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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 | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • © JaCrispy | Dreamstime.com
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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Monday, February 15, 2021

KeruBo Release New Vaccine-Themed Music Video, "Chanjo"

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2021 at 3:29 PM

KeruBo's Irene Kerubo Webster (center) with AALV staff in the "Chanjo" video - COURTESY OF KERUBO
  • Courtesy of KeruBo
  • KeruBo's Irene Kerubo Webster (center) with AALV staff in the "Chanjo" video
Though Vermont's COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been relatively smooth, Afro-jazz artist and social worker Irene Kerubo Webster has noticed some hesitancy to get vaccinated among the Burlington area's resettled African community. Originally from Kenya, Webster works for the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV), a nonprofit that helps Africans and other New Americans living locally achieve independence and acculturation.

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Katie Runde to Paint Alexander Twilight Portrait for the Statehouse

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 4:10 PM

Alexander Twilight - COURTESY OF THE OLD STONE HOUSE MUSEUM
  • Courtesy of the Old Stone House Museum
  • Alexander Twilight
Middlebury artist Katie Runde has been commissioned to paint a portrait of Alexander Twilight to hang in the Vermont Statehouse, which will make him the first person of color featured in a portrait there.

Twilight, believed to be both the first African American college graduate and first African American legislator in the U.S., was a Brownington-based educator and minister who lived from 1795 to 1857. He was elected as a Vermont State Representative in 1836. Last year, state lawmakers established September 23, 2020, as Alexander Twilight Day.

The portrait was commissioned jointly by the Friends of the Vermont State House and the office of the Vermont State Curator and is being funded by the National Life Group of Vermont.

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Thursday, February 4, 2021

Waking Windows Postponed Until 2022

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 3:37 PM

Australian rock band Pond performing at Waking Windows 2017 - FILE: LUKE AWTRY
  • File: Luke Awtry
  • Australian rock band Pond performing at Waking Windows 2017
Waking Windows has been pushed back to May 2022.

After all but confirming the postponement in a January email to Seven Days, the Winooski-based indie music and arts festival's organizers released a statement on Thursday announcing their decision to not go forward with the event this year due to continued safety concerns around the pandemic. The 2020 festival, which would have marked the event's tenth anniversary, was also canceled because of the coronavirus.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Jane O'Meara Sanders: Bernie Mitten Memes Are 'Really Cute'

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 4:41 PM

Little did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) know what was to come... - BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES
  • Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
  • Little did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) know what was to come...
Joe Biden is the president, but Bernie Sanders is an icon.

Their ascensions occurred on January 20 in Washington, D.C., at the inaugural ceremony at which Biden was formally elevated to the U.S. presidency. Sanders, a political independent and Vermont's junior senator, showed up informally — wearing gear that's true to himself and his home state: wool mittens made by an Essex Junction school teacher and a Burton jacket. His mask was blue, and disposable.

A candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination last year,  Sanders sat alone on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, socially distant, legs and arms crossed, and dressed for the weather (downright cold by D.C. standards). It was there that Brendan Smialowski, a photographer for Agence France-Presse, captured the shot seen 'round the world.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

UVM Diversity Guru Wanda Heading-Grant Heads to Carnegie Mellon University

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 4:26 PM

Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant - FILE: LUKE AWTRY
  • File: Luke Awtry
  • Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant
The University of Vermont is losing one of its longest serving and most accomplished experts on social justice. Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant, UVM’s vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, has accepted a job at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She starts the newly created position, as CMU’s vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer, on April 1.

Heading-Grant has been on the UVM campus since 1983, when she first arrived as an 18-year-old freshman, one of the university's only students of color at the time. A first-generation African American college student from Trenton, N.J., Heading-Grant went on to earn her doctoral degree at UVM before rising to one of the university’s highest administrative positions.

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Rough Francis Fire Bassist for Allegedly Attending 'Terrorist Insurrection' in D.C.

Posted By on Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 3:56 PM

Rough Francis at Waking Windows in 2018 - FILE: LUKE AWTRY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • File: Luke Awtry Photography
  • Rough Francis at Waking Windows in 2018
Rough Francis have fired bassist Dan Davine for allegedly attending what the band called "the terrorist insurrection" in Washington, D.C., on January 6, at which supporters of President Donald Trump rioted and stormed the U.S. Capitol building. The Burlington punk band announced the decision in a post on Instagram.

"Rough Francis is first and foremost a Black punk band," the post begins, "so when we heard that our bass player, Dan Davine, held views rooted in white supremacy and had attended the terrorist insurrection at the Capital [sic], we took swift and decisive action to immediately remove him from the band."

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Bob Wagner Saves Christmas With New COVID Carol

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 2:33 PM

'This Is Christmas' screenshot - BOB WAGNER
  • Bob Wagner
  • 'This Is Christmas' screenshot
Christmas is this Friday. And, right on schedule, a jolly red elf has delivered a Christmas miracle.

No, we don't mean Santa — he's presumably tuning up the old sled while waiting for the second round of his coronavirus vaccine from Dr. Fauci.

Rather, the man in the red suit is none other than Burlington guitarist Bob Wagner, best known locally as a core member of Kat Wright's band. On Tuesday, Wagner  delivered an early stocking stuffer called "This Is Christmas." It's the COVID carol we didn't know we needed.

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Monday, December 21, 2020

The Flynn Hires Jay Wahl as New Executive Director

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2020 at 6:47 PM

Jay Wahl - LUKE AWTRY ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Luke Awtry ©️ Seven Days
  • Jay Wahl
On Monday, the Flynn announced the hiring of Jay Wahl as its new executive director. Wahl was previously the producing artistic director at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. He will replace interim executive director Charlie Smith, who has led the Flynn since January 31, 2020. Wahl will officially take over as the head of the nonprofit Burlington performing arts center on January 1.

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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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