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Thursday, February 18, 2021

State Issues New Guidelines for Indoor Music Practice in Schools

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 4:20 PM

  • © JaCrispy |
The state of Vermont released new safety guidelines on Wednesday for in-person music education in schools. The pandemic-era protocols allow for indoor group practices under specific conditions for the first time since schools reopened in the fall. The move comes after months of advocacy by music educators pushing for the state to sanction indoor group rehearsals.

Among the guidelines are that musicians can play together indoors separated from each other at six-foot intervals. Rehearsal spaces must be equipped to complete three air exchanges per hour and one full exchange between rehearsals, which are limited to 30 minutes with no audiences.

Singers and musicians must wear masks at all times. Woodwind and brass players are permitted to wear masks with a slit for their instrument’s mouthpiece while playing. Those instruments must also be equipped with a bell cover — essentially a cloth mask for the end of the instrument.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

UVM Awards Inaugural Prize for Writing on Ecology and Economics

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 10:44 AM

Bathsheba Demuth with sled dogs - COURTESY OF THE GUND INSTITUTE
  • Courtesy of the Gund Institute
  • Bathsheba Demuth with sled dogs
The first Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics, named for a late fellow at the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Environment, was awarded this week to a book on the environmental history of the region surrounding the Bering Strait. The winner will receive $4,000 from a fund raised by Zencey before his death in 2019 at age 65.

Zencey was a scholar dedicated to advancing the idea of ecological economics, according to Taylor Ricketts, director of the Gund Institute. That means an approach to economics that “acknowledges the self-evident fact that the economy is operating inside the biosphere,” Ricketts explained. In other words, the economy is one system within a larger planetary system, and economic growth is limited by the physical limits of the environment.

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Monday, November 16, 2020

Norwich University Offers Design-Build Competition to High Schoolers

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2020 at 2:24 PM

Outdoor classroom at Union Elementary School, Montpelier - COURTESY OF MARK COLLIER
  • Courtesy of Mark Collier
  • Outdoor classroom at Union Elementary School, Montpelier
In 2018, the undergraduate architecture students in Tolya Stonorov’s design-build class at Norwich University designed and built an outdoor classroom at Union Elementary School in Montpelier. Then the pandemic hit. Let’s just say the project was prescient.

Now Norwich has launched an outdoor-classroom design competition for high school students — a cohort likely to know first-hand the urgency of the need. The competition invites high school students anywhere in the world, singly or in teams of up to four, to choose a site on the grounds of a school in their town and design an open-air classroom for it.

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Major Jackson to Leave UVM for Vanderbilt University

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 12:46 PM

Major Jackson at Leunig's Bistro - SALLY POLLAK/FILE ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak/File ©️ Seven Days
  • Major Jackson at Leunig's Bistro
Major Jackson and Daniel Fogel arrived at the University of Vermont in the fall of 2002, each moving to Vermont from Louisiana.

Jackson, a poet, was a young faculty member joining the English department from Xavier University in New Orleans. Fogel, a Henry James scholar and university administrator, arrived from Louisiana State University to serve as UVM’s 25th president.  The two met that fall at an English department picnic, recalled Fogel, who’s now a professor in the department.

“I met Major, read some of his poems, and immediately began [working] from the president’s office and made sure that we retained him as long as we could,” Fogel said.

That effort was successful for nearly two decades: Jackson, 52, will leave UVM at the end of the semester for Vanderbilt University, where he’ll be the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English. During his tenure at UVM, Jackson emerged as a prominent American poet of his generation, publishing four volumes of poetry, including this year’s The Absurd Man, and editing the 2019 volume of The Best American Poetry.

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Monday, September 7, 2020

Vermont Dance Alliance Launches Online Class Series

Posted By on Mon, Sep 7, 2020 at 1:29 PM

  • Courtesy of Hanna Satterlee
The Vermont Dance Alliance is partnering with local businesses to launch an online dance school featuring various styles of dance and benefitting Vermont nonprofit organizations.

