Holiday arts roundup 2023

A winter season of creative arts activity

This season seems to be the perfect time to support area artists and presenters, performers, and craftspeople - an apt opportunity to show gratitude for the riches that the arts bring to our lives in southern Vermont.

This year's abundance runs the gamut, promising chances to buy great one-of-a-kind gifts and to enjoy top-notch entertainments.

Here's to warming up to the cold, finding light in the darkness, and stepping out to embrace the arts. Enjoy!

Fairs, Markets, Workshops

Festival of Trees: Governor Hunt House Community Center, Vernon, Dec. 1–3, will feature dozens of beautifully decorated holiday trees, with valuable merchandise and gift certificates under each tree. Raffle tickets will be sold to attendees, and each tree - with the accompanying gifts - will be taken home by a winner. Baked goods, kids' activities. Christmas tree lighting, and Santa's arrival, Friday, 4:30 p.m.; carols by the tree, 4:30–4:45 p.m.; pictures with Santa, 5–6 p.m.; Saturday: Fireplace photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, 1–4 p.m. All proceeds support the Community Center. Information: [email protected].

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Holiday Bazaar: Dec. 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to crafts and edibles, find the All Souls' first-ever Art Gift Sale, featuring affordable, original selections. West Village Meeting House, 29 South St., West Brattleboro (

Brattleboro Flea Holiday Pop-up Market: Dec. 1, 1 to 7 p.m., and Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Brooks House Atrium, 132 Main St., Brattleboro (

Brattleboro's Gallery Walk: Dec. 1, 5 to 9 p.m., hosts a pull-out-all-the-stops event featuring tree lighting, a cappella carolers, and a panoply of art and craft all along the route. Check out Brattleboro Museum & Art Center and galleries at 118 Elliot, Harmony Collective, Vermont Center for Photography, Mitchell-Giddings, Gallery in the Woods, Vermont Artisans Designs, Gallery 34. And don't miss the art hanging at Martocci's or the unique wares at ZPots, Beadniks, and Cara Wolff Jewelry. Hatchspace celebrates winter sharing craft and products made by budding woodworkers and seasoned, perennial craftspeople, and Centre Congregational Church pitches in selling handmade quilts (

Brattleboro-West Arts' exhibit hangs in the Brooks House Atrium (see above) through January 2024 with works by BWA members Jen Wiechers, Kay Curtis, Maisie Crowther, Cyndi Ferrante, Jason Breen, Naomi Lindenfeld, and Steve Lloyd. Individual artists can be contacted directly through to purchase exhibited artwork or to inquire about other work.

Brattleboro Winter Farmers' Market, Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Live local music and handcrafted gifts; produce and products from local farms. At the Winston Prouty Center, 209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro (

Chester Fine Art and Craft Fair is Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the First Universalist Parish on North Street in Chester.

Cotton Mill Hill Open Studios: Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Handmade chocolates, pottery and jewelry; art, circus and jazz shows. Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro ([email protected]).

Glass show and face vases: The Vermont Glass Guild 2023 "Amazing Use of Glass" show opens with a public reception Dec. 1 and runs through Dec. 31. And all are invited to register for a "Make Your Own Face Vase" workshop with Cynthia Parker-Houghton on Dec. 2 or a Make Your Own Ornament class offered Dec. 2 and 16. Fire Arts Vermont, 485 West River Rd., Brattleboro (

Christmas in Grafton, Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., boasts a craft fair, homemade treats, and live music by Spencer Lewis (

Crafts in Guilford: Winter Craft Market on Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a Children's Craft Fair on Dec. 10, from 2 to 5 p.m. Broad Brook Community Center, 3940 Guilford Center Rd. (

Main Street Arts' Yulefest, Dec. 3, 2:30 to 6 p.m. Craft fair and various music performances at 24 Main St., Saxtons River(

Putney Winter Farmers' Market: Sundays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Dec. 24, featuring a range of crafts, including pottery by Carol Ross at Green Mountain Orchard, 130 West Hill Rd., Putney (

Creature Feature Disco Holiday Celebration and HolidayCard/ Gift Wrap Making: Dec. 1, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. "Make someone feel special with a one of a kind handmade card or gift wrap in this drop-in makers space session." River Gallery School, 36 Main St., Brattleboro (

Wilmington Works' Bright Lights Makers Market: Dec. 9 and 10 in historic Memorial Hall, Wilmington ([email protected]).

