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Gwendolyn Craig
Policy Reporter
The Adirondack Diversity Initiative has a new director starting next month, Tiffany Rea-Fisher. I spoke with her over the phone last week about her role as an area choreographer and her upcoming role at ADI. Rea-Fisher will take the helm after former Director Nicole Hylton-Patterson left in the fall. 

I also spoke with members of ADI's core team and staff with the Adirondack North Country Association, which houses the ADI program. There will be a push this state budgetary cycle for a $100,000 increase in what the state gave ADI last year ($300,000). You can read more about ADI's new leader and the organization's future in our story here: 
Tiffany Rea-Fisher is the new director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative. Photo courtesy of Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Adirondack Diversity Initiative hires new director

Tiffany Rea-Fisher is used to taking center stage as a dancer, choreographer and artistic director. On Feb. 1 she will be in a new spotlight as the Adirondack Diversity Initiative’s director. 

Rea-Fisher heads the Lake Placid School of Dance and is the executive artistic director of EMERGE125, a dance company that teaches students in Harlem and Lake Placid. She is the first woman of color to be the Lake Placid school’s director. The 41-year-old lives in Saranac Lake with her husband and 18-month-old daughter, and plans to juggle work between her dance company and ADI. She will be part-time at first, transitioning to full-time at ADI starting March 6. Rea-Fisher said she will alternate each week between Harlem and Saranac Lake.

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Though we know that ANCA hopes for more funding from the state budget this year for programs like ADI, we're still waiting on Gov. Kathy Hochul's proposals. The governor's state budget presentation last year was on Jan. 18. We're now at Jan. 23, and we are still unsure of when Hochul's budget presentation may be. We will be covering it once we know. It will mark the beginning of a months-long negotiation process before a final budget is adopted in April. 

In Adirondack Park Agency news, we learned last week that APA Commissioner Andrea Hogan announced her resignation as Johnsburg town supervisor. Hogan is an in-park commissioner on the APA board representing Warren County. So far, the APA said she is still on the board. Hogan did not return our calls. You can read the story here:
In case you missed it, my colleague Mike Lynch had a story about the Northeast Wilderness Trust acquiring Bear Pond Forest, an over 1,000-acre inholding in the Five Ponds Wilderness. More on that here:
Northeast Wilderness Trust recently purchased the Bear Pond Forest. Photo courtesy of Open Space Institute

“This is as wild as any place you are going to see in the East. It’s an experience that’s very unusual. It is far from major roads.” 

— Bob Linck, conservation director, Northeast Wilderness Trust
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