The craft beer explosion in Southern Vermont

By Troy Shaheen It’s no secret that Vermont is a beer mecca. The Boston Globe recently ran a winter feature on the epic journeys that beer aficionados undergo to get their hands on Heady Topper from Waterbury’s The Alchemist, Prohibition Pig (also of Waterbury) was just named one of the Best New Breweries in America by Thrillist, and Greensboro’s Hill Farmstead was crowned (for the second time in three years) the best brewery in the world by RateBeer.com. A 2012 study found that craft beer provided just under $200 million in annual economic impact and more than 2,200 full time jobs. But while the Vermont beer juggernaut chugs along, one can’t help but notice just how concentrated the recent buzz is to the northern half of the state. The nucleus of Lawson’s Fine Liquids, The Alchemist, and Hill Farmstead is so established that the route between the three breweries is widely known by beer enthusiasts and tourists as “IPA Highway,” and with over 40 Vermont breweries and counting (the most per capita of any state), just seven hang their hats south of Rutland. General logic suggests that a lower population density, and particularly fewer twenty-somethings, explain the imbalance. But while some of these Southern Vermont brewers admit it can get a little lonely down here, they also report a decorated history, a competitive advantage, and plenty of room to grow in Southern Vermont. A Founding Father of Southern Vermont Brewing Ray McNeil, of McNeil’s Brewery in Brattleboro, is recognized as one of Vermont’s pioneers of craft beer. He began brewing in 1980s, while studying music and running a bar that served up specialty beers, before opening his own brewery in 1989. An intern at White River Junction’s now defunct Catamount Brewery, one of the state’s first breweries, he studied the craft professionally and developed his business into a brewpub and production facility. McNeil’s beers can be found in bars and restaurants all over Vermont, and his cans and bottles are sold in stores across the state and parts of Massachusetts. “He’s probably one of the most decorated in the state,” said Vermont Brewer’s Association Executive Director Kurt Staudter, whose son works as the head brewer under the guidance of McNeil. Although McNeil’s Brewery didn’t grow at the rate of other early Vermont craft breweries like Magic Hat or Long Trail, and the brewery hasn’t recently received the press or accolades it once did, Ray McNeil continues to innovate his beer, tweak his recipes, and churn out what Staudter refers to as “some really exquisite beers.” New (Belgian!) Kids on the Block: Hermit Thrush Brewery, Brattleboro:  When Philadelphia-based friends, brewers,...

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In These Shoes? Modish mamas and their sense of cool

By Erica Ludlow Bowman Few people look to Vermont as a pinnacle of fashion. Fewer yet consider the rubber boot to be a necessary accessory. That is not to say Vermonters don’t have style. We do. It’s a little something called “Vermont chic.” Hard to define perhaps, but as it’s often said, “You know it when you see it.” Shoes are a big part of the equation. When you have a whole season dedicated to mud and another one dedicated to snow, you simply have to be sensible. Needless to say, muck boots are holding their own and leading the trend are our sweet and sassy lady gardeners. Hip, gritty, and down-to-the-earth these Green Mountain gardenistas have brought style to the manure pile. Wondering where these trendsetters got their unflappable sense of cool? We located a few of these modish mamas in the field, farm, and garden to learn a little more about their dapper ways, and perhaps even a little about their boots. Anna of Anna’s Blooms Her muck boots speak of a necessary practicality. The knee-high socks, feisty short-shorts, and mint-green, 1967 International Scout, those are pure panache. Floral designer, Anna Johansen knows that it pays to express a bit of éclat. There is a fashion to flowers and to succeed, she must capture the mood of the moment. As owner of the cut-flower company, Anna’s blooms, Johansen has observed that flower fads shift with the season, colors come in and out of style, and people are definitely fickle when it comes to favorites. Market trends are constantly shifting. Gladiolas, for instance, are “out of vogue,” Johansen explains, “they remind people of funerals.” In other words, it’s no longer profitable to grow them. Consumers also want to wait until late August before purchasing sunflowers, she adds, even though it is possible to get an earlier bloom. On the other hand, a surprise mention in public media might bring hoards to buy an unsuspecting species. Johansen recalls a market rush on arugula following an article in the New York Times that featured the salad green. Johansen has learned to develop a “creative response” to her clients’ ever-changing needs. Each has specific tastes, house décor, and moments of whimsy. In one interesting case when the client’s interior paint colors were difficult to complement, Johansen used a minimalist, edgy mix of black, green, and white blooms including: black-night pincushion flower, lime-green zinnias, white pom-pom cosmos, and green Bells of Ireland. A far cry from roses and carnations, of course, but that would be the point. Johansen has complete control of what she grows and sells so her creations can always...