Townshend Holiday Festival: Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Craft fair, Festival of Trees, tree lighting. At 1 p.m. (weather permitting), festively attired horses and riders begin a horse parade starting at Leland & Gray Union Middle/High School. At 3 p.m., there's a community reading of a shortened version of A Christmas Carol at Townshend's Town Hall ([email protected]).

Wardsboro Holiday Craft Fair, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Local vendors with handmade items. Wardsboro Town Hall, Main Street, Wardsboro (

• Meadows Bee Farm hosts its annual Field House Holiday Festival of crafts Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 1276 Windham Hill Rd., West Townshend (


First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches' Beloved Community: Accompanist Dan DeWalt offers "Music of the Spirit," a concert of jazz spirituals, arranged by him, on Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. 18 Town Crier Drive, Brattleboro (

Brattleboro Music Center offers Musicians from Marlboro Group II on Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., and Brattleboro Camerata in "Treasure Hidden Within" Dec. 10, at 4 p.m. New Year's Eve Concerts are Dec. 31, 5 and 7:30 p.m., featuring Becky Tracy, Keith Murphy, Zara Bode, Stefan Amidon, Peter Amidon, and Mary Alice Amidon at Brattleboro Music Center, 72 Blanche Moyse Way (

Holiday Singalong is Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. "A candlelit evening of songs for all in a beautiful historic setting accompanied on a 1895 Western Cottage Organ played by Amy Cann. Dress warmly." Brookline Meetinghouse, 632 Grassy Brook Rd., Brookline (

Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series: Dec. 6 at noon. Organist Henry Danaher, director of music at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College, plays pieces based on holiday carols. Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St., Brattleboro (

Friends of Music at Guilford's annual Community Messiah Sing: Dec. 1 at 1p.m. Bring your own score or borrow one on site. All donations go to Groundworks Collaborative for feeding and housing those in need. Nonperishable food items and winter clothing in good condition will also be accepted. At Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., Brattleboro.

A cappella Christmas music: On Dec. 8 and 9, the Guilford Chamber Singers perform both traditional and contemporary carols, followed by a story read by Don McLean and caroling at the Broad Brook Community Center, 3940 Guilford Center Rd. ([email protected]).

Festive Christmas carols: Seraphic Fire, a South Florida-based, Grammy-nominated choir, performs festive carols from varied traditions alongside newer takes on classics from contemporary composers on Dec. 2, 7 p.m. Grafton Brick Meeting House, 2 Main St., Grafton (

More holiday music: Spencer Lewis offers a holiday meditational concert with solo guitar and violin Dec. 9. Lewis will play songs from his Calling in the Winter album which includes traditional Christmas songs and originals. Grafton Brick Meeting House, 2 Main St., Grafton (

"Sing Nowell" and Revels North: Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. An evening of music, friends, and tradition, the legacy of Nowell Sing We Clear. Fred Breunig and Andy Davis will be joined by acclaimed vocal ensemble Windborne as well as by Arthur Davis, Emma Schneider, Guillaume Sparrow Pepin, Donal Sheets, and Keith Murphy. A benefit for Groundworks Collaborative. And Dec. 10 at 2 p.m., catch Revels North, a celebratory show full of music, dance, community singing, and more. Latchis Theatre, 50 Main St., Brattleboro (

Next Stage Arts' holiday show, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., features Kat Wright and Brett Hughes, two of Vermont's most beloved songbirds. 15 Kimball Hill, Putney (

St. Michael's Episcopal Church Service of Lessons and Carols is Dec. 10, 4 p.m. With the selections of seasonal readings and the singing of Advent carols with the congregation, the St. Michael's choir will offer a diverse set of old and new Advent anthems by Victoria, Rutter, Skempton, Vaughan Williams, and Lauridsen. This yearly tradition of scripture and music is the first to be directed by St. Michael's new music director, Keane Southard. 16 Bradley Ave., Brattleboro (

Soubrette Choir performs songs of Ben Patton and Anna Patton: This program on Dec. 9, 7 p.m. is chock-full of close harmonies, surprising topics, poignancy, and humor ([email protected]). West Village Meetinghouse, 29 South St., West Brattleboro.

