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Shumlin Crowned "Arts Governor" 

Published December 14, 2010 at 3:41 p.m.

I was a special guest at a Burlington City Arts board dinner last Tuesday night. So was Peter Shumlin, but Vermont's good-natured governor-elect got the "royal treatment." 

Between appetizers and dinner, a tiara-clad Miss Vermont instructed him to get down on his knees, placed a costume crown on his head and proclaimed Shumlin the "arts governor." If he had a "Silly Hat Rule" moment of doubt, Shum Dog never showed it. Nor did his subsequent speech reference Michael Dukakis, the former governor of Massachusetts whose presidential campaign blew up in his face because he posed for a photo wearing a combat helmet.

The hand behind the hat trick? Burlington City Arts Director Doreen Kraft. Shumlin told her in advance of the event that he wanted to be the first "arts governor" since Madeleine Kunin. Take that, Howard Dean.

Wisely, Kraft devised a creative way to publicize Shumlin's promise in front of some of the biggest Democratic movers and shakers in the state: Billi and Bobby Gosh, and Pat Robins and Lisa Schamberg, to name a few. 

Shumlin's parting words — "Buy a lot of art tonight" — set the stage for the auction portion of the evening. Items donated by the board members ranged from paintings, photographs and prints to catered dinner parties and vacation home stays. Attorney Peter Langrock served as the fast-talking auctioneer, comically pressuring people to bid high. 

Langrock and his wife, who raise animals, offered a big hunk of premium pig, which sold for more than $100. You could say this fun crowd shared a deep appreciation for... ham.

Anybody got a photo of Shumlin in his crown? I wasn't quick enough on the draw with my iPhone.

Update from the editor: Thanks, blog reader, for the photos!

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Paula Routly

Paula Routly

Paula Routly came to Vermont to attend Middlebury College. After graduation, she stayed and worked as a dance critic, arts writer, news reporter and editor before she started Seven Days newspaper with Pamela Polston in 1995. Routly covered arts news, then food, and, starting in 2008, focused her editorial energies on building the news side of the operation, for which she is a regular weekly editor. She conceptualized and managed the “Give and Take” special report on Vermont’s nonprofit sector, the “Our Towns” special issue and the yearlong “Hooked” series exploring Vermont’s opioid crisis. When she’s not editing stories, Routly runs the business side of Seven Days — overseeing finances, management and product development. She spearheaded the creation of the newspaper’s numerous ancillary publications and events such as Restaurant Week and the Vermont Tech Jam. In 2015, she was inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.


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