Any discussion of the arts and culture invariably includes Woodstock – the nearby town and cultural phenomenon. But today, the region nurtures a “creative ecosystem” that is home to a large and diverse population of artists and craftspeople, working in many different styles, forms and disciplines. A 2007 Business Week survey identified Kingston as ranking fifth in the nation in art establishments per capita and sixth in its overall ranking of “best places to live for artists.”
The performing arts are also well-represented in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Backstage Studio production, Catskill Ballet Theater, Coach House Players, the New York Conservatory for the Arts, Ulster Ballet Company, and the Ulster Performing Arts Center, are all located in the region.
When the American Revolution broke out in 1776, Kingston farmers provided General George Washington’s troops with wheat and other food, earning Kingston the nickname, “breadbasket of the Revolution.” In 1777, John Jay and other leading patriots met in a stone house in Kingston to declare the province a sovereign state and establish the first New York State Senate. In a nearby building, the first State Assembly met, and Kingston became New York State’s first capital.
In the early 1800’s wealthy local families re-focused their energies toward economic growth, with families like the Livingstons spearheading the drive to build the Erie Canal. During America’s industrial revolution, the Mid-Hudson Valley also became a favored location for the country homes of many wealthy New York industrialists, such as the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, whose homes are preserved today as National Historic Places, where visitors can get a taste of the region’s opulent past.
The natural beauty of the Mid-Hudson Valley has earned it the nickname “America’s Rhine,” and a 30-mile section of the east bank of the Hudson in Dutchess and Columbia Counties has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Abundant and critical water resources, rich biodiversity, renowned recreational and historic sites, and productive agricultural lands are all part of Ulster County’s open space landscape, contributing to the well-being of the region’s environment, economy and quality of life.
The Mid-Hudson Valley has a 300-year tradition of providing the highest quality of education to its residents, graduating highly educated students into the workforce. It is home to numerous public and private colleges, universities and technical schools and its public schools are routinely highly rated.
There is an ample supply of housing in all price ranges, but at levels that are relatively affordable compared to other regions. Within commuting distance of TechCity, homes can be purchased for prices ranging from under $100,000 to the mid-six figures.
The population of this region is typically well-trained and highly motivated. With companies like IBM dominating the landscape for many years, it is not uncommon to find families in which multiple generations have worked for the same employer.
That type of work ethic and commitment to their community, along with the stability of the workforce, provides an outstanding pool from which prospective employers can hire.