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Friday, May 17, 2019

Margaret Coleman Takes the Helm of T.W. Wood Gallery

Posted By on Fri, May 17, 2019 at 10:27 AM

  • Owl's Iris Photography
  • Margaret Coleman
It didn't seem like the best time for Margaret Coleman to take on another job. Co-founder and executive director of the national nonprofit Art Shape Mammoth, founder and director of the O.N.E. Arts Center in Burlington, and mom to two little ones — ages 2 and a half years and 4 months — she had her hands full.

In recent months, too, Coleman had taken over management of Flynndog gallery and was involved in developing new arts spaces in that South End building. "It's wild timing," she conceded.

But none of this stopped Coleman from applying for, and accepting, the position of executive director at Montpelier's T.W. Wood Gallery. She was won over by "the commitment to accessibility [to art] and the historic collection." She also liked the gallery's diversity in programming, including after-school classes, adult classes, art camps and exhibition space for contemporary exhibitions, as well as works from the Wood collection. The gallery also hosts film nights for local filmmakers and other community events.

The Wood "is at a place in history where it has the potential for growth, and I'm excited by that," Coleman said. "It's an open book for what can happen."

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Christy Mitchell Named New Executive Director of SEABA

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2019 at 9:28 PM

  • Courtesy of Lauren Mazzotta
  • Christy Mitchell
It seems only right that someone who's been an artrepreneur on Burlington's Pine Street the last 15 years of her life should rise up to helm the South End Arts and Business Association. And that's exactly what has happened.

Christy Mitchell, founder/director of the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in the Soda Plant, was today named executive director of the nonprofit organization that brings us the annual South End Art Hop. She will replace interim director Jeanne Kirby, who will rejoin the board. Previous ED Adam Brooks stepped down last December.

A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design and an artist herself, Mitchell has been an active member of the city's art scene since her arrival in it. In addition to launching S.P.A.C.E. — which in addition to the gallery offers studio space to emerging artists — she has opened additional working artist spaces in the South End and was the director of maker space Generator in its early years. She was also instrumental in designating the official term "South End Arts District."

“My passion for the arts and love of creative endeavors has led me down a path of connecting artists to opportunity," Mitchell writes in a press release. "My vision for the South End consists of building up relationships and paving new ways for artists and entrepreneurs to connect and communicate with each other and the broader community."

Seth Mobley, president of the SEABA board of directors, said, “Christy is the right person to guide SEABA, to nurture its strengths, and to support the innovation taking place across our community.”

One of the first orders of SEABA business is planning the 27th annual Art Hop — this year September 6 through 8. But in addition the board is engaged in a longer-term process of honing goals for the organization, as well as priorities for serving businesses and artists in the ever-evolving South End.

According to Mitchell, one goal will be to find a new home. Last December, SEABA's lease at 404 Pine Street was not renewed (ArtsRiot has expanded into the space), and it has been operating from a significantly downsized office in Generator on Sears Lane.

Meantime, Mitchell writes on Facebook: "I can’t wait to lead this organization, creating a platform to raise awareness and give a common voice to artists and businesses, so that we all may thrive. I’m looking forward to many exciting days ahead!" 

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Holy Hell! Anaïs Mitchell's 'Hadestown' Scores 14 Tony Award Nominations

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 1:27 PM

Eva Noblezada and the Broadway cast of 'Hadestown' - MATTHEW MURPHY
  • Matthew Murphy
  • Eva Noblezada and the Broadway cast of 'Hadestown'
Anaïs Mitchell's Hadestown has received 14 2019 Tony Award nominations. The Vermont native's "folk-rock opera," which opened on Broadway this month, nabbed more nominations than any other production this year, edging out the musical Ain't Too Proud, which received 12 nominations.

"This is such a total and complete honor! What I feel most of all this morning is enormous gratitude," wrote Mitchell in a statement following the nominations announcement. "Hadestown really took a long and winding road to Broadway, and so many creative, soulful people have put their hands on it along the way and kept it moving forward."

