Carey Institute rebrands as Hilltown Commons

— Photo from Carey Institute for Global Good 

Hilltown Commons, formerly known as the Carey Institute for Global Good, has partnered with three different local organizations that will use the not-for-profit’s Rensselaerville campus, pictured here. 

RENSSELAERVILLE — The Carey Institute is dead; long live Hilltown Commons. 

The storied not-for-profit has officially rebranded after going on hiatus during the pandemic years when revenue, which had only just been rising above expenses for the first time since the organization started in 2014, dropped. Core programs were jettisoned and the community worried that the campus would be sold to a developer. 

There had been a paucity of information from the former Carey Institute — save for a couple of updates about the property itself — until this past March, when the group announced it would be reopening, and was considering changing its name to reflect its mission going forward. 

This mission, according to the Hilltown Commons’ new website, is to “nurture and empower a vibrant community. Through dynamic programs we ignite curiosity, create space for engaged learning, and inspire creativity, discovery, and connection on both local and national levels.”

The site says the name is for the four Hilltowns — Berne, Westerlo, Knox, and Rensselaerville — which “are known for their natural beauty and rich history.”

“Hilltown Commons is committed to enriching the community by generating opportunities for local participation, partnering with local organizations and residents, and collaborating with other mission-based organizations to further drive our mission and vision,” Hilltown Commons spokeswoman Viviane Galloway told The Enterprise in a statement this week. 

“All our staff and board reside in the Hilltowns and are deeply invested in programming that evokes curiosity, engagement, and community building,” she said. “We will be hosting a variety of workshop groups this summer including public speaking, landscaping, wellness and art and design workshops, and we will be offering some events and activities to the community as well.”

The group has so far partnered with three local organizations that use the Rensselaerville campus. They are:

— Wisdom Roots Wellness, which offers yoga and pilates classes year-round, along with Ayurvedic treatments, and, periodically, holds spring and fall cleanses, self-care workshops, sound baths, and equinox/solstice events;

— R’ville Stage Creations, a community theater group that strives for high-quality local productions and, as The Enterprise reported last week, holds a free workshop each month for aspiring performers of all skill levels; and 

— Volunteer Orchards, a hard-cider brewery that is invested in preserving local orchards and offers apple-tree restoration and pruning, orchard assessments, custom juice pressing, and demonstrations. 

“Wisdom Roots is run by two people who have done a lot of wellness events at Conkling Hall, and Sarah Nelson also taught her yoga and pilates classes there for many years,” Galloway, a former Conkling Hall board member, told The Enterprise. “Having a studio at Hilltown Commons is going to take their business to the next level, and it is also a better space for what they do. Rville Stage Creations uses the space at Hilltown Commons for rehearsal and has their performances on the Conkling Hall stage.” 

Hilltown Commons will hold a community outreach question-and-answer session at the Guggenheim Auditorium on Thursday, May 23, at 6 p.m.

More Hilltowns News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.