Museums
May30

Museums

Bennington Center for the Arts 44 Gypsy Lane, Bennington 10a to 5p, Tue-Sun (Closed Mon) http://www.thebennington.org, 802 442-7158 Currently: Women. The beauty of women has long been the subject of the painter’s brush. This exhibit not only displays the beauty of the female form but also features the different roles and aspects of women in their everyday lives. Currently: Impressions of New England From the Laumeister Collection. For the first time, we’ve created an Impressions of New England exhibit with artwork entirely from the Laumeister Collection. This exhibit features people, landscapes, and wildlife representing the beauty of New England. Currently: The Hunters, an exhibit hand-picked by our curator, Elizabeth Small, from the extensive permanent collection of The Bennington. The theme of this show is hunters — such as wolves, lions, tigers, eagles, hawks, and even a secretary bird. Currently: The Hunted. To complement The Hunters, we created an exhibition of prey: water fowl, deer, bison, and even the great rhinoceros are animals that often fall victim to the hunt. Currently: Birds. Birds of all different shapes and sizes arranged into a colorful, unique flock. Ongoing: Permanent collection of wildlife; Native American artwork. Bennington Museum 75 Main St., Route 9, Bennington 10a to 5p (Closed Wed) www.benningtonmuseum.org, 802 477-1571 Thru June 15: 3-D Digital: Here and Now. In the span of a little more than a decade, the Bennington area has become a hub for advanced 3-D design and manufacturing. Artists such as Jon Isherwood, Willard Boepple, and Karolina Kawiaka have been exploiting the potential of new technologies to push material practice, while commercial design and manufacturing firms such National Hanger Co., Plasan NA, Kaman Composites, and JBM have been making products ranging from clothes hangers to body panels. Thru July 10: Out of This World, an exhibition of new and recent work by visual artist Sally Gil. Ongoing: Regional artists’ exhibits. Every 12 weeks throughout the year, different regional artists showcase their work in the museum’s Regional Artists Gallery. Brattleboro Museum & Art Center 10 Vernon St., Brattleboro 11a to 5p (Closed Tues) www.brattleboromuseum.org, 802 257-0124 Thru June 13: Wishing for the Moon. Scratchboard drawings by Karen Gaudette that metaphorically reflect a middle-aged woman’s journey to find true love. Thru June 13: Visions from the Edge: An Exploration of Outsider Art. Artwork by individuals whose creative impulses emerge from their personal experiences with autism and other developmental disorders. Thru June 13: Are You Here? Jonathan Gitelson’s Are You Here? is essentially a mindfulness practice with a sense of humor. The billboards depicted in Gitelson’s photographs ask travelers barreling down roads both to locate themselves in time and place and...

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Ruggles & Hunt open new Brattleboro store
May30

Ruggles & Hunt open new Brattleboro store

Ruggles & Hunt, purveyor of staple and fancy goods, has built up an incredible loyalty from shoppers in and around Walpole, N.H., for 13 years. Now it’s opening a location on Brattleboro’s Main Street. “The location, at 79 Main St., is great,” says store manager Jaja Laughlin. “In Brattleboro we’re situated between Distinctive Decor, which offers mid-century items, and the popular Fireworks Restaurant.” In renovating the space, Laughlin says, Ruggles & Hunt uncovered an old tin ceiling “and four high-up windows that will let in so much natural light… perfect for an emporium.” Store owner and main buyer Vicki Gohl says her vision for the site is centered on providing “the affordable and practical with style and attitude,” including a mix of women’s and men’s clothing, home furnishings, toys, and stationery. Gohl says she hopes to offer something new on Main Street and have something for everybody, at every price point. She also plans to feature local artisans’ works, such as Laura Zindel. If we may, having shopped at Ruggles & Hunt in Walpole, we can say this emporium is filled with creative, stylish, and fun gifts, fashions, and surprises. We can’t wait to discover its new delights in...

