Artist Dan Colen and Sky High Farm Are Bringing Together Community To Fight Food Insecurity

Sky High Farm Spring Picnic. Courtesy of Sky High Farm Universe.

This Saturday, May 18, Sky High Farm will be hosting a Spring Picnic as a fundraiser to build on their mission of creating equity within the New York food system. 

Taking place at the Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in upstate New York, the picnic will be an afternoon of food and music. The Sky High Farm Universe Marketplace will be hosting vendors that include local food groups like Fortunes Ice Cream, and clothing and skincare brands such as Birkenstock, Awake NY, and Tata Harper Skincare. Along with the marketplace, stages will be set up with musical performances from The Roots, Moses Sumney, and Kelsey Lu, as well as a DJ set by Michaël Brun. 

Founded in 2012 by artist Dan Colen, Sky High Farm’s mission is to address food insecurity within the state, and to advocate for food education within communities experiencing food shortages. Sky High has their own farm located in Hudson Valley, where they grow, produce, and assist in local agriculture. Since its inception, the farm has donated one-hundred percent of the vegetables and protein raised – more than 123,000 pounds of veggies and animal protein over the last decade – to their food partners, including Wild Roots and Long Table Harvest,  throughout New York State. 

Sky High Farm in Ancramdale, New York. Photo by Ramie Ahmed. Courtesy of Sky High Farm Universe.

This year’s Spring Picnic is a helpful way to organize funds for the upcoming harvest and growing season on the farm. The ticketed event has tiered options, with individual and benefactor tickets, allowing guests to choose which best fits their economic bracket. The advisory and host committees include over 50 names with a range of artistic and media backgrounds, including photographer Ryan McGinley, fashion designer, Marc Jacobs, New York It girl, Chloe Sevigny, and many more. 

Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, where the event takes place, is a 153-acre artist sanctuary located on the Hudson River in the Tivoli Village. The unique outdoor space has housed many artistic events, including Tatiana’s Desardouin’s multimedia performance Passion Fruit Dance and Mike Lynch’s, An Irish Goodbye. The park is also home to various trails and nature hideaways. Nike will be hosting a hike and healing meditation event at the picnic to inspire attendees to reconnect with nature.

The event not only addresses Sky High Farm’s ethos, but also speaks to the power of community. The farm’s main focus is to address the need for clean and accessible food for the state of New York, and they do this through many community-focused projects, products, and events, including their own clothing line, Sky High Farm Workwear. Through all of the many areas in the Sky High Universe, equity in food remains at the center of their mission. Food insecurity is at an all time high within the state of New York, as many families and young adults experience food shortages. The New York State Department of Health recently reported that approximately one in four adults experience food insecurity.

Colen and Sky High Farm, through their work, are focused on eliminating food insecurity and waste, and the picnic is a great example of how they are working to address it – by creating community, and raising funds, to create a more accessible food industry. 

The Sky High Farm Spring Picnic takes place May 18 at the Kaatsbaan Park in Tivoli, New York. All proceeds will go towards the farm’s mission to address equity within the New York food system. Buy tickets here.