Around the Towns

Public opportunity to learn from community members who are unhoused

BRATTLEBORO - The public is invited to attend a community conversation on Windham County homelessness on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Brooks Memorial Library.

One part of the event will involve a life-sized Candyland game, designed by Advocation 4 the Unfortunate (A4U), for the audience to play and engage with, as a visualization of the obstacles they face as individuals without a permanent address and roof over their head. A4U organizers say their intention for the game is to help the audience learn through play and connection.

A4U is a Brattleboro homeless self-advocacy group, many of whom alternate between sleeping in campgrounds, hotel rooms, shelters, and the street. With barriers to full-time employment, they can't afford housing. Ultimately, they hope to change the culture of homelessness in our communities.

The group has been employed by the Youth Services workforce development arm twice a week since September to collect data, address homeless issues directly with local organizations, and increase dialogue and public awareness of homelessness. A4U members all share past participation in Youth Services's successful low-barrier day labor pilot program, Work Today, which ended last year due to lack of funding.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, email [email protected].

Final presentation on 37 Main Street project is Dec. 15

SAXTONS RIVER - Saxtons River hosts the final presentation about 37 Main Street on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. A municipal planning grant submitted by Rockingham has provided a rich three-month discussion of revitalization and economic development for the old building and the west end of Main Street.

Board president Susan Still of Main Street Arts (MSA) will begin the evening with MSA board plans for 37 Main. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst consulting team will review three options for the old Tenney's Hardware/ Dish. The public is invited to come and ask questions in person at Main Street Arts at 35 Main Street or stay home and watch the FACT-TV livestream.

The three community-proposed uses include fire station, green space, and mixed commercial/residential construction. Each use will be outlined with next action steps. The UMass team will deliver a full written report to the Saxtons River trustees later in December, itemizing the choices, maps and ideas contributed during the discussions this fall and winter.

Family circus show returns for the holidays

BRATTLEBORO - The Flying Nut is back at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) on Dec. 16–18 with its first in-person holiday circus show since 2019

Inspired by The Nutcracker, this year's show, entitled The Flying Coconut, veers off course when the opening party is crashed by pirates and an unforgettable evening of high-flying feats, acrobatics, and circus mayhem ensues.

Featuring NECCA's adult and youth student performers, this year's theme takes on a nautical twist, complete with mermaids, starfish, and parrots. Legendary acrobatic clown Joel Baker joins the cast as a special professional guest artist, creating mischief and laughter. Tickets are $12 to $25 can be purchased at For more information, call 802-254-9780.

Old Firehouse in Wilmington hosts holiday open house

WILMINGTON - The community is invited to attend the first Old Firehouse Holiday Open House, located at 18 Beaver Street, on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendants can gather with friends (new and old), neighbors, and visitors to the area to meet the folks who are offering an exciting variety of support and advocacy for substance use harm reduction, recovery and grief support, family and friends support groups, meditation groups for the community, and support for seniors.

They will have free soup, hot beverages, cookies, and more. The event is hosted by Voices of Hope, Senior Solutions, Brattleboro Area Hospice, Turning Point Center of Windham County, SEVCA, and the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont. Their work is supported by the town of Wilmington, the Rotary Club, the Red Door Concert Series, Wilmington Works, Deerfield Valley Community Partnership, and the Vermont Department of Health.

For more information, call 802-490-5645 or 802-275-7232, or email [email protected]. To learn more about Voices of Hope, visit

Monthly free produce available

PUTNEY - The Vermont Foodbank and the Putney Foodshelf will co-sponsor the next monthly drop of free produce and some nonperishable items on Thursday, Dec. 22, from 9 to 9:45 a.m. on Alice Holway Drive (in front of Putney Meadows, the white building across from the Putney Co-op and Putney Fire Station.)

All are welcome. Because of COVID-19, participants are asked to remain in their car at pickup, and volunteers will bring out bags.

Catholic Worker calendars now available at Everyone's Books

BRATTLEBORO - The children of the late graphic artist and printmaker Rita Corbin, who live in the Brattleboro area, continue to publish her Catholic Worker calendar with her original art and hand-lettering, as well as notecards and Christmas cards. Although the calendars are primarily sold by mail order through The Catholic Worker newspaper, there will be some for sale at Everyone's Books in Brattleboro during the holiday season. For more information, visit

Corbin, who lived in Brattleboro between 1981 and 2011, became involved in the Catholic Worker movement while living in New York City in the 1950s. The founder, Dorothy Day, hired Rita to make illustrations for The Catholic Worker newspaper and they became friends. Rita became a lifelong contributor and was one of the three primary Catholic Worker artists, along with Fritz Eichenberg and Ade Bethune.

Her work has appeared in many well-known religious magazines including The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Fellowship, and Catholic Digest. Her artwork has been shown at Rockhurst College in Kansas City, the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, and the Sacketts Brook Gallery in Putney.

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