Bard College the Annandale-on-Hudson Community in Red Hook NY
Bard was originally founded in 1860 and was then known as St. Stephens College.
The college's history is well documented and does make a good read.
This Annandale-on-Hudson community is a very interesting place, however this blog post will concentrate on the impact it has on the entire Red Hook Community.
I consider Red Hook more of a bedroom community since most of the residents have to go some place else for work. The economic impact of Bard on the Red Hook community is great. I would consider Bard along with the Red Hook School District the largest employers in town. The contribution made is more than just the benefits that flow directly to employees, but also those derived by the small businesses that provide services to the college. Another example of this economic multiplier effect is found in the visitors to Bard who stay in the local motels and B&BS and who eat in the local restaurants.
Another major impact that Bard College and the Annandale-on-Hudson community has had on Red Hook, NY is its cultural contribution. Bard has The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts where you can attend numerous events throughout the year. Each year, there is the Bard Summerscape program featuring dance, theater, film and opera, as well as the Bard Music Festival. Leon Botstein the President of the College is also a Grammy nominated (2006) Conductor who heads the American Symphony Orchestra.
There is also the Hessel Museum which sponsors lectures and exhibits.
Bard also has a Bridge Program to give high school students a head start on college, if they qualify for the program.
Bard has expanded over the years and local companies have been involved with the construction of new buildings and dorms.
The impact on real estate is also felt in others ways. Each year, students seeking off-campus housing call the local real estate offices looking for homes and apartment rentals.
Then, there are the incoming staff looking for homes to buy in Red Hook and others who are moving on, looking to get their Red Hook homes sold quickly.
The Bard community also engages in community service. One such initiative that brings the Red Hook community and the Bard community together is that of the Community Garden.
Over the years, there have been the usual town/gown issues that are almost inevitable in any college town. Nevertheless, Bard has done much to foster good community relations with local residents. Just a quick consideration of the college's positive impact on the town should bring greater appreciation for our neighbors in Annandale-on-Hudson.
Copyright © by Jennifer Fivelsdal, all rights reserved- Bard College, the Annandale-on-Hudson Community in Red Hook, NY