Arts News for March 28, 2019    
Poetry Champ Passionate About the Power of Words

Vera Escaja-Heiss with poet Major Jackson, emcee for the Vermont Poetry Out Loud Finals held at Vermont PBS.
Vera Escaja-Heiss, Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2019 state champion, is a first-generation American. She grew up in a trilingual home and has always appreciated the power of words--whether English, Spanish, German, or Spanglish--listening from early childhood to her mother, the poet Tina Escaja.
Vera was also the 2018 state champion and a finalist in the national competition in Washington, D.C. She selected Spanglish, by Tato Laviera, as one of three poems she recited. "Bilingual poetry is really beautiful and I wanted to give voice to my Latino heritage," she explained.

This year, Vera chose to recite Harina de Castilla, by Sandra M. Castillo. "It's important to bring Latino voices forward, especially right now. I wanted to express the thought that immigration is great for this country, diversity is great for this country."

Next month, Vera will return to the capital to represent Vermont in the 2019 national competition. When asked about what she most looks forward to, she replied, "I like being around so many people who appreciate the power that poetry can have."

Vera's advice for high school students considering participation in Poetry Out Loud: "There is nothing to lose! There are moments when you are a teenager where there is so much going on and no one is listening to you. That feeling that everyone is listening to the words coming out of your mouth is such a good feeling and that's one of the reasons that I love it. I am so happy for everything Poetry Out Loud has done for me."

The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will be streamed live starting on April 30. Learn more.
A Well-Written Legacy
How does one make his own path when he follows Sydney Lea, Ruth Stone, Grace Paley, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Louise GlΓΌck, Galway Kinnell, and Robert Frost? That was the question Chard deNiord had to ask himself when he was appointed poet laureate in 2015.
His journey as Vermont's ambassador for poetry included reading, writing, teaching, interviewing, and collaborating. Read Chard deNiord's reflection on being poet laureate in this week's featured story, It's Been a Great Honor.
Nominate the Next Poet Laureate!   
The selection process for Vermont's new poet laureate is underway. The poet laureate serves as Vermont's ambassador for the art of poetry and is called upon to participate in official ceremonies and readings within Vermont and nationally. This is an honorary position, appointed by the governor based on the recommendation of a distinguished panel of judges.
The deadline for nominations is April 25, 2019.  
 Find out more.   
Arts Impact Grant Round Opens

Art in the Neighborhood received an FY2019 Arts Impact Grant to support art classes for low-income seniors and children.  
There are many ways the arts can be a catalyst for positive change. Arts Impact Grants support projects that add vibrancy to communities by providing equal and abundant access to the arts, and by breaking down barriers to participation.

Over the past year, funded projects included a photography exhibit that examined addiction, a musical storytelling program, and a creative camp for kids. The FY2020 grant round is open and applications will be accepted through June 3.

Music for Those Mud Season Blues

Bob Stannard and Those Dangerous Bluesmen. 
Brattleboro take note! Some dangerous men are coming to town. Bob Stannard, the most dangerous of the bunch, will be leading the way when the five-piece ensemble takes over the Latchis Theatre on April 12. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Vermont Arts Council and Latchis Arts.

According to Stannard, our music is "designed to get you out of your seats, on your feet and dancing like it's your last day on earth!"

Join us for a lively evening of straight-up blues and the amazing harmonica playing of the one and only Downtown Bob Stannard.

Arts Briefs
Applications are being accepted for the Creative Communities Fellowship Program, open to those working to create positive community change through arts and culture. The deadline is April 22.
  Get the details.
Funding is now available for Vermont artists and arts organizations through the Vermont Community Foundation's Vermont Arts Endowment Fund. The deadline is April 12.
  Learn more.

The Flynn Center seeks a production manager to oversee and manage stage production operations for all events at the Center, as well as off-site events produced by the Flynn. The deadline is April 12.
  Find out how to apply.
Upcoming Events
ArtisTree Community Arts Center
March 29
South Pomfret
BigTown Gallery
through May 4
Plainfield Opera House
March 31
Vermont Jazz Center
March 30
Castleton University Bank Gallery
March 30 to May 4
Chandler Center for the Arts
March 29
Sandglass Theater
March 30
Bellows Falls Opera House
March 28 - 30
April 4 - 6
Bellows Falls
Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm
March 29
 Highland Center for the Arts
March 29
March 31
The Masonic Hall
March 30
Brandon Music
March 30
Northshire Books
March 30
Manchester Center
two venues
March 30 and 31
Middlebury and Castleton
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.

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 Vermont Arts Council | 802.828.3291