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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Arts and Culture Nonprofits to Receive $5 Million in State Relief Grants

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 1:00 PM

"Youth Triumphant" sculpture in Barre - FILE: SUE HIGBY
  • File: Sue Higby
  • "Youth Triumphant" sculpture in Barre
The Vermont Arts Council and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development will distribute $5 million to arts and culture nonprofits, as part of legislation signed by Gov. Phil Scott last week to provide $96 million in emergency economic recovery grants to Vermont businesses.

Applications opened Monday on the ACCD website for all the agency’s Economic Recovery Grants. Arts and culture nonprofits are eligible for up to $50,000 in funding. The arts council will partner with ACCD to review the applications.

“It’s an incredible boost for the nonprofit cultural sector,” said Karen Mittelman, executive director of the arts council. “It’s important as a recognition of the economic stress our sector is experiencing … And we also know it will not be enough. That’s true across the board [in every sector].”

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Friday, July 3, 2020

Vermont Arts and Culture Organizations Awarded $600,000 in Relief Funding

Posted By on Fri, Jul 3, 2020 at 3:26 PM

'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' at the Weston Playhouse in 2019 - COURTESY OF ALEX PERRY
  • Courtesy of Alex Perry
  • 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' at the Weston Playhouse in 2019
Ten Vermont arts and culture organizations received more than $600,000 in direct grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of the federal coronavirus relief package.

The NEA awarded $50,000 grants to Kingdom County Productions, Dorset Theatre Festival, the Vermont Folklife Center, the Community Engagement Lab,  the Yellow Barn and the Weston Playhouse Theatre.

The NEH awarded $133,512 to the Vermont Historical Society, $69,263 to the University of Vermont, $29,362 to the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History, $53,036 to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and an additional $97,017 to the Folklife Center.

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Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Flynn Cancels Its Teaching Artists Program for Fall

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2020 at 10:55 AM

Students at the Integrated Arts Academy in 2017 - COURTESY OF THE FLYNN
  • Courtesy of the Flynn
  • Students at the Integrated Arts Academy in 2017
The Flynn has canceled its teaching artists program for the fall semester, putting a halt to a program that employs about 10 artists to work in Burlington schools.

“At the heart of the matter, it’s a public health consideration,” said the Flynn’s interim executive director Charles Smith. “The complications are just too great.”

State guidelines for Vermont schools are explicit: “No outside visitors and volunteers except for employees or contracted service providers for the purpose of special education or required support services, as authorized by the school or district.”

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Middlebury College Students Create Website for 3,000-Year-Old Assyrian Panels

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2020 at 1:23 PM

  • Middlebury College digital methodologies class
  • Detail of the NW x NE website home page
On May 4, the 10 Middlebury College students in Sarah Laursen’s course on digital methodologies for art historians held their final class of the semester on Zoom. That wasn’t unusual, because Middlebury, like other colleges around the state and country, had sent their students home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

However, the guests Laursen invited to the Zoom call were notable: Sarah Graff, an associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; and Sean Burrus, the Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral curatorial fellow at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

While Seven Days listened in, Laursen’s students presented to the two art historians their semester-long project: a website examining one of Middlebury College’s first art acquisitions, which is a carved stone panel nearly 3,000 years old. The detailed relief, depicting a muscular, winged man with an impressive beard, is one of hundreds that once adorned the interior walls of the Northwest Palace, built by the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (who reigned from 883 to 859 BC), in Nimrud (near present-day Mosul, Iraq).

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Friday, May 8, 2020

The Mask Is the Message on a Barre Sculpture

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2020 at 6:49 PM

"Youth Triumphant" - SUE HIGBY
  • Sue Higby
  • "Youth Triumphant"
Face masks have been appearing on public artworks since the pandemic began, from Wuhan to Rome to New York City to … Barre. Sue Higby, director of Studio Place Arts in Barre, took this shot of  "Youth Triumphant" — a sculpture that presides over the intersection of Main and Washington streets downtown — and sent it our way.

As symbols go, a mask over the mouth would seem to suggest being silenced, and yet this masked man has something important to say.

