Neal Charnoff

Neal was a reporter and VPR's All Things Considered host from 2001 to 2014. He joined VPR in 1996, hosting VPR's jazz programming, including live performances from the VPR studios and the Discover Jazz Festival. Prior to VPR, Neal was a programmer and host for WNCS in Montpelier and WDEV in Waterbury. He holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

VPR's Choosing Vermont series has featured the voices of Vermont's young professionals - why they stay, and why they may choose to leave.

Vermont's Commissioner of Economic Development Lisa Gosselin says it's not a new issue.

Eduardo Milieris

You may think you know Tango, through the movies and perhaps through the recordings of Astor Piazzolla. But Tango has a rich history that goes back over a century.

You can immerse yourself in the sound and culture of Tango in the upcoming Stowe Tango Music Festival, August 20 through the 23.

The festival's Artistic Director, Hector Del Curto is also a a world-renowned bandoneon player.

Del Curto says Tango was born in Argentina,  with roots stemming from European immigrants and African slaves.

Courtesy Vermont Shakespeare Company

The Vermont Shakespeare Company opens it’s seventh season this weekend with A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In addition to performances at the company’s home base at Knight Point State Park in North Hero, the company will also bring the production to Shelburne Museum and the University of Vermont.

Carving Studio and Sculpture Center

How do you take a clay model and carve it in marble two, three or even 10 times larger? Normally, you’d have to go to Italy to develop this rare skill. But The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland is bringing Italy to Vermont.

They’re offering a special six-day course in advanced Italian compass enlargement techniques.

Chester Fire Department

Town officials in Chester are still assessing the damage from Monday afternoon’s flash flooding. They say more than three inches of rain fell on Chester and the Williams River, creating the worst flooding since Tropical Storm Irene hit the area almost three years ago.

Town Manager David Pisha says a number of roads have washed out and culverts are plugged.

"The river moved up on Potash Brook Road, to the extent that we will probably be constructing a new bridge just to accommodate the move in the river," Pisha says.

Tim Calabro

The Annual Summer Pride Theater Festival continues this weekend in Randolph, featuring three plays that address concerns and issues of gay and lesbian Vermonters.

One of those plays is Farm Boys, an adaptation of a 1996 book by Milwaukee writer Will Fellows.

Will Fellows was himself a gay man raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm. For the book Farm Boys, he gathered testimony from dozens of gay men from rural areas.

Wavebreakmedia Ltd / Thinkstock

It’s natural that people, for the most part, do not like to talk about death and dying. An audio exhibit in Montpelier this weekend is trying to change that.

The Wake Up To Dying Project gathers stories about death, dying and life, and supplements them with art exhibits and discussion. The traveling exhibit is at Montpelier's Christ Episcopal Church July 24-26.

Leonard Ragouzeos

The impact of Tropical Storm Irene is still reverberating in the arts community. The 2011 storm ravaged homes and studios in the Rock River Valley in the area around South Newfane.

This weekend’s Rock River Artists Open Studio Tour features 17 artists who will welcome visitors to  what for some are re-imagined studio spaces.

Not only did some artists have to rebuild their studios, they rethought their approach to creating their work.

Neal Charnoff / VPR file

Author Chris Bohjalian has set his latest novel in Vermont.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands tells the story of Emily Shepard, a teenager whose parents may have been responsible for a nuclear meltdown in the Northeast Kingdom.

With the Kingdom now an off-limits radioactive zone, Shepard winds up orphaned and alone on the streets of Burlington.

The book delves into the world of homeless teens in the Queen City, where stealing, prostitution and drug use are the norm.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

A few years ago, writer Becky Munsterer had the idea of publishing a novel online…one page at a time.

Her page-per-day audience at Novel Nibble.com gradually grew to over one thousand followers, who enjoyed the serialized story-telling component. 

Now Munsterer, who lives in Norwich,  is writing an observational blog--again, one page at at time. The caveat is that each page is deleted at the end of the day,  lost to the ether, and immune to comments both complimentary and snarky.

Emily Shur

Neko Case is on a roll. The singer-songwriter is a card-carrying member of the indie supergroup The New Pornographers, who are about to release a new album, Brill Bruisers. And she’s touring in support of her latest solo release, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.

Angela Evancie / VPR

There’s a new prize in town. Burlington City Arts has announced the first recipient of the $10,000 Herb Lockwood Prize, the largest monetary award related to the arts in Vermont.

The award went to actor and director Steve Small of Middlebury.

The  57-year-old Small has performed in countless productions over the years, and is the director of the Addison Repertory Theater in Middlebury, a training program for high schoolers.

Karen Pike Photography

The process of creating a Broadway musical has been chronicled a number of times. Think A Chorus Line on Broadway, or the television show Smash.

But perhaps the most meta take on the creative process can be found in a show called (title of show), which kicks off the Stowe Theater Guild’s summer season.

Director Nick Caycedo offers this summation of (title of show): "The show is a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical. So try to wrap your head around that."

Elle James

Desha Peacock wears many hats as an entrepreneur based in her hometown of Brattleboro. As a career development and lifestyle expert, she’s coaches people in finding what she calls the “sweet spot” of success.

She has now applied her philosophy to home decor, highlighted in her new book: 'Creating The Style You Crave On A Budget You Can Afford: A Sweet Spot Guide To Home Decor'.

Catherine Yeulet / Thinkstock

The annual Slow Living Summit kicks off on June 4 in Brattleboro, and this year there will be a new emphasis on collaborations between speakers and artists.

The artistic director of the summit, Linda McInerny, says the Slow Living concept can be traced back to the Slow Food and Slow Money movements, with the notion of living "sustainably, holistically and with a respectful relationship with the earth."

Courtesy Vermont Arts Council

The Vermont Legislature created the Vermont Arts Council in June of 1965. Its mission as a private non-profit is to help fund and support the arts in Vermont.

With the Arts Council's 50th anniversary approaching, the Vermont legislature has declared calendar year 2015 as the Year of the The Arts.

Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Alex Aldrich says this anniversary is an opportunity to bring into better focus how robust and diverse the Vermont Arts scene is as we approach 2015.

Courtesy GMCF

The hills are alive with the sound of people laughing. We’re in the midst of the sixth annual Green Mountain Comedy Festival, and you can’t walk through Burlington, Barre or Montpelier without tripping over a stand-up comedian.

The festival features many of Vermont’s top comedians, as well as national artists such as the festival headliner, Tig Notaro. The GMCF runs through Sunday, May 25 with shows across the three cities.

The Vermont Legislature is working toward an adjournment this weekend, but many issues are still unresolved. Among them is a bill that would increase the state’s minimum wage. But lawmakers haven’t been able to agree how much the wage should go up, and when.

There’s been some last minute maneuvering around this issue, with Gov. Peter Shumlin getting involved and a vote in the House later tonight.

Bryan Gallery

The Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary with a show featuring the work of Mary Bryan.

The gallery was founded in her memory by her husband Alden, and continues to exhibit some of New England’s finest landscape painters.

In The Studio With Mary Bryan will run through Sept. 7.

Neal Charnoff speaks with the Bryan Gallery's Executive Director Mickey Myers about the legacy of Mary Bryan.

waferboard / Flickr

Memoirs are everywhere. It seems natural that we’ve always been drawn to reading about other people’s lives. But where does this appeal come from, and why does it seem that the popularity of memoirs has exploded in recent years?

Dartmouth College professor Irene Kacandes will be discussing the appeal of the memoir in a lecture entitled The Memoir Boom on May 7 at the Rutland Free Library. The lecture is part of the Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays series.

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