Arts News

Artist Jess Graham with her family and her new mural in downtown Morrisville.

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New downtown muralMORRISVILLE — Last fall, Morrisville Alliance for Culture & Commerce (MACC), the downtown organization dedicated to economic development and cultural creativity, sent out a request for proposal for a new mural that was welcoming and represented Morrisville in a creative way. Out of the many submissions, Jess Graham’s design was chosen.

On a beautiful sunny morning, the mural was installed on the side of the Green Dragon building. Although the mural was planned long before COVID-19, MACC and Graham are particularly touched that it was installed during this time of social distancing, hoping it to be a surprising new source of joy for passersby.

“Morrisville is a village dear to my heart,” Graham said. “We reside in a beautiful valley, surrounded by the Worcesters and Green Mountains. This mural highlights the cultural assets of Morrisville in the traditional sense of the word: music, art, dance, literature and those things that draw us to the outdoors and reinforce our sense of connection with the landscape and each other.”

Graham grew up in Morrisville on a dairy farm on Route 100. She currently lives in Morrisville with her husband and newborn daughter. She is the art director at The Alchemist in Stowe, and in 2018 completed a 200-foot mural on the side of Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington.

For more information, go online to

Amber Live!Sunday, May 24, the guests of Amber Live! include chef “Scottish” Francis Legge and singer, actor, playwright and university lecturer François Clemmons. This will be the tenth installment of Vermont drag queen Amber LeMay’s weekly internet talk show.

Legge first appeared in the fifth season of “Master Chef” where he became famous for his doughnut creations. They were such a hit, he opened his own doughnut bakery in Queens called Sugar and Water NYC. Clemmons is known to most for his 25 years as Officer Clemmons in the PBS educational series, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Since then he has resided in Middlebury, and has recently released his latest book, “Officer Clemmons: A Memoir.”

The show airs 8 p.m. Sunday and can be seen on Amber’s Facebook Fan Page:; or her YouTube page:

Roger Clark Miller liveBRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) presents “Roger Clark Miller: Six Dream Interpretations,” a livestreamed “solo electric guitar ensemble” performance from Miller’s home in the woods of southern Vermont. The free concert will take place on Friday, May 29, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom, with a simulcast on BMAC’s Facebook page.

The approximately 40-minute performance will be followed by a Q&A with Miller. A recording of the event will be available soon afterward on the BMAC website.

Miller is a co-founder and front man of the art-punk band Mission of Burma and a member of Alloy Orchestra, a three-person ensemble that Roger Ebert called “the best in the world at accompanying silent films.”

To find out how to participate, go online to

‘Shelter in Place’BARRE — The Governor’s executive order in March marked a precipitous time of change and adjustment for artists, creatives and others. This period of time nonetheless has offered a chance for new focus and different provocations. What have you been making? Would you be willing to share your work?

“Shelter in Place” is a new series of digital exhibitions presented by Studio Place Arts. There are several scheduled exhibitions that will be shown via the SPA’s website, Facebook page and Instagram. The exhibitions will be launched:

— June 5: (past deadline);

— June 19: (June 8 deadline);

— July 10: (June 22 deadline).

For details, call 802-479-7069, or go online to

VSO Zooms for kids

BURLINGTON — The Vermont Symphony Orchestra knows that the past few months of school closures have been tough on parents and students alike and hopes that it can help in some small way with its new Green Zoom Program. A virtual substitute for the VSO’s popular program, this lively and interactive presentation led by VSO violinist Jane Kittredge is designed for students in grades 6 through 12.

In each session, Kittredge will lead a small group of students on an exploration of select orchestral repertoire, sharing valuable insights into the music and snippets of recordings, and performing excerpts live. Students will then have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the life and career of a professional musician, playing in an orchestra, choosing an instrument, and more. Remaining are:

— May 28: Session II: Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture,” 4:30 p.m.

— June 4: Session III: Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol,” 4:30 p.m.

— June 11: Session IV: Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” 4:30 p.m.

This program is free, but registration is required and space is limited. For information or to register, go online to

Shakespeare to goBURLINGTON — Vermont Shakespeare Festival is responding to this crisis of isolation and social distancing with what they do best — spreading joy and connection through performance. There’s a Shakespeare speech or sonnet for almost any occasion, and after 400 years the words are still relevant in today’s world.

Shakespeare to You is an opportunity to send a 2-3 minute performance to family, neighbors, or friends via front yard delivery, Zoom or telephone. It’s kind of like a live telegram.

Front yard deliveries are contact-free and follow all medical and physical distancing precautions. Performers will honk a horn or call the recipient from the car to gain attention and then stand a good 12 feet from the door to perform a monologue or sonnet from a short list of favorites. Zoom or telephone performances can be sent to any location in the United States.

Shakespeare to You is free (donations are welcome); For more information, or to order a “Shakespeare to You” performance, go online (and click on Shakespeare on his skateboard)

Sylvia Parker retiresBERLIN — It is with happiness for pianist Sylvia Parker, a longtime Berlin resident, and her family, and sadness for her colleagues and students at the University of Vermont that her retirement is being announced.

Parker arrived at UVM 41 years ago with a master of music degree from the University of Colorado and experience teaching in private studios and universities in this country and abroad. She joined the UVM Department of Music faculty as an adjunct instructor and became senior lecturer in 2004.

Parker has performed solo piano recitals and collaborative concerts with faculty and guest artists at UVM, nationally, and internationally. She has recorded two nationally published CDs of solo piano music, including “Peasant Jewels,” an album of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók’s solo piano settings of authentic folk melodies. Parker has published numerous papers in scholarly journals on various topics, most especially Bartók’s music.

Main Street Arts closesSAXTONS RIVER — Main Street Arts will be suspending all major operations as of July 7, and go into a state of dormancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After July 7, MSA will no longer employ any staff and will cease all programming including theater, classes and other events. It will halt work on its physical space improvements. Fundraising will also be suspended during the dormancy. There will be minimal use of the MSA building and the board of directors will be responsible for all necessary facility and financial oversight. The legal organization will remain.

For more information, go online to

Bookshops opening soonRUTLAND — Phoenix Books has been perfecting new, contactless ways to bring you books. It has processed a record number of website orders for delivery and curbside pickup and recommended books over the phone and by email.

Although Gov. Phil Scott permitted opening, Phoenix Books decided to wait a bit longer to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for its booksellers and its customers. The stores are using this time to retrain staff, modify layouts to meet social distancing guidelines, and, of course, deeply cleaning its shops. The goal is to open with limited browsing hours Tuesday, May 26.

For the latest information, go online to

Preservation grantsBURLINGTON — The 1772 Foundation, based in Providence, Rhode Island, plays a leading role in promoting historic preservation nationwide. In the most recent grant round, the 1772 Foundation worked with the Preservation Trust of Vermont and other northeastern states to administer 1:1 matching grants of up to $10,000.

Grants totaling $100,000 will be given to 11 historic preservation projects for building exteriors: Montgomery Historical Society for Pratt Hall ($10,000); The Retreat Farm Inc. for barns ($10,000); Park McCullough House in North Bennington ($10,000); Center for Arts and Learning in Montpelier for St. Michael’s School and Convent ($10,000); The Charlotte Grange ($10,000); The Fairfield Community Center Association for The Meeting House on the Green ($10,000); The St. Johnsbury History and Heritage Center ($10,000); Corner School Resource Center, Inc. for the Granville Corner School ($10,000); Union Church of New Haven Mills ($10,000); Starksboro Village Meeting House Society ($5,000); and Stone Valley Arts at Fox Hill, Inc. in Poultney for Fox Hill ($5,000).

For more information, go online to

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