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A Steinway surprise for the Jazz Center
May30

A Steinway surprise for the Jazz Center

A Steinway piano for the Vermont Jazz Center The Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro has presented concerts, hosted jam sessions, and run ensembles using the same sweet workhorse piano for the past 15 years. In that time, numerous world-class pianists such as Carolina Calvache, Cyrus Chestnut, Gerald Clayton, Armen Donelian, Taylor Eigsti, Don Friedman, Hal Galper, Robert Glasper, Jason Lindner, Harold Mabern, Luis Perdomo, and Edward Simon have shown that VJC’s Yamaha C7 piano can really sing. But VJC Artistic Director Eugene Uman said he felt a quality of sound was missing at his venue, something richer and grander. And he said the absence stood out on recordings of concerts held at VJC. Uman had longed to purchase a Steinway concert grand. And he put the word out that VJC was seriously interested in realizing its dream of providing pianists performing there a sleek and commanding Steinway Model D, a nine-foot concert piano. Piano technician Crystal Fielding mentioned that the estate of John and Catherine Baird was selling a Steinway D in Montpelier. Uman was shown the piano by Catherine Baird’s sisters, Helen and Marjorie Merena, and said he was captivated by its majesty, resonant tone, rich bass, and overall playability. Vermont musician Arthur Zorn says the D is an excellent addition to the VJC’s offerings: “This instrument ’sings’ from the lowest note to the top of the keyboard. When I play it, the piano encourages my fingers, hands, arms, and body to express music in a way that I have not experienced with any other instrument.” The Merena sisters told Uman that the piano had been sold in 1998 to Baird by the esteemed classical pianist Lorin Hollander, who had performed “with virtually all of the major symphony orchestras in the United States and many around the world,” and whom New York Times critic Howard Klein touted as the leading pianist of his generation. Hollander told the Merenas that this was a piano worthy of the Steinway showroom’s “concert basement,” where “a special class — the top 1 percent — of hand-picked instruments were selected to be used exclusively by Steinway artists for recording and concertizing at places like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Alice Tully Hall.” In a phone conversation with Uman, Hollander elaborated: “This one for me had that magical… what we all called the Rachmaninoff sound, where something happened that went beyond us. And sitting down at that piano — even before sitting down — you would get nervous. I would feel a type of anxiety deep in my muscles just approaching the instrument. I don’t know what’s real here. I’ve studied science and I...

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Open Studios
May30

Open Studios

State Open Studio Tour Various locations in Vermont http://www.vermontcrafts.com May 28-29: Most Vermont craftspeople work in studios in or near their residences. These are places of production and inspiration in downtowns and at the end of dirt roads. Wherever they are, they are exciting places to visit because they reflect the dynamic, organized process that produces works of art. The studio itself is enormously informative because you can see at a glance how the artist works. You see the swatches that have not been chosen for the quilt or the work that is experimental or not serious enough for the gallery. Buying and ordering work during an open studio sale is a unique experience as you can speak with the artist directly. Visit website for directions. Southern Vermont Artists Open Studio http://www.vermontcrafts.com May 28-29: Southern Vermont Artists is a group of artists in Wilmington, Whitingham and Readsboro. Stop by during the Open Studio weekend to interact with them and get a glimpse into their living and work space. River Artisans www.riverartisans.com May 28-29: The River Artisans Cooperative Shop, in Saxtons River, features the work of more than 50 local craftspeople and fills the storefront with displays that change every month. Merchandise includes pottery, quilts, stained glass, woodenware, jewelry, dolls, hand-knits, children’s clothes, painted furniture, cards, and baskets. Rock River Artists Open Studio Tour www.rockriverartists.com July 16-17: The Rock River Artists are ready to open their homes and studios for the 23rd annual Open Studio Tour. Starting at the Old Schoolhouse in South Newfane Village, 14 artists present a group show. The Schoolhouse itself is worth a visit, as it’s a classic 19th century structure that formerly housed the village one-room school. On the weekend of the Rock River Artists Tour, the historic Old Schoolhouse, with its maple wood floors and natural light streaming through old glass windows, is transformed into a premier contemporary art viewing venue. At the Schoolhouse, you’ll see a sampling of each Rock River Artist’s work. Pick up a map to the studio locations and begin a self-guided tour of the studios of your choice, all within short driving distance of the Schoolhouse. Free. North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit North Bennington www.northbennington.com July 23-Oct 25: Outdoor sculpture springs up around the village. Opening reception July 23 from 4-8p. Sculptures will be on view 24 hours a...

