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Thursday, June 30, 2016

A New VT Hip-Hop Series, Sound Affects, Debuts at ArtsRiot

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 12:56 PM

Jarv - COURTESY OF JARV
  • Courtesy of Jarv
  • Jarv
A new monthly hip-hop series debuts at ArtsRiot in Burlington on Thursday, June 30: Sound Affects: A Community Event. The Sound Affects team introduced itself to BTV with a Waking Windows 6 showcase in May. But the ArtsRiot event marks the first shindig in the crew's permanent home. So, who are these guys?

According to local rapper Mertz, SA is a group of local rappers and DJs dedicated to raising the profile of hip-hop in Vermont and throughout New England by fostering a sense of community within a sometimes  splintered scene. It's kind of a "high tide raises all boats" theory.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Faire Thee Well: A Renaissance Faire in Stowe

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 2:52 PM

Two members of the Brotherhood of the Arrow and Sword a-bashing - PAUL E. RICHARDSON
  • Paul E. Richardson
  • Two members of the Brotherhood of the Arrow and Sword a-bashing
In the heart of the Green Mountains, a sun-swept field vibrates with the enthusiasm of a thousand devotees of broadswords, mead and medieval attire. Maidens in ankle-length dresses and pushup bodices, accompanied by young sires trussed up in leather and the occasional feathered cap, clamber out of dusty Subarus and F150s to attend the Vermont Renaissance Faire, held June 25 and 26 off Route 108 in Stowe.

Three score pop-up tents cascade across a broad grassy plain, purveying everything from herbal potions to Celtic crosses, from candles and lambskins to goblets and magic wands. A fenced-in mead garden offers Vermont-made spirits, cider, beer and mead to beat back the rising heat of midday, while the back side of the field is begrudgingly given over to hot dog, burger and kebab sellers. (Because, really, who would want to eat what they ate in the 1300s?)

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Revolutionary War Veteran to Receive Replacement Gravestone

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Johnson Cemetery - KEN PICARD
  • Ken Picard
  • Johnson Cemetery
A veteran of the American Revolutionary War buried in Waterbury will get a new headstone courtesy of the Veterans Administration. That's thanks in part to Seven Days readers who inquired about the long-abandoned cemetery for a recent "WTF" column.

The May 25 article, "What's the Story With the Hidden Cemetery in Waterbury?" explained the origins of the Johnson Cemetery visible from I-89, as well as the desecration of the grave of Zachariah Bassett, a Revolutionary War soldier, sailor and prisoner of war.

In May 2011, Mark Backus, an amateur genealogist living in Bristol, went to visit the grave of Bassett, his fifth grand-uncle, only to discover that his 19th-century marble headstone had been snapped off at its base and stolen. Backus reported the theft to the Vermont State Police but the headstone was never recovered.

Shortly after the publication of that story,  a member of the Vermont Society of the Sons of the American Revolution contacted Seven Days to get in touch with Backus. The "male lineage society" and historic/patriotic nonprofit is dedicated to keeping alive the spirit and memory of those who fought in the American war for independence — including the 174 veterans of that war who are known to be buried in Vermont. 

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Community Sailing Center, Dealer.com Debut More Art Sails

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 12:40 PM

Six new art sails - JILL BADOLATO
  • Jill Badolato
  • Six new art sails
Dealer.com has not been shy about its intentions of putting art everywhere — including Lake Champlain. This past Tuesday, six new art sails donated by the company debuted at the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center's Love Your Lake event. Works were commissioned by Matt Douglas, Jozie Furchgott Sourdiffe, Tara Goreau, Nick Heilig, Max Hodgson and Sarah-Lee Terrat

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vermont's Zenith Burn Lights Up This Weekend

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 3:20 PM

click image Zenith Burn 2015 - COURTESY OF KIM AND CHRIS CLEARY
  • Courtesy of Kim and Chris Cleary
  • Zenith Burn 2015
Got a hankering to set the night ablaze with music, art, fire and dance, but have neither the time nor disposable income to make it out to Nevada's Black Rock Desert for Burning Man 2016? Looking for a warm-up event to prepare for next month's annual Rainbow Gathering, which this year descends on Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest?

Then consider ringing in the 2016 summer solstice this weekend with some likeminded creative types and fire starters in West Bolton. That's the location of this year's Zenith Burn, an annual weekend-long community arts, music and fire fest, which channels the spirit of Burning Man.

