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April 12, 2011

Vermont Legislature Recognizes SEABA, South End Art District

Christy & Roy This morning the Vermont House of Representatives voted unanimously to approve resolution H.C.R. 132, which recognizes the South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA) for 25 years of supporting the development of the South End Arts District and the creative economy in Burlington.

SEABA's main event — the South End Art Hop — draws in more than 30,000 attendees each September and has been named a "Top-10 Fall Event" by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

The resolution, offered by Chittenden County State Rep. Suzi Wizowaty (D-Burlington) and Johannah Leddy Donovan (D-Burlington), and State Sens. Philip Baruth D-Chittenden), Sally Fox (D-Chittenden), Virginia "Ginny" Lyons (D-Chittenden), Hinda Miller (D-Chittenden) and Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden), recounts the history of this eclectic neighborhood of the Queen City and its current vibrancy. (*Updated below)

In fact, Vermont Life noted 40 years ago that Ray Unsworth's Howard Space building on the corner of Pine and Howard streets was the first "business and art" incubator of its kind in the city. The building has remained an incubator for the district.

The resolution also cites how the "South End Arts District" is now the common parlance used by local newspapers, is home to nearly 100 artists and art studios, and numerous businesses directly involved in the creative economy.

The South End is also home to the some of the state's largest marketing and design firms: Kelliher Samets Volk, Jager Di Paola Kemp Design, and Select Design.

SEABA was cofounded by former State Rep. Bill Mares.

SEABA co-directors Roy Feldman and Christy Mitchell (pictured), along with board members Rick Norcross and Mark Waskow, were in attendance.

To complement this development in formalizing the South End Arts District, SEABA has created the SEABA Center at 404 Pine Street. The SEABA Center is a showcase for the organization’s commercial and artist membership, and serves as an information center for those who wish to know more about exhibition spaces, galleries and studios within the district and throughout Burlington.

Photo by Rick Norcross

* Update: SEABA contacted us after this was posted to let us know that Rep. Johannah Leddy Donovan (D-Burlington) also sponsored the resolution.

I can't believe Doreen Kraft let this happen! Was she out of town?

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