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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

From a Montpelier Porch, an Art Installation Joins an International Festival

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 4:36 PM

"Interspace" seen at night - ALISA DWORSKY-DANNY SAGAN
  • Alisa Dworsky-Danny Sagan
  • "Interspace" seen at night
Alisa Dworsky and Danny Sagan, married architects, artists and educators at Norwich University, are participating in an international art festival without leaving home. On the porch of their house in Montpelier, the couple has constructed an installation called "Interspace" that can be seen not only by locals but by anyone in the world who cares to look.

CEC ArtsLink, an international arts organization with an office in St. Petersburg, Russia, hosts Art Prospect, its seventh annual public art festival, from October 15 to 18. Normally an on-site event with physical and augmented-reality installations, the event has perforce gone online because, well — what isn't virtual in 2020?

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Vermont International Film Festival Returns With a Focus on Journalism

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 12:52 PM

Still from A Thousand Cuts. - COURTESY OF FRONTLINE PBS
  • Courtesy of Frontline PBS
  • Still from A Thousand Cuts.
Cries of "fake news" fill the political sphere. Social media companies reckon with a misinformation epidemic. Newsrooms confront their own biases. Clearly, 2020 is a pivotal year for journalism, and this year's Vermont International Film Festival is taking a long, hard look at the profession.

Running from October 23 to November 1, this year's VTIFF is all virtual, with a program of 12 films arranged in six pairs. Each pair is accompanied by a Q&A. Ticket holders have a three-day window to view each film, with the livestreamed discussion falling within that window.

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Former Vermont Poet Laureate Louise Glück Awarded Nobel Prize

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 5:11 PM

  • Courtesy of Katherine Wolkoff/Steven Barclay Agency
  • Louise Glück
The Swedish Academy has announced that its choice for the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature is Louise Glück. Though she now resides in Cambridge, Mass., she lived for many years in Plainfield, Vt. In 1971, Glück was among the original members of the legendary creative writing faculty at Goddard College in the nation’s first low-residency program. In 1980 she was a founding board member of the New England Culinary Institute (her then-husband John Dranow was a cofounder of the school).

Glück served as Vermont’s poet laureate — known then as “state poet” — from 1994 to 1998, and as U.S. poet laureate 2003 to 2004.

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Friday, October 2, 2020

Rokeby Museum Hires New Director

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2020 at 8:56 AM

  • Courtesy of Lindsay Houpt-Varner
The Rokeby Museum, a historic farm and Underground Railroad stop in Ferrisburgh, recently hired Lindsay Houpt-Varner as its first full-time director. The Rokeby, which was the home of an abolitionist Quaker family called the Robinsons from 1793 to 1961, is dedicated both to preserving the story of the Underground Railroad and exploring modern-day issues of race and social justice.

Houpt-Varner, who is 34 and has a PhD in early modern British history, comes to Vermont from Carlisle, Penn., after four years at the Cumberland County Historical Society. She studied Quakerism and had worked to preserve another site along the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania. The Rokeby job, she said, “combined all of the interests that I had been gathering up over the past decades.”

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

StoryWalk Comes to Leddy Park

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2020 at 11:55 AM

A StoryWalk post at Leddy Park - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • A StoryWalk post at Leddy Park
A path is for sharing. Along a path in Burlington's  Leddy Park, trees share the way with a children’s book, Pie is for Sharing.

The pages of the book are displayed on a set of posts at the edge of the path. As you walk the path you can read the book —  a combination of activities known as StoryWalk.

Pie is for Sharing
, a lovely book written by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard, is illustrated by Jason Chin, a children’s book artist and author who lives in South Burlington. He encountered his first StoryWalk about a decade ago at a zoo in New York City and has been a fan since.

In a phone call with Seven Days, Chin talked about why he likes StoryWalk, including the enjoyment of coming upon one when he’s out with his kids.

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Friday, September 25, 2020

New Anti-Racist Mural Rises at Champlain Elementary

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 1:11 PM

The Afronaut mural at Champlain Elementary - MARGARET GRAYSON ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Margaret Grayson ©️ Seven Days
  • The Afronaut mural at Champlain Elementary
A new mural at Champlain Elementary School in Burlington was completed this week by artists Will Kasso Condry and Jennifer Herrera Condry, with the help of their daughter, Alexa, and dozens of local children.

The colorful, Afrofuturist mural was originally intended for another South End wall, but was rejected by the business owner. Soon after, the mural's commissioners, tenants of the Soda Plant on Pine Street, started a crowdfunding campaign and issued a citywide “Call for a Wall.”

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Big Heavy World Wins International Award

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 4:07 PM

Keep Flying performing live at Big Heavy World - COURTESY OF BIG HEAVY WORLD/KYLE TANSLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Courtesy of Big Heavy World/Kyle Tansley Photography
  • Keep Flying performing live at Big Heavy World
Burlington nonprofit Big Heavy World has won the Music Cities Events award for best global music office. The multifaceted international award presenter, known for staging conferences on the development of municipalities with vibrant music communities, selected BHW for its "unrivaled support for music, musicians and music businesses in [its] city as well as globally," according to a Music Cities Events press release.

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Sunday, September 20, 2020

JAG Productions Wins $100K Grant, Launches Anti-Racist Ambassador Program

Posted By on Sun, Sep 20, 2020 at 6:23 PM

From left: Stevie Walker-Webb, Marie Cisco and Jarvis Antonio Green - COURTESY OF JARVIS ANTONIO GREEN
  • Courtesy of Jarvis Antonio Green
  • From left: Stevie Walker-Webb, Marie Cisco and Jarvis Antonio Green
When the spread of COVID-19 shut down all performing arts venues in March, JAG Productions had to halt its off-Broadway staging of Esai's Table. The play by Nathan Yungerberg previously had a month-long run in White River Junction, where JAG Productions was established in 2016. It was the first time Vermont's only Black theater company was copresenting a work in New York City, and the premature close was a disappointment.

But founder and producing artistic director Jarvis Antonio Green got much happier news a few months later when he learned that the Bay & Paul Foundations was granting $100,000 to JAG Productions. The New York-based nonprofit's heady mission is "to foster and accelerate initiatives that prepare agents of change working to strengthen  our social compact and develop authentic solutions to the challenges of this pivotal century."

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Friday, September 18, 2020

UVM Sex Educator Jenna Emerson Releases New Comedy Music Video

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 2:24 PM

  • Courtesy of Jenna Emerson/Isora Lithgow Productions
  • Still from 'I Want to Be a Sex Educator'
Sex educator Jenna Emerson envisions a whole new world free of sexual stigmas and taboos in her new musical comedy video, "I Want to Be a Sex Educator."

Released Thursday, the clip parodies the classic Disney animated feature The Little Mermaid, specifically the titular mermaid Ariel's heart song, "Part of Your World." In the video, Emerson, a University of Vermont staffer, basks on the rocks at Burlington's Oakledge Park as waves crash around her. It's an uncanny recreation of a pivotal, iconic scene from the 1989 movie.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Survey of Young Vermonters Highlights Ignorance of the Holocaust

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 6:04 PM

Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp - PHOTO COURTESY OF DREAMSTIME ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Photo courtesy of Dreamstime ©️ Seven Days
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp
A significant number of Vermont adults under the age of 40 lack even a rudimentary knowledge of the Holocaust, according to the results of a newly released survey of members of the millennial and Gen Z generations in Vermont.

“The U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey,” found that a disturbing percentage of Vermonters couldn’t name a single concentration camp or ghetto, had no idea how many Jews were murdered by the Nazis during World War II, and believe that the Jews were responsible for their own genocide.

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