We are excited to announce a new Vermont Folklife Center Initiative! “New American Voices” is a community-based, youth-focused storytelling initiative beginning this year. The goal of New American Voices is to provide more opportunities for New American youth in Vermont to feel heard, visible, and valued. The project will address needs of refugee youth in Vermont (ages 12-24) by providing resources, training, and support for exploring their experiences through digital media.
The walls of the Vision & Voice Gallery are currently adorned with large-format color portraits of members of the Colonial Dames--the culmination of a four-year oral history and portraiture project that yielded the exhibition, The Dames. The portraits all but fill the gallery walls, and in early June, the rooms were all but filled as well--you guessed it, with the Dames.
Members of the National Society of the Colonial Dames Vermont Chapter traveled from around the state to see their family members’, friends’, and fellow Dames’ portraits, to read their biographies, and listen to audio excerpts from oral history interviews conducted by a team of volunteers from the Dames organization working in collaboration with Vermont Folklife Center staff.
During the event, project collaborator and third generation Colonial Dame, Barbara Benedict, outlined the process of assembling the exhibition, from collecting oral histories to scheduling photoshoots. Vermont Folklife Center gallery director and photographer, Ned Castle, explained his approach to working with each Dame to create her respective portrait. Elsie Smith, the current president of the Vermont Chapter, talked about her experience joining the Dames and the organization’s bright future. Barbara Benedict concluded the talk by appreciating the collaborative efforts of all involved.
It's sugaring time! Megan and Dan MacArthur bring us a classic Vermont song of the season, Maple Sweet - recorded at the MacArthur House by artist-in-residence, Matthew Shelley.
In the 2016-2017 school year to date, the Vermont Folklife Center’s Discovering Community program has worked with 600 students in 13 schools around the state. The projects we’ve been part of have ranged from spoken-word performance about Hurricane Irene, to the documentation of a mock election, to stop-motion videos and community documentaries.
The Vermont Folklife Center is pleased to announce a new partnership with Vermont Public Radio, which will feature monthly four-minute stories produced by the Center for broadcast on VPR’s daily news program, Vermont Edition.
Through time spent with people learning about their experiences, on the border, and across the country in barbershops, bookstores, laundromats, and at jobs at newspapers and farms and schools, I have been constantly reminded that we all have a story to tell and that we form connections wherever we are, whatever our differences, and that seeking and sharing our stories helps us understand and build relationships and community.
An interactive Metal, Rock, and Sand table has been capturing the curiosity, imagination, and creativity of gallery visitors at the GEOMORPH / Things Change and They Change Again exhibition.