John Wilmerding

Arts as an economic engine: a longstanding vision for Brattleboro

Tremendous article! The writer, quite a wonderful creative artist herself, has apparently drunk the proverbial Kool-Aid at least as much as I have!

I remember the first meetings I had in 1991 with Mara Williams and Trust Company of Vermont founder Jack Davidson on creating a real fine arts center here. Later, I was on the first tentative committee that explored the establishment of a Fine Arts Center in the local area and decided that the downtown should be the fine arts center.

I was with the late architect Leo Berman, designer of the River Garden, when Elizabeth Latchis gave us the first tour of the family business, and the idea of turning it into a fine arts center was first discussed.

Throughout, I have maintained that all Brattleboro needs is a vision for ourselves, for our community. And even though there has been some concern we might be gentrifying Brattleboro - Ms. Marcel has written with great foresight about that, too - I think that if we take stock now, we can only go forward.

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A new nonprofit needed for River Garden?

RE: “The River Garden's $64,000 question,” Letters, Feb. 6: I have spoken with principals of Building a Better Brattleboro (BaBB) about exactly this question raised by Jim Verzino, “How do we develop a viable financial plan so that whoever is managing the building (BaBB or another entity) can run...

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It's about the democratic process

Town Meeting Representative is concerned about the neighborhood

While I am still neutral on the issue of whether the BASIC skatepark should be built in Crowell Park, I am strongly in favor of proper and legal community processes in deciding this, and I would like to observe some facts. I attended the Development Review Board (DRB) meeting...

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Here comes the sun

The definition of insanity, they say, is to keep doing the same thing but expecting different results. For the most part, this is exactly what social movement activists have been doing for decades. What's more, this unfortunate and ill-fated approach blatantly ignores the most valuable lessons of social-movement activism learned in the late-20th-century movement for nuclear disarmament, and its culmination, the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign in the United States. But this is a message of hope. For by integrating these...

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Reed’s commentary told it like it is

My eyes burned with shame as I read of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission's firing and excoriation of Curtiss Reed Jr. as a member of its Vermont State Advisory Commission. I read carefully his commentary in the Oct. 18 Reformer and thought it was absolutely brilliant. Every word in it is true. As he always has, Curtiss was merely taking the care to present logically and accurately the case for anti-racism in our state, portraying it as the issue of...

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