Live Culture | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Vermont Arts Council Exhibit Spotlights New American Artists

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 12:24 PM

Aline Mukiza (with drum) and Burundian dancers - COURTESY OF JEFF WOODWARD
  • Courtesy of Jeff Woodward
  • Aline Mukiza (with drum) and Burundian dancers
The Vermont Arts Council is on a mission to broaden the definition of who a Vermont artist is, said director Karen Mittelman. "There are new groups of Americans who are enriching [the] landscape in ways that most people don't see and recognize," she said.

Mittelman is hopeful that the arts agency's latest photo exhibit will introduce residents and visitors to the state's diverse cultural landscape.

With help from the Vermont Folklife Center, the VAC has assembled a collection of photographs for its Spotlight Gallery that feature the music, dance and fiber traditions of local Bhutanese, Bosnian, Burundian, Karen, Somali and Tibetan communities.

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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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Musician Hikes Long Trail to Raise Awareness of Suicide Prevention

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 12:58 PM

Betsy LeBlanc and Sam - COURTESY OF BETSY LEBLANC
  • Courtesy of Betsy LeBlanc
  • Betsy LeBlanc and Sam
Elisabeth "Betsy" LeBlanc remembers being five years old and scrawling "I want to die" on plastic decorative balloons in her room. Months later, the self-abuse began. When she was in third grade, her family doctor noticed the bruises and bite marks on LeBlanc's arms. She had her first major crisis in high school and got help through therapy.

"You might ask why would a five-year-old want to die," says LeBlanc, now 40, in a video that she uploaded on Facebook. "I genuinely believed people would be better off without me."

LeBlanc continues that she was "properly medicated" for the first time when she was 27. It was also the first time she was able to experience anything other than depression, she adds.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Historic Vermont Silhouette Travels to Washington, D.C.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 12:07 PM

Silhouettes of Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant, circa 1805–15 - COURTESY OF THE HENRY SHELDON MUSEUM OF VERMONT HISTORY
  • Courtesy of the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History
  • Silhouettes of Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant, circa 1805–15

Vermont’s pioneering fight to legalize civil unions in 2000 cemented the state’s place amidst the landscape of American queer and civil rights history. Within just the past several years, the Green Mountain State has emerged as home to another gay cultural landmark: a handmade silhouette considered to be the earliest image of a same-sex couple.

The small, intimate portrait of Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake, which dates to the early 1800s, is now on view in “Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now” at the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bread and Puppet Founder Peter Schumann Wins Lockwood Prize

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 7:00 PM

Peter Schumann - MASSIMO SCHUSTER
  • Massimo Schuster
  • Peter Schumann
The fifth annual Herb Lockwood Prize in the Arts has gone to Peter Schumann, visionary artist/activist and founder of beloved Glover-based Bread and Puppet Theater. He was presented with the $10,000 award — the largest arts prize in Vermont — in a small ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the BCA Center.

The aim of the Lockwood Prize is to "reward the pinnacle of arts leadership in Vermont by honoring the state's most influential artists," according to Todd R. Lockwood. He created the award in 2014 and named it for his younger brother, Herb, an artist and musician who died in a workplace accident in 1987 at age 27.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dancing the Day Away With Vermont Dance Alliance and Artists Imperative

Posted By on Sun, Jun 17, 2018 at 4:44 PM

Dancers kicking off "Traces" at the top of Church Street - SADIE WILLIAMS
  • Sadie Williams
  • Dancers kicking off "Traces" at the top of Church Street
On Saturday, June 16, Burlington was struck by a confluence of dance-related events: "Traces," an all-day, multi-venue, outdoor performance hosted by the Vermont Dance Alliance, and "Lime Peach Mint: High Crimes Misdemeanors, Bountiful Performances" by Artists' Imperative at Maglianero. What follows is a diary of observations from the day.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Local Film 'The Nightingale Chronicles' Shows in Burlington This Month

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 1:43 PM

The Nightingale Chronicles trailer from Harry Llama on Vimeo.

A Franklin County film production will hit a Burlington big screen on June 26.

The Nightingale Chronicles, written and directed by East Fairfield resident Harry Goldhagen, stars Bruce Jones as a womanizing glamour photographer who faces an unexpected reckoning with his past when he accepts a photo-essay assignment from a smarmy agent (played by former “Late Night Saturday” host Tim Kavanagh). His subject: a reclusive Vermont doctor (Dawn Kearon).

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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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Friday, June 8, 2018

Artist Elliott Katz Is New Shop Manager at Burlington's Generator

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 3:24 PM

Elliott Katz - COURTESY OF GENERATOR
  • Courtesy of Generator
  • Elliott Katz
On Thursday afternoon, Generator announced the newest addition to its team:  Elliott Katz, who will be the new shop operations manager. Katz is an artist who previously worked as an adjunct professor and sculpture technician at the University of Hartford and managed the Seven Below Arts Initiative residency — a collaboration between Phish's Trey Anastasio and Burlington City Arts that ended last year. 

That gig also brought Katz into contact with then-BCA curator and current Generator director Christopher Thompson. Additionally, Thompson included Katz in the BCA show "Human = Landscape" in 2009. Thompson was the chief curator at BCA from 2008 to 2012, and joined Generator in August last year.

In a recent phone interview, Katz said he's excited to get started in the Generator shop facilities, which currently include basic wood and metalworking.

"Everything needs a deep reordering and cleaning," he said. After that, he plans to build out the forge and add a foundry — a facility for melting and shaping metal.

His primary responsibility will be "to do whatever people want," Katz said.

"[Education director Sarah Sprague] and Chris have very clear visions of what the community is hungry for, and I think I'll just implement their goals," Katz said. Essentially, makers gonna make — but they need the stuff to make with. So Katz will make that. 

Katz said that what he learned at Hartford will likely prove useful at Generator. "We had a foundry, a glass-blowing studio that was new to me," he said. "I love that material — it's so immediate."

Whether or not Generator expands into glass, some of Katz's new colleagues —contemporary artists and fabricators — may very well come to visit. He hinted that Colin McMullen, who built a mobile sugar shack and conducted sugaring demonstrations in a low-income area of Hartford, could be one of them.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Artist Erika Senft Miller Launches New Website With Installation in Maglianero Vault

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2018 at 12:12 PM

Image of "Output/Input" by Erika Senft Miller and Alder. - DANIEL CARDON
  • Daniel Cardon
  • Image of "Output/Input" by Erika Senft Miller and Alder.
Anyone who frequents Burlington's  Maglianero will be familiar with the hip downtown café's funky vault-cum-reading nook. Normally, the old metal vault houses shelves of books — which are all for sale and curated by Speaking Volumes — as well as two rough-hewn tree trunk stools and a table and chairs.

But last week, the space transformed into an unusual art installation. Now the vault boasts a fragrant carpet of slowly decaying (and alternately, sprouting) sod, barren white walls, and two interactive features. The installation, titled "Output/Input," is also the launch of artist Erika Senft Miller's new website, which is a collaboration of Miller and  Alder, the design outfit of Jasmine Parsia and Chris Norris. All three work out of the Karma Bird House office and coworking spaces upstairs from Maglianero.

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