Arts & Culture

VPR reporting on Arts & Culture in the region. Follow the Weekly Conversation On The Arts and Art Hounds.

My Place: That's Amore

Apr 29, 2016
Courtesy, Joel Najman

This week on My Place, host Joel Najman explores an hour of 1950's and 60's hit songs in America that were sung partially or entirely in Italian.

This week, see the adaptation of a 2000-year-old play in Middlebury, 26 poets celebrate national poetry month at a Burlington library, four high school students take the stage to sing in Montpelier and 70 Roosevelt-era Vermont artists show up on film.

Vermont Historical Society

The best-known native of Vermont's Plymouth Notch is probably still President Calvin Coolidge.

But if you visit the little village's graveyard, someone else's grave is arguably more intriguing. At the bottom of the stone slab is the inscription "I Still Live." This is the final resting place of Achsa Sprague. 

In many ways I feel like the least qualified person on the planet to write about Prince. I never saw him perform live. And with his passing last week, I never will.


Fifteen Rutland area high school students are heading to St. Louis this week for the world series of high school robotics.

Stafford Technical Center’s Ibots will be one of 900 teams from 39 countries taking part in the four-day FIRST Robotics championship that includes competitive leagues in various age groups. 

Young Writers Project: The Flower Thief

Apr 25, 2016
Courtesy, RETN

He watches his victim like a tiger watches
his prey, observing its every move, waiting
for the ideal moment to strike.
He pounces and snaps its delicate neck
with one stroke, but he is full of greed and yearns
for more, and so he snaps

On July 21, 1969, the day after the first moon landing, The New York Times published a poem called Voyage To The Moon by Archibald MacLeish on its front page. Today, that seems almost as miraculous as the landing itself. But back then, poetry was still part of the everyday fabric.


  Andrew Glover, founder of Immersive Technology Studios in Barre, joined VPR recently to explain the artistic cache behind his latest project called, Vermont Peaks, which he describes as "Vermont's largest art exhibit."

You may have heard about the person who posed an awkward Woman Question to veteran journalist Gay Talese, age 84, at the recent Power of Narrative conference in Boston. Well, I was that person, and that moment touched off “a national social media firestorm."


For close to 40 years, author Mike Tougias has kept a cabin in Woodbury. The warm, wooden cabin stands in stark contrast to the adventurous world Tougias takes his readers.

Tougias books focus on real-life experiences on the high sea: winter ocean storms, 30-foot waves, German U-boats, merchant tankers, daring rescues and a heavy dose of girl power.

Courtesy, Paramount Theater

  Americana music in Tinmouth, the classical "B"s in Montpelier, Vermonter Bow Thayer in Rutland and DanceFest in Castleton.

Young Writers Project: Wired In

Apr 18, 2016

I sit stagnant on a couch,
its color long forgotten beneath me,
surrounded by my friends:
a text on my phone,
a chat on my laptop,

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The Vermont State Drama Festival was held last weekend in St. Johnsbury. The competition features one-act plays put on by high schools, which have advanced from five regional festivals around the state. Two performances, including an original piece by Otter Valley Union High School, were chosen to move on to the New England festival next week.

Courtesy, Sean Gaskell

Catch a kora concert at the library in Brattleboro, hear former voice students singing arias and duets at St. Michael's and an 80-voice choral ensemble sings rare pieces by Haydn.

Annie Russell / VPR

At the start of Sen. Bernie Sanders' Democratic presidential campaign, there was lots of talk in the media about his appearance. Reporters liked to talk about his "rumpled" suits and "disheveled" hair.

But Sanders' look has gotten more polished as the campaign has progressed.

John H. White / Courtesy Middlebury College

Whether you know it or not, there's a good chance you've admired the work of John White. He's a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo-journalist who's captured iconic images of Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali, just to name a few.

mustafahacalaki /

This week, the Cutler Memorial Library in Plainfield is honoring two longtime trustees. Jan Danzinger and Sandra Wells each served for 20 or more years on the library board.

Yu Sun Chin / For VPR

For the nearly 1,500 migrant farmworkers in Vermont, there aren't many opportunities to share their experiences with each other. A project called "El Viaje Mas Caro" hopes to change that. 

Courtesy, Susan Reid

The Little Bird

Amelia Canney

He shuffled across the stage to the mic. He could see the people in the audience snickering at him, pointing out his messily done tie, his shoes that had been stained from hours of work, his too-small coat.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

This week, host Joel Najman presents an hour of rarely heard stereo versions of original rock-and-roll hits of more than a half-century ago.