Arts News

Eugene Uman’s Convergence Quartet will perform online at Brattleboro’s Vermont Jazz Center at 8 p.m. tonight (June 20).

Contributions should be sent to or at least two weeks in advance.

Convergence jazzBRATTLEBORO — The Vermont Jazz Center presents a live stream event with Eugene Uman’s Convergence Trio with special guest Wanda Houston at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 20. The group includes Uman on piano, Houston on vocals, David Picchi on electric piano and Jon Fisher on drums.

The concert will be performed live with only the production staff in attendance; it will be live-streamed to everyone with internet access on the homepage of the VJC website as well as the Jazz Center’s Facebook page.

The concert will be preceded by a 15-minute interview of Uman conducted by Tom Reney discussing Uman’s 20-plus year tenure at the VJC. The interview will be recorded the day before the show and streamed immediately preceding Saturday’s concert.

Initially, the Convergence Quartet was scheduled to perform live and in full force this month, but modified the plan to a live stream in light of the pandemic. In order to stay within safety guidelines, the VJC has reduced the number of performers at this event to the core trio plus vocals. The group usually includes a front line of vocals, trombone, trumpet and saxophone.

Paramount changesRUTLAND — The Paramount Theatre announced repositioning of its management team effective July 1.

Commencing July 1, longtime Programming Director Eric Mallette will be promoted to the position of interim executive director. Bruce Bouchard, longtime executive director, will remain with the theater assuming management of fundraising and development. Mallette will continue to program the theater’s seasons, a duty he has had the responsibility of for the past 12 years.

Mallette remarked, “I am enthusiastic about growing my role at the historic venue that I have been a proud team member of for almost 16 years.”

Bouchard added, “It will be my pleasure to step down from the top of the masthead and to plan and innovate with Eric, to reposition our thinking and our creativity, and finally, to focus on the pressing needs of contributed income as we proceed on the journey to our reemergence.”

More information on future events can be found at

Actor Michael MurphyMIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival will welcome back one of its favorite honorees, the film actor Michael Murphy, for the next edition of the “Craven Conversations,” led by MNFF Artistic Director Jay Craven, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, on Zoom.

In a career spanning more than 50 years, Murphy has worked with an array of heralded filmmakers, including Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Paul Mazursky, Peter Weir, Tim Burton, Oliver Stone, Sarah Polley, John Sayles, Elia Kazan, Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Ritt, Robert Aldrich, Orson Welles and Paul Thomas Anderson. Among his dozens of film credits, highlights include “The Arrangement,” “M*A*S*H,” “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” “Nashville,” “The Front,” “An Unmarried Woman,” “Manhattan,” “The Year of Living Dangerously,” “Salvador,” “Batman Returns” and “Away from Her.”

Attendees must have a Zoom account to register; to register, email Phoebe Lewis at pl@middfilmfest. Updates will be published in the MNFF e-newsletter; sign up at

Opera North live!LEBANON, N.H. — “Opera North will likely be one of the few companies in the U.S. actually producing live opera with orchestra this summer, thanks to our unique outdoor venue at Blow-Me-Down Farm,” noted Louis Burkot, Opera North artistic director.

The solution comes thanks to a few tweaks to the magnificent Blow-Me-Down Farm venue Opera North is creating on the banks of the Connecticut River in Cornish in partnership with the Augustus Saint Gaudens National Historic Park.

The musicians, spaced at least 6 feet apart, will perform from a 60-by-40-foot stage under a bandshell tent to an open-air audience who are sitting on the lawn in “patron pods” or in their cars. Thanks to generous donors, admission to these performances in August, all at 6 p.m., will be free:

— Saturday, Aug. 1: “Bluegrass and Broadway” — pianist Evans Haile (ON general manager), two singers, and local bluegrass performers.

— Thursday and Saturday, Aug. 6 and 8 — Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” in a concert format in English, with 10 singers and 24-piece orchestra conducted by Burkot.

