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Borderline Players presents dark comedy Fuddy Meers at the Haskell starting May 11

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — Borderline Players, a new theater company registered in Vermont and Quebec, will present Fuddy Meers at the Haskell Opera House stage for four performances on May 11, 12 and 13.

Written by American playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, Fuddy Meers tells the story of an amnesiac, Claire, who starts each morning with no memory, her husband and teenage son having to fill her in daily about her life.

When she is kidnapped, Claire – and the audience – must piece together the ensuing mayhem.

The original Broadway production was described by The New York Times as a “dark, sweet and thoroughly engaging comedy.”

Performance times are Friday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 12 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are only $15 and available by calling the Haskell Opera House box office at 819-876-2471, ext. 205 or 819-873-3022, ext. 205.

You can also grab tickets at: haskellopera.com/event/fuddy-meers, through Catamount Arts, or at the door.

Please note that this play contains adult language and themes and is not recommended for young children.

The Borderline Players’ production of Fuddy Meers is directed by Kim Prangley, a veteran of QNEK productions during the company’s 25-year run as the Haskell as the resident theater company, a tradition that continues in 2018 with the debut of the new community-based company.

Prangley also takes on the role of Claire, accompanied by local actors from both sides of the border including Calvin Longe, Ross Murray, Chris Planetta, Mark Rumery, Pamela Frohn and Susan Neumann.

Set design is by Bradleigh Stockwell.

MAC to of­fer mem­oir work­shop April 28

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A mem­oir work­shop, draw­ing on the mem­o­ries and sto­ries be­hind pho­tographs of life events, places, fam­ily, friends, or other sig­nif­i­cant peo­ple through prose nar­ra­tives or po­etry, will be of­fered next Sat­ur­day at the MAC Cen­ter for the Arts, in the Lower Gallery.

The workshop takes place on April 28, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Lo­cal au­thors Patty Oliver-Smith and Peggy Sap­phire will men­tor this work­shop, guid­ing the writ­ers to use pho­tographs as the records of per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence.

Through a se­ries of writ­ing ex­er­cises ex­plor­ing and re­flect­ing on sen­sory im­ages, metaphors, and the con­text of the pho­tos, writ­ers will be draw­ing on their mem­o­ries and sto­ries to pro­duce a piece of writ­ing in ei­ther a prose nar­ra­tive or a poem.

Pre-reg­is­tra­tion is re­quired by April 22. Class size is lim­ited to 15 par­tic­i­pants with a fee of $10.

Pa­per and pen will be pro­vided, but participants should feel free to bring their own jour­nal and fa­vorite writ­ing im­ple­ment.

The MAC is lo­cated at 158 Main Street in New­port.

For more in­for­ma­tion, stop by the MAC, call 334-1966, or visit the web­site at www.mac­cen­ter­fort­hearts.com.

Lake Region senior to per­form ben­e­fit recital in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Soprano Emma Strange will be performing her senior recital as a fund-raiser for David’s House at the Newport United Church in Newport. The concert will take place on Saturday, May 5, at 4 p.m.

Emma, who is a se­nior at Lake Re­gion Union High School, has studied clas­si­cal singing for al­most six years, and this will be her fi­nal recital be­fore head­ing to a mu­sic con­ser­va­tory in Au­gust.

David’s House provides a home-away-from-home and support for families with children receiving treatment through the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Hav­ing stayed at David’s House sev­eral times when she was six, Emma wanted to give back to this won­der­ful place that sup­ports chil­dren and their fam­i­lies.

She will be singing a va­ri­ety of mu­sic from Mozart to Broad­way, and will be ac­com­pa­nied by Mark Vi­o­lette on pi­ano and Amos Hamil­ton on clar­inet.

Her voice teacher is Vic­to­ria Cole of Fran­co­nia, New Hamp­shire.

Ad­mis­sion is by do­na­tion and checks can be made payable to “David’s House.”

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Week­end” coming to Island Pond

in Arts and Entertainment/Island Pond/News

ISLAND POND — The Is­land Pond Re­newal Com­mit­tee has or­ga­nized an event they’re calling “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Week­end.” The week­end full of events will take place in down­town Is­land Pond from April 27 to 29.

Events in­clude a din­ner tour, spa ser­vices, paint-’n’-sips, wine tast­ing, and a male re­vue show.

The Ver­mont Com­edy Di­vas will head­line the Fri­day night en­ter­tain­ment while the Men in Mo­tion male re­vue will be the high­light of Sat­ur­day evening.

When the re­newal com­mit­tee looked at the town events cal­en­dar it dis­cov­ered a big gap be­tween the busy win­ter snow­mo­bile sea­son and the be­gin­ning of the pop­u­lar sum­mer events like Fri­day Night Live. Out of this dis­cus­sion the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Week­end was born.

The com­mit­tee has joined with down­town busi­nesses like the Es­sex House, K.T. Ray’s, and Hobo’s Café.

Head­lin­ing Fri­day night’s en­ter­tain­ment will be the Ver­mont Com­edy Di­vas, an­chored by founder Josie Leav­itt.

Leav­itt is the win­ner of the Seven Daysies award for best comic in Ver­mont three times.

