Arts & Culture

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

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?

Toshi Widoff-Woodson

It's been called a memoir in verse, a collection of vignettes about time, place, family and race. The book Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson defies convention and can be read in any number of ways, as it will be for this year's Vermont Reads, a statewide reading project presented by the Vermont Humanities Council. 

Enno Kapitz

The enormity and horror of the Holocaust has been chronicled soberly in newsreels, in history books, in documentaries and Hollywood films. And yet one of the most revered depictions of the 20th century's greatest atrocity is communicated in a medium too often dismissed as a frivolous diversion: cartoons.

In 1992 the graphic novel Maus won the Pulitzer Prize for offering readers a simple but brilliant and relatable distillation of the Holocaust by rendering comic book versions of Nazis drawn as cats and the Jews they slaughtered as mice. A sequel told of survivors struggling to make a new life in the U.S.

Artwork by Amy Königbauer

For Montpelier-based hip-hop duo Boomslang, the tracks on their albums borrow samples and beats from all over the musical landscape. The two layer the samples and sounds with high lyrical content intended to make you think and move you to get up and dance. In fact, the only elements you might be surprised to find are not looming in any Boomslang songs: misogynistic themes and bad words.

Singers Samirah Evans and Evelyn Harris perform an evening of songs by Etta James and Nina Simone at Historic Town Hall in Wilmington.
Samirah Evans and Evelyn Harris, courtesy

Sign up your young animators for a stop-motion workshop in Lyndonville, take in pastoral symphonies in Middlebury and dance for Puerto Rico in Burlington.

Actors Andy Butterfield, left, and Jory Raphael of the Middlebury Actors Workshop practice the duel scene from the French farce "The Metromaniacs," by David Ives.
Melissa Lourie / Middlebury Actors Workshop, Courtesy

The Middlebury Actors Workshop is performing The Metromaniacs, a French farce, at Middlebury's Town Hall Theater from Thursday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 22.

Earlier this week, two of the actors in the play — Andy Butterfield and Jory Raphael — stopped by VPR's studio to perform a couple of the scenes from the production and describe the play.

"American Street" by Ibi Zoboi and "Clayton Byrd Goes Underground" by Rita Williams-Garcia are both on the shortlist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
HarperCollins Publishers, courtesy

When Rita Williams-Garcia read Ibi Zoboi's application to Vermont College of Fine Arts, she knew the writer was extremely talented. Williams-Garcia then served as Zoboi's faculty advisor at the school.

Now, Zoboi and Williams-Garcia each have a book nominated to the shortlist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. That's two of the final five!

Allegations have come to light against Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual misconduct. We're hosting a discussion about sexual assault and harassment.
Vince Bucci / AP

The uncovering of decades of alleged sexual assault by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is spurring widespread discussion. There's revulsion, but also - recognition. "Me too," say thousands of women. We're talking about what that means - and what can be done about a culture of violence and pervasive misogyny.

Young Writers Project: 'Eclipsed'

Oct 14, 2017
Maisie Newbury, 16, of Weybridge writes about love lost on the day of the solar eclipse, August 21, 2017
'Soulsearch,' by Ava Kendrick/Young Writers Project Photo Library, courtesy

I spent most of today
Floating up in space,
My head in the clouds,
My heart in the air.

The musical will be peformed in Rutland Saturday, Oct. 14 at the College of St. Josepph. The show will also travel to Dorset, Shrewsbury, Brandon and Middlebury.
courtesy

Quilts have historically been created out of left over scraps of fabric; pieces stitched together to create something both practical and beautiful.

This weekend marks the fifth year that Off Center For Dramatic Arts in Burlington's North End holds its Fringe Festival, where local actors and playwrights try out new material in front of an audience.
Linda Provost

You can see theater on the fringe, some one-act plays, a photo exhibit of discarded shoes and more this weekend throughout Vermont.

Craven: Next Best Thing

Oct 9, 2017

Every fall season provides a showcase for stimulating arts events in every corner of Vermont.

Lonna Neidig, 16, of St. Albans writes about the pain caused by inconsiderate, casual racist comments.
Anna Phelps, Wolcott/Young Writers Project Photo Library

I was sitting among tiny, green blades of grass,
listening to a chaotic symphony
of loudspeakers
and bubbling voices.

See a play by an actor who won't lay eyes on the script until opening night, take in an art exhibit made with materials found in nature and a stroll through an annual fall craft show.

Vermont Shakespeare Festival invites an audience to a reading of 'Shakespeare's Sister,' and to join in the discussion that follows. The play is part of VSF's Salon Series, featuring female playwrights inspired by Shakespeare.
Design, Dok Wright

It is no surprise that, since its inception in 2005, professional theater company, Vermont Shakespeare Festival, stages plays written by William Shakespeare. Adding to its roster the last few seasons, the company also curates a Salon Series, with a handful of intimate readings of plays written by those inspired by Shakespeare, one of which is Shakespeare's Sister.

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