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Wine Observed: Supporting local producers globally

By Marty Ramsburg One of the beautiful things about living in Vermont is its scale. With 625,000 residents, we are often only one-degree of separation away from knowing each other. While I have not read accounts that attribute Vermont’s strong locavore predilection to this connection (proximity), I’m going to offer it as at least a plausible cause. Many of us know some people who farm for their livelihood. We make active choices to buy products that support our neighbors and hope that doing so helps to preserve a culture that we value. It is possible to use our buying power to support these kinds of producers in other areas as well. Wine is a product that gives the consumer terrific potential to support producers in other areas whose practices preserve the richness of their respective local cultures. When Frank and I visit wineries, we frequently discover a deep connection between those producers whose wines we love and the respect they demonstrate for both the physical and cultural environments in which they are located. It makes it easy for us to share those wines with you. Below is a small sampling of some who are producing wines in places far beyond what we would call local, but who are choosing practices meant to preserve their local traditions and cultures. France Domaine des Enfants, Maury (Rousillon) Started only in 2006 by the young, energetic, very-hard working (and a good thing they can!) couple Marcel Buhler and Carrie Sumner. They have 23 hectares in vines, which is big for many of our very local producers, but very small for this area of the South of France. More than half of their vines were planted before WWII, and some are over 100 years old, so while the estate is recent, growing grapes is part of the culture. As Carrie and Marcel write: “From the beginning, our intention was not only to make great wines, but to also preserve the cultural landscape and heritage of the region. “ They farm organically, relying on varieties indigenous to the area—Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre and a local variation of Grenache called Lladoner Pelut. White wines are made from Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Carignan Blanc and Macabeo. Carrie and Marcel eschew the use of mechanical equipment, guiding a plow behind a horse (Nina, who you can meet on the Des Enfants website), hand-harvesting and sorting the grapes, crushing via foot-stomping , fermenting in concrete tanks or large (600 liter) barrels, then basket-pressed and fermented in concrete tanks or various-sized, multiple-use barrels for the reds, bottled without fining or filtering. The goal is to intervene minimally between the vineyards and...

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Talk of the Arts: Arts Council refocuses importance of arts in education

By Katherine P. Cox Fearing a loss of focus on the arts in education, the Vermont Arts Council has set out to redirect attention on the important role the arts play in education. Ben Doyle, Arts Education Program Manager for the state council, said several factors account for that loss of focus. The Vermont Alliance for Arts Education, which received funding from the Kennedy Center for the Arts, was a strong advocate for the arts in education, but folded in 2011 when funding ended. In addition, the state Agency of Education eliminated its content specialist in the arts. There are English, Math and Science content specialists, but no one at the state agency for arts educators to turn to. “Arts education is not an extra; it’s a critical part of our children’s education,” Doyle said. In some school districts, access to quality arts education is limited, with only part-time or quarter-time teachers. In others, there’s a full-time commitment to incorporating arts into the curriculum. According to Doyle, of the 320 public schools in Vermont, 18 percent only employ a quarter-time teacher in the arts or music. Fourteen percent employ quarter-time to half-time arts educators, 23 percent employ between half-time and full-time teachers, and 45 percent – less than half of the schools in the state – employ full-time arts educators. With a new emphasis nationwide and in Vermont toward skill-based learning for the 21st century, the challenge is to raise awareness of how integrating arts into other disciplines makes for more effective learning among many students. “Kids don’t all learn the same way,” Doyle said. “We can use arts to teach other subjects. Math through dance, for example. “ He cites the Integrated Arts Academy, a magnet school in Burlington, as a successful example of weaving arts into other subjects to reinforce their studies. The fourth-grade Social Studies class was studying the Underground Railroad. Working with a theater teacher, they incorporated the dramatic arts and produced a video about the Underground Railroad. They were able to demonstrate effectively what they learned. “The kids were moving, they were engaged, they were working collaboratively,” Doyle said. “It’s a pretty exciting way to engage students in the material. Achievement depends on student engagement and the arts engage students.” “The arts” is a broad tent that includes the visual arts, music, dance, theater, media and digital arts. To fill the void left by the absence of a content specialist at the Agency of Education, the Vermont Arts Council has embarked on a new initiative to involve communities and educators and determine the best way forward. Beginning with an Arts Education Summit held last...

