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Stuck in Vermont: 100% homegrown Vermont vlog about art, music, obsessions and outsiders

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June 2007

June 26, 2007

Geek Week [33]


Geeks5 During the week of June 21-28, it is hip to be square at the Langdon St Cafe in VT's state capitol, Montpelier. 

The organizers of Geek Week, Dave Porcello and Ben Matchstick would have gotten along swimmingly when they were kids - geeky kids.  Although they only met recently, their childhood interests in comics, Dungeons & Dragons, arcade games, computers and solitude unite them in the Geeky Brethren.

During Geek Week you can expect to find 80s trivia, 80s cover bands like Sputnik, antique arcade games, board games, comics, drawing, cereal eating and geeky bonding.

Geeks4 Ben and Dave hope to unite the geeks and pull them away from their solitary computer monitors.  And judging by the large crowd Friday night, their nefarious plan is working.  Nowadays, it is hip to be square, for real.

You have three days of activities left, GO GEEKS!

tuesday [june 26]: Comix-con

5:00 Comic book showcase & trading
6:30 Information Overload: Comix!
8:00 Andrew Parker Renga (folk/rock)
9:00 kaFui (Drum&Bass heroes)
9:30 Reverend (Floppy Disc Jockey)

wednesday [june 27]: Pop-science!

5:00 Intro to Quantum Mechanics
6:00 Mathletics challenge!
7:00 Electronic music workshop
8:00 The Mountain Wolves (ALT-alt)
9:30 The Thimbles (ALT-psychedelic)

thursday [june 28]: Aliens vs. Warlocks

5:00 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Costume Con
5:30 Magic, Dungeons & Dragons
7:30 Information Overload: Sci-Fi!
8:45 GrottoBlaster (adventure core)
9:30 Sara Grace & The Suits
10:45 Geek Week: FINAL SMACKDOWN!

June 19, 2007

The Identity Project [32]


Spectrum10_2 The Identity Project is a show of photographs and oral history interviews on display throughout June at the Metro Gallery in Burlington's City Hall.  The artwork was created by homeless and at-risk youth and gives the community a rare glimpse into their world.

Spectrum Health and Family Services and the Community Health Center of Burlington joined forces to bring you this exhibit.  Both organizations provide a sense of family, security and support to youth who often have no where else to turn.

Sammie, one of the artists, has been on the street since he was 15 yrs old and is not sure what may have become of him without the food, shelter, clothes, and friendship that Spectrum has to offer.

Spectrum12Another artist named Lizzy lives at home but goes to Spectrum One Stop regularly to see her friends and people she can relate to.

Sometimes it is hard for people to believe homelessness exists in Vermont and harder still to accept that young people live on the streets.  They are often hungry, cold and desperate for a routine and something to channel their energies towards.  Spectrum provides them with all these things.

More than anything, Sammie and Lizzy just want to be seen and accepted for who they are, instead of being treated like invisible outcasts.  They are tired of being ignored, brushed aside, stereotyped and misunderstood.  Bringing their voices and their artwork to City Hall is a step toward being heard and exposing their identities to the public.

Spectrum11_2 Lizzy carries a doll named "Jaded Jenny" around with her everywhere she goes.  She says that Jenny gets a lot of stares and this is a good thing because, "It gets [Lizzy] noticed.  Makes [her] stand out..."

The Identity Project is in its third year bringing these artists' voices, talents and personalities into the public spotlight.  Brian Plisko from Spectrum and Colleen Dwyer from CHCB are the main organizers of the co-sponsored event. 

The Identity Project is up at Metro Hall through June 29.  There is an opening reception this Thursday, June 21st from 4-7pm.  You can meet the artists and the staff and find out more about what you can do to help. 

Spectrum_7 The photos can be purchased for $20/each, half of which goes into the artist's pocket (Lizzy is hoping to buy her mom a birthday present) and half of which goes to the programs which benefit these artists.

So the next time you walk by Spectrum One Stop on Pearl St, try making some eye contact or stopping to say hello. 

According to Lizzy, they are loud and boisterous at times simply to get people to SEE them.  And if you see Lizzy and Jenny or Sammie, why not talk to them about their art show in City Hall.

Music is The Breaking In off their album Darkness Has Taken Hold Again.  The song is "Dark Winter."  You can catch The Breaking In playing at Club Metronome on June 29th with The Jazz Guys.  Also, they are releasing a new album!

And dearly departed Casey Rae Hunter's, AKA The Contrarian's, song "Soft Rock One" off his Soft Rock album.  Miss you and Brooke!

Selene Colburn [31]


Selene_6 Selene Colburn's "The History of the Future Suite" is a work in progress which was performed at the Flynn Space Sunday night to a full house. 

Speaking of the future, many babies and toddlers were in attendance including Selene's (pronounced Selena) own children. 

Selene was the recipient of the Flynn Center's spring 2007 New Art Space Assistance (N.A.S.A.) Grant. "This grant provides Vermont artists, working locally, with the development time and space in which to engage in process and thus to create new and meaningful work."  They are accepting applications right now so apply before the August deadline!

Selene_7 You can read more about Selene's process at the Flynn Blog.  She had an open door policy for the past two months, letting any community member participate in the dances and their creation. 

In the past month, the final group of performers solidified and they began to plan the show.  The dancers' experiences, backgrounds and ages vary wildy.  It is a diverse slice of the Vermont community in which we live.