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

WTF Update: Washington to Become First State to Legalize Human Composting

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 9:30 AM

An artist's rendering of a future Recompose facility with vessels. - FILE IMAGE COURTESY OF MOLT STUDIOS
  • File image courtesy of Molt Studios
  • An artist's rendering of a future Recompose facility with vessels.
"If I should die before I wake / All my bone and sinew take
Put me in the compost pile / To decompose me a little while
Worms, water, sun will have their way / Returning me to common clay
All that I am will feed the trees / And little fishes in the seas."
 — from "In Dead Earnest," by Lee Hays

Folk legends Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger first recorded those somewhat tongue-in-cheek lyrics back in 1981. Nearly 40 years later, corpses on the compost heap may soon become a reality.

The February 27, 2019 "Whisky Tango Foxtrot" column answered the question, "Why Can't Vermonters Be Composted When They Die?" Though nothing has changed on that front in the Green Mountain State, Washington is poised to become the first state in the nation to legalize the process of  facilitated bodily breakdown.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Questionable Authority: Zuckerman to Host Cannabis-Themed 'Coffee With Constituents'

Posted By on Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 8:50 AM

Examples of Julie Duquette's cannabis-inspired artwork - IMAGE COURTESY OF JULIE DUQUETTE
  • Image courtesy of Julie Duquette
  • Examples of Julie Duquette's cannabis-inspired artwork
Vermont's first-ever 4/20 week event in the post-prohibition era is nearly upon us, and it'll be a doozy:

On Friday, April 19, Vermont Lt. Gov. Dave "Enough with the Ponytail References Already!" Zuckerman and pro-weed activist group Heady Vermont will host a morning event titled  "Coffee With Constituents Celebrates Cannabis Art." (Vetoed event names include "Tea With Tokers" and "Bagels 'n' Bong Hits.")

Zuckerman's weekly capitol caffeine klatches offer the lite gov an opportunity to rub elbows with ordinary Vermont citizens, to nod thoughtfully while they grouse about their property tax bills, and to answer questions about everything from health care reform to "Why are there pimientos in this cream cheese?"

The event is slated for Friday, April 19, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Clearly, whoever scheduled this time is unfamiliar with the Standard Stoner Time Conversion Variable (9 a.m. = noon).

This week, Seven Days staffers offered a sneak peek at what we imagine the event's festivities to be:

1. The 4/19 "Coffee With Constituents" will feature Zuckerman unveiling a cannabis-infused work of art by Milton artist Julie “Fisheye” Duquette. The piece, which Duquette said she created using approximately 300 pot leaves grown and donated by Vermont growers, will hang in the lieutenant governor’s office. What other activities are slated for the morning event?

SALLY POLLAK:  "Weed With Seed." In a throwback to the days when weed came with seeds and 100 percent of kids smoked it, we'll play an old-timey game: Separate the weed from the seed on the inside cover of  "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.''
DAN BOLLES: Wake and Bacon, a breakfast smorgasbord featuring hash browns, smoked bacon, green eggs and ham, and pancakes shaped like pot leaves, smothered in CBD-infused maple syrup.
JORDAN ADAMS: After the ceremonial hanging of Duquette's piece, local artisan Tokes Gently will unveil shadow boxes full of miniature topiaries in the shape of famous Vermonters, created from buds that came from the same plants Duquette used to make her piece. Expect to see tiny green versions of Ethan Allen, Matthew Lyon, Bernie Sanders and Champ, the Lake Champlain sea monster.
KEN PICARD: The Zuckster will break off a chunk of Grand Isle County and vape it in his Pax 2.

2. What special advanced preparations for this event are required by Statehouse staff?
SP: Preparations for the 4/20 event went to pot, and it was weirdly scheduled for 4/19.
DB: They had to learn all of the words to Phish's "Fee" for the ceremonial morning sing-along.
JA: Statehouse staff will spend the morning setting up the post-ceremony sundae bar, replete with 420 different toppings.
KP: Buildings and General Services will erect a temporary security barricade around the 3D art portrait of former governor Peter Shumlin deejaying at a Rutland rave.