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NBOSS: Outdoor sculptures in Bennington
May30

NBOSS: Outdoor sculptures in Bennington

In addition to the sculpture park, works in the 19th annual North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show will also be on view at the North Bennington Train Depot and at other locations on Main Street. This year’s show features works by approximately 40 national and local artists, some coming from Kansas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee to participate. The show is also sponsored in part from the Fund for North Bennington and the Sage City Syndicate, and has been curated by Joe Chirchirillo for the past four years. Local area sculptors participating this year include Michael Biddy, Bill Botzow, Kristen Blaker, Joe Chirchirillo, Rita Dee, and Autumn Doyle. Artists from Salem Art Works, which has a long history with the show, include Michael Bonadio and Chase...

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Farm to Ballet: A celebration of Vermont’s vibrant food system
May30

Farm to Ballet: A celebration of Vermont’s vibrant food system

Farm to Ballet, a Burlington-based dance company, will stage throughout Vermont nine performances of an original composition linking farmers and food production to music and dance. Some of the evenings are organized as fundraisers to assist farmers. Chatch Pregger, who left the ranks of professional ballet dancing to become a teacher, has choreographed a 75-minute program that weaves together the timeless arts of farming and ballet. The company is made up of 18 volunteer dancers, five paid dancers, and five paid musicians. Hundreds of hours of volunteer time go into the handmade costumes and props as well. This dance collaborative celebrates Vermont’s vibrant food system and helps to expand classical ballet’s audience. July 16: Philo Ridge Farm, Charlotte. July 30: Golden Well Farm & Apiaries, New Haven. July 31 Earth Sky Time Community Farm/NOFA-VT, Manchester. Aug 6: Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock. Aug 7: GMC Cerridwen Farm, a RAFFL Benefit, Poultney. Aug 14 Shelburne Farms, Shelburne. Aug 20: Retreat Farm, Brattleboro. Aug 21: Von Gal Farm, Essex...

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Festivals & Fun Events
May30

Festivals & Fun Events

Southern Vermont Idol 603-313-0052, http://www.southernvermontidol.com (Audition dates, additional details at website.) The event competition begins Saturday, July 9 and continues on July 16, 23, 30 and Aug 5. Adult grand prize of $1,500. Four adults and four youth will receive prizes, awarded at the Aug 5 finale. Net proceeds benefit the Rockingham Arts and Museum Project (RAMP), a nonprofit organization in Bellows Falls. RAMP celebrates 20 years of commitment to integrating the arts into the long-term sustainability of the community by creating effective partnerships that initiate and support accessibility, affordable housing, artist town meetings, public art initiatives, and policymaking. Brattleboro Brewers Fest Brattleboro www.brattleborobrewfest.com May 14, noon-4p, the fest features more than 25 microbrews, great food, and live music: Blues for Breakfast. VABEC fields just off Exit 1, I-91. Details and ticket information online. Benefit Auction for River Gallery School Scott Farm, Dummerston www.rivergalleryschool.org May 14: 5-8p (date pending): 26th Annual Benefit Auction supports school programs and scholarships. It is an evening of bidding on fabulous items donated by local artists, craftspeople, businesses, restaurants, students, and friends of the school. Tickets and more online. Southern Vermont Mineral Show Grace Christian School, Bennington 802-375-6782 May 21-22: Come by the Southern Vermont Mineral Show at the Grace Christian School. Collectors from around the area bring gems, minerals, fossils, and more. Mayfest Bennington www.betterbennington.com May 28, 10a-5p: Downtown Bennington transforms into a festival of arts, crafts, activities, food, and entertainment. In 2016 there will be more than 125 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 Indian, German, Thai, and American. You’ll also find favorites such as fried dough, gourmet seafood, wood-fired pizza, BBQ, blooming onions, and ice cream. Mayfest isn’t just for adults; there are lots of kids’ activities, contests, and games. A dunking booth, the 4-H shooting range, the Trustco bouncy house, and face painting add to the fun. Newfane Memorial Day Weekend Newfane May 28: 9a Newfane Garden Club Plant and Bake Sale, Newfane Common. May 29: 5-6p Morris Dancers; 6-9p – Summer Cookout at Four Columns, Cadillac Envy, the Vermont Rockabilly Revolution; May 30: 8-10a Pancake Breakfast, Newfane Church; 9a Memorial Day Parade, Newfane Town Hall to Newfane Common. Vermont Performance Lab Guilford www.vermontperformancelab.com May 28: VPL Open Lab, with open rehearsals and conversation. In collaboration with Marlboro College, 1-4p, Marlboro College. June 25: Party Under the Stars, celebrating VPL’s 10th anniversary with dancing, stargazing, surprise guests, performance pop-ups and more, 8p. Park at Broad Brooks Grange, Guilford. July 29: VPL in the Works, Virago-Man Dem...