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Virtual Welcome to Vermont's New Cartoonist Laureate, Rick Veitch

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 11:59 AM

Self-portrait by Rick Veitch - RICK VEITCH
  • Rick Veitch
  • Self-portrait by Rick Veitch
Today, April 2, current Vermont cartoonist laureate Alison Bechdel officially passes the laurels to West Townshend resident Rick Veitch. He is the fourth, following Bechdel, Edward Koren and James Kochalka.

But Veitch is the first cartoonist laureate to be inaugurated via livestream — and in the middle of a pandemic. The ceremony that usually takes place in the Vermont Statehouse this time foregoes a congratulatory handshake from the governor, and the audience is virtual. A link to the 3 p.m. ceremony is here.

Gov. Phil Scott, of course, is battling the biggest opponent of not just a career but a lifetime: the coronavirus. Even so, he managed to issue a short message to Veitch: "Congratulations, Rick. Your honor is well deserved."

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Middlebury Gallery's Nip Slip Results in Instagram Ban

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 9:19 PM

  • Olivia Oh @byoliviaoh
The director of a photography gallery in Middlebury said the gallery's Instagram account was banned after posting a photo of a nude woman's breasts on September 5.

James Barker of PhotoPlace Gallery said the photograph, a fine-art shot by Olivia Oh of New York City, was posted by gallery manager Megan Owen, who he said failed to notice its content. That same day, the Instagram account @photoplacegallery was shut down, and PhotoPlace staff have been unable to access it since.

According to Barker, attempts to contact Instagram have gone unanswered. He noted that PhotoPlace had never received any warning or disciplinary action from Instagram before. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Overnight Projects Installation Addresses U.S. History of Separating Families

Posted By on Thu, Aug 15, 2019 at 7:39 AM

Inside the "library" of "Liminal States" - BRIDGET HIGDON
  • Bridget Higdon
  • Inside the "library" of "Liminal States"
The heavy doors of the shipping containers creaked as Chris Thompson opened them one at a time. After lifting a spool of thick yellow extension cord from inside each container, he walked the plugs about 10 yards to an outlet.

As soon as connection was made, projector screens inside the two containers whirred to life, and soft voices soon echoed against the trees.

"Liminal States: What Were Some of the Things You Missed From Home?" is a two-channel video installation and library located outside of Generator, the makerspace in Burlington’s South End. Thompson is the nonprofit's executive director.

The exhibition, which examines the long history of separating families and incarcerating children in the U.S., opened August 9. It's on view just through Friday, August 16, 5 to 9 p.m.

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

What's That New Mural on King Street?

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2019 at 2:53 PM

  • Courtesy of Turning Point Center
  • A mock-up of what the mural will look like when completed, and the beginning stages of the mural on August 1
A new mural-in-progress on the corner of King Street and South Winooski Avenue will include themes of housing, community and hope for people recovering from addiction. Turning Point Center of Chittenden County recently purchased the building from the Champlain Housing Trust.

The Turning Point Center provides a space and support for substance abuse recovery groups to meet and hold activities. According to its executive director, Gary De Carolis, the center officially purchased the building at 179 South Winooski Ave. on Tuesday. The center has occupied the space since December, after spending four months renovating the office building into larger spaces suitable for groups. It's roughly 60 percent bigger than the center's previous home on Bank Street.

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Whale Tails Return to Randolph

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 4:20 PM

Installing "Whale Dance" by Jim Sardonis - BRIDGET HIGDON
  • Bridget Higdon
  • Installing "Whale Dance" by Jim Sardonis
With a panoramic mountain range as a backdrop, a beloved sculpture came home, in a sense, to Randolph today. “Whale Dance,” a new work by local artist Jim Sardonis, was unveiled at noon just off Interstate 89’s Exit 4.

“Reverence,” a similar sculpture by Sardonis, was originally sited on the land in 1989 and remained for a decade. When the farmland was sold to developer Jesse "Sam"  Sammis in 1999, the sculpture was moved to a spot along I-89 in South Burlington.

Thanks to a group of local fundraisers,  the Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Vermont Community Foundation, Randolph residents got their whales back. Sardonis was commissioned to make another pair.

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