Arts & Culture

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.

Vermont author Kimberly Harrington writes about the intersection of parenthood, work and social media in her new memoir.
Isaac Wasuck

Towards the beginning of her new book of essays, Vermont author Kimberly Harrington includes a short satirical piece titled "Just What I Wanted, a Whole Twenty-Four Hours of Recognition Once a Year." It's a good read for this time of year, as we approach the beloved/dreaded holiday known as Mother's Day. (It's Sunday, May 13, in case you were wondering.)

Yvan Plouffe shows off some of his pottery creations. He took up the craft 10 years ago at the age of 70.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Charlotte's Yvan Plouffe is a retired dairy farmer who sugars, tends to his plum and peach trees, and raises 10,000 roses every year to hand out all around town. He also does woodwork, metalwork and pottery, the latter of which he took up just ten years ago at age 70. And he lives in a house he built himself, along with most of the furniture inside of it.

Contra and other forms of country dance have a lasting appeal. We're talking about the history behind the tradition.
Sterling College / Flickr

It's a centuries-old tradition with a wild history and deep New England roots. We're talking about American country dancing, including contra dance. We'll hear from the author of a book that traces the story of this tradition, and we'll talk about how and why it still appeals to so many people today.

VPR President & CEO Robin Turnau.
Daria Bishop

Robin Turnau, who has served as president and CEO of Vermont Public Radio since 2009, is stepping down from her position on May 4th. She first started working at the station in 1989 as a membership and volunteer coordinator.

Succeeding Turnau as CEO and president is Scott Finn, formerly of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Before her departure, Turnau spoke to Vermont Edition about her time at VPR and where she thinks that the station is headed.

A wall display at Northfield Elementary School featured the covers of all this year's nominees for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award.
Meg Malone / VPR

Dorothy’s List readers have cast their ballots and the results have been tallied. The winner of this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award is the World War II novel Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz!

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