Around the Towns

VIM hosts workshop to help local groups promote events

BRATTLEBORO - Vermont Independent Media (VIM), nonprofit publisher of The Commons weekly newspaper, announces the return of its Media Mentoring Project, an initiative to assist area residents in building writing, journalism, and other media literacy skills.

The first workshop, “Media Strategy for Events - Integrating Traditional Media with Social for Larger Impact,” will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m., via Zoom, with assistance from Brattleboro Community Television.

Participants include Randolph T. Holhut, news editor of VIM/The Commons; Keith Marks, executive director of Next Stage Arts in Putney; Lynn Barrett, president and founder, Primetime Concepts, Inc., and president of VIM's board of directors.

The session will cover strategies for building buzz: digital and social media, press releases, pitch letters, media alerts, calendar listings, radio and TV interviews, etc. It's targeted toward nonprofit representatives, marketing and communications professionals, event organizers, and anyone who wants to promote their business, product, or idea.

Registration is required at [email protected].

Media Mentoring Workshops will continue once a month. The next workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Online auction benefits West River Railroad Museum

NEWFANE - An online auction will raise funds for the upkeep of the West River Railroad Museum and grounds, as well as establishing new exhibits at the museum.

The West River Railroad, established in 1880, ran from Brattleboro to South Londonderry and was discontinued in 1936. The Newfane Depot was one of 10 on the line and had been used for different purposes through the years until its purchase in 2014 by the Historical Society of Windham County.

The Historical Society set about to restore the Depot and make it a museum for the West River Railroad. The Museum opened in 2017 and has been open every year to the public on weekends, free, from late May to mid-October.

The auction runs from Friday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. to Saturday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m.

As of Sept. 27, 74 items have been donated.

Visit to sign up and bid.

Brooks Library offers take-home Design-A-Plate kits

BRATTLEBORO - The 40th annual Design-A-Plate workshop at Brooks Memorial Library will again come in a take-home format this year. Starting Friday, Oct. 1, stop by the Children's Room to pick up a packet.

Create your drawings at home, then return the packet to the library by 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Choose among an 8-inch melamine plate, a 10-inch melamine plate, or 12-ounce melamine bowl.

To make this activity affordable to all, participants pay what they can, with a suggested price of $6 per item. Payment is accepted when the completed drawings are returned to the library.

Plates and bowls will be ready for pickup by Thanksgiving.

For more information, call the Children's Room at 802-254-5290, ext. 1210, or visit

Whitingham Free Public Library accepting book donations

JACKSONVILLE - The Whitingham Free Public Library at the Municipal Center on Route 112 will be accepting gently used books beginning Saturday, Oct. 2 through Thursday, Oct. 7.

Donors are asked to not leave books outside of the building but to deliver them when the library is open: Mondays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesdays, 2 to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The library will not accept encyclopedias, dictionaries, textbooks, or books in poor condition.

The book sale takes place on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m, with a special fill-your-own-bag-for-only-$8 sale from 8 to 9 a.m.

For more information, call the library at 802-368-7506.

RFPL offers wellness courses

BELLOWS FALLS - Join certified wellness coach Carol Jones, via Zoom or phone, who will help explore ways to embrace and maintain wellness during the fall and winter months.

The workshop takes place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on consecutive Fridays, beginning Oct. 8.

Jones, of Bellows Falls, is a graduate of the Wellness Coach Training Program at the Mayo Clinic. She has been working with clients around multiple aspects of their health since 2014. She collaborates with individuals in transforming their values and desires into action and lasting change over time.

To sign up for a Zoom invitation, contact [email protected] or call the library at 802-463-4270. These free discussions are sponsored by the Rockingham Free Public Library.

Braiding Sweetgrass women's circle forms

BRATTLEBORO - A new circle for Native American/Indigenous women, is forming in the southern Vermont region.

The Braiding Sweetgrass Circle will focus on “learning and retaining Native American history and culture through reclaiming traditional ceremonies, culture, and life skills while creating pathways for recovery from historical and ongoing trauma,” according to a news release.

The program aims “to recover traditional and sustainable women-led agriculture - reconnecting women and girls to the land and its cultivation while teaching practical skills to increase access to fresh vegetables, fruits, and traditional medicines.”

Building Sweetgrass also fosters women-led cultural activities, “including language recovery, beadwork, basketmaking, hand drum crafting, regalia making, and other activities related to revitalizing song and dance, as well as those that have historically built community among women.”

The circle is organized by Gedakina (pronounced /g' dah keen nah/, a Wabanaki word that means “Our world, a way of life.”

Gedakina was founded in 2002 in Norwich and “is a multigenerational endeavor to strengthen and revitalize the cultural knowledge and identity of Native American women and their families from across New England.”

For more information, contact co-facilitator Patricia Sweet Austin at 802-246-1197 or [email protected].

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