Brave Little State

What if you could decide what stories Vermont Public Radio should be covering, before they're even assigned?

That's the idea behind Brave Little State, a monthly podcast where you ask the questions, you decide what VPR investigates, and then you work with us to find the answers.

So tell us: What question do you have about Vermont, our region or its people that you want us to explore? Submit it below, or leave us a short voicemail at 802-552-4880.

Our latest episode, available now, and broadcasting on Tuesday, July 9 during Vermont Edition at noon and 7 p.m.: What's The Plan For The 'Pit' In The Middle Of Newport?

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Brave Little State is made possible by the VPR Innovation Fund, and powered by Hearken. Our theme music is by Ty Gibbons. All questions asked make it to the question archive unless they don’t meet our guidelines for decorum, fairness or obvious conflicts of interest.

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Chain-link fence surrounds an overgrown area in downtown Newport where buildings once stood.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

A development project gone wrong. A community living with the fallout. And an uncertain path forward.

Ecologist Bob Zaino measures the diameter of a sugar maple in Gifford Woods State Park.
Angela Evancie / VPR

This month on Brave Little State, a question from listener Andrew Wild about Vermont’s most elderly woods.

A black-and-white photo of Sinclair Lewis sitting in a lawn chair at Twin Farms
Vermont Historical Society, courtesy

This month on Brave Little State: Exploring the literary luminaries of Vermont, and why so many writers seem to thrive in the Green Mountain State.

Michael and Stacy Lee stand in the front yard of their white, one-story ranch just after sunset in early spring.
Angela Evancie / VPR

We know the predictions are dire; we know there are urgent conversations to be had about policy. But to answer this listener question, we stay focused on the present.

And illustration of a neighborhood.
filo / iStockphoto.com

What are the causes of Vermont’s tight housing market — and why aren’t things getting better?

Congressman Peter Welch poses for a portrait outside his office at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Eman Mohammed for VPR

Sure, you might occasionally see Vermont's U.S. House representative when he's back in the Green Mountains — but what does Peter Welch's life on Capitol Hill look like?

Congressman Peter Welch makes a phone call from his office at Capitol Hill building in Washington, D.C.
Eman Mohammed for VPR

Normally our show answers your questions about Vermont, our region and its people. This month, we decided to do something a little different.

Emmet Moseley loads a log into his wood stove.
Emily Corwin / VPR

In the winter, Coco and Emmet Moseley keep their farmhouse cozy and warm with an antique wood stove — and Coco is wondering about the benefits and drawbacks of their heat source.

Rep. Peter Welch and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at Welch's ceremonial swearing in on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. The two Congress members stand in front of American flags.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

As the balance of power shifts in Washington, Brave Little State collected your questions for Vermont Rep. Peter Welch to shape our upcoming episode.

Rep. Peter Welch stands at a podium with a Democratic Party banner behind him.
Angela Evancie / VPR

When Congress reconvenes next month, Rep. Peter Welch will be part of the Democratic majority in the U.S. House — the party's first majority since 2011. What role will he play in the new balance of power?

Antoinette and Clint Hunt, co-founders of Abracadabra Coffee Co. in Woodstock, stand in front of their coffee roaster.
Angela Evancie / VPR

What do you do when you want to start something new, but you don’t know exactly how?

Mirror Images / istockphoto.com

Overall, Vermont has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country — but one of the highest rates of African-American incarceration. So why is that?

Angela Evancie / VPR

The 272-mile Long Trail follows Green Mountain ridgelines from one end of Vermont to another. So what’s it like to hike the whole thing?

Logo for JOLTED, a five-part podcast about a school shooting that didn't happen, the line between thought and crime, and a Republican governor in a rural state who changed his mind about gun laws.
Aaron Shrewsbury for VPR

This month on Brave Little State, we interrupt our regular question-asking to bring you the first installment of JOLTED, a new five-part podcast from the VPR newsroom.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Want to have a say in the question that Brave Little State explores for our October episode? Now's your chance to vote!

Angela Evancie / VPR

You know the feeling. You’re driving along, somewhere in Vermont, and you turn onto a road with an intriguing name. And you wonder where it came from.

Angela Evancie / VPR

This month’s question led Brave Little State straight into an unfolding story — about an outsider with deep pockets and big ideas, and the towns that banded together to reject those ideas. 

Artist Lois Eby, farmer Greg Cox and Supreme Court Associate Justice Marilyn Skoglund.
Amy Noyes/Nina Keck/Angela Evancie / VPR

For the free-thinkers and radicals who moved to Vermont in the 1960s and 1970s, the past may be obscured in a cloud of … wood … smoke. But what does the present look like?

A photo collage featuring, from left, the exterior of a prison, a close-up of a tick, and a Vermont landscape.
From left: Peter Hirschfeld/VPR; ErikKarits/iStockphoto.com; Angela Evancie/VPR

Want to have a say in the question that Brave Little State explores for our August episode? Now's your chance to vote!

Verandah Porche, courtesy

Brave Little State is working on an episode about Vermont's "aging hippies" — if that’s you, we want to hear from you.

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