Newburgh Community Conversation Recap

Newburgh Community Conversation 101313

On Sunday, October 13th Newburghers were invited to attend a Newburgh Community Conversation at the Newburgh Armory. The event was spearheaded by Arianna Koudounas, native Newburgher with a family history in the city for the past 91 years! She is now studying Urban Planning at Georgetown. She won the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands scholarship this year, and true to her love for her hometown Arianna wanted to facilitate a community dialogue with the simple goal of discussing what makes Newburgh so special, what keeps us here or coming back regularly, and what can be done to maximize the good and rectify the bad or unfortunate. They discussed:

  • Community events
  • Community Improvement/Betterment
  • Faith based groups
  • Arts and culture
  • Education
  • Youth
  • What’s missing in Newburgh and opportunities

The next step is honing in on an objective: communications, marketing and centralizing information.

A new generation is creating a new way of thinking of Newburgh. It is truly great to see. If you would be interested in participating in the next event, stay tuned for the announcement in the next couple of weeks.

17 Comment

  • Was this announced? I didn’t see it in any of the older posts. I know Arianna and her family quite well and would love to be a part of the conversation.

    • Janis they put this event together in only a few days, so I didn’t have time to post it here. But I did share the event on Facebook. You can be sure I will post about the next upcoming event.

  • The most significant priority should be communication with the actual community. Otherwise this will not be a ” Newburgh Community Conversation” it will be a discussion amongst a half dozen people who happen to either already know each other or bump into each other along the way to the said “conversation”. As someone who is new to Newburgh and very interested in being part of any discussion, it would be helpful that they would try to share information in advance with sites such Newburgh Restoration…hearing about it after the fact doesn’t do any good. I appreciate Newburgh Restoration updates and check the page regularly as I’m sure many others do. One can only hope that the next time we all get a heads-up.

    • Melanie, this meeting was only put together 6 days before it happened. I guess my bad for not being able to post it, but it was shared via press release and all over FB. I will be posting it the next time, hopefully you can make it!

      • Where else on FB can we find info and what do you mean by press release? We are glad to look elsewhere we just need to know where that is, exactly. thanks

        • Hi Melanie- thank you for your expressed interest in making sure this on-going effort is one truly representative of the Newburgh community. That certainly is the intention. As with most large efforts, they start small. This first conversation was born out of an impassioned event at Mount Saint Mary’s the previous weekend, where the documentary “The Battle of Newburgh” ( was screened. With hundreds of moved community members in the audience, it seemed the perfect opportunity to turn concern and reflection of the past into solution-oriented action for our present and future, so on the spot I offered to organize a follow-up discussion, which took place the following Sunday, October 13th. As Cher mentions, it was pulled together in 6 days–filling a room with 22 people on a holiday weekend was an exciting first small victory in and of itself! It’s inspiring to have vocal members of the community such as yourself looking out to make sure everyone has access to the information, so your help in spreading the word and further suggestions for how to do so most effectively is appreciated and encouraged. I can be reached at for any further questions or suggestions you might have. Thank you- Arianna

  • This looks like it was great…but I did not hear about it or see anything about it beforehand. Communications, marketing and centralizing information are critical, as you mention.

    Looking forward to hearing more..

  • First, You go Urban Planners! All Congratulations Arianna for your impressive academic and Awards background–and, most of all , for sharing those with your home community. You are definitely joining the ranks of Cher Vick, an urban planner as well, who, over the past several years, has single handedly not only opened up Newburgh to the world in general via NewburghRestoration, but has brought together an increasing number of New Newburghers, whose commitment–both as natives and newcomers– to The City and shared goals for its future become stronger every day.
    As one who would love to come to your next meeting, I hope you will post it directly on Newburgh Restoration–a particular help for those of us who do not, nor have any wish to, check Facebook every seven minutes . Looking forward to the next Newburgh Community Conversation!

    • My pleasure, Suzanne, will be sure to do so! And thank you for the kind, motivating words. Cher and many others truly have been trailblazers here and it’s an exciting effort to join. For anyone else reading this article/this comment chain, Hannah (comments above) has reached out and will be looping me into many necessary groups and individuals to include in the next conversation. This is very much a come one, come all effort- so please feel free to email me or comment here if you would like to share your local knowledge: Contacts in the faith and business community would be especially appreciated, as well as traditionally underrepresented members of the community of all walks of life.

    • Yes, Arianna, I must second Suzanne’s comments! Thank you Suzanne for teaching me a small lesson in started with the positive first! The minor issues fall away in comparison to what everyone is doing to move Newburgh in the right direction.

  • I am disappointed that the public was not informed. Alot of us do not check facebook. I would love to have had the chance to be apart of this. To Bad

  • I would love to be involved as a person who works here. I live in Beacon and spent the last 15 years involved in various community groups such as Beacon Deserves Better. Ia m on the COmmunity Advisory Board for Restorative Justice in Newburgh.

    • It’s great to read so many expressions of interest! Arianna is trying to select a date for the next conversation. Here are the choices she’s offered (all Saturdays, all 3-5 P.M.): 11/30, 12/7, 12/14, 12/21, or 12/28. Please email your preference to her at I’ll also ask the webmaster for ActionNewburgh, a non-partisan citizens’ group that cares about Newburgh, to include further communications, announcements and summaries as well.

      • Excellent point Mary Elin- I should have posted the dates but thank you for doing so! We will be narrowing down a date by the weekend’s end to give ample time to advertise the Conversation to interested parties. Please feel free to email me or post your preferences here. Lisa- thank you for reaching out. I will follow up with you this weekend and please be on the look-out for the next Conversation’s date which will be posted here on Newburgh Restoration!

  • A quick update for anyone viewing this- the next Conversation will most likely be happening on Saturday December 14th from 3-5 pm at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center. I am awaiting confirmation from the Armory and will notify Cher and other networks as soon as we are set!