Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006



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 "This year, our state and nation face a health and economic crisis caused by the 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 your perspectives/innovative ideas." Over 4,600 students from high schools in 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. 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 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 Jan. 2021). One Eighteen Elliot, 118 Elliot St. Information:,


Northern Harmony - Village Harmony (Online): Northern Harmony is the highest level performing group under Village Harmony, which sponsors singing camps and workshops in New England and many parts of the world. The concert program presents a selection of Christmas and seasonal music from many countries and vocal styles including: 15th and 16th century Spanish renaissance work; traditional songs from Bulgaria, Georgia, Corsica; English ballad carols; American Appalachian, shape-note songs. Georgia's ancient 3-part harmony tradition features dark, sonorous vocals and startling harmonies. Traditional Corsican singing, passed down through oral tradition, features two ornamented upper voices over harmonic bass. The Bulgarian songs feature characteristic bright, "hard-voiced" Balkan vocal timbre, dissonant harmonies based on drones, and compound 7/8 dance meter. Spanish pieces include motets by Francesco Guerrero and villancicos from the mid-16th century songbook Cancionero di Uppsala. Finally, the group presents early American and contemporary compositions in shape-note style. Voices will often be accompanied by a band of fiddles, accordion, drum. Anytime between 12/24: 12 noon to 1/3/21: 12 noon. Questions:,, 802-426-3210. Through Sunday, January 3. Pay what you can. Online. Registration required:

Kids and families

Annual Brattleboro Music School Community Open House (Virtual): Edible and audible sweets and savories - explore our Open House "room" to find musical offerings, stories, poems, and recipes shared by our faculty, staff, and students (past, present and future). Family friendly. . Through Wednesday, January 6. Online. Information:

Community building

Vermont Humanities - Democracy Fall Conference "Supercut" Video (Virtual): Watch short clips from each talk. Along with the Vermont Arts Council, we distributed over $780,000 in CARES Act emergency relief grants to 122 Vermont arts and cultural non-profits, located in all 14 Vermont counties. Eleven Vermont schools held safe, socially distant, and masked or virtual Humanities Camps this summer. Some studied our Vermont Reads 2020 book, "The Hate U Give," by Angie Thomas. Our weekly online events have featured speakers such as Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Blight, a panel of Abenaki leaders, and theater artist Jarvis Green. The "Supercut" video, as well as full videos of all 13 talks, are online indefinitely. "While 2020 certainly didn't proceed as we had planned, we are deeply thankful for all of the ways that the humanities have made a difference in our communities. Please consider making a donation to Vermont Humanities before the end of the year.". Through Thursday, December 31. Free. Online. Information:

Voices of Real Organic (Online): A common vision for the future of agriculture on the planet is shared by many farmers and organic movement leaders. Sadly, many of these basic principles are no longer recognized by USDA Organic. Al Gore, Paul Hawken, Leah Penniman, JM Fortier, Dan Barber, Eliot Coleman, Arran Stephens, Jennifer Taylor, Zach Wolf, Emily Oakley, Jessie Buie, Linley Dixon and Dave Chapman talk about what went wrong and the hope for the Real Organic movement. Also, every Sunday in January, you can get tickets for a virtual series of talks/panels with over 50 prominent organic farmers, scientists, climate activists: Through Sunday, January 31. Online. This short video also serves as a preview for the in-depth talks. (You may need to click on "X" on right to play it)

Arts and crafts

Ornament Workshops / Knitting Classes for Kids (Online): Ornaments for all ages and skill levels. Give the gift of a shared experience with loved ones near and far. Instructor is Victoria Mansuri is the owner of the Brattleboro business: By Our Hands - A Place to Create Together. Visit website for Knitting Classes offered over the winter. Through Wednesday, December 30. $30 (first 2 participants, $10 each additional). During COVID quarantine, all classes are pay-what-you-can. Online. Information: 410-925-8532,,



December 2020