Arts & Culture

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.

12521104 / iStock

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. Not for the cupids or romantic dinners with partners. But, for the holiday of grade school: when everyone got a Valentine, because it was a day to celebrate Love, writ large. An official day for Kindness.

Romeo, a Burnese Mountain Dog, owned by Pam Eldredge of Waterbury, competes at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Dalmi Sirabo

One of the major competitions in the canine world took place this week in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show concluded Tuesday, Feb. 13. About a dozen dogs owned by Vermonters were among the field of 3,000 that competed this year. One of those dogs had an excellent show: Romeo, a Bernese Mountain Dog owned by Pam Eldredge of Waterbury.

Historian Kenneth Clark argued that, to survive, a civilization requires one thing above all: confidence. Confidence in itself; confidence in its culture and laws; confidence in the individual and collective capacities of its citizens to shape the future.

Young Writers Project: 'Special Markers'

Feb 16, 2018
Greta Hardy-Mittell, 17, of East Middlebury writes about an early memory – drawing a ladybug with ‘special’ permanent markers on a white porcelain plate.
YWP Photo Library, photo (cropped) by Olivia Joyce, Essex Junction, Vermont.

The plate wasn’t always blank.
Before the dishwasher soap scrubbed it too clean
I had drawn on it:
A ladybug, red and black,
colors that squeaked
as markers touched white porcelain—

Vermont organizations have a long tradition of promoting peace and non-violent protest.
bkindler / iStock

Vermont has a long tradition of pacifism and activism for peace. The movement can be traced from the early Quakers through to the back-to-the-land movement, and to the many groups advocating for peace in the state today.

Do you have a favorite book? Maybe it’s a novel you read again and again. But has a work of fiction ever inspired your vacation plans? New Bedford is the destination for devotees of one famous literary leviathan.

  

An art professor just spent four days publicly painting a six-foot-tall portrait of Trayvon Martin, the black teen whose murder in 2012 polarized the country and ignited a debate on racial profiling and civil rights.  

An illustration of books on shelves.
iStock / marrishuanna

The Vermont Book Award is entering its fourth year and the prestigious honor for work of outstanding literary merit by Vermont authors has a new twist in 2018.

In the past, the nominations have been made by a committee of independent booksellers and publishers. But for the first time, this year's nominations can be submitted by the public.

"Heart Spring Mountain," a new novel by Vermont author Robin MacArthur.
Harper Collins Publisher, courtesy

Southern Vermont author and musician Robin MacArthur won acclaim for her first book, a collection of short stories called Half Wild. Her debut novel, Heart Spring Mountain, is also getting rave reviews. The story jumps back and forth in time to follow the lives of the women in one rural Vermont family, as they search for a family member who disappeared during Tropical Storm Irene.

A new podcast aims to amplify the voices of LGBTQ Vermonters of color. It's called Brown 'n Out and it's hosted by Reggie Condra.

Local comedian Tina Friml performs at "Comedy And Crepes" at The Skinny Pancake in Burlington on Nov. 27, 2017.
Anna Ste. Marie / VPR

Tina Friml, an up-and-coming local comedian, set the stage of a recent performance by describing herself as “a bit of an enigma.”  At age 24, she has quickly gained popularity for her unique — and almost taboo — style. She avoids some of the more typical comic fodder like dating and the workplace. Instead, Friml jokes about what it’s like to live with a disability.

Young Writers Project: 'Real Americans'

Feb 9, 2018
Isabel Blankenbaker writes in response to the Young Writers Project prompt asking what it means to be a real American.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Hazel Civalier, Burlington, VT

Calling all the real Americans!
I’ve voiced it before and I know what it means.
I remember the term, but not pleasantly.
I suck in breath, knowledge seeping in.
I know where I’ve heard it before:
in a small sleepy town,
where they used it against me.

Awesome Etiquette: Familiar Strangers On A Train

Feb 9, 2018
istock

If you have a morning commute via bus or train into work, you might use that down time as a chance to catch up on a book or to listen in to your favorite podcast. But what happens when, each morning, a co-worker who takes the same public transportation, would rather chat during your whole commute?

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.

New works in progress by black playwrights will be performed this weekend in the Upper Valley. The festival is sponsored by JAG productions, a relatively new black theater company that’s been drawing audiences across western New Hampshire and eastern Vermont.


Young Writers Project: 'Schizo'

Feb 2, 2018
Sara Young, 17, of Sheldon writes about how she wishes she had known a relative before he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano, Burlington

I wish I had known you
before the darkness crept in,
before the voices whispered,
before the demons lurked in every corner.
Kind, compassionate, caring.
All manner of “C” sounds to describe you then.
They describe you now still,
only changed.
Only not.
It first manifested
ceaseless, complex, cacophonic.
Your diary read, “I can’t take this,”
and you hit your mother with a wrench,
or so you thought.
Meal time was spent on the porch, alone.
Inside the house, siblings laughed.

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.

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