Featured Programs

The flavor of pumpkin spice is everywhere this time of year, but not everyone is a fan.
Suzanne Podhaizer / Seven Days

Pumpkin and nutmeg and cinnamon, oh boy! Pumpkin spice season is exploding once again with all types of foods and drinks embracing the flavor, like pies, pasta dishes, lattes and more. But maybe your reaction to these seasonal seasonings is, oh no!

Now that outdoor gardening is done for the season, it’s time to move inside and focus on houseplants.
imnoom / iStock

The word around horticultural circles is that houseplants are back! With a growing interest in having greenery indoors and the benefit of air purification, houseplants are being used by interior designers to create a cozy, natural look.

Abbie Morin from Hammydown (top) and Caroline Rose, Willoughby Morse, Joshua Speers, and Abbie Morin (bottom) will perform at ArtsRiot to celebrate women and non-binary folks in the male-dominated music industry.
Kayhl Cooper

Being the only female or non-binary person working any given music event can sometimes feel like a men-only club; even in a forward-thinking place like Burlington, Vermont. So says a group of folks from Vermont's rich music scene. So, they are aiming to change that. Or, at the very least, balance the scales a bit.

U.S. Public Domain

We start with a recording I made almost 13 years ago of my oldest son, Jeremiah. He’s a teenager now, runs track, plays cello and already sings lower than his dad. Like most parents, I remember spending hours holding Jeremiah as an infant; marveling at his little hands and feet and watching him begin to take in the world around him. I laughed as he discovered his own fingers, smiled as he began to recognize faces and listened intently as he began to make and mimic sound. I listened to his coos and cries, his moans and gurgles, waiting to hear his first words. There was a sense of pride that I felt when he said, “Dada” in the tiny, thin baby voice.

Young Writers Project: 'Who Are We?'

Nov 3, 2017
Gianluca Audia, 12, of Hanover, N.H., writes about divisions and how we perceive ourselves.
'Throwing Leaves' by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano/Young Writers Project Photo Library

I am who I am,
But, truly, who are we?
I am a human down to a milligram;
We are living beings like a tree.

We all have similar physical features.
We share the world and nature,
Yet we look at ourselves as different creatures
As if we are divided by a great glacier.

Who we truly are is defined by the inside.
Our personality makes us significant.
This is what should make the great divide,
What might separate us as different.
It should not depend on a face.
This we all must embrace.

Many trees in Vermont, like this one in Middlebury, were damaged or uprooted from wind and rain during a late October 2017 storm.
Melody Bodette, Courtesy / VPR

The storm earlier this week caused significant damage to many trees in Vermont. The combination of ferocious wind and heavy rain uprooted large trees and, in the process, damaged nearby trees as well. While uprooted trees can't be saved, you can salvage trees with broken branches.

Awesome Etiquette: Look, I Really Gotta Go

Nov 3, 2017
Alerting others in your dinner party that you need to leave by a certain time will allow you to opt out if the evening drags on.
ozlemonal / iStock

You've been out to a delightful dinner with friends. The meal was delicious and the conversation was enjoyable. Now it's time pay the bill and hit the road. But wait, one of your friends decides to order coffee. Do you stick around for more chit-chat or bolt out the door?

Chefs working on projects at the James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change held this fall at Shelburne Farms.
Melissa Pasanen, Courtesy

When you hear about a boot camp for chefs, you probably envision great cooks preparing fine meals while bedecked in an apron and carrying a rolling pin. That wasn't exactly what went down at The James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. 

For those who pen works of speculative fiction, there is a new awards prize program open to authors and playwrights around the globe. Last week, Dartmouth College announced the literary prize program that highlights works about the "near-future."
Courtesy, Neukom Institute for Computational Science

While scientists and technologists work to create the latest shiny, new digital gadget, it is the writers who place that new technology into the hands of their novel's characters, then write about its social impact. Sometimes the outcome is good. Sometimes, it does not end well.

It is just such works of speculative fiction that the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, aims to award with its new literary prize.

