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Friday, July 20, 2018

'The King' Comes to the Queen City: Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki Talks About His New Doc

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 12:15 PM

Eugene Jarecki - COURTESY OF EUGENE JARECKI
  • Courtesy of Eugene Jarecki
  • Eugene Jarecki
Talking Trump-era politics with Eugene Jarecki is probably the equivalent of playing chess with Boris Spassky or standing across a tennis court from Roger Federer. The field is not level. You are not remotely in the same league. And that’s what makes it so much fun.

The Peabody and Emmy award-winning director of such acclaimed documentaries as The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002), Why We Fight (2005), Reagan (2011) and The House I Live In (2012), the Mad River Valley resident has been named a Soros Justice Fellow at the Open Society Foundations and a senior fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Against the Wall: April Cornell Gets a Makeover

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 3:46 PM

April Cornell (left) and Ginny Joyner - SADIE WILLIAMS
  • Sadie Williams
  • April Cornell (left) and Ginny Joyner
An already polychromatic building near the bottom of Main Street in Burlington is becoming much more colorful. Previously painted pastel yellow and pink, the  April Cornell headquarters now sports more than 20 different colors. Depictions of flowers, cats and butterflies adorn the walls. Even the fire escape flaunts radiant multicolored steps.

The new look is prompted in part by a re-branding effort: The 43-year-old company just redesigned its logo. The "retro logo," as the eponymous owner calls the original, still appears on the back of the building. The new one is painted on the front. Cornell says painting the new logo on the squat, blocky building induced her to ask, "How do you take something industrial and make it joyful?" The solution: more color.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Vermont Arts Council Exhibit Spotlights New American Artists

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 12:24 PM

Aline Mukiza (with drum) and Burundian dancers - COURTESY OF JEFF WOODWARD
  • Courtesy of Jeff Woodward
  • Aline Mukiza (with drum) and Burundian dancers
The Vermont Arts Council is on a mission to broaden the definition of who a Vermont artist is, said director Karen Mittelman. "There are new groups of Americans who are enriching [the] landscape in ways that most people don't see and recognize," she said.

Mittelman is hopeful that the arts agency's latest photo exhibit will introduce residents and visitors to the state's diverse cultural landscape.

With help from the Vermont Folklife Center, the VAC has assembled a collection of photographs for its Spotlight Gallery that feature the music, dance and fiber traditions of local Bhutanese, Bosnian, Burundian, Karen, Somali and Tibetan communities.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Refugee Communities Find Cause for Celebration During Difficult Year

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 4:09 PM

Interpreter Poe Poh (left) and Thaw Theet at Leddy Park in Burlington - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Interpreter Poe Poh (left) and Thaw Theet at Leddy Park in Burlington
For the last seven years, Thaw Theet has always attended local festivities to commemorate World Refugee Day, which is observed across the world on June 20.

"I came here as a refugee," said the South Burlington resident. "Even though I am now a U.S. citizen, I will never forget where I came from." Though Theet understands English, she's shy about conversing in the language and chose to speak through an interpreter instead.

Theet, an ethnic-Karen from Myanmar, isn't alone in wanting to honor her history. Last Saturday, upward of 300 people — refugees, former refugees, social service providers and community partners — gathered at Burlington's Leddy Park to celebrate World Refugee Day.

"It's a happy day for me," said Theet, 33.

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Musician Hikes Long Trail to Raise Awareness of Suicide Prevention

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 12:58 PM

Betsy LeBlanc and Sam - COURTESY OF BETSY LEBLANC
  • Courtesy of Betsy LeBlanc
  • Betsy LeBlanc and Sam
Elisabeth "Betsy" LeBlanc remembers being five years old and scrawling "I want to die" on plastic decorative balloons in her room. Months later, the self-abuse began. When she was in third grade, her family doctor noticed the bruises and bite marks on LeBlanc's arms. She had her first major crisis in high school and got help through therapy.

"You might ask why would a five-year-old want to die," says LeBlanc, now 40, in a video that she uploaded on Facebook. "I genuinely believed people would be better off without me."

LeBlanc continues that she was "properly medicated" for the first time when she was 27. It was also the first time she was able to experience anything other than depression, she adds.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Historic Vermont Silhouette Travels to Washington, D.C.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 12:07 PM

Silhouettes of Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant, circa 1805–15 - COURTESY OF THE HENRY SHELDON MUSEUM OF VERMONT HISTORY
  • Courtesy of the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History
  • Silhouettes of Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant, circa 1805–15

Vermont’s pioneering fight to legalize civil unions in 2000 cemented the state’s place amidst the landscape of American queer and civil rights history. Within just the past several years, the Green Mountain State has emerged as home to another gay cultural landmark: a handmade silhouette considered to be the earliest image of a same-sex couple.

The small, intimate portrait of Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake, which dates to the early 1800s, is now on view in “Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now” at the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bread and Puppet Founder Peter Schumann Wins Lockwood Prize

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 7:00 PM

Peter Schumann - MASSIMO SCHUSTER
  • Massimo Schuster
  • Peter Schumann
The fifth annual Herb Lockwood Prize in the Arts has gone to Peter Schumann, visionary artist/activist and founder of beloved Glover-based Bread and Puppet Theater. He was presented with the $10,000 award — the largest arts prize in Vermont — in a small ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the BCA Center.

The aim of the Lockwood Prize is to "reward the pinnacle of arts leadership in Vermont by honoring the state's most influential artists," according to Todd R. Lockwood. He created the award in 2014 and named it for his younger brother, Herb, an artist and musician who died in a workplace accident in 1987 at age 27.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dancing the Day Away With Vermont Dance Alliance and Artists Imperative

Posted By on Sun, Jun 17, 2018 at 4:44 PM

Dancers kicking off "Traces" at the top of Church Street - SADIE WILLIAMS
  • Sadie Williams
  • Dancers kicking off "Traces" at the top of Church Street
On Saturday, June 16, Burlington was struck by a confluence of dance-related events: "Traces," an all-day, multi-venue, outdoor performance hosted by the Vermont Dance Alliance, and "Lime Peach Mint: High Crimes Misdemeanors, Bountiful Performances" by Artists' Imperative at Maglianero. What follows is a diary of observations from the day.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Local Film 'The Nightingale Chronicles' Shows in Burlington This Month

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 1:43 PM

The Nightingale Chronicles trailer from Harry Llama on Vimeo.

A Franklin County film production will hit a Burlington big screen on June 26.

The Nightingale Chronicles, written and directed by East Fairfield resident Harry Goldhagen, stars Bruce Jones as a womanizing glamour photographer who faces an unexpected reckoning with his past when he accepts a photo-essay assignment from a smarmy agent (played by former “Late Night Saturday” host Tim Kavanagh). His subject: a reclusive Vermont doctor (Dawn Kearon).

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Burlington's Flynn Center Hires a New Executive Director

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 12:43 PM

Anna Maria Gewirtz - COURTESY OF THE FLYNN CENTER
  • Courtesy of the Flynn Center
  • Anna Maria Gewirtz
The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts has a new leader at the helm.  Anna Marie Gewirtz, recent acting president and CEO at State Theatre New Jersey, brings to Burlington two decades of experience in Garden State arts and culture.

Gewirtz replaces outgoing executive director and CEO John Killacky, who announced in September that he would be leaving  the Flynn after eight years. In April, Killacky, who lives in South Burlington, declared his candidacy for the Vermont House of Representatives.

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