VPR Blog


This is the headline that greeted me this morning: "Why Don't Americans Give More?"

While I appreciate the math about the impact that giving up daily cup of coffee could have, I know that in our little corner of the world, generosity runs deep.

And I have the evidence to prove it:

Listener comments to be read on the air.

It's true. One of the best parts of a VPR membership drive is the flood of comments that we receive from our listeners. Here's one that really jumped out at us:

Update at 11:36 a.m., 6/20/13: 

It is a well-documented fact that Morning Edition Host Mitch Wertlieb sometimes makes promises during membership drives that he wishes he hadn't.

Like the time he and Jane Lindholm made a Call Me Maybe video.

Or the time he recorded a funky rap that some listeners wrote in VPR's honor.

Today we hit an important milestone during our June Membership Drive: the halfway point.

Typically during a drive, we count "up" until we reach half of our goal and then we start counting "down" until  - if all goes according to plan - we cross the finish line successfully.

Here are some of the latest stats from the drive:

What if VPR were a lemonade stand? How do businesses that give away their product survive? Through the generosity of the people who use the product!  Check out this video we made in honor of summer and the membership drive, starring several VPR staff children! You can support VPR online here, or by calling 1-800-639-6391.


If there's one thing the VPR staff love (besides public radio) it's cake.

And we try to find as many opportunities as possible to celebrate the wonder of good cake.

One of our most recent cake-able moments was when we reached the 10,000 Sustaining Member mark. Then there was the time the Vermont Edition staff held "cake week," celebrating a different flavor each day. We also use it for serious occasions, like when staff member Michelle Jeffery tied the knot, or when Ross Sneyd said his goodbyes after six years in our newsroom.

Brendan Kinney

If you were behind the mic, what would you say?

As we plan membership drives, that's a big question that we try to answer. If we could say just one thing that would inspire people to support VPR, what would it be?

But we know that in creating a recipe for a successful drive, it's one part art, one part science, with a dash of luck thrown in for good measure.

Tim Newcomb

A few months ago, in the midst of our winter membership drive, I opened up a copy of Seven Days and found this:

I was already a fan of Tim Newcomb's work, but obviously...this one struck a chord.

After getting a hold of Tim's contact information, I sent him an email: could we post the cartoon on VPR's Facebook page? Our listeners will love it.

Before I knew it, I had Tim's reply sitting in my inbox with the cartoon attached to his message. "I’m relieved people at VPR liked it!" Tim wrote.

The 2013 Summer Membership Drive is officially underway!

The Daily Drive Report is intended to provide listeners and supporters with up-to-date information about the drive, information about challenges and drawings, stats and figures about the drives as it unfolds, and some "behind the scenes" fun as well. It's just one way to be as transparent as possible and provide our dedicated fans with important information about how our funding model works.

The Goal

Our goal for the drive is $465,000. We carefully plan membership drives to help us meet our annual budget goals. Ending the drive successfully - and as quickly as possible - is our number one priority. We can do it with your help.

Sunday June 9, 2013

A sleeping bandstand
I miss the crowds already
Jazzy souveniers.


Saturday June 8, 2013

A student asked if
I had a second career.
Yes. Chasing music.

Monday, June 10th:

5:59am: Club Des Belugas:  "Kissez in Gallop", from "Caviar at 3am."

6:20am: Bill Frisell: "All the People, All the Time", from "Sign of Life."

6:49am: James Brown: "Papa Don't Take No Mess, Part 2", from "The Singles, Vol. 9: 1973-1975."

6:58am: John Scofield: "Gee Baby, Aint I Good To You", from "A Moment's Peace."

7:20am: Grateful Dead: "Greatest Story Ever Told", Live from Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 5/10/72.

7:58am: Jerry Garcia Band: "Catfish John", from "Reflections."

Jane Lindholm

No need for number 2 pencils or a lunch box for this summer school. On VPR, we ditch the classroom and head out all over Vermont to learn how to do quirky, inventive, or interesting things. Each year, Vermont Edition presents this weekly series in adult education. This year's session starts Monday, June 10.