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New and Notable: From marmalade to wet paint

NEW GALLERY ON DEPOT STREET Dorset resident Lisa Helmholz-Adams, known by many for her passion for the arts and the artists she represented at Tilting at Windmills Gallery in Manchester where she was Gallery Director for 19 years, is now a gallery owner with her name on the door of Helmholz Fine Art, more centrally located on Depot Street in Manchester Center, VT and established in November 2014. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11a to 6p and Sunday from 11a to 4p. Helmholz Fine Art also has a satellite, by-appointment-only, gallery featuring 2000 square feet of space located in Tribeca, New York City. This space will feature and host special exhibitions and events. Collectors and enthusiasts are invited to explore the artworks from the many artists Helmholz-Adams has worked for years who have made the move with her to Helmholz Fine Art. Most important to her is that they all share a passion for what they do, an expertise in their medium of choice, work with rare and hard to find materials and successfully and consistently convey their artistic vision and message. The artists featured at Helmholz Fine Art offer unique artistic visions and techniques. Elizabeth Torak embraces many of the same techniques handed down by the Old Masters, from preparation of the linen with white lead to the careful cooking (literally) of Maroger medium, and the hand ground paint. She is currently working on a series of large-scale figurative pieces titled “Feast of Venus” (80” x 108”) and vibrant semi-abstracts. 203 Depot Street, Manchester, 802-855-1678, http://www.helmholzfineart.com   CALL OUT FOR ARTISTS: Wet Paint Live An early “Call for Artists” is now out for watercolor, oil, pastel, and acrylic artists to paint at a new Southern Vermont outdoor painting (Plein Air) event scheduled for all-day, Saturday, October 10, 2015 in Springfield, Vermont called “Wet Paint Live” (WPL). Both professional and emerging artists are encouraged to register soon. WPL will be held rain or shine on a designated route or “Plein Air Walk”. The walking and painting loop winds along the Black River into downtown and lingers at three spectacular waterfalls Falls cascading against a backdrop of 19th century factory buildings and the vibrant colors of fall. Two demonstration artists, Jamie Townsend and Matt Chinian will be painting and explaining their style and technique throughout the day. Visitors are encouraged to view artists as they paint. The day begins at the Great Hall Public Art Showcase, One Hundred River Street, Springfield, and ends with an art show, judging, and awards. The judge is Springfield resident, Robert Carsten, PSA-M, an internationally known pastel artist and experienced judge in all...

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Grafton sanctuary returns to its former glory