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Summer Music
May30

Summer Music

Next Stage Arts 15 Kimball Hill Road, Putney http://www.nextstagearts.org May 20: BETTY, Woman-powered Activist Rock, 7:30p. Many more events on the website. Southern Vermont Arts Center Arkell Pavilion at West Road, Manchester www.svac.org, 802 362-1405 June 17: Bob Stannard & Those Dangerous Bluesmen, with special guest Big Llou Johnson of Sirius XM’s “BB King Blues Radio,” 7p. July 7, 14, 21, and 28: Manchester Music Festival Performance, Summer Chamber Music Series, 7p. July 9: Washington County Band Concert, 7p. July 15-17: SolarFest 2016. July 23: Steven Hancoff. July 26: Northshire Performing Arts, 7p. Aug 4, 11, and 18: Manchester Music Festival Performance, Summer Chamber Music Series, 7p. Aug 6: Phantom Leading Ladies, 7p. Aug 20: The Ever-Unfolding Present: Music & Dance by Geoffrey Gee and Kimerer LaMothe, 7p. Aug 26: Ragtime & Boogie Woogie with Bob Milne, 7p. Vermont Jazz Center 72 Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro www.vtjazz.org, 802 254-9088 May 14: Ben Williams Quartet, 8p. June 11: Eugene Uman’s Convergence Project, 8p. Ongoing: Vermont Jazz Center is the place to see live jazz music in southern Vermont. Regular concerts take place around the Brattleboro area. See website for details. Brattleboro Music Center 38 Walnut St., Brattleboro www.bmcvt.org, 802 257-4523 May 14-15: Brattleboro Concert Choir: Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil, 7:30p Friday, 4p Saturday. June 5: Windham Orchestra: Cav/Pag, 2p. June 5: BMC Chamber Series: Jinjoocho & Hyun Soo Kim, 4p. June 12: Windham Orchestra: Cav/Pag, 2p. Stone Church Arts 20 Church St., Bellows Falls www.stonechurcharts.org, 802 463-3100 May 20: Dr. Dennis Waring: Trash to Tunes, 7:30p. June 9: Creative Cello Summit, 2p. June 10: Creative Cello Concert with Mark Summer, Crispin Campbell, and Eugene Friesen, 7:30p. June 11: Free, Open Cello Concert, 7:30p. June 18: “Of Love and Soul,” Frank Wallace guitar and baritone, 7:30p. July 7: Festival of Mandolin Chamber Music VII, 5:30p. July 10: Festival of Mandolin Chamber Music Concert, 3p. July 16: World String Orchestra Concert, 7:30p. July 22: Vermont Improv Concert: Cellist Eugene Friesen and special guest, 7:30p. July 23: Free Open Improv Concert, 7:30p. July 29: Eugene Friesen, solo concert, 7:30p. July 30: Free Open Cello Concert, 7:30p. Aug 5: “The Celtic Year,” Four Shillings Short in Concert, 7:30p. Aug 26: Your Rhythm, Your Life Concert, 7:30p. Aug 27: Your Rhythm, Your Life Open Concert, 7:30p. The Retreat Center Wilburton Inn 257 Wilburton Dr., Manchester www.802-362-2500, wilburton.com May 28-29: Memorial Day Weekend, Dawn Lerman, New York Times Wellness contributor and author of “My Far Dad, A Memoir of Food Love and Family With Recipes” reads from her book about the intersection between food, self, and family. Following the free discussion on everything you always wanted...

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Galleries
May30

Galleries

Barbara Ernst Prey Gallery 71 Spring St., Williamstown, Mass. http://www.barbaraprey.com, 413 884-6184 July 16-Sept 5: In Search of America explores the memory, art history, and influences of Color Field painters on large-scale watercolors. Opening reception Aug 1, 6-8p. Chaffee Art Center 16 South Main St., Rutland www.chaffeeartcenter.org, 802 775-0356 June 10-July 30: In Flanders Field, featuring artist Fran Bull. Aug 4-Sept 24: Juried Artist Member Exhibit: Effervescent. Features Chaffee’s juried artist members’ work. Crowell Gallery at the Moore Free Library 23 West St., Newfane www.moorefreelibrary.wordpress.com/crowell-gallery; (802) 365-7948 Thru July 30: Robert L. Crowell Art Gallery at Moore Free Library. May 3-31: Steve Lloyd: Paintings: A dialogue between realism and abstraction. Opening reception May 7, 11a-1p. June 2-30: Vermont Watercolor Society, Brattleboro Hub “Seasons in Watercolor.” July 1-30: Rich Ray: Abstract art: mixed media: The female figure. Opening reception July 9, 11a-1p. Aug 2-31: Cai Xi and Le Xi: Mixed media: sculpture and video. Opening reception Aug 4, 6-8p. The Dianich Gallery 139 Main St.,Brattleboro www.catherinedianichgallery.com, 802-380-1607 Thru July: New work from Massachusetts artist Molly Hatch. Hatch is known for hanging plates on the wall as paintings, but “Passage” largely focuses on sculptural objects displayed off the wall. Featuring new ceramic sculptures and drawings, the inspiration for “Passage” comes from both historic and contemporary textiles and patterning found in home interiors. With an attention to pattern and understanding pattern repetitions, this body of work explores how patterns juxtapose. Gallery at the VAULT 68 Main St., Springfield www.galleryvault.org, 802 885-7111 Thru May 5: Spring Silk Scarf Show by Teresa Hillary. Fly into the new season with the latest collection of beautiful, hand-painted, one-of-a-kind silk scarves. Gallery North Star 151 Townshend Rd, Grafton 802-843-2465 gallery@gnsgrafton.com Open daily 10a-5p Great Hall 100 River St., Springfield www.Facebook.com/GreatHallSpringfield, 802 885-3061 Opening May 24: Voices of Springfield: A New Perspective. Project ACTION initiative using participatory photography to engage area youth and adults in conversations about their experiences and perceptions living in Springfield, Vt. The project was designed to engage community members not generally engaged in conversations about issues of concern in a collective process to identify their own views, foster community engagement and to enhance the health and safety of the community. Over eight months, 20 local residents took hundreds of pictures of the community and spent hours in conversation about values, community strengths, belonging, civic engagement, community building and opportunities for improvement. Ongoing: Stop by this former factory building that’s been turned into art space. See the webpage for a full listing of exhibitions on display. Helmholtz Fine Art Gallery 442 Depot St., Manchester Center 802 885-1678,www.helmholtzfineart.com Opening July 16: The Untamed Horse with Lisa...

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Art in the atrium: Mitchell Giddings gallery expansion
May30

Art in the atrium: Mitchell Giddings gallery expansion

Mitchell Giddings Fine Arts is a two-year-old gallery showcasing contemporary art in solo and group exhibitions. Along with its 183 Main St., Brattleboro, location, the gallery is expanding across the street to the Brooks House Atrium, 120 Main St. The expansion will enable MGFA to rotate exhibitions approximately every three months in this new, spacious, and light-filled public venue. As in the main gallery, all artwork in the atrium will be available for purchase. According to MGFA co-founder Petria Mitchell, the gallery is thriving in its established location and will make excellent use as well of its continuing presence at the MGFA Annex in the Brooks House. The expansion, she said, “gives our artists extra exposure, and we are thrilled to be an integral part of the creative revitalization of downtown Brattleboro through programming and exhibits at Brooks House.” Mark this on your calendar: MGFA plans to celebrate its added space with an opening at the Brooks House Atrium on Saturday, June 4, from...