Sweetback Sisters Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular: Dec. 20, 7 p.m., at the Stone Church, 210 Main St., Brattleboro (

Vermont Jazz Center's Big Band Scholarship Fundraiser under the direction of Rob Freeberg, is Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. Story, this issue. 72 Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro (

Two world premieres from Vermont Symphony Orchestra's Brass Quintet and Counterpoint: "The Christmas Truce" for chorus by Saxtons River-based composer Carol Wood and a brass composition by Leela McCann. The concert is rounded out by traditional carols, holiday tunes, and compositions by Bach, Gabrieli, and Farnaby. Dec. 16, 5 p.m., Grafton Community Church, 55 Main St. (

The Windham Philharmonic performs Dec. 18, 7 p.m., in Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers" from The Nutcracker, "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson, and Beethoven's Fifth at Winston Prouty Center, Thomas Hall, 209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro. (


Bellows Follies, from Bellows Falls Rotary and Wild Goose Players, promises to entertain with lighthearted songs, Rotary's holiday skit, and a live and silent auction. Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m., Bellows Falls Opera House, 7 The Square, Bellows Falls (

The Percy Jackson Musical: The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan with original rock score by Rob Rokicki and book by Joe Tracz, a journey of self-discovery, friendship, and resilience, can be seen Dec. 1-3 and 7-9, 7 p.m. with additional matinees at 2 p.m. on both Saturdays. New England Youth Theatre, 100 Flat St., Brattleboro (

Good King Wenceslas: Vermont Suitcase Company program runs Dec. 8–9, 7:30 p.m. at Hooker Dunham Theater, Brattleboro; Dec. 9, 2 p.m., Broad Brook Community Center, Guilford; Dec. 10, 2 p.m., Main Street Arts, Saxtons River; and 7 p.m., Wild Goose Players, venue to be announced; and on Dec. 14, 7 p.m., at Next Stage Arts, Putney.

Wardsboro Curtain Call's Christmas classic, Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus, as a dramatized radio broadcast. Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. Wardsboro Town Hall (

Winter Cabaret: Weston Playhouse performs Dec. 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Walker Farm in Weston (


The Nutcracker: Brattleboro School of Dance stages annual performance at Brattleboro Union High School Auditorium Dec. 15-17. Tickets are available primarily in person at the 181 Main St. studio (

Winter Circus: Of Myth & Mushroom: New England Center for Circus Arts' holiday show runs Dec. 15-17 with performers from recreational classes, youth performance troupes, and the professional training program with special guest artists. At the Trapezium, 10 Town Crier Drive, Brattleboro (

Tricyckle: Québécois theater company Les Sages Fous performs a mysterious puppetry duet between a man and his bike on Dec. 1 and 2, 7:30 p.m., at Putney Central School's gymnasium. Presented by Sandglass Theater (

The Gaza Monologues: Brattleboro area community members present a staged reading on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The Gaza Monologues ( are testimonies written by ASHTAR youth in 2010, after the first war on the Gaza Strip. Admission is by donation to the ASHTAR Theatre's Psycho-social Relief Intervention Campaign. Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7-9 p.m., Hooker-Dunham Theater, 139 Main St., Brattleboro. Information: [email protected].

Et cetera

A Very Gremlins Christmas: A 1984 horror-comedy Christmas fable wreaks havoc on the tropes of classic holiday films; Dec. 22, 8 p.m. Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St., Brattleboro (

Writing to the Light Writing Circle: Led by Deborah Lee Luskin; Dec. 10, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Moore Free Library, 23 West St., Newfane (

Brattleboro's Holiday Mini Book Fair: Local Write Action authors Cheryl Wilfong, Steve Minkin, Arlene Distler, Barbara Morrison, and others will sign and sell their books, and Print Town: Brattleboro's Legacy of Words, will be for sale at the Write Action table. Dec. 9, noon to 3 p.m. Brooks House Atrium, 132 Main St, Brattleboro ([email protected]).

This The Arts item by Annie Landenberger was written for The Commons.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates