Mary Williams

Weekly Conversation on the Arts and Art Hounds Producer/Announcer

Mary joined VPR in October 2011. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from St. Michael's College and has spent the last two decades on-air and as a producer at several stations up and down the Champlain Valley radio dial.

Mary operated a baking business called, "Good Girls," and in the summer months, parked her hand-built vendor cart at area farmers' markets to try and change minds and bellies toward more compassionate eating, one vegan cupcake at a time.

 

Ways to Connect

Norwich University senior Joshua Sassi's research on the Western Fence Lizard earned him an invitation to a national event for undergraduate researchers.
Sean Markey / Norwich University

Joshua Sassi is a senior biology major at Norwich University whose thesis work explores how the malaria parasite affects the Western Fence Lizard. His findings could shed light on how the parasite spreads in humans, which earn him a spot at Posters on the Hill, a Washington, D.C. event where the nation's top undergraduate researchers share their findings with Congress.

A February 1798 political cartoon portraying Matthew Lyon (holding tongs) attacking Connecticut Congressman Roger Griswold. After Griswold called Lyon a scoundrel, Lyon spat on Griswold's face and their brawl ensued.
Library of Congress American Cartoon Prints Collection / Wikimedia Commons

Vermont history buffs may know the name Matthew Lyon, but a Burlington singer-songwriter hopes to make the rowdy Vermont statesman more of a household name by making him the focus of a full-length musical.

Conor Lastowka has written funny things about awful movies for the better part of a dozen years. He works for the comedy website, Rifftrax. Lastowka has just written his second comedy sci-fi novel.
Conor Lastowka

Burlington writer Conor Lastowka has just written his second comedy sci-fi novel, called The Pole Vault Championship of the Entire Universe. The book follows 15-year-old Kara, whose grandfather returns from the dead to recruit Kara to be a mascot for his Olympics team on a micro-nation founded through a series of devious acts. And there are alien garbagemen...

A Vermont storyteller, a new venue for a decades-old film fest, a call to young artists and more await your social calendar this weekend and beyond!

Author Olivia Hoblitzelle heard a phrase in her 40s that influenced the way she embraced her own aging and those around her. Now at age 80, her book collects her reflections and stories on how to age well.
Courtesy, Olivia Hoblitzelle

Olivia Hoblitzelle has spent her career as a teacher, a therapist and a writer. Her lifelong work brought together the practices of meditation, cognitive therapy and yoga into Western medicine's domain. And now Hoblitzelle's most recent book, Aging With Wisdom: Reflections, Stories & Teachings, gathers her writing into focused pieces on how to age well.

Art Hounds ®  with Mary Williams will be discontinued on March 30 as VPR incorporates more arts reporting into news coverage.
VPR File

We know our listeners tune into VPR not only for independent news and classical music, but also for expansive coverage of our local arts community. That’s why we’re pleased to announce some exciting changes you’ll be hearing in our arts reporting starting this month!  

Comic book legend Stan Lee and actor Chadwick Boseman pose together at the LA premiere of "Black Panther."
Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

With Black Panther roaring at the box office to become one of the top-grossing movies of all time, some hope it's the dawn of a new era of black representation in film. We're talking to Dartmouth professor Monica White Ndounou. She studies film and media and offers a cautionary take to the film's success, suggesting ways the structure and ideology of Hollywood need to change first.

Looking to see a film about Vermont's natural history and take in a concert or two of bluegrass and folk, plus catch a play about a beloved character from literature? We've got you covered!

This episode was originally broadcast in August 2017: Michelle Wallace, who owns Nature Mandala Art :: Vermont, spoke to VPR about the process and intention behind her artwork. Wallace creates mandala patterns out of natural materials, photographs them and then allows the mandala to be taken away by the wind.

Courtesy, Don and Vickie Herzberg

This weekend, you can see etchings and hear poetry, see a movie that was lauded at the Sundance Film Festival and hear works for piano and voice, composed by Beethoven.

This once-empty 1860s church in Montgomery Center is the biggest building in town and now it is full of art, music, theater, dance and wellness classes each day of the week.
Sebastian Araujo

When New York native Sebastian Araujo and his partner moved from Cape Cod to Montgomery Center, Vermont, he arrived with the notion that thrifty New Englanders re-purpose old buildings. So when he noticed the biggest structure in town - an 1860s church - standing empty, he wondered why. And then he sprang into action.

You can make a lantern to walk by moonlight with in Lyndonville, hear bluegrass and swing in Stowe and see a Pulitzer-prize winning play performed in Essex.

Add these to your artsy social calendar this weekend: A rock concert in Montpelier, an evening of roots-based chamber music in Waterbury and an art auction to benefit a summer camp for kids who joined their families through adoption.

This week, enjoy one-acts about love in Morrisville, Latin jazz in Williston, a poetry slam in Montgomery and choral chamber music in Colchester.

Photo/artwork, Sarah Crowley

If you feel the same as local theater performer Erin Evarts does, then you think there is a space in the local arts landscape for dinner theater.

Using the momentum created by a previous cabaret-style dinner and show in December at ArtsRiot on Pine Street in Burlington, Evarts has gathered a new cast of theater actors for Ladies Who Laugh: A Night Of Comic Cabaret.

Cellist Emily Taubl, violinist Brooke Quiggins, pianist Claire Black, and clarinetist Dan Liptak will perform Olivier Messiaen's, "Quartet For The End Of Time," this weekend in Stowe.
Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, courtesy

When four of Vermont's finest young classical musicians take the stage this weekend in Stowe, they will share that stage with concert-goers in a purposefully intimate setting. The performance by Vermont Symphony Orchestra and TURNMusic musicians: Olivier Messiaen's, "Quartet For The End Of Time."

Our Art Hounds found an exhibit of visual art that explores all kinds of love, a chamber music performance interpreting a Greek classic and a play written by a famous stand-up comedian.

Burlington writer Jill M. Allen wanted to fill holes in the literary landscape with stories about Vermonters with disabilities whose handicaps represent 'only one aspect of who they are.'
Jill M. Allen/courtesy

Imagine you use a mobility device like a wheelchair. You pick up a book to read but no one depicted in the pages looks or moves like you. In fact, the characters are often written as people who are angry or depressed because of their disability. Enter, Burlington writer Jill M. Allen. She has penned a book of short stories where the characters live full lives and their disability is just one aspect of who they are.

VPR's arts-loving community of Art Hounds have found a folk music showcase in Montpelier, the kick-off to a 2018 performance season in Plainfield and dance auditions in South Burlington.

You can take in two photography exhibits - one depicting birds, the other extreme nordic skiiers - and some community concerts plus a one-act play.

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