Featured Stories for May 2021
Embody the Spirit: An Interview with Poetry Out Loud National Finalist Irén Hangen Vázquez
"It’s been important to me to make sure that I have a space, and that the generation that comes after me also has a space in this world that’s been closed off to us for a long time."

—Irén Hangen Vázquez

Irén is a senior at Burr and Burton Academy and the winner of this year’s Vermont Poetry Out Loud poetry recitation contest. She went on to compete at the national finals on May 27 against eight other competitors for the top prize of $20,000. While Irén did not place in the national finals, her achievement is enormous.⁠
Before the national finals, she spoke with us about poetry, pursuing a dual degree in music and physics, honoring one's heritage through art, and more.

Steering the Ship: Q&As with Vermont's Cultural Leaders | Jay Wahl
"Art creates empathy. We see the body of a dancer and we understand that we have something deeply in common with them. The arts must show us how all people can be both different and yet so alike. When we only tell the stories about ourselves, we deny others’ opportunity to take part in the full breadth and joys of society."

—Jay Wahl, executive director of The Flynn

Read the latest installment of Steering the Ship, our Q&A series with Vermont's cultural leaders.
Creative Zone Profiles: Southern Vermont | Meet Randi Solin
Solinglass is a glassblowing studio in Brattleboro, Vermont. Before the pandemic, owner and glassblower Randi Solin would host classes at the studio for all experience levels four to five times a year. In addition to being a workspace, Solinglass is a destination and an educational experience where visitors can view the glass being made. Randi enjoys chatting with both tourists and locals about the community and other businesses. She says that Vermont as a whole is a great place to be self-employed because of the strong creative community. Read Randi's profile.

This Creative Zone profile was produced in spring 2020 by students in the University of Vermont's Department of Community Development and Applied Economics. Read more zone profiles on the Vermont Creative Network website.
Arts Briefs
Join artist Pat Musick for a virtual talk and Q&A about her Spotlight Gallery exhibit, Exploring Technology. Audience members are encouraged to submit questions they would like Pat to address beforehand by emailing Content Manager Desmond Peeples. Register for the artist talk.
All around Vermont on June 19 and 20, craftspeople will open their studios to the public as part of the Vermont Crafts Council's annual Spring Open Studio Weekend. Free maps of all the participating studios are available from the Crafts Council website.
The Council is pleased to support the new Vermont Humanities program Words in the Woods in partnership with Vermont State Parks. Words in the Woods is a summer series of live and virtual literary readings outdoors, starting with Shanta Lee Gander in Sweet Pond State Park on June 23 (digitally).
Vermonters have a new way to find and share safe, outdoor events this summer! The Council has partnered with a number of Vermont organizations to launch Stages in the Sun, a new initiative for jointly promoting outdoor events. Event organizers, register your events now!
New Arts Experiences
Vermont Arts Exchange
June 8
Northern Stage
White River Junction
June 9 - July 4
Seven Stars Arts Center
June 10
Riverfront Park, Marble Works
June 12
Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
June 16-20
Vermont Studio Center
June 24
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Who knows the Green Mountain arts scene better than the Vermont Arts Council? Our Featured Stories blog offers a deeper dive into Vermont's vibrant and diverse art world with interviews, feature articles, and special series like I am a Vermont Artist. Click the button below to receive new posts in your inbox.
The Vermont Arts Council is funded, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which requires a 1:1 match from the Vermont State Legislature. Council grants, programs, and statewide arts promotion would not be possible without the critical funding provided by these government agencies.
Vermont Arts Council | 802.828.3291