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Remembering “36 miles of trouble”: Historical Society shows West River Railroad collection
May30

Remembering “36 miles of trouble”: Historical Society shows West River Railroad collection

The West River Trail may well be Vermont’s oldest transportation path. Native Americans called the West River “Wantastiquet” or “waters of the lonely way,” and the Wantastiquet path was an important connection from the West River valley and Fort Dummer in Brattleboro over the Green Mountains to Otter Creek and Lake Champlain. In 1879, this path was developed into the West River Railroad, originating in Brattleboro and terminating at the South Londonderry Depot. However, not long after the railroad opened, people began to call it “36 miles of trouble.” Its narrow gauge and winding route led to undependable, if not dangerous, service. A 1903 editorial called the trains “trydaily—they go down in the morning and try to get back at night.” The Newfane Railroad Station was chosen as one of the railroad’s “water stations,” as it was located at the midpoint of the railroad line and on a plateau above the steep grades to the north and south. (The water was used to replenish the steam engines.) In October 2014, the Historical Society of Windham County purchased the Newfane Railroad Station (which includes the old depot building and the water tank building, both of which were built in 1880). The purchase of the station is not just about preserving a unique historic landmark; it’s about preserving Vermonters’ stories — and the story of the West River Railroad dominated Windham County history for more than half a century. Today, 16 miles along the upper section of this valley route provide a safe, scenic alternative to Route 30 for hikers, walkers, skiers, and bikers, linking the villages of South Londonderry, Jamaica, and Townshend with 4,500 acres of public land. The lower 5.7-mile section, from the mouth of the West River to the quarry on Rice Farm Road in Dummerston, is open for public use. The Historical Society of Windham County, which opens Memorial Day, always has on display signs, hardware, documents, and photographs of the West River Railroad. Additional material is available for research. The grand opening of the West River Railroad Museum is planned for 2017. For more information, visit historicalsocietyofwindhamcounty.org. Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons The Newfane Railroad Station, now owned by the Historical Society of Windham County, was along the path of the West River...

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Let’s show off our stuff: Windham County arts as an invitation to visitors
May30

Let’s show off our stuff: Windham County arts as an invitation to visitors

By Shanta L. Evans-Crowley How can we better showcase what we have to those who aren’t familiar with all we do in Windham County? How can we leverage our good stuff, especially through strategic partnerships? This question has been on my mind, and a part of many of my conversations, over the past several months. I can best start to answer it by telling you how I first encountered Windham County — as a traveler, resident, and creative professional now serving as president of the Arts Council of Windham County (ACWC). When I first started visiting Brattleboro regularly, I did not quite know how to take the “quirk” of the town. I’d been introduced to Vermont through Stowe on a short weekend vacation in 2006 but it took another two years before I really started discovering — and falling in love with — Windham County. And not only for its beauty but also for all of the ways that the place requires (if not demands) that one step out of the box to architect a life in the most creative fashion. I’d always wanted to do more to make art and include it in my way of living, so I started volunteering for the Arts Council of Windham County’s Gallery Walk. I enjoyed the way the event brings so many together every month to enjoy the sights and sounds of art. In 2014, as I was doing more photography, writing, and belly dancing, I was eager to network with other artists. My freelance media and public relations adventures brought me in touch with various artists, but I found that becoming a trustee of the Arts Council of Windham County was an ideal fit. And a year later I was encouraged to become ACWC president. It felt scary and big (after all, we cover all of Windham County!) but this role aligned with my personal goal: more networking, and forging partnerships with all who lived on any level of creativity. Windham County has so much going on in its arts and culture, but with a few cherished exceptions we tend not to leverage it. Let’s connect more with the world beyond our beautiful bubble. We’re certainly good at promoting to each other. You’ll overhear the dates of amazing performances just by sitting outside Amy’s Bakery Café; you can read of theater productions, music shows, literary arts, dancing, singing, theater, and so much more just by skimming the flyers at Mocha Joe’s and similar venues. That’s low-hanging fruit. This is our backyard. We can take all of the artistic culture — the beauty and the myriad displays of art and our...

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