Hudson Valley Parent

HVP Dec 2014

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Page 8 of 41 ■ Hudson Valley Parent 9 I am a Hudson Valley Parent Stephanie Heimann-Roland: Parenting with focus By KATHLEEN WILLCOX A small depression in the ret- ina of the eye where visual acuity is highest. The center of the fi eld of vision is focused on this region, where retinal cones are particularly concentrated." Is that a defi nition of the Latin noun fovea or a perspective on par- enting? Perhaps both. Fovea Editions, an educational charity co-founded by Beacon mom Stephanie Heimann-Roland, was created to examine current human- itarian and social issues through the medium of photojournalism. In addition to their public exhibitions, Fovea also brings photojournalists to public schools in the Hudson Valley where they give interactive presenta- tions to elementary, middle and high school students. Providing a forum "Sabine [Meyer] and I are both veterans of the photo industry and we're both parents and avid trav- elers," Heimann-Roland says. "We founded Fovea because we wanted to provide photographers and the public with a forum in which they could examine issues, told through photojournalism, that isn't compro- mised by commercial concerns." Heimann-Roland also appears to have a fovea approach to parenting: while there are many tempting dis- tractions within arm's reach, when her son is in front of her, she only has eyes for him. And when he's not, he is still central to every life, work and leisure-time decision she makes. That lack of compromise has a price for the founders. "We are 100% volunteer-run," Heimann-Ro- land says. "Sabine and I work on Fo- vea in addition to our full-time jobs and our full and rich family lives." But integrating communal is- sues and worldly concerns into her personal life is the thread that has always held the fabric of her life together. "Part of the reason I love living and working from home in Beacon is because there is such an amazing community of creative individuals and parents," she says. "Travel- ling has always been a part of my life and job, so it's ironic that I'm content spending the vast majority of my time in this small town on the Hudson River north of New York City. But the fact is, there are a lot of like-minded people here who I have a lot in common with." Community of parents Heimann-Roland's husband, Mark Roland, is on staff at Habitat for Humanity in Newburgh. Parenting their 4-year-old son, Mackinley, has become as much an extension of their paradigms as their choices of work are. "There is a strong village and community feel among parents here," she says. "There's what feels like an old-school group on Yahoo called the Beacon Parent Network that feels like it's been around forev- er and resources on the Beacon Cit- izen Network. But honestly, Beacon let's you just fall into this completely natural rhythm of parenting and socializing with other parents. We'll be out at a park and we'll just meet other parents and kids and become friends." The practice of casual communal parenting, where children play to- gether and the parents hang out and keep an eye on their own and their new friends' children, falls into place for everyone in Beacon, she says. But like any loose network of those in the know, there are a few unassum- ing, unoffi cial hangouts. "The farmer's market on the waterfront and hanging at Dogwood are a few of our favorite family activ- ities, and we always run into other Beacon parents there," she says. Upcoming exhibits "We will now have two exhibits in Beacon every year. From now on, our exhibits will be at Hudson Beach Glass on Main Street. And we will have one exhibit in Brooklyn as part of the Photoville show. The next show at Hudson Beach Glass opens on January 10, and while Heimann-Roland says that the decision for the theme will remain under wraps for now, taking a cue from past show themes (War & Memory, The Gun Show, Studio Mali), it is sure to be topical and be- come fodder for many a dinner-time debate for families in Beacon and beyond. "Part of the reason I love living and working from home in Beacon is because there is such an amazing community of creative individuals and parents." "

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