In 2010, the Grafton Church council determined that the outside of the Grafton Congregational church should be repainted. While the outside needed painting for maintenance reasons, the inside suffered only from age and some cosmetic cracks and accumulated dirt and soot in patterns on the walls and ceiling. The last significant painting of the inside was in 1969. The outside was painted white in 2011. The inside of the church has two bands of stenciling around the walls, one at chest high level and the other, larger band, at the top of the  fourteen foot window level. In consideration were the three options; paint over the stencils entirely, paint over the existing stencils and completely replace them or, three, repair the existing stencils as needed. We chose the latter. By early 2015 we had assembled our team, Jim Ravlin of R and B Painters, Chester, John Hallock of JWM Construction, Grafton, and Kim Ray, muralist of Londonderry. Jim Ravllin did the wall and ceiling painting as well as helping Kim. John Hallock designed and built the full house platform and provided the scaffolding and Kim Ray did the research and treatment of the stencils. Since we stipulated that the pews could not be removed for fear of significant damage, a full house floor/platform was designed and constructed at an eight foot level in such a way that almost all of the timbers and plywood sheets could be reused on standard house  construction. Standard wheeled scaffolds were used on the plywood platform. The earliest challenge with the stencils was what to clean them with. The red paint was water soluble. Some of the other colors might be water soluble as well. Originally a weak solvent such as mineral spirits was suggested, but that proved unusable as well. Finally, a stiff clay eraser was recommended. This took off the dirt and soot right down to the original paint. It was very laborious, but effective and did not damage the paints. Once down to the original paints they turned out to be bright and shiny.  It also demonstrated that repairs to the paints, in the past, had been based on matching the colors of aged (dirty) paints as they appeared at the time of the repair. Since our new base,  or standard, was now the original colors, a thorough dry scrubbing of the stencils was called for, all 630 sq. ft..This has been accomplished and the room is brighter than ever. Numerous color photographs of before and after states have been taken and preserved. The help of Kim Ray , her research into the history, chemistry and practices of stenciling in Victorian America, and her work effort...

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Deep Background: For Westminster Artist David Stern, a plain painted wall just won’t do

By Arlene Distler The well-worn view is that people come to Vermont to learn how to slow down, leave city or corporate life for the more mellow gifts of gardening, gentleman-farming or getting into their long-postponed craft or art. Then there is David Stern, who stands that notion on its head. Stern is possessor and purveyor of so many artistic talents and enterprises, that he seems like an over-achieving city guy who transplanted himself into rural Vermont without missing a note, with a real working farm of ducks, pigs, and chickens, who paints, makes jewelry, and has a design and fabrication business called “Artscapes”…and bakes chocolate chip cookies! Stern and his wife Vanessa were students at the University of Vermont when the   desire to live in the Green Mountain state started brewing. However, it was many years before the couple could make it a reality. Stern and his wife ended up in New Hampshire after graduation. He went on to teach English and lead theater programs at The Meeting School in Rindge (a Quaker school) and Middlesex School, while his young children attended the Waldorf School in Keene, NH. In 2000 David and his wife bought an old farmhouse in Westminster, Vermont. They became farmers, raising hogs, rabbits and chickens––almost all their own meat. But in 2006 they sold all the animals and rented out their house to go on a “family adventure” to Morocco for seven years. “There was a lot I wanted to explore as an educator,” says Stern. They ended up overseeing an international school, the family living in a dorm. When they returned they once again took up residence in their Westminster house. He taught at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, and then Springfield High School in Vermont, but eventually left teaching so he could “be home and have more control over my time.” A year and a half ago Stern started “Artscapes.” His specialty is faux effects, such as the look of wood or tile, and creating textural effects of all sorts. Says Stern, “In the natural world sky, leaves, are never one color. A plain painted wall is too sterile! I see myself as a designer of human space––we want depth of color, texture––we just don’t know it anymore. But it’s why people love wood––it has those properties.” Stern comes by his faux finishes honestly, via a degree in set design. This background earned him a position as senior exhibit designer at the New England Aquarium. Besides transforming spaces through paint, Stern also works in three-dimensions. Those can be anything from found-object sculpture, such as the ones in Ramunto’s (restaurant in Brattleboro)...

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Bottom Line: The pivotal role of the arts in the Southern Vermont economy