Tickets will be available starting July 1 at

‘Grit and Grace’BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) hosts “Grit and Grace: The Empowerment of Women at Work in Global Communities,” a free, online talk with National Geographic photojournalist Alison Wright, via Zoom at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25. The talk is presented in connection with the exhibit “Alison Wright: Grit and Grace, Women at Work,” on view at BMAC through Oct. 12. It will be live-streamed simultaneously on BMAC’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

In her Zoom talk, Wright will share the stories behind her photographs, speak about her experiences as a global photojournalist and share elements of her own extraordinary life story, which includes a two-decade friendship with the Dalai Lama and a near-death experience in Laos.

Wright is a documentary photographer, a National Geographic Traveler of the Year, a recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography, and the author of multiple books, including “Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit,” “Human Tribe,” “The Dalai Lama: A Simple Monk,” and the memoir “Learning to Breathe: One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival.”

For more information, go online to or call 802-257-0124.

$1M Endowment awardsMONTPELIER — Nine Vermont organizations will receive grants totaling $972,800 from the National Endowment for the Arts through its second round of funding announced Wednesday for FY2020.

“We are proud that the NEA awards recognize Vermont’s outstanding and diverse arts landscape,” said Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Karen Mittelman. “These federal grants will support some of Vermont’s major cultural organizations, across a wide range of disciplines, from theater and opera to arts education and folk art traditions.”

Art Works is the NEA’s largest grant category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts and strengthening of communities through the arts. Vermont’s recipients are:

— Community Engagement Lab, Montpelier, $55,000

— Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (for Burlington Discover Jazz Festival), $37,500

— Shelburne Museum, $20,000

— Stowe Story Labs, $20,000

— Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset, $15,000

— New Music on the Point, NMOP, Brandon, $10,000

— Opera Company of Middlebury, $10,000

The Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury received an NEA partnership award of $40,000.

Go online to for more information.

Virtual danceBURLINGTON — Vermont Dance Alliance presents “Traces 2020” virtual performance, Facebook watch party, at 5 p.m. today (June 20). Thirty dancers from Vermont and New England worked together during the month of May to create a virtual performance as this years’ “Traces” outdoor dance festival.

Go online to to join.

Make Music DayBURLINGTON — Make Music VT is going virtual this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Make Music VT is part of Make Music Day, the worldwide music celebration held each June 21, the summer solstice.

Typically featuring free outdoor concerts, performances, music lessons jam sessions and other musical events on streets, sidewalks, parks and public spaces in Vermont and across the U.S., this year’s Make Music Day will take a virtual approach to encourage all people, of all musical abilities, to celebrate the joy of making music.

This year’s event welcomes live performances by artists across the state who choose to perform while mindful of public health guidelines, for small audiences like family and neighbors, but Big Heavy World strongly encourages hosting independent live streams.

From noon to 6 p.m. Big Heavy World will host a live stream featuring studios from across the state that will each host artists local to their region. Participating studios include Boarding Gate Studios in Northfield, West Street Digital Recording in St. Albans, the Underground Recording Studio in Randolph and Robot Dog Studio and A9 Studio in Burlington.

Big Heavy World’s live stream will be available at

Canal Street ArtBELLOWS FALLS — The Vermont Summer Group Show is Canal Street Art Gallery’s third annual open call to regional artists, showing artworks in all media, styles and subject matters. The exhibition celebrates the diversity and abundance of local art here in southern Vermont through Sept. 12.

Website-based viewing rooms, social media and online sales with Artcloud have allowed for the finding and buying of local artwork. Yet the in-person experience that one has with art remains paramount. Fortunately, the Canal Street Gallery can offer private appointments for groups of up to four people to be in the gallery during regular operating hours.

Hours are 11 a.m. to Wednesday-Saturday for private appointments, go onlineto or call 802-289-0104.

Fair Haven cancelsFAIR HAVEN — The Fair Haven Concerts in the Park Summer Series will not take place this summer. The committee has secured the same lineup for next summer. Also canceled this summer in Fair Haven are the Friday night events held downtown. The committee for those events will work again throughout the year to plan for summer 2021.

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