Arts & Culture

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

Guy Mendilow Ensemble

The Rutland Jewish Center is presenting a free concert Sunday highlighting music inspired by a centuries old Judeo-Spanish culture known as Ladino.

When the Jews were forced out of Spain in the late 1400s, they scattered and resettled in Greece, Turkey, Morocco, the Balkans and beyond. In each adopted home, the language, food, customs and songs of these Sephardic Jews retained their identity – yet they also absorbed elements of their new surroundings.

duncan1890 / iStock

This week marks two important dates for William Shakespeare: Although his actual birth date is unknown, he was baptized on April 26, 1564, and died almost 400 years ago on April 23, 1616.

David Evans, president of Southern Vermont College in Bennington, argues that everyone – literary scholar or not – should be acquainted with Shakespeare, and not just on the anniversary of his death.

Dorset Theater

Three of Vermont's professional theater companies – Weston Playhouse, Dorset Theater and Northern Stage – announced this week that they will join forces to stage British playwright Alan Ayckbourn's comedic trilogy, The Norman Chronicles, in their 2016 seasons.

Theo Fetter of Montpelier and dancer and choreographer Willow Wonder of Barre Town both suggested The Hanna Satterlee Dance Company performance of Animal this Saturday, April 25th at 7 p.m. at Spruce Peak Arts in Stowe.

Jim Cole / AP/file

Vermont native Mary Doyle Keefe, the model for Norman Rockwell’s iconic 1943 "Rosie the Riveter" painting that symbolized the millions of American women who went to work on the home front during World War II, has died. She was 92. 

Keefe died Tuesday in Simsbury, Conn., after a brief illness, said her daughter, Mary Ellen Keefe.

Keefe grew up in Arlington, where she met Rockwell — who lived in West Arlington — and posed for his painting when she was a 19-year-old telephone operator. The painting was on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on May 29, 1943. 

Nina Keck / VPR

Phoenix Books will open a 2,400-square-foot store in downtown Rutland by September. City officials say it's the latest step in collaborative efforts to revitalize the city.

Nina Keck / VPR

Ken Burns’ latest documentary on the history of cancer has generated a lot of media buzz around a disease that touches nearly everyone. Hospitals across the country are showing shortened versions of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies to jumpstart community discussions about the illness.

Rutland will host a screening and discussion session Tuesday night.


April is National Poetry Month, and poetry enthusiasts around Vermont have embraced the occasion with readings and new publications. This April, nominations are open for Vermont's next poet laureate, which gives an appointed poet a chance to spread the word about poetry. 

Vermont's current laureate, Sydney Lea of Newbury, has spent his time promoting the literary form at libraries around the state. He'll retire from the position in a few months, when the next poet laureate takes the helm.


If you've got a story to tell, why not make it into a comic? That's what Burlington cartoonist Rachel Lindsay does through her blog, greeting cards and commissioned work.

Lindsay left a job with a New York City advertising firm to move to Burlington, a city she'd never even visited. Now, she finds a steady stream of subject matter walks right up to her every day — with their groceries. Lindsay works as a cashier at City Market in downtown Burlington.