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Thursday, November 15, 2018

New Voices Series Showcases Local Korean and Ghanaian Drum Groups

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 10:24 AM

Sori Mori - COURTESY OF THE FLYNN CENTER
  • Courtesy of the Flynn Center
  • Sori Mori
When Cindy Rancourt was living in her native country of South Korea, she wasn’t interested in Korean traditional music. But since moving to Vermont in 2006, the Essex resident has had a voracious appreciation for all things Korean.

Rancourt teaches at the Green Mountain Korean Culture School, helps out during the Korean Food Fest, practices taekwondo and attends a Korean church in Essex. She’s also a member of an all-female drumming troupe, Sori Mori, that performs in the samul nori folk style. These are all an expression of her “longing and yearning” for her home country, said Rancourt.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates Speaks at Sold-Out UVM Event

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Ta-Nehisi Coates - COURTESY OF GABRIELLA DEMCZUK
  • Courtesy of Gabriella Demczuk
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates
Best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates was 33 when he voted for the first time. That was in 2008 and he voted for Barack Obama, Coates told the 3,200-strong audience at the University of Vermont’s indoor tennis courts on Tuesday evening.

The West Baltimore, Md., native said he had a “very radical but limited view of politics." Coates had felt that voting was "bad" and thought he would end up endorsing “for the lesser evil, at best.” But a professor friend recently told him, “Yes, that’s true, but I’m in favor of less evil.”

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Tech Heavyweight Tan Le to Discuss Brain-Computer Interfaces at UVM

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 1:19 PM

Tan Le - COURTESY OF TAN LE
  • Courtesy of Tan Le
  • Tan Le
Five years after Tan Le was recognized in 1998 as Young Australian of the Year, she found herself at a career crossroad. She had been trained as a lawyer, done a stint as an entrepreneur and was also a community advocate.

But she was seeking a lifelong endeavor. “I wanted to find something that wasn't just a short stint or exciting for a few years,” recalled Le. And she found her calling in studying the human brain.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Burlington's Old Gold Moving to Cherry Street

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 1:07 PM


Old Gold owner Karin Eisenberg - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Old Gold owner Karin Eisenberg
Two thousand T-shirts, cartons of nippies and pasties, scores of sequined gowns, a rainbow of tutus and stacks of faded Levis will relocate in time for the New Year as Old Gold, a Burlington sartorial landmark, decamps to Cherry Street.

The vintage clothing store and costume shop, whose window mannequins enliven Main Street, is moving from the jam-packed, jaw-dropping space it has occupied since 1977. The store's lease at 180 Main Street will end on December 31, Old Gold owner Karin Eisenberg told Seven Days. She will move her business to 153 Cherry Street — the onetime home of the B Side skate shop — and open there on January 2, 2019.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Flynn Center Races to Complete Repair Work After Flooding

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 9:40 PM

Repair work outside the Flynn Center - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Repair work outside the Flynn Center
The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts is in a race against time to ensure that the flooding repair work in the FlynnSpace is completed before the upcoming performing arts season.

A water main pipe, located under the marquee, burst early Monday morning, causing water to flow into the downstairs venue and a storage area where production equipment, including lighting, was kept.

"We are too early on in assessing the damage," said Anna Marie Gewirtz, who assumed her new role as executive director of the Flynn just six weeks ago. "We are doing everything in our power to get things back in pristine condition and working order."

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Vermont Stage Finds a New Home at Black Box Theatre

Posted By on Sat, Aug 11, 2018 at 10:31 AM

Kim Rosenstock's 'Tigers Be Still,' from a review April 25, 2018 - COURTESY OF LINDSAY RAYMONDJACK
  • Courtesy of Lindsay Raymondjack
  • Kim Rosenstock's 'Tigers Be Still,' from a review April 25, 2018
Vermont Stage is leaving the FlynnSpace after 17 years to take up residence at the Main Street Landing Black Box Theatre.

"We have become a victim of our own success,"  wrote board chair Peter Espenshade in an email. "The move will allow us to meet the demand for live theater and will allow us more room, from the lobby to backstage, to produce world-class theater," he said.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Refugee Communities Find Cause for Celebration During Difficult Year

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 4:09 PM

Interpreter Poe Poh (left) and Thaw Theet at Leddy Park in Burlington - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Interpreter Poe Poh (left) and Thaw Theet at Leddy Park in Burlington
For the last seven years, Thaw Theet has always attended local festivities to commemorate World Refugee Day, which is observed across the world on June 20.

"I came here as a refugee," said the South Burlington resident. "Even though I am now a U.S. citizen, I will never forget where I came from." Though Theet understands English, she's shy about conversing in the language and chose to speak through an interpreter instead.

Theet, an ethnic-Karen from Myanmar, isn't alone in wanting to honor her history. Last Saturday, upward of 300 people — refugees, former refugees, social service providers and community partners — gathered at Burlington's Leddy Park to celebrate World Refugee Day.

"It's a happy day for me," said Theet, 33.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Burlington's Flynn Center Hires a New Executive Director

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 12:43 PM

Anna Maria Gewirtz - COURTESY OF THE FLYNN CENTER
  • Courtesy of the Flynn Center
  • Anna Maria Gewirtz
The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts has a new leader at the helm.  Anna Marie Gewirtz, recent acting president and CEO at State Theatre New Jersey, brings to Burlington two decades of experience in Garden State arts and culture.

Gewirtz replaces outgoing executive director and CEO John Killacky, who announced in September that he would be leaving  the Flynn after eight years. In April, Killacky, who lives in South Burlington, declared his candidacy for the Vermont House of Representatives.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Former South Sudanese Refugee Shares His Post-Independence Reflections

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2018 at 5:06 PM

Abraham Awolich - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Abraham Awolich
In 2011, Abraham Awolich left the U.S. to return to his native South Sudan. He confessed that he had thought about moving back to Vermont since then. Intense clashes between rival political factions in 2014 and 2015 had left him "sometimes scared," and living conditions in the capital, Juba, remain difficult, he said.

Awolich is in Burlington for a week to reconnect with his friends, as well as to ask the public to continue to support his projects in South Sudan. On Tuesday, he gave a presentation to a group of about 30 people at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul. Many, if not all, in attendance had known Awolich and his peers since they first arrived in Vermont 17 years ago.

What has kept him in South Sudan these past few years, Awolich said, is a sense of purpose and commitment. In the wake of the country's independence in 2011, he wants to help negotiate what he calls "rapid" and "dramatic" transitions.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Cultural Mosaic: The Kiesse Brothers Bring Congolese Performing Arts to Vermont

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 1:54 PM

Rodrick (left) and Beny Kiesse - COURTESY OF BENY KIESSE
  • Courtesy of Beny Kiesse
  • Rodrick (left) and Beny Kiesse
Beny Kiesse describes himself as a producer, singer, dancer, designer, illustrator and model. Recently,  he's earned another title:  community organizer.

On Saturday, May 12, Kiesse will perform alongside his brother Rodrick and other local artists at the Social Club & Lounge in Burlington for an event that he's dubbed "International Affairs Night."

"Many of the performers are talented but don't have any support," explained Beny, whose stage name is BenyGola. He said it took him about a month to organize the event, which will include performances by A2VT and Cadoux Fancy. "The sole purpose of this show," he continued, "is to show everyone that we, indeed, have undiscovered talents within the city."

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