By Tricia N. Hayes Laugh, cry, learn, and see anew. For decades, the arts have added definition and inspiration to the Southern Vermont landscape. Landscapes, still-life paintings, and abstract interpretations have told the story of the rolling fields and softly shaped mountains for generations. Think Ralph Earl and his panoramic view of Bennington from 1798, a classic in the art world in early townscape painting; fast-forward 200 years, and you have the canvases and sculptures of Ken Noland, David Smith, and Pat Adams. Vibrant performing arts, from the classics to the experimental are celebrated on stages in Southern Vermont. To keep the arts afloat, government organizations, private patrons and attendees at events need to offer their support. The contributions of the arts to the economy can provide a stimulus to the community through spending on dining, lodging and shopping. Receipts from each sector add to the tax coffers and help to underwrite the creative economy. The inseparability of arts from economics has gained some new visibility recently as the Vermont Arts Council marks its 50th-anniversary milestone this year by saluting the contribution of the creative workforce to the region’s bottom line. Alex Aldrich, executive director of the Vermont Council on the Arts, said that “the arts in Vermont are both widely dispersed and broadly diverse, and represent a critical component of the state’s economy.” Aldrich called Southern Vermont “an important gateway for tourists” and said the region represents the state’s creative culture well, “with a strong concentration of high quality performing and visual arts,” citing the Dorset Players, the Bennington Museum, and the Vermont Jazz Center. The contribution of the arts to the regional economy is significant. “During the school year, we have some 80 parents of 40 students who clearly take advantage of local restaurants,” says Ariel Rudiakov, the artistic director of the Manchester Music Festival, which marks its 41st year in 2015, points out that synergy. “Throughout our year-round concert activity, we partner as aggressively as possible with area inns, hotels, and restaurants to encourage musical ’stay and play,’” he says. “In the summer, we also have our young resident ensembles performing in certain local establishments, making them excellent ambassadors for the arts as they draw direct attention to what we do.” Steve Stettler, producing artistic director of the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, points out that the arts economy offers “an opportunity to incubate and create to develop a new vibrancy. “It will encourage younger families to relocate,” Settler says. “The arts culture and education will help us grow.” Increased collaboration among arts groups is contributing to a healthy arts scene, says Meagan Smith, Vermont Commissioner of...

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Workshops, Classes & Artist Residencies

ArtisTree Community Art Center 1206 Rt 12, Woodstock artistreevt.org, 802 457-3500 Ongoing: Our community arts center provides the opportunity for a joyful, meaningful, and satisfying experience of the visual arts and music through our year-round classes, workshops, and events.   Carving Studio and Sculpture Center 636 Marble St, Rutland carvingstudio.org, 802 438-2097 May 16-17: Letter Carving for Beginner and Intermediate Students, with Adam Paul Heller. May 16-17: Bas-Relief Sculpture with Amanda Sisk. June 1-5: Open Studio/Alumni Week. June 8-12: Welded Steel Assemblies, with John Tidd. June 15-19: Stone, Wood and More, with Bart Uchida. June 15-19: Pate de Verre, with J. Angus Munro. June 22-26: Carving in Stone, with Carlos Dorrien. June 23-27: Cold Cast Sculpture, with R. Elliott Katz. June 27-28: Pulp Paper Sculpture, with Anne Brisson. June 27-28: Relief Carving with Frank Anjo. June 27-28: Wood Carving, the Next Level, with Gary Anderson. June 29-July 3: Stone Carving: Making Big Rocks Smaller with Style, with Frank Anjo. July 6-17: Stone Bench Project 2015, with Nora Valdez. July 11-12: Flint Knapping, with Brad Salon. July 11-12: Introductory Stone Carving, with Ryder Owens. July 13-17: Bronze Casting with Glenn Campbell. July 20-24: Stone Carving: Tools and Techniques, with Rick Rothrock. July 25-26: Wood Carving, the Basics with Stefanie Rocknak. July 25-26: Make Your Own Sundial, with Rick Rothrock. July 27-31: Stone Carving for Women, with Nora Valdez..   Fletcher Farm 611 Route 103 S., Ludlow fletcherfarm.org, 802 228-8770 June 27-30: Fantasy Felting. July 6-8: Tatting 101/102. July 6-8: Stained Glass. July 9-12: Fabulous Fibers Working with Wool. July 11-12: Designing Heirloom Rugs. July 11-12: Wool on Wool Applique – Playful Paisleys. July 11-12: Chair Canning. July 11-13: Experience Enameling. July 11-17: Quilters Choice. July 13: Shabby Chic Heart Collage. July 13-17: Introduction to Silversmithing. July 13-15: Adult Hand Building Clay and Wheel Throwing. July 14-15: Crazy Quilt Square. July 16: Silk Ribbon Embroidery. July 17: Crazy Quilt Tissue Case. July 18: Hypertufa for the Garden. July 18: Wild Crochet Without Patterns. July 18-19: Classic American Baskets. July 18-19: Warping the Loom, A Review. July 20-24: Mandalas – Wheels of Color. July 19: Trellisses for the Garden. July 20-24: Introduction to Weaving and Open Studio. July 25-26: Dyeing To Nuno Felted Scarves. July 27-31: Textile Paint Extravaganza. July 27-31: Silver Fabrication Workshop for all Levels & Ages. July 27-31: Weaving with Rags: Rugs Bags, Mats. July 30-31: Making Fabric Pottery.   Gallery at the VAULT 68 Main St, Springfield galleryvault.org, 802 885-7111 May 9: Star Earrings, with Kathy Snyder. Make antique beaded earrings by dezeling a Swarovski chaton stone.   InView Center for the Arts at Landgrove Inn 132 Landgrove...

