Author: Bill Batson

Bill Batson is an artist, writer and activist. He has worked for non profits, labor unions, and government in New York State as an organizer writer and public relations specialist.
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Nyack Sketch Log: The Office

For a brief moment in time, one of the hottest spots in the jazz universe was a nightclub in Nyack. The Office was located in the storefront that is now home to the Olde Village Inne. For five years, from 1975 until 1980 some of greatest artists of the genre, like Jaco Pastorious, Bill Evans and many others would come to Nyack to gig at The Office.  What happened at the height of the club’s artistic incandescence that caused the venue to disappear from the jazz scene?

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Nyack Sketch Log: Center For Safety & Change

In 1979, a group of volunteers launched the Rockland Family Shelter, now known as the Center for Safety & Change, to protect women and children from the devastation of domestic violence.

Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Santiago just announced the appointment of Sandra Page-Cook to the position of Chief Development Officer. “Over the past year the Center has seen a 70% increase in demand for services, an increase of that magnitude is not sustainable without the generosity of donors.” said Santiago.

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Nyack Sketch Log: The Rock ‘n’ Rollers

As generations of teenagers could tell you, there are few therapeutic interventions as powerful as a Fender guitar, a few friends, an amp and an audience. Music for Life’s Jeffrey Friedberg has figured this out, and the band created from his workshops, The Rock ‘n’ Rollers are taking their positive results on the road.

While music is magic for children of all needs, the populations that Jeffrey serves at his creative arts therapy program on Depew Avenue have shown extraordinary progress during practice and live performance sessions. Young people who have struggled with loud, crowded spaces and social interaction are now commanding center stage like rock stars. Before an A-lister sits in on a session, making a ticket price out of reach, I suggest you check out The Rock ‘N’ Rollers at their next gig at the Palisades Center Mall from 11a – 1p on December 18.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Rock ‘n’ Rollers and their manager/creative arts therapist, Jeffrey Friedberg.

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Nyack Sketch Log: Giving Tuesday

If you are one of the 34.8 million people who participated in Giving Tuesday 2020, a 29% increase over 2019, here are six Nyack Sketch Logs that I have published over the last decade featuring groups that are worthy of your largess. They are, in alphabetical order, Center for Safety & Change, Hopper House Museum and Study Center, Nyack Center, River Hook: The Hester Haring Cason Preserve, Rockland Center for the Arts, Rockland County Pride Center and Soup Angels. It’s Giving Tuesday. Please give local.

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Nyack Sketch Log: Soup Angels To Serve 400 Souls This Thanksgiving

For the hungry, the First Reformed Church tower on South Broadway is a beacon of hope. Inside this building that almost scrapes the sky, an organization called the Soup Angels provides food and comfort to the needy two nights each week.

This Wednesday from 4 – 7p, Soup Angels is expected serve a free takeout Thanksgiving dinner to over 400.

Soup Angels currently has a GoFundMe-based Thanksgiving challenge. They are slightly over the halfway mark to their goal of $15,000. Search for Soup Angels Thanksgiving Matching Grant Challenge on GoFundMe to support their efforts.

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Nyack Gift 2021

The fourth Nyack Gift collaboration includes a mug that features my illustration of Edward Hopper’s wooden-wheeled childhood bike as visual comfort food.

As a testament to the resilience of local small businesses, we offer Nyack Sketch Log gear, Anise & Almond Biscotti hand dipped in chocolate from Lisa Chang’s Nyack Sweets and organic Masala Chai loose tea from Preston Powell’s Teagevity, hoping to bring some cheer at the end of another challenging year.

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Nyack Sketch Log: Hope Wade Brings Fashion Week to Rockland County

Since September 2020, internationally renowned fashion designer Hope Wade has been turning North Broadway into a runway. This Saturday, November 6, Wade his invited 14 other fashion industry artists to show their work at the second annual Rockland Fashion Week hosted by the Palisades Mall.

This week’s Nyack Sketch Log interview and illustration belong to a woman who is putting Rockland on the world fashion map: Hope Wade.

It’s Election Day people – don’t forget to vote!

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Nyack Sketch Log: William Prime Batson In Memoriam

Milestones of a life well-lived continue long after death. This visual diary of my father’s 90th year, captured daily in a watercolor portrait I painted as he ate breakfast now serves as his silent proxy. For what would have been his 100th birthday, last Thursday, October 22, 2021, a banner was hung in his honor, joining the soldiers who keep eternal vigil on Main Street for every Memorial and Veterans Day.

Through these images from my watercolors and military banner tributes that hangs at the corner of Cedar and Main Streets, let me introduce my father, William Prime Batson.

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Nyack Sketch Log: The Brink’s Robbery

Shared events define a community. The event has to be so overwhelming in its substance and scope that it becomes a link between strangers. In the years following a shared event, like an assassination, everyone remembers where they were when it happened.

For the Rockland County community, the Brink’s Robbery rises to that historic standard.

On October 20, 1981, members of the Black Liberation Army robbed a Brink’s truck at the Nanuet Mall