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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

StoryWalk Comes to Leddy Park

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2020 at 11:55 AM

A StoryWalk post at Leddy Park - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • A StoryWalk post at Leddy Park
A path is for sharing. Along a path in Burlington's  Leddy Park, trees share the way with a children’s book, Pie is for Sharing.

The pages of the book are displayed on a set of posts at the edge of the path. As you walk the path you can read the book —  a combination of activities known as StoryWalk.

Pie is for Sharing
, a lovely book written by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard, is illustrated by Jason Chin, a children’s book artist and author who lives in South Burlington. He encountered his first StoryWalk about a decade ago at a zoo in New York City and has been a fan since.

In a phone call with Seven Days, Chin talked about why he likes StoryWalk, including the enjoyment of coming upon one when he’s out with his kids.

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Friday, September 25, 2020

New Anti-Racist Mural Rises at Champlain Elementary

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 1:11 PM

The Afronaut mural at Champlain Elementary - MARGARET GRAYSON ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Margaret Grayson ©️ Seven Days
  • The Afronaut mural at Champlain Elementary
A new mural at Champlain Elementary School in Burlington was completed this week by artists Will Kasso Condry and Jennifer Herrera Condry, with the help of their daughter, Alexa, and dozens of local children.

The colorful, Afrofuturist mural was originally intended for another South End wall, but was rejected by the business owner. Soon after, the mural's commissioners, tenants of the Soda Plant on Pine Street, started a crowdfunding campaign and issued a citywide “Call for a Wall.”

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Big Heavy World Wins International Award

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 4:07 PM

Keep Flying performing live at Big Heavy World - COURTESY OF BIG HEAVY WORLD/KYLE TANSLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Courtesy of Big Heavy World/Kyle Tansley Photography
  • Keep Flying performing live at Big Heavy World
Burlington nonprofit Big Heavy World has won the Music Cities Events award for best global music office. The multifaceted international award presenter, known for staging conferences on the development of municipalities with vibrant music communities, selected BHW for its "unrivaled support for music, musicians and music businesses in [its] city as well as globally," according to a Music Cities Events press release.

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Sunday, September 20, 2020

JAG Productions Wins $100K Grant, Launches Anti-Racist Ambassador Program

Posted By on Sun, Sep 20, 2020 at 6:23 PM

From left: Stevie Walker-Webb, Marie Cisco and Jarvis Antonio Green - COURTESY OF JARVIS ANTONIO GREEN
  • Courtesy of Jarvis Antonio Green
  • From left: Stevie Walker-Webb, Marie Cisco and Jarvis Antonio Green
When the spread of COVID-19 shut down all performing arts venues in March, JAG Productions had to halt its off-Broadway staging of Esai's Table. The play by Nathan Yungerberg previously had a month-long run in White River Junction, where JAG Productions was established in 2016. It was the first time Vermont's only Black theater company was copresenting a work in New York City, and the premature close was a disappointment.

But founder and producing artistic director Jarvis Antonio Green got much happier news a few months later when he learned that the Bay & Paul Foundations was granting $100,000 to JAG Productions. The New York-based nonprofit's heady mission is "to foster and accelerate initiatives that prepare agents of change working to strengthen  our social compact and develop authentic solutions to the challenges of this pivotal century."

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Friday, September 18, 2020

UVM Sex Educator Jenna Emerson Releases New Comedy Music Video

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 2:24 PM

  • Courtesy of Jenna Emerson/Isora Lithgow Productions
  • Still from 'I Want to Be a Sex Educator'
Sex educator Jenna Emerson envisions a whole new world free of sexual stigmas and taboos in her new musical comedy video, "I Want to Be a Sex Educator."

Released Thursday, the clip parodies the classic Disney animated feature The Little Mermaid, specifically the titular mermaid Ariel's heart song, "Part of Your World." In the video, Emerson, a University of Vermont staffer, basks on the rocks at Burlington's Oakledge Park as waves crash around her. It's an uncanny recreation of a pivotal, iconic scene from the 1989 movie.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Survey of Young Vermonters Highlights Ignorance of the Holocaust

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 6:04 PM

Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp - PHOTO COURTESY OF DREAMSTIME ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Photo courtesy of Dreamstime ©️ Seven Days
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp
A significant number of Vermont adults under the age of 40 lack even a rudimentary knowledge of the Holocaust, according to the results of a newly released survey of members of the millennial and Gen Z generations in Vermont.

“The U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey,” found that a disturbing percentage of Vermonters couldn’t name a single concentration camp or ghetto, had no idea how many Jews were murdered by the Nazis during World War II, and believe that the Jews were responsible for their own genocide.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Dance Artist Hannah Dennison Wins 2020 Herb Lockwood Prize

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2020 at 3:15 PM

Rehearsal for 'The Quarry Project' - COURTESY OF JULIA BARSTOW
  • Courtesy of Julia Barstow
  • Rehearsal for 'The Quarry Project'
Hannah Dennison has created and produced dance pieces in the abandoned Rose Street Bakery, on the Waterfront, for the Flynn in Burlington and at the Kent Museum in Calais, among other sites. Her work, spanning more than 35 years, is highly community based, collaborative and innovative — and it has garnered her the 2020 Herb Lockwood Prize in the Arts.

Called by some the MacArthur Fellows of Vermont, the Herb Lockwood Prize honors “people who not only create their art at the highest artistic level, but have also nurtured the state’s other practitioners of that art,” according to a press release. Dennison received the $10,000 prize at an outdoor ceremony today at the BCA Center in Burlington.

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Monday, September 14, 2020

Bookstock Kicks Off Its Virtual Event Series With Poet Reuben Jackson

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 6:25 PM

  • Courtesy of Reuben Jackson
  • Reuben Jackson
Bookstock, the Woodstock-based "festival of words," usually happens every July. This year — the fest's 12th — the organizers had already booked 40 authors when the pandemic hit, according to programming director Pam Ahlen. They made the tough decision to cancel the live event and replace it with a series of free livestreaming author talks, dubbed Virtual Bookstock 2020, in partnership with Woodstock's Norman Williams Public Library.

Virtual Bookstock kicks off on Thursday, September 17, and continues monthly through the end of the year. The first guest is poet Reuben Jackson, in conversation with author Jenna Blum.

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Burlington to Memorialize a Site of Black Vermonters’ 19th-Century Enslavement

Posted By on Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 11:27 AM

Stopping Stones plaques to be installed in Burlington - PHOTO COURTESY OF STOPPING STONES PROJECT
  • Photo courtesy of Stopping Stones Project
  • Stopping Stones plaques to be installed in Burlington
Vermonters often take pride in the fact that theirs was the first state to enter the Union slave-free — at least on paper.

But as the Rev. Arnold Thomas, pastor of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Jericho, pointed out, “We were not truly a slave-free state. And so we need to debunk that historical narrative and show what was truly happening at the time.”

In fact, Thomas explained, there was great tolerance on the part of mainly wealthy and prominent Vermonters to allow slavery to continue within their own families, even after its prohibition in the Vermont constitution. Those prominent families included the daughter of Ethan Allen, Lucy Caroline Allen Hitchcock, who enslaved mother and son Lavinia and Francis Parker, from 1835 until 1841.

So on Sunday, September 13, Thomas, himself a Black Vermonter, will join with members of Burlington's Ohavi Zedek Synagogue and other civic leaders and activists to permanently embed two memorial plaques in the sidewalk outside of Skirack. That historic building in downtown Burlington is the Parkers’ last known residence while enslaved.

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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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