be boosted to give Internet access to visitors with portable devices anywhere on the 23-acre property.According to Andes Sprouts Project Coordinator, Erwin Karl, “Although the introduction of technology and arts to the farm seems counter-intuitive, we have seen a very natural progression as we developed the Sprouts Society here. In addition to getting your hands dirty caring for animals and crops, farming in the Catskills has traditionally involved resourcefulness and the ability to adapt your environment to unexpected changes and challenges.” For more information, visit:http://andessproutssociety.us/.