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Performing arts

"Sita Sings The Blues!" (2009) - Epsilon Spires Theatre (Virtual): This is an animated, feminist retelling of the "Ramayana" featuring 1920s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw. Post-film discussion with director Nina Paley, and Vidhi Salla, host of the popular international radio program: Vidhi's Bollywood Jukebox. Comic-strip artist Nina Paley weaves together diverse," about Sita, a beautiful goddess who is rejected and betrayed by the one she loves. Sita's emotional journey is expressed through the wildly anachronistic jazz songs of 1920s singer Annette Hanshaw, while the narrative takes on a personal, contemporary parallel - the dissolution of the filmmaker's own marriage. 11:40 a.m. - midnight. Vidhi's Bollywood Film Club is a new monthly series. This Hindu classic is recounted/interpreted by 3 witty Indonesian shadow puppets who play the role of a Greek chorus to provide comic relief. Trailer: BNbXnz5s. Online. Information: RSVP for links and updates:

The written word

Youth Essay Contest (Senator Bernie Sanders 11th annual State of the Union essay contest): Each January, the U.S. President delivers the "State of the Union" address to a joint session of Congress, which outlines priorities for the coming year. Because Sanders knows that great ideas can come from everyone - not just those in power - and wants to encourage young people to become engaged in the political process, he created this contest, giving an opportunity for VT high school students to describe a major issue facing our country and propose what they would do to solve it. The 250-500 word essays can be on any issue of national importance. Senator Sanders will enter the essays of the ten finalists into the Congressional Record – the official archive of the U.S. Congress. "I started this essay contest 11 years ago to help our students be actively engaged, no matter where they stand on the issues," said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee. "This year, our state and nation face a health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with a renewed fight for racial justice. Many of you have seen family members struggle because of lost wages or health concerns, you have been asked to learn online, and you face a future that may feel uncertain. To my mind, the unprecedented nature of this time makes it more important than ever to hear perspectives and innovative ideas from you, our young people." Over 4,600 students from high schools throughout VT have written essays in the past 10 years about critically important issues, including climate change, access to mental health care, the rising cost of college, and much, much more. A volunteer panel of VT teachers will judge the essays on the students' ability to articulate an issue and propose a solution, without regard to the students' political views. Through Tuesday, January 12. State of the Union Essay Contest. Information: More info: or call 800-339-9834.

Visual arts and shows

BRATTLEBORO ""The Looking Glass Season": Featuring five artists who live in the Brattleboro area: Tina Olsen, Markie Sallick, Walter Hagedorn, John Loggia, and Schuyler Gould. This show is designed so that it can be seen through 118 Elliot's street level windows until 9 p.m. every day. (Exhibit may continue through 1/2021). One Eighteen Elliot, 118 Elliot St. Information:,

Film and video

Divine Love (2019) (Epsilon Spires Virtual Cinema): Commodified faith dominates this near-future vision of Brazil. With neon-drenched sci-fi aesthetics, sanctimonious eroticism, and incisive satire, Divino Amor intently takes on the influence of evangelical Christianity on the state -namely the far-right movement that elected populist Jair Bolsonaro. World premiere at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and intense audience reactions, Divino Amor is a commentary on the conservative, fanatical, and nationalist agenda that is spreading throughout the world and the way those that don’t espouse it, engage with it. Directed by Gabriel Mascaro. Sure to surprise and provoke. recommended for adult-viewing only. Trailer: Through Sunday, December 20. $9.99. Online. Information:

Kids and families

Brattleboro Rec & Parks - Egg Carton Crafts and Painted Planters (Two Virtual "How To" Videos): Easy crafts and decorations for you and your family to celebrate winter. 12/17: Egg Cartons; 12/18: Painted Planters. Through Friday, December 18. Free. Online. Online registration form:, Info: 802-254-5808.

BRATTLEBORO Brooks Memorial Library - Book Bundle Giveaway: Each book bundle contains a selection of brand new books around a theme or reading level, and the books will be displayed in the post. If you are interested in a bundle, comment on the post before midnight that day. Once we have chosen the lucky winner, we will post their name on our page. 6 a.m. A new book bundle is posted each day on Facebook. Connect with us to arrange pick-up of your prize either via Facebook Messenger or contact the Children's Room directly. Through Saturday, December 19. Free. Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St. Information: 802-254-5290; Click for more info on Web in new window.

Community building

Artist Development Grants - Call for Applications: Supporting artists at all stages of their careers, these grants can fund activities that enhance mastery of an artist's craft or skills and activities that increase the viability of an artist's business. New this year: Grants can also support teaching artists in developing the skills necessary to provide instruction in K-12 schools remotely during the COVID-19 crisis. Funding may also support aspects of the creation of new work when the activity allows the grantee to accept a rare important opportunity. Who may apply: Artists who have been residents of VT for at least one year prior to the application deadline and are residents at the time the award is granted; are 18 years of age or older at the time of application and have submitted all required reports on any prior Council grants; meet all the above requirements and are applying as a representative of an artist group. Grant amounts range from $250-$1,000. DL this round: 1/11/21. Applications evaluated in 3 areas: impact, planning, and budget. Priority given to first time grantees and proposals for rare or unique opportunities. The Artist Development program has supported 277 VT artists since 2009. For examples of previously funded projects, see list of recent grantees. Through Monday, January 11. Vermont Arts Council. Information: Full details and online application:

MARLBORO Marlboro Community Food Share: Fill a grocery bag with non-perishables and fresh local produce. Available for anyone who could use an extra bag of groceries or knows someone who does. To donate: Leave non-perishable food in the donation box at the Marlboro Post Office (collected weekly). 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Thursday. Food is set up in Marlboro Community Center's entry-way. Enter one person at a time. Bring grocery bag or use ours. Masks required. Gardeners and farmers welcome to donate produce. Wear masks, wash hands when harvesting/handling food. No registration or eligibility required. Fresh produce can be dropped off at the Community Center on Thur. from 1-4 p.m. Leftover produce taken to FoodWorks the following morning. Leave non-perishable food in the donation box at the Marlboro Post Office. It will be collected on a weekly-basis. Marlboro Community Center, 524 South Rd. Information: Deliveries made through Marlboro Cares for those needing assistance. For delivery, call in advance: 802-258-3030.

Community meals

GUILFORD Guilford Cares Food Pantry: The Guilford Cares Food Pantry continues to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure food security for all our citizens and vulnerable populations. They are well stocked with the staples you need for your family and are following viral guidelines to limit risk. Guilford Cares welcomes anyone in need of supplemental food for themselves or their families. 5 - 6 p.m. on Thursdays. Remain in your car. A volunteer will give you a "shopping list" (fresh produce, staples, meat, dairy) for you to mark items you would like (bring a pen). Another volunteer will fill a bag (bring one) and bring it to porch where you will pick it up. Questions, concerns, donate groceries/monetary gifts, call Pat Haine: 802-257-0626. If you cannot come due to illness/high risk, call Pat to arrange for food delivery by a volunteer. Broad Brook Community Center, 3940 Guilford Center Rd. Information: More questions/info: 802-579-1350,

TOWNSHEND Free Food - VeggieVanGo: Grace Cottage Hospital hosts the Vermont Foodbank's "VeggieVanGo" free food distribution program at least once a month. The purpose of the program is to help people obtain fresh fruits and vegetables to sustain a healthy lifestyle. All are welcome and no proof of eligibility is required. 12 noon - 1 p.m. in Leland and Gray's lower parking lot. Free. Leland and Gray Union Middle and High School, 2042 VT Rte 30. Sometimes a second food distribution in a month is organized with little advance notice: Updates:



December 2020