Olga Peters

By the numbers: arts organizations nationwide emerge bruised from pandemic

Prior to the pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the nation's arts and culture sector comprised 4.3 percent of the economy and represented a $919.7 billion industry with 5.2 million jobs.

The World Economic Forum in May 2020 reported that the music industry lost approximately half its revenue with the cancellation of concerts and other performances.

Globally, the industry was worth more than $50 billion, with live music making up half the industry's revenues, the forum estimated.

According to a June 28 research update from Americans for the Arts, the virus continues to affect the country's arts sector and its workforce.

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After pandemic-induced hiatus, music returns to Potash Hill

Marlboro Music begins 2021 season, despite questions about who owns the former college campus

Marlboro Music began its 70th summer season last month, as 75 musicians journeyed to Potash Hill to study, practice, and perform together. The musician residency and summer performance series has drawn musicians and music lovers to the area for decades, leaving a hole in many local music lovers' sense...

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Figuring it out

Mark Speno, a former district teacher and an award-winning principal, takes helm of Windham Southeast Supervisory Union for the school year

The Windham Southeast Supervisory Union begins its new fiscal year with a new leader: Green Street School Principal Mark Speno, who will serve as the WSESU's interim superintendent. “I'm embracing the challenge,” Speno said on July 2 from his office at Green Street School, where he has served for...

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Negro Brook will keep its name — at least, for now

The State Board of Libraries Geographic Naming Committee unanimously voted down a petition to rename a brook in Townshend after former resident Susanna Toby. Board member Linda Saarinjoki made the motion to reject the petition with an explanation attached. “We're in favor of changing the name, but not to Susanna Toby,” Saarinjoki said. Like a core sample marking the Earth's history of volcanos, floods, forest fires, and fossils in compact layers of rock and sediment, the June 17 public hearing...

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A new way

A new Downtown Plan proposes more public spaces and to upgrade many existing sites, with a goal of making downtown a calm lagoon where people and businesses rest, mingle, and engage, rather than slide through carried on a crisscrossing road network to somewhere else. Establishing a public restroom. Developing Harmony Parking Lot into a people-centered space. Updating the Preston Lot to take advantage of the green space around the Whetstone Brook. These are just three of the priorities outlined in...

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State budget funds measures to grow BIPOC-owned businesses

Gov. Phil Scott has signed the state's $7.315 billion budget, authorizing state spending on small business pandemic relief, career and technical education programs, housing, and tourism and marketing. Included in the FY22 budget, which goes into effect July 1, is an initiative to support the development of businesses operated by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). “This piece of legislation really addresses the BIPOC business community and entrepreneurs in a way that will contribute to expanding our economy,” said...

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Brattleboro police, sorely understaffed, cut patrol shifts

A reduction in staff has led interim Brattleboro Police Chief Mark Carignan to reduce coverage from three shifts to two. In practice, the schedule is a little more nuanced. According to Carignan, the goal for the change - which took effect May 23 - is to ensure that remaining officers no longer work multiple overtime shifts or more than 16 hours a day. Consequently, the department will reorganize its foot patrols to align with when the town requires the most...

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Legislators look back on historic, unusual session

Newly elected Rep. Leslie Goldman, D-Rockingham, sat alone at her computer feeling sad. The Vermont Legislature had just adjourned. Instead of a celebration with colleagues, Goldman exited her first legislative session by clicking the Leave Meeting button on her Zoom account. “I would imagine, it's like when you do a play and there's a wrap party,” she said. “There was no opportunity to celebrate as a team, or as a group, so I felt sad about that.”(1) The 2021 Legislative...

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