Weekly Conversation On The Arts

Thursdays 4:50p.m.

Weekly Conversation On The Arts is your window into the Vermont arts community. Every week, we talk with authors, actors, playwrights, musicians, artists and the people who make the arts happen in our area.

Sara Baker

Last year, Danielle O'Hallisey found herself amidst a coming-together of unrelated events, the result of which led to the composition of an exciting new work.

Courtesy of Claude Dufresne

Ready to outdo itself again this year, the brash and bawdy — yet completely kid-friendly — ShazamFest begins its second decade entertaining micro-throngs of music lovers. 

Mary Williams, VPR

In a modest greenhouse tucked back from Route 7, just across from the iconic covered bridge of the Shelburne Museum, Jessica Gallas of Milton coaxes hundreds of seedlings, vegetable starts and flowering plants to grow.

David Conrad

On a recent afternoon, I met Vermont poet Jean Connor near her home on the campus of Wake Robin in Shelburne. Seated at a round table in the center of the room, Connor had neat stacks of papers and her two books of poetry in front of her; she was poised and ready to talk about her work and writing practice.

Angel Mackinnon

Many enclaves within the state claim an artistic vibe and this weekend, it's Windham County's turn to prove it. ARTstravaganza — A Weekend Of Celebration In Windham County aims to share the music, art and performance that make the region creatively unique.


  Andrew Glover, founder of Immersive Technology Studios in Barre, joined VPR recently to explain the artistic cache behind his latest project called, Vermont Peaks, which he describes as "Vermont's largest art exhibit."


For close to 40 years, author Mike Tougias has kept a cabin in Woodbury. The warm, wooden cabin stands in stark contrast to the adventurous world Tougias takes his readers.

Tougias books focus on real-life experiences on the high sea: winter ocean storms, 30-foot waves, German U-boats, merchant tankers, daring rescues and a heavy dose of girl power.

Jim Wilson

Creativity within a school's walls might come in the form of a weekly serving of art and music classes and perhaps the offering of after school band, orchestra or drama club.

Vermont's Community Engagement Lab or CEL is taking on a mission to ensure that creativity doesn't stop there. Vermont CEL serves to take arts curriculum from just 'the room down the hall' once a week and incorporate it into a student's everyday learning.

Courtesy, ArtsRiot

On an early Sunday evening, six members of Shoebox Theatre ran through the song "Tear Me Down" from the John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask rock musical, Hedwig And The Angry Inch. The group is preparing for the upcoming six-night stand at ArtsRiot on Pine Street in Burlington's South End Arts District.

Eduardo Santana

The band Alpenglow got their start just a few years ago at Middlebury College. After two locally grown releases, the band has since moved from Vermont to Brooklyn, New York, and is on tour now supporting the new full-length album called Callisto.

Jeff Woodward

Through her practice as a life coach and her website, Mindful Connections, Marlboro author Nicole Birkholzer is in the business of helping people live in the moment. And as a life-long animal lover, horsewoman and pet owner, Birkholzer saw that our animal companions – who only live in the present – could be the best teachers to get us closer to that goal.

Studio Place Arts

This month, Studio Place Arts in Barre will show three floors of works interpreting the concepts of 'Them, Us And You.' Artists from Vermont and around the globe responded to the call and their pieces on subjects like immigration, religious differences, racial tensions, gender issues and classism are on display beginning Tuesday, March 8.

Courtesy Natalie Miller and Nathan Hartswick

Fans of comedy in Vermont now have a dedicated space to get their laugh on. Vermont Comedy Club opened its downtown Burlington doors late last year to a sold-out weekend and has been booking national comedy talent ever since.

Jenna Brower

Burlington-based musician Abbie Morin spent 16 weeks last fall covering 12,000 miles of road, taking her self-described "foxy folk" music all over the country.

Courtesy of Peter Jennison

New Hampshire native Peter Jennison has been composing music for piano since he was 10 years old. When he joined the military as an adult and was deployed overseas as a medevac helicopter pilot, Jennison often listened to soothing music from other composers like Will Ackerman and, in his downtime, began to write his own contemporary pieces.

Courtesy of Topaz Weis

Topaz Weis is an expressive arts facilitator with a space called Expressive Arts Burlington. She recently sat down with VPR to talk about her practice and how each of us has creative abilities within.

Courtesy of Rosalind Saunders

Five years ago, when she couldn't find good theater roles as a young teen, South Burlington senior Noa Saunders founded her own production company, Spotted Pup Productions

Courtesy of Chris Flockton

Actor Christopher Flockton was born in Scotland, worked in New York City and then five years ago, moved to Hartford, Vermont with his family.

Rachel Portesi

Honoring his Finnish roots, Saxtons River painter Eric Aho partakes in the tradition of sitting in a steamy outdoor sauna in the wintertime and then jumping into the waters of a frigid pond to cool down.

Courtesy/Artist Mariami

Mad River Valley musician Mariami was born in The Republic of Georgia, where her musical family instilled in her a great love and affinity for the folk music of her home country. She also heard plenty of American rock, soul and R&B on the radio growing up.