3. An anonymous source has confirmed that Zuckerman will also unveil his own homegrown cannabis strain. Possible names include:
SP: Zuck Me Up.
DB: Bernie Lite. Zuckerman's brand inspires many of the same heady ideas as the strain that preceded it, but it's not as harsh as the original.
JA: Zuck in Vermont. (That's a Seven Days joke.)
KP: Raucous Caucus, Biennium Blackout, Joint Session, Sunset Provision.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Spectrum Storyteller Mark Redmond Heads to Broadway

Posted By on Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 2:20 PM

Mark Redmond with Spectrum staff and clients - FILE PHOTO BY JAMES BUCK
  • File photo by James Buck
  • Mark Redmond with Spectrum staff and clients
Mark Redmond is headed to Broadway — not for good, but for a one-night solo performance in October.

This week, the longtime executive director of Spectrum Youth & Family Services in Burlington was informed that his one-man show, “So Shines a Good Deed,” was chosen from among hundreds of applications for inclusion in the 2019 United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City.

The annual event, now in its 10th year, claims to be the world's largest solo-performance festival, featuring storytelling, puppetry, dance, multimedia, improv,  magic, drama and stand-up comedy. The festival will be held in October in the newly renovated Theatre Row Building on 42nd Street, in the heart of Manhattan's theater district.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Vermont Screenwriter John Fusco on the Future of Film and Bringing 'The Highwaymen' to the Screen

Posted By on Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 4:34 PM

John Fusco with Woody Harrelson - COURTESY OF JOHN FUSCO
  • Courtesy of John Fusco
  • John Fusco with Woody Harrelson
Dropping out of high school at age 16 doesn’t guarantee international fame and fortune. At the same time, it hasn’t exactly held John Fusco back. Nope, he’s squeaking by.

The Vermont-based screenwriter, producer and series creator is leading a ridiculously rich existence, in fact. If there were a prize for most movie-like life, it would be sitting on his mantel beside the ones he received the year before and the year before that.

Here's an example: After he dropped out of school, Fusco traveled the American South in search of Delta blues musicians who’d never had a top-10 record but were pioneers and innovators of the form. He played music himself here and there and took factory jobs to finance his research. He got his GED. He went to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His bachelor’s thesis was the 1986 Columbia Pictures hit Crossroads, starring Ralph Macchio as a young guitarist traveling through the South to learn about the blues.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Bandwagon Preview: UVM vs. Florida State

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 2:59 PM

University of Vermont Catamounts - UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Vermont Catamounts
Put on your dancin' shoes, Cats fans. Saturday, the University of Vermont men's basketball team earned a ticket to the Big Dance, aka the NCAA Division 1 tournament, by dominating the University of Maryland Baltimore County Saturday in the America East conference finals. As an added bonus, in doing so the Catamounts avenged last season's crushing finals loss to those same UMBC Retrievers — if you recall, UMBC went on to make NCAA tournament history in 2018 as the first 16 seed to beat a 1 seed.

UVM's reward? (Other than sweet, sweet vengeance?) A 13 seed in the tourney and a date with fourth seeded and heavily favored Florida State at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, in Hartford, Conn.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Bush, Live and Our Lady Peace to Play Champlain Valley Fair

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2019 at 4:41 PM

  • Courtesy of the ALTimate Tour
  • Bush (left), Live
Fans of ’90s alternative music should be pleased: The Champlain Valley Fair is hosting the ALTimate Tour, which features ’90s hitmakers Bush, Live and Our Lady Peace. The concert takes place on Friday, August 23, the fair's opening night. The fair continues through Sunday, September 1, at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction.

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Jennifer Garner Talks Child Welfare This Week in Burlington

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 10:39 PM

  • Courtesy of Save the Children Action Network
  • Jennifer Garner and two friends
Jennifer Garner is known for her ass kicking on "Alias," her winsomeness in 13 Going on 30, her red-carpet outfits, her celebrity marriage to (and recent divorce from) Ben Affleck and, perhaps slightly less prominently, her work as an ambassador for the international charity Save the Children. This Thursday, that charity work brings the movie star to Burlington, where the public can see her — space permitting — at a "special conversation on the importance of high-quality child care" at Merrill's Roxy Cinemas in Burlington.

Garner's conversation partners will be Save the Children Action Network CEO Mark Shriver and Aly Richards, CEO of Let's Grow Kids, a Burlington-based organization that aims "to ensure affordable access to high-quality child care for all Vermont families by 2025," according to its website.

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