Arts & Culture

Young Writers Project: 'Not A Teenager, Nor A Child'

May 18, 2018
Woodstock’s Nicole Jasmin offers up a healthy dose of exasperated humor this week as she acknowledges that it’s not easy growing up.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano, Burlington

I want to be the person I want to be, silly and happy like a child.
But at the same time, I want to act grown-up.

Some teens that I'm around just seem to be a little… grown-up for me?
I wonder if other people feel that way.
I don't want to be identified as "Nicole the Child."
I don't want to be identified as "Nicole the Teen."
All I want to be called is Nicole.
(Or Tater, the nickname my parents call me.)

Composer Keane Southard hiked the New England portion of the Appalachian Trail during the summer of 2016. Here, he is pictured in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
Keane Southard, courtesy

Keane Southard spent many of his childhood weekends hiking and camping with his family in New Hampshire and Vermont. From that early age, he imagined one day he would hike the legendary Appalachian Trail.

Southard went on to study composition and theory, and all the while, the idea of hiking the trail and composing a piece about the experience percolated in his mind.

Ray Vega takes over as the host of VPR's Friday Night Jazz on May 18.
Seth Cashman / Courtesy

Ray Vega is a senior lecturer at the University of Vermont, where he teaches jazz history, directs three jazz combos and heads up the jazz trumpet studio. He's a trumpeter, percussionist, composer and arranger, who has worked with some of the biggest names in jazz and Latin music. He's now added "radio host" to his busy schedule as he takes over the reins of VPR's Friday Night Jazz.

Angela Evancie / VPR

For a time, Chittenden County had a bustling French Canadian population. There was even a "Little Canada" in Winooski. And you can still find it today, if you know where to look.

Seth Cashman / courtesy

This Friday night, trumpeter, percussionist, composer, arranger and educator Ray Vega takes over as the new host of Friday Night Jazz.

To introduce you to the man behind the music, we asked Vega to share a few tracks that have played a significant role in his life and provide a peek at what he keeps on regular rotation.

The Vermont Supreme Court building in Montpelier turns 100 years old this year.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

This year, the building that holds the Vermont Supreme Court turns 100. On Friday, state officials will celebrate that anniversary.

A statue of Ethan Allen outside the Vermont Statehouse on a blue-sky day.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

You probably at least know Ethan Allen as one of the founders of the state of Vermont — a sort of mythic, heroic figure. Well, a new book tells a more complicated story of Allen and the Green Mountain Boys and the battles they fought. 

To my mind, the passing of Vermont Life Magazine is a sad and sobering cultural milestone.

I grew up reading Vermont Life in the fifties and continued reading it until shortly after the turn of the century.

Sonja Bullaty and Angelo Lomeo / Reproduced with permission from Vermont Life

Vermont Life Magazine was founded in 1946 to attract visitors by celebrating the state’s culture and natural beauty.

An issue of "Vermont Life" magazine on a table.
Henry Epp / VPR File

Days after the state announced Vermont Life magazine would end print publication, the people who hoped to continue the magazine are shaking their heads.

Verandah Porche, courtesy

Brave Little State is working on an episode about Vermont's "aging hippies" — if that’s you, we want to hear from you.

Newly exiled Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Kazakhstan in 1953 (left); Solzhenitsyn  with his sons in Cavendish in August 1976; Solzhenitsyn at his self-made writing table in Cavendish during the 1980s.
Cavendish Historical Society, courtesy

His novels earned him the 1970 Nobel Prize in literature and exile from the Soviet Union, but in Vermont Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is also know for the nearly 20 years he lived and worked in the town of Cavendish. We're looking at the Russian writer's works, his time in the state and what his novels say to readers in 2018.

Young Writers Project: Feet Out Of The Clouds

May 11, 2018
Faith Holzhammer sings about the feeling of losing control as she watches the world around her spin, and the need to stabilize herself amidst the chaos.
YWP Photo Library, Erik Nyhagen, Essex Junction

I'm running over,
and falling ‘round and ‘round.
I'm falling to the sky,
and jumping to the ground.
So get your feet out of the clouds.

"The Long Shadow" by Beth Kanell is set in the Northeast Kingdom in the run-up to the Civil War.
images courtesy of Beth Kanell

A new historical novel geared to a teenage audience tells the story of a young woman in the Northeast Kingdom in the run-up to the Civil War. Author Beth Kanell says she wrote the novel in part to challenge Vermonters on how they think about the state's history in relation to slavery. 

Old Stone House Museum Director Molly Veysey and Deputy Director Walter Parenteau stand in front of the Orleans County Historical Society building and under the sign.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Next week the Old Stone House Museum, in Brownington, opens for the season. And the Orleans County Historical Society’s museum has a pair of new leaders with some big ideas for the popular school field trip destination.

An issue of "Vermont Life" magazine on a table.
Henry Epp / VPR File

Vermont's long-running promotional magazine will end print publication this month.

LGBTQ Vermonters can face unique challenges and needs in rural areas.
ukayacan / iStock

Vermont has been seen as a leader in equal rights for LGBTQ people, but queer Vermonters living in rural areas can face unique challenges, from accessing healthcare to aging well as a queer senior to finding support networks. We're talking about the needs and experiences of LGBTQ Vermonters in rural communities. 

Young Writers Project: 'Very Far Away'

May 7, 2018
YWP Photo Library, photo by Emma Brott, Essex Junction

Once upon a time, in a land very far away, a perfect world was lived. In this world was a single country. There, everyone had a say, and everyone had a choice. In this perfect world, everyone accepted and loved each other. Everyone was family, and everyone agreed. Agreed on what, you might ask? Well, let's just say that there were no disputes on whether or not the country should launch a missile on other living people. For some absurd reason, they always agreed against it.

Men work in a granite processing facility.
Vermont Historical Society

There was a time when it was totally normal to hear French spoken in some of Vermont’s smallest towns and biggest cities.

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