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Thursday, February 20, 2020

UVM Prof, Author Emily Bernard Wins Christopher Isherwood Prize

Posted By on Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 8:29 PM

Emily Bernard - COURTESY OF STEPHANIE SEGUINO
  • Courtesy of Stephanie Seguino
  • Emily Bernard

Emily Bernard, a professor of English and critical race and ethnic studies at the University of Vermont, was named the recipient of the Los Angeles Times' prestigious Christopher Isherwood Prize for autobiographical prose for her 2019 essay collection, Black Is the Body: Stories From My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine.

Each essay presents a different vantage of Bernard's experiences "as a woman, a black American, a teacher, writer, mother, wife, and daughter," as she writes in the book. Bernard reflects on what it feels like to be a person of color in Vermont, on the process of adopting Ethiopian twins with her husband, and on going to Mississippi, where her close relatives live, in the wake of her grandmother's death.

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Drag Queen Sasha Velour to Speak at Center for Cartoon Studies Commencement

Posted By on Mon, Feb 17, 2020 at 11:15 AM

The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction announced on Friday that its 2020 commencement speaker will be Sasha Velour, a CCS alumnus and an internationally acclaimed gender-fluid drag artist.

Velour, who graduated from CCS in 2013, became a household name after winning the 2017 season of "RuPaul's Drag Race." In an interview with WCAX-TV after being crowned "America's Next Drag Superstar," Velour told host Darren Perron that her performance career began in White River Junction, when she would dress up to attend "Drag Race" watch parties.

Through her performances, Velour said, she channels her background in cartooning: "I always think about designing a character that would read in a comic book, and then I just get to put it out into the world," she said. 

"Cartooning played a crucial role in Sasha Velour's origin story," said James Sturm, cofounder and director of CCS. "She was asked to be the commencement speaker because she is brilliant and inspiring. I don't know what Sasha will say, but I do know that Sasha knows exactly what it feels like to be on the other side of the podium and can speak to the excitement and dread the graduates may be feeling as they leave a tight-knit community to make their way in the world."

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Pharoah Sanders, Fantastic Negrito to Headline 2020 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival

Posted By on Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 11:07 AM

Pharoah Sanders - COURTESY OF BURLINGTON DISCOVER JAZZ FESTIVAL
  • Courtesy of Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
  • Pharoah Sanders
The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival released a sneak preview of its 2020 lineup on Monday. The annual 10-day music marathon unleashes its awesome powers on the Queen City from Friday, June 5, through Sunday, June 14. As usual, world-class talent from near and far will descend on Burlington, filling practically every venue in town, from major performing arts centers like the Flynn MainStage to bars, restaurants, coffee shops and, of course, the Church Street Marketplace.

This year's top headlining honor is a bit of a déjà vu: legendary tenor saxophone player Pharoah Sanders, who was scheduled to play the 2019 BDJF but unexpectedly canceled his performance in April. The 79-year-old artist was a member of John Coltrane's band in the 1960s and has gone on to become a jazz titan in his own right. Sanders plays the Flynn MainStage on Saturday, June 6.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Post-Fire, Center for Cartoon Studies Recovers From Water Damage

Posted By on Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 9:01 PM

The saturated laboratory at the Center for Cartoon Studies - DAVE LLOYD
  • Dave Lloyd
  • The saturated laboratory at the Center for Cartoon Studies
Updated February 5, 2020.

If the fire doesn't get you, the water does. That's what the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction learned the hard way last month.

On January 3, when the school was on break, an accidental fire broke out in an apartment over its offices and lab space, in a former department store called the Colodny Building. (CCS' classrooms and extensive library are in a second building, the former post office, just down the street.) The apartment was unoccupied and being worked on when a fire started and was quickly contained.

But not quickly enough to prevent the sprinkler system from doing its job, which was to saturate everything in sight.

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