Arts & Culture

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

VPR/Susan Keese

Educators say that most children love rhymes. And they say that poetry can be helpful in many ways as children learn to read, write, listen and express themselves.

In her kindergarten class at Oak Grove School in Brattleboro, teacher Chelsea Dowd is reading a favorite story.

It’s Dr. Seuss’s ‘One Fish, Two Fish,” and the students are joining in.

Many of the children have the same book at home. But that’s not the only reason they’re able to shout out the final word in every line. It’s also because the rhyming pattern is predictable and easy to remember.


Tue 5/7/13 Noon & 7pm Look back through your middle school journals and you'll probably find some poems scrawled in the margins. When did you stop writing and reading poetry? Is writing poetry a different skill from reading poetry? Post your questions or comments about poetry here or email them to

The Vermont-based Book Jam 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.`

Art Hounds: Hands-On

May 2, 2013
Ken Howell / Cargo Collective - User Required

Thursday at 4:55 p.m. and Friday at 7:55 a.m.

Christy Mitchell, owner and director of the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington called the VPR Art Hounds hotline to recommend an exhibit at BCA Center in Downtown Burlington, called, “User Required.”

There are two floors of interactive art work and the exhibit is up through May 18th.

Courtesy of Robert Eddy, First LIght Studios

Lost Nation Theater in Montpelier has opened its 25th season with an original play which is based on the letters of a civil war soldier from West Rochester, Vermont.

“Ransom” takes a startling look into the lives of soldiers, and those left at home.

“Ransom” grew out of a trove of letters and a diary written by Civil War soldier Ransom Towle.  They recount his enlistment in 1861, his capture by the Confederates, his remarkable escape while being marched to Andersonville Prison in Georgia and his journey back to Union lines.


It's official: Joel Najman is a Vermont broadcasting legend! Last week the legislature passed a resolution honoring Najman as a "rock and roll impresario."

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.  

Al Karevy

Sunday, April 28, marks Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day! And aficionados of this simple method of taking pictures with pinhole cameras are celebrating in Brattleboro with a full day of events.

Al Karevy is a board member at the Vermont Center for Photography. He’s been shooting with pinholes for years. He spoke with Vermont Edition about the event.

Young-adult author MT Anderson of East Calais called the VPR Hotline recommending this weekend’s classical music concert from Capital City Concerts with the Borromeo String Quartet.

The concert, is the finale of Borromeo's tour and will feature the world premiere performance of a work by Mohammed Fairouz is in Montpelier this Saturday, April 27th on Main Street in Montpelier.

Photo: Melissa Pasanen, for the Burlington Free Press

This week, Melissa Pasanen takes us behind the scenes at cooking competitions.  From Junior Iron Chefs to gourmet challenges, cook-offs are fun for the participants and always a treat for the judges.  Melissa has judged many competitions over the years and gives us a taste of what that’s like.

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.

Art Hounds: eARTh

Apr 18, 2013

Maya Curtis of ArtsRiot in Burlington sent in a suggestion to view the new exhibit at UVM’s Davis Center, called, " Created by eARThlings, Inspired By Earth."

Student artists, faculty and professional artists' works are on display at the Fireplace Lounge and Gallery on the fourth floor of the Davis Center through May 10th. There is an opening reception Monday, April 22nd at 5:30 p.m.

In its 20 year history, the Vermont Folklife Center's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program has sponsored hundreds of apprenticeships.

In recent years it's been focused on helping Vermont's immigrant communities preserve the traditions of their home countries.

For one Congolese man, that's meant teaching young people the dance and music of their native culture. Lusenge Siriwayo leads Ngoma ya kwetu, an African dance troupe.

Nature Of Things

Apr 11, 2013
Gowri Savoor

Bettie Barnes, a fiber artist, recommends the Goddard College installation, "The Nature of Things," up now through May 11th in Montpelier.

The exhibit features several local artists' interpretations of nature, including stone sculpture, photography, murals and more.

Pictured is a piece by Gowri Savoor, titled, "Seed-bank." Savoor's works are featured along with several other artists.

Michael Worthington

The 30th Annual Burlington Discover Jazz Festival runs May 31st through June 9th. 

Headliners include sax-man Branford Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin and Latin-jazz master Poncho Sanchez.  

Discover Jazz Managing Director Linda Little says she's really looking forward to shows by Eliane Elias, a singer and pianist who brings a Brazilian flavor to her music, and young lion Greg Tardy.  

VPR's Neal Charnoff sat down with Linda Little for a preview.  


As part of our series marking the 20th anniversary of the Vermont Folklife Center's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, we hear from  master stone cutter George Kurjanowicz who has helped keep the art alive in the granite sheds of Barre.

The Vermont Folklife Center's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program started 20 years ago and since then its underwritten apprenticeships in a wide range of arts.  But its initial focus was on preserving Vermont's Native American culture.

Among the first apprentices was a woman who set out to learn the traditional basket making of her ancestors.  She is now a master herself, and teaches the skills she learned 20 years ago.