Arts News for March 16, 2018   
2018 Vermont Poetry Out Loud

Wintry weather did not deter intrepid Vermont high school students from participating in the Vermont 2018 Poetry Out Loud Semifinals and Finals held this week. On Monday, 33 students gathered at the Barre Opera House to compete in the Semifinals. Ten finalists were selected by a panel of experts to continue to the Finals held last night at the Elley-Long Music Center in Colchester. Vermont Poetry Out Loud partner VermontPBS live-streamed the Finals and will broadcast the event on March 29.

The ten finalists were: (Top L to R) Gracie Smith (Arlington Memorial High School), Linea Kay (Woodstock Union High School), Caitlyn McDermott (Vermont Academy), Olivia Pitcher (Burr and Burton Academy), Chloe Lyons (Mt. Abraham Union High School). (Bottom L to R) Vera Escaja-Heiss (South Burlington High School), Alyese Caruso-Randall (Bellows Free Academy Fairfax), Aliyah Burr (Burlington High School) , Sadie Chamberlain (Lyndon Institute), Annie Keith (Peoples Academy).

Vera Escaja-Heiss (L) and Alyese Caruso-Randall (R).
After an evening filled with stellar recitations and a challenging task for judges, Vera Escaja-Heiss was named Vermont state champion. Vera will travel to Washington, D.C. on April 23 to represent Vermont in the National Poetry Out Loud competition. The runner up was Alyese Caruso-Randall. Both contestants will receive cash awards and their schools will receive funds to purchase poetry books.

The 2018 Vermont Poetry Out Loud program would not be possible without the 140 teachers who inspired more than 5,200 high school students to engage with words, connect with poetry, and develop skills to carry them through college, career, and life. Congratulations to all. Well done!
Advocating for the Arts
Top: Rep. Kate Webb, Rep. Alice Miller, Karen Mittelman, and Rep. Mollie Burke working on the Rangoli. Bottom: Gowri Savoor with the finished work. 
"We get to play today" was a common refrain from legislators at the State House as they passed by the Rangoli table in the Card Room. Many stopped by to take a meditative deep breath and add some grains of rice to the evolving ephemeral work of art.

Thursday was Arts Advocacy Day. Council staff members took the opportunity to thank legislators for their support and to reinforce the importance of the arts in Vermont's schools and communities.

Rep. Mollie Burke added her artistic touch to the Rangoli and commented "Art offers us opportunities for individual self-expression and also collaboration. In the legislature we're all working together in a community effort to improve the state of Vermont. Art gives us a model for that process, a way to create something that's bigger than any one of us."

We agree. 
 Emma and Amy
Welcome Amy!

To really understand Amy Cunningham, you need to know that she recently knit an intricate, cabled sweater for her dog, Emma. According to Amy, it was a bit more of a challenge than she expected.

Now she is jumping into her newest challenge - deputy director of the Vermont Arts Council. In this newly created role, she is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Council, working to bring the organization's strategic goals to fruition. Amy also directs the programs team and is the Council liaison with the Vermont Creative Network.
Arts and Inclusion: New Workshops

Top: Lida Winfield. Bottom:Toby McNutt.
The Agile Nonprofit (ANP) is a Council-sponsored professional development program that supports organizations in building capacity. In FY2018, people from more than 40 organizations have attended workshops to develop skills and expand awareness in the area of inclusion. And they have asked to learn more about how to best to serve people with disabilities.

In partnership with VSA Vermont, the Vermont Studio Center, Town Hall Theater, Vermont Center for independent Living, and Brattleboro Music Center, the Council developed two upcoming workshops:

Disability Awareness Training
April 19, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson
April 25, Brattleboro Music Center, Brattleboro

Communication is Key
May 8, Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

Review full workshop descriptions and register online.
Arts Briefs
Creative Community Fellows is a program that brings together a group of 25 creative change makers to learn life-changing skills. The deadline is April 22.
  Get the details.
Calling all teaching artists!
The deadline for 2018 Teaching Artist Roster applications is March 24. Don't miss it!
  Find out how to apply
Call to artists: SculptFest 2018 invites proposals for an exhibit in West Rutland from September 8 to October 21. The deadline is June 22.
   More information.
Northeast Region Teaching Artist Training Series involves inclusive teaching methods focusing on accessible practices, social and emotional learning, arts integration, and Universal Design for Learning.
  Get the details.
The Vermont Arts Council seeks a part-time finance assistant responsible for day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting processes. The application deadline is March 25.
  Find out how to apply
The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center seeks an experienced professional to oversee all production aspects of live event presentations and facility management.
  More information.
Vermont Arts 2018 Featured Events

ArtisTree Community Arts Center
March 16
South Pomfret
Café Anna
Vermont College of Fine Arts
March 16
multiple locations
March 16 and 17
Brattleboro and Putney
Fuller Hall
St. Johnsbury Academy
March 20
St. Johnsbury
Vergennes Opera House
March 17
The Old First Church
March 17

Brandon Music
March 17
Ackley Auditorium
Green Mountain College
March 18
The Masonic Hall
March 17
 Bryan Memorial Gallery
March 21
Vermont State House
March 21
River Arts
through April 29
 Brandon Music
March 24
Grange Theatre
ArtisTree Community Arts Center
March 24
South Pomfret
Vermont Jazz Center
March 24
Featured Story
Photo by Heidi Reynolds.
Inside a Thriving Theater

Theatergoers in southern and central Vermont have a lot to smile about. The Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction is bringing quality productions into a stunning downtown space. In this scenerio, the whole community wins. Northern Stage's Artistic Director Eric Bunge told us that commercial real estate in the area has mushroomed. Read about that and other benefits the arts are bringing downtown in this week's Featured Story: Building the Barrette.
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