Arts & Culture

VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

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This week, the U.S. Supreme Court settled an important question about the function of the Electoral College that elects the U.S. president. But it did not address the question about the Electoral College.

The high court decided not only that states can require electors to follow the will of the popular vote within their states — but also that they can penalize or replace electors who fail to do so. The court's vote was unanimous.

The pandemic, a bad economy, police killings and a fight for racial equality: It's a lot of take in. For some, music has been a way to cope and try to make sense of it all and that is the premise behind the Morning Edition Song Project, in which we asked musicians to write and perform an original song about this moment.

Logo for The Frequency podcast, from VPR.
Lara Dickson / For VPR

A summer without a single Lake Monsters game. Plus: compost, masks, COVID-19, and moose.

A baseball field at sunset.

It's official. There will be no Minor League Baseball this summer, and that means the Vermont Lake Monsters will not be playing at Centennial Field in Burlington this year.

A man in gold-rimmed glasses and a Malcolm X shirt stands outside a library.
Elodie Reed / VPR File

Protests erupted across the country over the killing of George Floyd in police custody on Memorial Day. Calls for justice and the overthrowing of systemic racism in the U.S. echoed from Burlington to Seattle. In this recorded conversation, we speak with Vermont poet and educator Rajnii Eddins about how he views this historic moment.

A grid of three photos of kids playing music.
Kingdom All Stars, Courtesy

The Kingdom All Stars is a free, volunteer-run band founded in 2012, featuring musicians in grades 5-12 in the Northeast Kingdom. Like musicians everywhere, they’ve been looking for ways to perform in a pandemic, and next month, they will premiere their new YouTube concert series. Erica Heilman paid them a visit.

Lifelong Addison County farmer Roger Layn waves to well-wishers as hundreds of people drove by his house to help him celebrate his 100th birthday.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

For most of us, having a birthday during a pandemic might mean postponing a party until next year. But when the birthday is your 100th, you deserve a celebration. And Monkton resident Roger Layn got a big one. Hundreds of people drove by his house to honk, wave and wish the well-known farmer a happy birthday on Saturday, June 6.

A collage of painted rocks and a young girl holding one.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Amalie Pratt is 10 years old and lives on a gravel back road near the Elmore-Morristown line. Since she's been learning from home, she and her dad have been talking daily treks through the neighborhood. Those walks have turned into a hunt for friendship rocks.

Logo for The Frequency podcast, from VPR.
Lara Dickson / For VPR

This summer’s season of races at Thunder Road could get called off due to the pandemic. Plus: Vermont businesses reopening, Waterbury’s new news site, and the latest COVID-19 case numbers.

A white and green race car with the number 94 on it, in front of a large shelf of trophies.
Erica Heilman / VPR

Mike Martin Auto Repair is off of Town Hill Road, which is off Route 14. It’s between Craftsbury and Albany in the Northeast Kingdom. Mike Martin and Brendan Moodie work on cars there, and usually this time of year they’re getting ready to race at Thunder Road. Erica Heilman stopped in to talk with them about the upcoming season.

Twp photos, one of photographer taking a portrait of three people on the left, and one of the resulting portrait with three people on the right.
Right: Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR, Left: Lawrence Jay Kennedy, Courtesy

Two weeks ago, Elmore wedding photographer Jay Kennedy decided to turn his lens onto his neighbors. He's been capturing them at home, on their front porches as they wait out the pandemic. 

Cars driving on a roundabout.
Gordon Miller, Courtesy

After the Waterbury Record published its last issue in late March, a group of volunteers has started a community news site to try and fill the void.

A black and white image of a woman in glasses.
Emma Rose Horowitz-McCadden, Courtesy

Back in late February, when such a thing was still possible, VPR's Mitch Wertlieb visited poet Kerrin McCadden at her South Burlington home to talk about her new collection of poetry Keep This To Yourself.

Three people in masks and a fourth person in a studio.
Jay Barton, Courtesy

This week, storytellers from around the region came together to tell tales about their moms in honor of Mother's Day. The event was part of a special Mother's Day edition of WCAX-TV's program, You Can Quote Me, which airs Sunday mornings at 7:30.

This The Moth-style storytelling event featured local storytellers Susanne Schmidt, Cindy Pierce and Kevin Gallagher.

Movie title painted on wall
Thomas Aleto, Courtesy

The coronavirus is taking up most of the conversation around public health right now, but a new documentary by a Stowe filmmaker highlights another widespread health problem: Type 2 diabetes. The documentary is called El Susto, and it focuses on the high rates of diabetes in Mexico, linked to heavy consumption of sugary drinks and processed foods.

Two people wearing masks stand together outside a hospital and a truck with the words "Music Haul"
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermonters have been helping their communities get through this pandemic by sewing face masks, delivering food, and by donating their time and money. In Windham County, the Yellow Barn Music Festival has been doing its part by bringing music to the places that need it most.

Logo for The Frequency podcast, from VPR.
Lara Dickson / For VPR

Governor Phil Scott’s unprecedented effort to monitor Vermont’s borders. Plus, a musical moving truck and the latest COVID-19 case numbers.

Outside the Flynn, a Burlington-based performing arts center.
bostontx / flickr

Festivals canceled. Venues closed. COVID-19 has hit Vermont's performing arts hard. This hour, we talk about the strain on artists and arts organizations, and ways Vermonters can help.

Logo for The Frequency podcast, from VPR.
Lara Dickson / For VPR

How one restaurant is doing over a month into the shutdown. Plus, Vermont prisoners locked up past their minimum sentence, UVM’s fall plans, and an update on COVID-19.

Mexican restaurant window
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Bars and restaurants have been limited to takeout and delivery in Vermont since March 17. While some have closed their doors for the time being, many have adapted, bringing food and drinks out to customers’ cars for pickup. So, after a month of scaled-back business, how’s that working out for restaurant owners? For one perspective, we check in with Jennifer Isabell. She owns and operates El Toro, a Mexican restaurant in Morrisville.