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Summer Picks

Vermont Fiddlehead Festival: May 23-24 Downtown Wilmington, VT This year our festival will be bigger and better.  Taste the harbinger of spring, the Fiddlehead Fern.  Live music, craft fair and children’s activities. Featuring a phenomenal line up of regional Bluegrass bands Gang of Thieves, Blind Owl Band, Brummy Brothers and Jatoba under the tent at the Dover Forge/OMT. This all day event also features craft fair and bouncy house for children. vermontfiddleheadfestival.com   Mayfest: May 23, 10a-5p, Bennington Downtown Bennington transforms into a festival of arts, crafts, activities, food and entertainment during Mayfest! This year will feature more than 100 crafters and artisans from throughout New England, featuring handmade crafts of wood, pottery, glass, metal, fabric, jewelry and more. As always, School Street will be lined with ethnic treats, including German, Indian, Italian and American foods. There will also be plenty of activities for the kids, along with 45 retail shops and 10 restaurants located in downtown Bennington. http://www.betterbennington.com   Vermont Performance Lab, May 30 and June 19-21 May 30: VPL Open Lab, presented by Vermont Performance Lab in association with Marlboro College. A one-day event featuring a community picnic, open rehearsals, workshop, and conversations with three 2015 VPL Lab Artists: Wally Cardona, Beth Gill, and Jennifer Monson. Order a picnic lunch or bring your own! Noon-5p, at Marlboro College. June 19-21: Vermont Pride Weekend. Featuring VPL lab artists, performance art icon Carmelita Tropicana and filmmaker Ela Troyano. www. vermontperformancelab.com   Strolling of the Heifers weekend: June 5-7 Celebrating family farmers, local food and rural life! The world-famous Strolling of the Heifers takes place June 5-7 in and around downtown Brattleboro. The festivities kick off on Friday with a Gallery Walk and Street Festival from 5:30-8p on Main Street and at the River Garden. The parade starts at 10a sharp and is followed by the Slow Living Expo. At the expo there will be a cheese village, healthy living info, home energy, crafts, goat Olympics and more. Sunday starts off with the famous Farmers’ Breakfast from 9a-1p, the Tour de Heifer dirt road cycling ride, and a guided tour of five area farms. http://www.strollingoftheheifers.com   29th Annual Manchester Antique and Classic Car Show: June 6-7 Welcome all car enthusiasts. The premier Antique and Classic Car Show in Manchester celebrated 29 years of the best antique and classic cars, food vendors and flea market in the northeast. Awards will be given for to all the best cars in the categories of 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. As always, this event will take place at the Dorr Farm Field, Route 30 in Manchester. http://www.facebook.com/manchestercarshow     2015 Corgi Cottage House and Garden...