Selene's show explored themes of twins, science, the future and her own life.  After suffering a debilitating back injury, Selene had to re-learn how to move, starting with her fingers.  Selene's solo dance incorporates finger dancing as well as spoken words about her experiences.  This is her first performance since her injury years ago.

What does the future hold?  As Selene says at the end of her solo piece, "In the future, I am a dancer..."   After Sunday, nothing could be clearer.

The show was followed by cupcakes!

The music is by melodic Carrigan, off their album Young Men Never Die, and aptly titled "Moving Bones."

June 11, 2007

Got eBay? [30]

If you haven't taken a trip to the Shelburne Museum in a bit, it might be time for you to reacquaint yourself with this slice of VT history. There are new modern signs at the entrance and some edgy new shows inside.  Move over quilts and Ticonderoga, this is not your grandmother's museum anymore.

Shelburne_3One of Shelburne Museum's new exhibits in the Round Barn is "Got eBay? Celebrity Collections Created Online" which is on display from May 20 – October 28, 2007.   

Eight celebrities were given $1000/each to curate their own show using items purchased on eBay.  When the exhibit is over, the items will be re-sold to eBay. 

Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960) was a pioneering collector of American folk art and founded Shelburne Museum in 1947. She purchased about 120,000 art pieces in her life and one can only wonder what she would have thought of eBay and how it might have affected her life as a collector.

Shelburne_2 Stephan Jost, the director of Shelburne Museum speaks of the eBay attraction for art collectors.  eBay has changed the face of both fine art buying and selling and flea market sales.  These days, anyone can bid against avid collectors like Electra.  The highest and the fastest bidder takes all.

The participants in Got eBay? are: Jerry Seinfeld (comedian), Bianca Jagger (humanitarian), Kevin LePage (racecar driver, NASCAR circuit), John Lurie (musician, artist, actor), Carter Foster (curator, Whitney Museum of American Art), Beth Rudin DeWoody (collector, real estate executive), Quy Nguyen and Fritz Karch (editors, Martha Stewart Living magazine), and Vermont Governor Jim Douglas.

Perfect barn-music by Avi and Celia, "Bud n' Mary" from Off the Floor (MySpace).


PS And if you are lucky during your visit, you may even meet some of the museum's smaller inhabitants, the chipmunks and woodchucks - but which is which?

June 05, 2007

VT Balloon and Music Festival [29]

Balloon_2a The Marlboro Man cannot hold a candle to the elite group of Air Cowboys that travel around the world flying balloons at various festivals and gatherings.  After all, can the Marlboro Man float 4,000 feet in the air and land wherever the tempestuous gusts of wind lead him? 

These single-minded cowboys are obsessed with flight.  From the first time they went up in a hot air balloon, they knew there was no other life for them.

The Fourth Annual Vermont Balloon and Music Festival took place June 1-3, 2007. There was hot-air ballooning, family entertainment and carnival fun at Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction.

Balloon5a The Festival features up to 40 colorful sport balloons and special-shaped balloons from across the region and country.

I went up in a Press Balloon Flight early Friday morning.  It was my first time and I was petrified. 

My pilot was Art Voltaire (I kid you not) Moller from Albuquerque New Mexico.  Four of us spent 2 hours in a tiny wicker basket floating through VT wilderness, mountains and forests, losing all sense of direction. 

Balloon7a You don't know where you are landing when you go ballooning.  The wind takes you where it pleases.  You can only control your up and down. 

We landed in Willow Hill Farm in Milton and luckily, the farmer was nice enough to let us park there.  The landing was bumpy and we had to sit in the balloon basket waiting for our ride to get there - the wind pulling and tugging at our still-aloft parachute.

As scared as I am of heights, it was invigorating.  Even if I did have this creepy sensation that I could have jumped out at any point and plummeted to my death.  Maybe next time.  For now, I am just glad my camera didn't fall on its head.

Aptly titled songs "Fire" and "Bird" by  cccome? off their album, Come (MySpace).

Kidney Foundation Pub Crawl [28]

Pub_1 Just where exactly are your kidneys and what on earth do they do?  And how can drinking beer help raise money to help the little guys?

Join us on a hot Thursday night in downtown Burlington for the first annual Kidney Foundation Pub Crawl where these questions and more will be answered while raising money for a good cause and consuming much Shipyard Beer.

Proceeds benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Maine and the people in New England suffering from kidney related illnesses. 

Pub_10 More than 20 million Americans suffer from diseases of the kidney and urinary tract. Nearly 50,000 die each year from these diseases. 
Nearly 350,000 Americans suffer from chronic kidney failure. Each year, another 75,000 join them - an annual growth of more than 7%  Kidney disease is no respecter of age. It affects people of all ages and all walks of life.

We crawled to
Nectar's, Ake's Place, Red Square, Halvorson's, Manhattan Pizza & Pub, What Ale's You, Church St Tavern, and Ruben James.  At each stop, more money was added to the jugs and more Shipyard was enjoyed.

Featured in the vlog but not properly titled are some 7D staff such as Art Director, Rev Diane Sullivan, photographer Matthew Thorsen and Director of Digital Development, Bob Kilpatrick.  Also, it should be noted that the sponsors of the event were 7 Days, MP 103 and Farrell Distributing with ShipYard and the National Kidney Foundation of Maine.  We love kidneys!

Poppy ditty by Pretty & Nice, "Stop_Start" off their latest tasty album, Pink & Blue.

PS Are you an organ donor?  17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.  What are you waiting for?!

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