Arts & Culture

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A man stands with a snake in his arms.
Erica Heilman / For VPR

A salmon red tail boa snake named Snickers. A bantam chicken named Unicorn. A black guinea pig named Midnight. These were just a few of the honored guests that took part in the 70th annual St. Johnsbury Pet Parade.

In this episode, we hear from several local high school seniors about what is on their minds as they graduate.

Original music for this episode of Rumble Strip was composed by Brian Clark.



Bex Taylor / Flickr

I'll never forget a piece of graffiti that was prominent in downtown Brattleboro when I first moved here. It must have been considered art and not an eye sore, because no town or state official ever took it down. It said 'ROOT FOR THE UNDERDOG' - in letters six feet tall.

The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off today in Paris. Twenty-four teams will vie for their chance at glory.

Here's what you need to know to follow all the action.

When does the Women's World Cup start?

The tournament begins at the Parc des Princes in Paris, where a strong team from host nation France takes on South Korea in the opening match. The schedule ramps up Saturday with three games: Germany vs. China, Spain vs. South Africa and Norway vs. Nigeria.

The interior of the Video King store in St. Johnsbury with a yellow Liquidating sign hanging on the wall.
Erica Heilman / For VPR

After 29 years, the last video store in St. Johnsbury is closing shop. Video King once had seven locations around the state, and now its last location in Vermont is selling off its inventory and closing.

Bobbie Lanahan

Roz Payne was fearless. And she made a difference. In fact, much of the culture we value in Vermont today was influenced by her passions. She contributed to the founding of the Onion River Co-op, now Burlington’s City Market and helped organize the People's Free Clinic, now the Community Health Center. And both, in turn, have inspired similar community-based assets throughout our region.

A student sits at a table in a library holding up a copy of the novel Refugee by Alan Gratz.
Meg Malone / VPR

Each spring, upper elementary students schools in the Mt. Abraham Unified School District travel to the middle and high school library for a Jeopardy!-style trivia competition about the books nominated for Vermont's Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.

But before the gathered students from the five different elementary schools got to play the game, there was an announcement to be made: the 2019 winner. 

Is summer a time to tear into a new novel, dive into a classic memoir or listen along to a new audiobook? "Vermont Edition" wants your summer books recommendations.
Jessica Ruscello / Unsplash

It's June, and so it's time to ask the age-old question: what are you reading this summer? In Vermont Edition's annual summer book show, we're talking with librarians and book buyers around the state about new novels, memorable memoirs, first-rate nonfiction and books for kids and young adults to dive into this summer. 

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Courtesy of State Curator's Office

The unveiling of a State House exhibit earlier this month celebrating the history of the Abenaki people and their struggle for recognition was both symbolic and important. The exhibit isn’t large — a single glass-topped case in a corner of the downstairs lobby. But to the Abenaki leaders it's an historic milestone.

A display of books nominated for the 2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award, with shelves of previous years' nominees on either side, at Mt. Abraham Union High School in Bristol on May 14.
Meg Malone / VPR

For more than half a century, Vermont’s middle-grade students have been reading books on Dorothy’s List, a reading program and book award named for Arlington author Dorothy Canfield Fisher. But the author's connection to the eugenics movement, and criticism of her stereotyped portrayal of Native Americans and French Canadians in her work, are behind the Vermont Department of Libraries' decision to change the award's name.

Young Writers Project: 'Irrelevance'

May 24, 2019
Middlebury, Vermont, poet Amanda Gomes writes about her identity as the invisible, overlooked outcast among her peers.
YWP Media Library, photo by Christopher Leow

Pluto is a planet to me.
It's a small one, but a planet just like the rest.

I relate to Pluto more than the average girl.
Some people would describe me as "vanilla" –
not their first choice, but still a decent flavor.
I don't want to be vanilla.
I want to be a flavor that's a first pick,
not a backup when there are no other flavors.

Young Writers Project: 'Prophecies Of The Heart'

May 17, 2019
Barnet, Vermont, poet, Jordan Barbour, uses the mystery of the sphere to illuminate the distinction between fate and desire.
YWP Media Library, photo by Charlotte Hughes, Shelburne

The oiled surface of the stand
shows each glossy glint,
a subtle river dripping infinite varieties
of the ways your life could go,
the ebb and flow of choices.

After months of watching entry videos — over 6,000 of them — the judges of the fifth annual Tiny Desk Contest have chosen a winner!

Young Writers Project: 'I Love'

May 13, 2019
This week's Chelsea, Vermont, writer, Marina Sprague, connotes the small moments that bring her joy with the definition of poetry itself.
YWP Media Library, photo by Emma Parizo

I love staring at the clear night sky for hours.
I love to sit on my deck and paint the landscape.
I love the smell of freshly cut grass and campfires.
I love to wander the forest by my house and take pictures from weird angles.
I love to close my eyes and listen to the birds singing on a hot summer day.
I love to read books while lounging in my bright orange bean bag chair.
I love singing at the top of my lungs with music blasting from my speakers.

I love chasing my dog all around the yard and tackling him.

Matthew Murphy

The theater world woke up recently to the surprising news that Anais Mitchell's innovative and powerful musical play, Hadestown, won fourteen 2019 Tony nominations - this year's largest cache.

Chelsea is one of the towns 251 Club members visit on their trek to every city and town in Vermont.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

People join the 251 Club of Vermont as they take on a quest to visit all of the state's 251 cities and towns. One person who has been to all of them is Mike Leonard. He joined Vermont Edition to talk about the documentary he made of his journey.

Lange: Lost Worlds

May 8, 2019
Kerstin Lange

Syrian architect Mohamad Hafez was at the Fleming Museum recently to speak about how as a college student in Iowa back in 2004, he began to build miniature scenes of his native city, Damascus, to work through his homesickness. Three of his works can be seen at the Fleming Museum until May 10.

Jeremy Mikaelson performed at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles last month and is planning to work as a professional magician after his graduation from St. Michael's College.
Taylor Wong

Jeremy Mikaelson is a senior at St. Michael's College who's made a big splash in the world of magic. Last year, he won the Society of American Magicians contest in Orlando, Florida with a stage magic routine that included producing a number of brightly colored umbrellas from thin air. 

Vermont Historical Society

The recent fire that damaged Notre Dame triggered an outpouring of French anguish over the near-destruction of a building they considered a part of France’s soul. That got me thinking about our buildings here in Vermont. And which buildings, if any, are so important they sum up our experience as a state and stand for what we consider ourselves to be?

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.