Monday, June 3rd:

5:59am: Rjd2: "All For U", from "Magnificent City Instrumentals."

6:20am: Modern Groove Syndicate: "El Guapo", from "Ms. Popular."

6:49am: Greyboy: "Ruffneck Jazz", from "Freestylin'".

6:58am: Moses Guest: "De Jam>Stealin'", from "Moses Guest."

7:20am: Jazz Mandolin Project: "Oh Yeah", from "Jungle Tango."

7:58am: Coleman Hawkins: "O Pato (The Duck)", from "Desafinado." (In honor of Jessica Lahey's commentary about a pregnant wild Mallard duck at Crossroads Academy)

Monday, May 27th:

5:59am: Brad Mehldau: "Twiggy", from "Ode."

6:20am: Steely Dan: "Do It Again", from "Can't Buy A Thrill."

6:49am: Medeski, Martin and Wood: "Moti Mo", from "It's A Jungle In Here."

6:58am: Wynton Marsalis and Willie Nelson: "What'd I Say", from "Here We Go Again."

7:20am: Allman Brothers: "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed", from "A Decade of Hits 1969-1979."

7:58am: Jesse Cook: "Ocean Blue", from "The Blue Guitar Sessions."

8:20am: Rez Abbasi Trio: "The Cure", from "Continuous Beat."

Wednesday, May 22nd:

5:59am: Butterfat Trio: "Bad News Bears", from "Under Dog."

6:20am: Oz Noy: "Cosmic Background", from "Fuzzy."

6:49am: Arlen Roth: "Layla", from "Drive It Home."

6:58am: Medeski, Martin and Wood: "Riffin' Ed", from "Radiolarians II."

7:20am: Lettuce: "Dizzer", from "Rage!"

7:58am: String Cheese Incident: "Jessica", from "On the Road": Live in Columbia, MD., 7/18/02.

8:20am: Grateful Dead: "Brown-Eyed Women", Live from Colgate University, Hamilton, NY., 11/4/77.

Art Hounds Turns One

May 20, 2013

Last May, I was a bit nervous... as nervous as I get when I plan a big party and worry whether anyone will show up.

This party, however, was figurative. Though, in a way, Art Hounds is a party: A weekly arty party!

It's been a year since we launched our arts segment and we couldn't have done it without you.

Art Hounds is truly a unique program. More than an arts calendar, it’s a vibrant voice – now over 200 voices strong — who tell you to seek out that exhibit or play or go see the mural or outdoor sculpture or a hear a particular poetry reading.

Ben Resnik

We may be partial, but we think that VPR has the greatest staff in the world – we love it when new folks join the VPR Family, and we truly hate to see them move on. And because we consider you members of the family too, we wanted to let you know about some recent comings and goings:

Monday, May 13th:

5:59am: Jacko Peake: "SFO", from "The Best of Cookin'."

6:20am: Galactic: "Black-Eyed Pea", from "Late for the Future."

6:49am: Charles Mingus: "Summertime", from the album of the same name.

6:58am: Addison Groove Project: "The Delivery", from "Wicked Live."

7:20am: Jamie Masefield's Jazz Mandolin Project: "Pokin' Around", from "After Dinner Jams."

7:58am: The Rhythm Section featuring Jacko Peake: "Suzanne's Jam", from "The Best of Cookin'."

Monday, May 6th:

5:59am: Bad Plus: "Flim", from "These Are the Vistas."

6:20am: Beastie Boys: "Groove Holmes", from "Check Your Head."

6:49am: Jon Brion: "Monday", from the soundtrack to the film "I (heart) Huckabees."

6:58am: Grateful Dead: "The Women Are Smarter", Live from Alpine Valley Music Theater, WI., 7/18/89

7:20am: Jeff Coffin: "A Half Sleep", from "Into the Air."

7:58am: Crimson Jazz Trio: "Three of a Perfect Pair", from "King Crimson Songbook, Vol. 1"