Weekly Conversation On The Arts

VPR/Neal Charnoff

People traveling the back roads of Calais may not expect to come across a venue for highbrow theater.

But in fact, Unadilla Theater is celebrating its 30th year by opening a second performance space amidst its flower gardens and mountain vistas.

And these are not your typical summer plays: Unadilla specializes in presenting the classics. This season, theatergoers can choose from works by Gilbert and Sullivan, Irish playwright Sean O’Casey, and even an opera from Mozart.

VPR/Neal Charnoff

A series of free, outdoor carillon concerts will take place this summer on the campus of Norwich University in Northfield.

Carilloner George Matthew says the Norwich carillon was originally used at the 1929 Chicago  World's Fair.

Matthew says the carillon has a rich history, and while it is related to the piano, he actually considers it  to be a percussion instrument.

A series of six free carillon concerts will kick off this Saturday at 1.

VPR's Neal Charnoff has this audio postcard from Norwich University.

Courtesy of Hills Alive

Southern Vermont in the summertime is a rich tapestry of theater, concerts and art exhibits.

And this year, many events are being woven together, and presented as the Hills Alive Festival of the Arts, which will run for five weeks.

The idea is to market the arts to appeal to tourists who are here for shopping and recreation.

VPR's Neal Charnoff speaks with Weston Playhouse producing director Steve Stettler about the festival.

The Legislative session is behind us, and the Summer Arts season is underway. 

The Vermont Arts Council's Executive Director Alex Aldrich says lawmakers showed their faith in the arts this session by increasing funding by 25 percent.

But Aldrich expresses concern that a change in Vermont's tax code could drive away wealthier residents and donors.

VPR's Neal Charnoff talks about these issues with Aldrich, who also gives us a few summer Art Hounds recommendations.

Thea Alvin

This week, Mary Williams talks with Morrisville artist Thea Alvin who creates arches from stone. Working at her craft for 30 years, she builds enormous arches and spirals--some weighing 12 tons--that look natural in their settings as though created by nature itself.

Courtesy of Eli Klein Gallery, New York City.

An exhibit at the Brattleboro Museum is offering up a smorgasbord of Chinese art.

And that food metaphor is no accident.  The exhibit is called Hot Pot: A Taste of Contemporary Chinese Art and it runs through June 23.

Brattleboro Museum Chief Curator Mara Williams says the potpourri of painting, sculpture and conceptual art can be an entryway to understanding this huge and diverse society.

The Vermont-based Book Jam Blog.com is devoted to promoting reading, independent bookstores and public libraries. 

Readers can find reviews, recommendations, discussions and author interviews.

And The Book Jam is holding a live book-discussion event this coming Tuesday in Hardwick. 

VPR's Neal Charnoff speaks with Book Jam co-founders and moderators, Lisa Cadow  and  Lisa Christie to talk about the blog.`

Courtesy of Blance Moyse Chorale

J.S Bach’s choral masterpiece, the Mass in B Minor, was often a highlight of performances of the New England Bach Festival, which was disbanded in 2004.

Now the piece is returning to Southern Vermont courtesy of the Blanche Moyse Chorale, which is based at the Brattleboro Music Center.

The center was founded by Moyse in 1951. 

The Chorale will be joined by the Strathmere Orchestra and a quartet of vocal soloists, for concerts this weekend in Bellows Falls and Brattleboro.  

Photographer Don Ross At Jackson Gallery

Apr 18, 2013

Brandon photographer Don Ross has been honing his craft for 20 years and many of those years have been spent amidst the quiet, stony fortresses of Vermont's abandoned quarries.