Chris Cleary, 40, is Zenith Burn's master firebug and chief totem builder. About five years ago, Cleary and his fire-spinning wife, Kim, began holding community burns in their Jericho Center back yard — that is, until they realized the event was getting a tad too large for everyone's comfort.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Documentary About Energy CEO Christine Hallquist Premieres in Vermont This Week

Posted By on Sun, Jun 12, 2016 at 8:05 AM

Still from Denial - MOSAIC FILMS
  • Mosaic Films
  • Still from Denial
Last week, Indiewire called Denial one of "11 Films We Cannot Wait to See at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival." The indie-film news source offered a tantalizingly cryptic description of the documentary directed by Vermont native Derek Hallquist:

Some of the best documentaries end up in drastically different places then [sic] they began … Derek Hallquist’s film seems to follow along similar lines, ostensibly beginning as a deep dive into the history of alternative energy sources in his home state of Vermont. But as Hallquist looks closer at his family’s involvement in those efforts, the on-camera interviews reveal more than he expected. 
So what exactly does Denial reveal?

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Friday, June 10, 2016

South Burlington School Censors Book About Opiate Addiction

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 12:25 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF KATE MESSNER AND BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING
  • Photo courtesy of Kate Messner and Bloomsbury Publishing
Children's book author Kate Messner should have been celebrating the day her latest book, The Seventh Wish, was released June 7. Instead, she was saddened and bewildered to learn that her reading to fourth and fifth graders at South Burlington's Chamberlin Elementary  School had been abruptly canceled the night before due to its subject matter: heroin addiction.

What's worse, Messner reported, the school returned all 20 copies of the book it had previously purchased from Burlington's Phoenix Books for its school library.

“I’m shocked. I didn’t expect this," said Messner, who's written more than two dozen other books for children and teens, none of which has ever generated controversy. "I’m not that author who writes books that get censored. It’s just stunning to me. It’s a sad, strange place to be.”

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Lakou Mizik's Steeve Valcourt on Haiti, Music and Hope

Posted By on Thu, Jun 9, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Lakou Mizik - THOMAS FRETEUR
  • Thomas Freteur
  • Lakou Mizik
In January 2010 a 7.0 earthquake struck the small Caribbean nation of Haiti. Yet, amid the devastation, something surprising emerged: hope. During the day, volunteers from around the world worked to clear the wreckage. At night, the sounds of singing and drumming could be heard floating above the din. This resiliency in the face of tragedy inspired the formation of Lakou Mizik.

The band emerged in the wake of the Haiti quake, bringing together several generations of Haitian musicians of diverse spiritual, cultural and musical backgrounds.  Led by guitarist Steeve Valcourt, the group is a dynamic (and danceable) reflection of the vibrant Caribbean, African, French and American influences that inform Haitian culture.   

Touring in support of their debut album Wa Di Yo — released on Charlotte's Cumbancha and produced by Montréal's Chris Velan (Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars) and Iestyn Polson (David Bowie, Patti Smith, David Gray) — Lakou Mizik perform with Antibalas and locals Barika at the Waterfront Tent in Burlington on Saturday, June 11, as part of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. Seven Days recently caught up with Valcourt via email — with some translation and editing from the band's manager, Zach Niles.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

A Painted Crosswalk Buzzes to Life in the South End

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Digital mock-up by Marie Davis and Tara Goreau - COURTESY OF SEABA
  • Courtesy of SEABA
  • Digital mock-up by Marie Davis and Tara Goreau
Burlington's South End Arts and Business Association announced their selection of a winning proposal for a South End street-level mural:  Vermont artists Marie Davis and Tara Goreau will transform the Pine/Howard Street crosswalk into a honeycomb buzzing with bees. The hive will be surrounded by red clover, Vermont's state flower, and the official South End Arts District logo will be scattered throughout individual cells of the honeycomb. 

"It is easy to imagine our collective energy as an animated hive of bees," Davis and Goreau wrote in their proposal. "Busy at work in our studios, offices and company floors, we work individually and as a whole, cross-pollinating ideas and skills, creating our collective honey to share with our communities here at home and around the world."

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Vermont Slam Poets Head to National Competition

Posted By on Sat, Jun 4, 2016 at 8:49 PM

From left: Hawa Adam, Lena Ginawi, Kiran Waqar and Balkisa Abdikadir - COURTESY OF YOUNG WRITERS PROJECT
  • Courtesy of Young Writers Project
  • From left: Hawa Adam, Lena Ginawi, Kiran Waqar and Balkisa Abdikadir
Updated on June 6, 2016 with new performance information.

Since being featured in Seven Days in AprilBalkisa Abdikadir, Lena Ginawi, Hawa Adam and Kiran Waqar, 15- and 16-year-olds slam poets who call themselves Muslim Girls Making Change, have performed at locations in Burlington including ArtsRiot, the Unitarian Universalist Church and the Vermont Comedy Club. They've also appeared on WFFF Fox 44 and Vermont Public Radio.

Last Friday, the girls captured national attention when a clip of their showcase poem, "Wake Up, America," was played on National Public Radio's "On Point" (31-minute mark).


The episode also discussed how Muslim Americans feel about the presidential election, refugees and radicalism.

The quartet will compete July 12 to 16 in the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, a conference and competition for youth, in Washington, D.C. They are still fundraising for the trip.

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