Arts & Culture

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

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Abstract artist Emily Mason stands in front of some of her new work hanging on the walls in New York City.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Many years of work by Emily Mason, an abstract painter who splits her time between southern Vermont and New York City, is the focus of a retrospective show going on now at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.

Students at Castleton Village School - from left, Brian Lenox, Leah Reynolds, Jade Traverse and Rosalie Bates - sit holding up the book "Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus" by Dusti Bowling, a nominee for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award.
Meg Malone / VPR

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you had no arms? How would you eat? Or write? Or turn the pages of a book? Those are some of the everyday challenges facing 13-year-old Aven Green, the main character in Dusti Bowling’s novel Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus.

Send us your thoughts on the past year in the form of a haiku!
Jay Parker / Flickr

We're starting off 2019 in poetic form. Send us a haiku about your 2018: events, moments, thoughts. Or write one about your hopes for the new year.

A record play. As the year comes to a close, we take a look at some of the local music that came out in 2018.
filomar / iStock

It's that time of year again — the time for lists and debates over the best books, music and movies of the year.

Here at VPR, we wanted to join in on the list-making fun, so VPR’s Liam Elder-Connors sat down with Seven Days music editor Jordan Adams to talk about the year in Vermont-area music — a year in which there was "nonstop output," according to Adams.

Mikahely performs on stage at Radio Bean in Burlington.
Bayla Metzger / VPR

Mikahely, a well-known musician from Madagascar, recently made his home in Vermont. And while he’s settling in to a new country, he’s also acclimating to smaller stages.

Rose Kinnick stands before an open piano
Jessica Ticktin / For VPR

If you hire someone to tune your piano in Vermont, chances are good that it will be a man who shows up to do it. In the Vermont chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild, only four of the 20 members are women.

A variety of blue-and-white decorated snowflake cookies.
Ann Clark Cookie Cutters, courtesy

For many people the holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without baking and decorating cookies. But a growing number of creative bakers, known as cookiers, are taking their art to a whole new level.

A sign on a summer day that says Welcome To Vermont The Green Mountain State with greenery in the background.
Meg Malone / VPR

The VPR News staff covers a lot of stories during the course of the year, and as 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to know which ones they reported on that have really stuck with them — and why.

Young Writers Project: 'The Man In The Suit'

Dec 23, 2018
 This week’s Stowe, Vermont, poet Astrid Young pleads with us to remember the fragile nature of our planet.
YWP Photo Library, image by Vivien Sorce, Hinesburg, Vermont

The Lorax tried, but he couldn’t stop him.
It is my turn to make him understand.
I speak; my leaves brush against my fellow saplings.
I feel; my roots dig deep into the soil
and I hold hands with baby maples.
My home is this Earth, and my job is to breathe.
I cannot breathe if you light my branches ablaze,
if you cloud the air around me with smoke.
My roots cannot sink deep beneath the soil
if your machines continue to rip them from the ground.

Mitch Wertlieb / VPR

There’s sometimes this perception that if you want to see great music in Vermont, you’ve got to head to Burlington. It's a myth a band from the Northeast Kingdom is trying to dispel.

Ann Braden's new book is "The Benefits of Being an Octopus."
courtesy Ann Braden

Brattleboro writer Ann Braden became known to many Vermonters when she started the advocacy group GunSenseVT in 2013. Meanwhile, Braden, a former teacher, was raising two small children and writing. And now her debut novel has been published to rave reviews.

James Cumming

Like the Christmas story itself, it’s a mystery to me, how every year I buy and schlep a six foot tall balsam fir into my home and spend hours decorating it, while my British partner sits on the sofa drinking tea and egging me on.

VPR Classical's Timeline program is starting a new series on music and the mind.

VPR Classical has been airing the Timeline series since 2015. The thought-provoking, bite-sized explorations of the development and history of Western music are the brainchild of James Stewart, the afternoon host for VPR Classical. Now, he's producing a series of new Timeline episodes with a specific focus on music.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

A few years ago, I arrived at church on a December Sunday morning to find a substitute pastor who nervously smiled and introduced herself. She invited the kids to the front before sending them to church school, and as the regular copastors normally would, asked them a few seemingly softball questions.

Young Writers Project: 'That Wall'

Dec 14, 2018
 Newbury-based poet Lana Wood uses humor to contemplate the fourth wall.
YWP Media Library, photo by Gabrielle McKitty

Do you ever feel like life is written for you?
Do you ever feel like your thoughts aren’t your own?
Do you ever feel like some 16-year-old theater geek
is sitting in front of a computer,
writing about how you feel?
Do you ever want to just… reach out?

This holiday season, make VPR and VPR Classical part of your celebrations! Enjoy a variety of traditional and new programs and music.
Marcus Lindstrom / iStock

This holiday season, make VPR and VPR Classical part of your celebrations! Enjoy a variety of traditional and new programs and music, a special holiday playlist from VPR Music, VPR Classical's "Messiah Watch" and more.

Erin Jenkins

Two current exhibitions at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center are stunning – and very different.

Keith Oppenheim

My wife and I went to Burlington’s Flynn Theater and watched as Joe Biden took the stage with author Jodi Picoult .

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?

Young Writers Project: 'This Is Not A Story'

Dec 7, 2018
Shelburne, Vermont, poet Julia Shrier wrote a whimsical work in which a narrator readily admits her story is not one for the books.
YWP Media Library, photo by Sophia Cannizzaro

Hello reader!
This is not a story.
There are no heroes with powers,
nor evil witches in towers.
So you can leave.
Go. Shoo.
There is nothing here for you.
No damsels telling tales of woe,
nor knights riding
with ladies in tow.