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Food Festivals

Grafton Food Festival: July 11 The 3rd annual Grafton Food Festival will feature celebrity chef Mary Ann Esposito, vendor tastings, farmers’ market, cooking demonstrations, lodging packages, giveaways, kids cooking competition, local food and drink vendors, and much more.   Vermont Cheesemakers Festival July 19, Coach Barn of Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, 212 576-2700, vtcheesefest.com. Vermont is the premium artisanal cheese state with the highest number of cheesemakers per capita – over 40 of them! We invite you to experience our passion for making fine cheeses, taste local and fresh foods and wines, and meet the artisans who make them. Spend a high summer day along the shores of Lake Champlain at the historic Shelburne Farms Coach Barn sampling, buying, learning, and networking. Hosted by the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company and the Vermont Cheese Council, the Festival will take place at Shelburne Farms from 11a-4p. The event, which is open to the public, attracted over 1,100 visitors from across the country last year. This year’s attendees will sample over 100 types of cheese from 50 different cheesemakers, a variety of locally produced wines and beers, and several other artisan foods, including maple syrup, honey, chocolates, baked goods and more.   Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival and Parade – Top Ten Summer Event July 31-Aug. 9, various venues in the Mount Snow Valley, vermontblueberry.com Berries, vintage cars, music, food and tarp displays; if it’s blue, it’s probably happening in the Mount Snow area towns of Wilmington, Whitingham and Dover. The event is coordinated by Janet Boyd from Boyd Family Farm and the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce in which dozens of businesses, organizations and individuals have created blueberry or blue themed events, including a Big Blue Parade, a Blue Street Fair, children’s activities, jam making, blueberry themed specials in the local eateries, blue music events, a blue car auto show, blueberry bake sales, blue beer, special “Blues fees” at Mount Snow’s Golf Course as well as pick your own blueberry...

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Music & Theater

Summer Music Festivals Grafton Music Festival Grafton in the White Church graftonmusicfestival.com Sat, July 11: The Grafton Music Festival will present A Far Cry, the Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra from Boston, in the White Church in Grafton at 8 p.m.   5th Friendly Gathering Music Festival: Timber Ridge, Windham friendlygathering.com June 26-27: Featuring nearly 30 different musical acts, including rock and roll, bluegrass, folk, jam, reggae and electronic acts. The festival, which takes place at Timber Ridge, in Windham, combines music, camping, yoga, food, skateboarding, dance workshops, inspiration and a big dose of friendship. Roots on the River Bellows Falls http://www.rootsontheriver.com June 4-7: Vermont’s premiere singer-songwriter festival along the scenic Connecticut River. With Mary Gauthier, John Fullbright, the Black Lillies, Sam Baker and more. 41st Season of Manchester Music Festival: July 9: Chopin and the French Connection at the Arkell Pavilion, Manchester, 7:30 p. July 13: Young Artists Series – Opening Night at Riley Center for the Arts, Manchester, 7p. July 16: In Praise of Music at the Arkell Pavilion, Manchester, 7:30 p. July 18: Whole Lotta Fun 2, at the Arkell Pavilion, Manchester, 7:30 p. July 20: Young Artist Concert at Riley Center for the Arts, Manchester, 7p. July 22: Master Class with Professor Danwen Jiang, at Yester House, Manchester, 3p. July 23: Genius Unbound at the Arkell Pavilion, Manchester, 7:30p. July 27: Young Artists Series – Opening Night at Riley Center for the Arts, Manchester, 7:30p. July 30: Beethoven, Jazz and the Road Less Traveled, Arkell Pavilion, Manchester, 7:30 p. Aug 3: Young Artists Series – Opening Night at Riley Center for the Arts, Manchester, 7p. Aug 6: Spectacular Strings at the Arkell Pavilion, Manchester, 7:30 p. Aug 10: Young Artists Series – Opening Night at Riley Center for the Arts, Manchester, 7p. Aug 13: Power Trio + 2 at the Arkell Pavilion, Manchester, 7:30 p. Aug 17: Young Artist Series Concert – Season Finale at Riley Center for the Arts, Manchester, 7p. Aug 20: A Night at the Opera at the Arkell Pavilion, Manchester, 7:30 p. 65th Season of Marlboro Music: July 18-Aug 16 (exact concert venues/performers TBD) After three weeks of daily rehearsals, Marlboro artists begin sharing with audiences the results of their in-depth collaborations. Public concerts are presented on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons from July 18—Aug 16, and on Friday evenings Aug 7 and Aug 14. The programs will be selected from the 60-80 groups in rehearsal at any one time; only one quarter of the more than 250 works explored during the summer can be included. Each week, groups who feel that they have achieved especially successful results will recommend their works for performance. As...

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