Vermont Youth Dancers will stage, 'A Better Place: A Twist On Oliver,' this weekend at Spruce Peak Arts in Stowe.
Vermont Youth Dancers, courtesy

This weekend has plenty of opportunities to seek out great art in the form of youth dance performances, a faculty visual arts exhibit and even by meeting a playwright who happened to pen a huge pop hit in 1979.

U.S. Public Domain

Let’s start from the beginning… Where does music come from? I believe that music is at the heart of everything. It is the language of a vibrating, living cosmos. And this isn’t exaggeration; this is the basis of a current theory about what truly makes up the universe.

Young Writers Project: 'Wind Wishes'

Oct 27, 2017
Hazel Civalier, 15, of Burlington writes an appreciation of wind power.
Hazel Civalier

I see 
wind turbines as a soaring bird,
a dove,
carrying green hope through the wind.

They symbolize a future,
a future where this expansive,
sun-washed, green valley
is "marred" 
only by these pearl wind-dancers.

Stained brown posts
and an infinite jumble 
of looping black electrical cord
entangle our homes,
yet they are nearly transparent
to our eyes.

Couldn't a distant white silhouette,
graceful arms turning to give us light
also go unnoticed,
if not admired?

Spirulina is an edible type of blue-green algae being grown at a green house in Johnson.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is no friend to those who enjoy a swim in the lake but, in another form, is actually edible, high in protein and rich in certain vitamins. It's called spirulina and being grown right here in Vermont.   

Awesome Etiquette: The Wedding Gift Obligation

Oct 27, 2017
Sending a wedding gift when you can't attend the big day is still encouraged in most situations.
Julia Sudnitskaya / iStock

We often find ourselves grappling with age-old etiquette that suggests sending a wedding gift even when you can't attend the event. Some might find this tradition unrealistic to uphold, but generally, we think it still holds true.

Autumn leaves left on the lawn can support better growth in the coming year and can also be used as winter mulch around certain vegetation.
Elenathewise / iStock

Leaves are beautiful to look at when they turn vibrant colors in fall, but can be a pain to clean up when they drop. Instead of cursing your fallen leaves, rejoice in them! Leaves can help your flowers, vegetables, lawn, trees and shrubs grow better. 

'Wet Cement' by figurative artist Heidi Broner is part of an exhibit titled, 'New American Realism,' up now through Dec. 22 at the TW Wood Gallery in Montpelier.
Heidi Broner, artist, TW Wood Gallery, courtesy

This weekend, you can find artistry in perfumery, in cabaret tunes and in the works of emerging poets.

(From left) Jacqui Russell from Chicago Children's Theater collaborated with Kat Redniss from Flynn Center's education team and CCT's set designer, Will Bishop on a new Vermont-centric performance piece for kids with autism.
Kat Redniss, Flynn Center For The Performing Arts

This week, each corner inside the Amy E. Tarrant Gallery next to Burlington's Flynn Center for the Performing Arts has simple props, like tiny chairs draped with child-sized, flannel button-up shirts, cozy blankets and soft animal puppets. For the past week, this space has served as an incubator for a work-in-progress for a very specific theater audience.

Young Writers Project: 'Old'

Oct 22, 2017
Fiona Goodman, 14, of Brattleboro writes about her fear of growing old, not of dying, but of being “an old lady who sulks ..."
YWP Photo Library, courtesy/Desiree Holmes, Essex Junction

I think a lot about fear
and about death,
and I've come to the conclusion
that I'm not afraid of death.
After all, death is nothing.
And there's no point being afraid of nothing,
since you can't exactly do anything about it,
can you?

Awesome Etiquette: Double Booked Dilemma

Oct 20, 2017
Canceling one commitment to attend a different event is not usually a good practice; however, sometimes there are exceptions.
luxizeng / iStock

This week's question asks about a calendar conflict caused by two events booked on the same night. The first, a night out with friends; the second, a birthday dinner for a family member. What to do and which to cancel?  

Selecting the right pumpkin and using carving tools will help to create a jack-o'-lantern masterpiece.
Media Photos / iStock

Halloween has become one of our most popular holidays. It's estimated Americans will spend over $8 billion dollars on candy, decorating, making costumes and having parties. At the center of all this activity is the common pumpkin, so read on if you want to step-up your jack-o'-lantern decorating game.

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