The class series, called "Resilient Dancing," will feature 11 three-week classes from different instructors. The offerings include tango, belly dance and hip-hop; lessons in theatrical choreography and interacting with surroundings; and specific classes for families and older adults.

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Monday, August 10, 2020

Vermont Humanities Announces Virtual Fall Conference on Democracy

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 5:06 PM

From 'This Is What Democracy Looks Like: A Graphic Guide to Governance' by the Center for Cartoon Studies - DRAWINGS BY DAN NOTT AND KEVIN CZAP
  • Drawings by Dan Nott and Kevin Czap
  • From 'This Is What Democracy Looks Like: A Graphic Guide to Governance' by the Center for Cartoon Studies

This year’s Vermont Humanities fall conference — an annual series of public lectures normally held at the University of Vermont each November — will take place, you guessed it, online. The program, titled "Democracy 20/20," will consist of 15 free virtual talks and workshops, streamed weekly between August 19 and November 13 on the theme of civic engagement.

Beginning in October, the lineup may also include small in-person events as public health guidance allows.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Vermont Law School to Remove Mural Considered Offensive

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 12:30 PM

A panel on the VLS mural - SAM KERSON
  • Sam Kerson
  • A panel on the VLS mural
Vermont Law School announced that it will paint over a campus mural that depicts enslaved people and Vermont’s role in the Underground Railroad, after students objected to its inaccurate portrayal of Black people.

The mural has been in the Chase Community Center on the school's Royalton campus since 1993, and conversations about its perceived racism have taken place since at least 2013, according to a statement from VLS students Jameson Davis and April Urbanowski.

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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, June 26, 2020

Hopkins Center and Dance Theatre of Harlem Launch a New Partnership

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 4:02 PM

Dance Theatre of Harlem performing 'Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven' - COURTESY OF DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
  • Courtesy of Dance Theatre of Harlem
  • Dance Theatre of Harlem performing 'Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven'
This summer marks the start of a multiyear collaboration between the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College and Dance Theatre of Harlem. During three summer residencies, the partners will create a new ballet work, expand experiential learning opportunities in dance, support links between choreography and academic scholarship, and engage the arts as a tool for social change.

Based in New York City, Dance Theatre of Harlem has been shaping the ballet world for more than 50 years. Its founder, Arthur Mitchell, was the first Black principal dancer at New York City Ballet and was a protégée of Russian-born choreographer George Balanchine.

Dance Theatre of Harlem offers training and career opportunities to dancers of color and celebrates African American culture through the arts. Through its work, the multiethnic company has made the art of ballet more inclusive and expanded its audience.

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Missing Campus, Vermont Students Recreate Their Favorite Haunts — in Minecraft

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2020 at 7:00 AM

The in-progress UVM Minecraft campus from above - COURTESY OF UVM CAMPUSCRAFT
  • Courtesy of UVM CampusCraft
  • The in-progress UVM Minecraft campus from above
The University of Vermont campus is a quiet place these days. With online learning in place, most students have returned home to 47 states and 67 countries. For students like Lauren Posklensky, it was lonely to be suddenly separated from campus and her friends there. Transitioning to online classes, she said, was “pretty rough.”

But Posklensky kept in touch with a group of friends from UVM and often played Minecraft with them. That's a video game in which players can build and manipulate a blocky, 3D world.

Posklensky heard about a school in Japan hosting a virtual graduation ceremony in Minecraft. She half jokingly suggested to her friends that they should try to recreate the UVM campus in the game.

And UVM Campus Craft was born. The students have built the Dudley H. Davis Center, complete with a cozy version of Henderson’s Café, and have made progress on the Old Mill and Waterman buildings. Their main goal is to finish the UVM Green, adjacent to Waterman, so graduating seniors can virtually walk across it like they would during a normal UVM graduation ceremony.

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