The only all-fe­male, tour­ing stand-up com­edy troupe in the United States will ap­pear at the Amer­i­can Le­gion, Brighton Post #80 stage.

Fri­day night will end with karaoke at the Es­sex House fea­tur­ing town fa­vorite, the JCH Duo.

Sat­ur­day starts off with a be­gin­ner tai chi class hosted by Doug Niles, Brighton recre­ation di­rec­tor, fol­lowed by an in­vig­o­rat­ing dance work­out in­structed by Abby Ch­eney.

The pam­per­ing starts at the Lake­front Inn and Mo­tel with a chair mas­sage by one of four li­censed providers.

Participants will also learn about new tech­niques and prod­ucts with a Fresh Faces class by Mary Kay con­sul­tant Mi­randa Cur­rier.

Par­tic­i­pants can try out a set of Color Street nails as part of their man­i­cure pro­vided by Bobbi-Jo Le­tourneau.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. visitors can en­joy a tarot read­ing with Bryant Wheeler-Bowen.

A light, el­e­gant snack will be pro­vided by Jesse’s Lit­tle Kitchen.

The Hearth and Home Coun­try Store will host a wine tast­ing with six spe­cially se­lected va­ri­eties. Two paint-’n’-sip classes will be held dur­ing the af­ter­noon, one on can­vas and one us­ing barn board.

Lo­cal restau­rants will of­fer themed en­trées to set the mood for the evening’s en­ter­tain­ment.

Sat­ur­day night will be head­lined by New Eng­land’s top male re­vue show, Men In Mo­tion.

The shows are ex­pertly de­signed, chore­o­graphed, and cre­ated events with one goal in mind — plea­sur­ing women with the per­fect girls’ night out.

Men in Mo­tion shows are not the type of shows to just sit and watch, each per­for­mance is a fully in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

The men dance on table­tops, make their way through the crowd, and even se­lect a few lucky ladies to join in the fun on stage.

Jesse’s Lit­tle Kitchen will be open late af­ter the show to ac­com­mo­date late night hunger and the Es­sex House will host an af­ter-the-show gath­er­ing for those who aren’t ready to call it a night.

Sun­day will start with a cham­pagne brunch at K.T. Ray’s on the Pond fol­lowed by re­tail ther­apy ses­sions at Si­mon the Tan­ner and The Hearth and Home Coun­try Store.

The week­end winds up with farewell lun­cheon spe­cials at all the town restau­rants.

Tick­ets may be pur­chased at tick­ets.visi­tis­land­pond.com, or in per­son at The Hearth and Home Coun­try Store in Is­land Pond.

Celebrate National Poetry Month at MAC’s Vermont Poetry Festival

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — If you are a Vermont poet or poetry lover, come out of your winter cocoon for a National Poetry Month tribute to Vermont poets, past and present, well-known or unknown.

The event takes place at the MAC Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 21, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in the Downstairs Gallery.

This special event is free and open to the public.

Participants will read their poems or a favorite from among the many Vermont poets, such as Robert Frost.

Poets and readers will have up to 10 minutes to read.

For more information visit the MAC online at www.maccenterforthearts.com or to register to read call 802-334-1966.

Folk music stars Natalie Haas and Yann Falquet to perform at Irasburg Town Hall

IRASBURG — The Artemis Concert Series will be presenting their inaugural concert, featuring renowned Celtic musicians Natalie Haas and Yann Falquet, on Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will be held at the Irasburg Town Hall, and will include a potluck buffet.

Tickets are $10 for adults, and kids under 12 are free. They are available at: http:// www.natalieandyann.bpt.me

Natalie and Yann’s duo draws on the rich folk music of Quebec, Scandinavia, and Western Europe, and they’ve performed to sold-out crowds throughout Europe and the U.S.

Natalie Haas is one of the most sought-after cellists in Celtic music today. She has appeared on over 50 albums, including those of Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster, Irish greats Altan, Solas, Liz Carroll, and Mark O’Connor.

Montrealer Yann Falquet is one of the most creative acoustic guitarists in today’s Québécois music scene, and has recorded five albums and toured the world with French Canadian power trio Genticorum.

The Artemis Concert Series is the creation of NJ Symphony violinists and Brownington residents JoAnna Farrer and Darryl Kubian.

The Series aims to celebrate the rich traditions of both the folk and classical music worlds, bringing local and international artists together for exciting performances in the Northeast Kingdom.

The Series is proudly sponsored by Cindy Sanville, of Sanville Real Estate, LLC., based in Irasburg.


Ce­cilia Za­bala to per­form in West­more next Wednesday

in Arts and Entertainment/News/Westmore

WESTMORE — Argentinian musician Cecilia Zabala will play a concert at the Westmore Community Church on Wednesday, March 28, at 7 p.m. There will be a reception after the show.

This is a wonderful opportunity to hear music from an accomplished world music artist. A $10 suggested donation is asked.

Zabala, born in Buenos Aires, is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. She expresses her musical creativity using her guitar and voice, creating original compositions that blend sen­si­tiv­ity, emo­tion, and in­tu­ition with her vir­tu­os­ity on the gui­tar.

Her mu­sic draws on a rich mix­ture of in­flu­ences, from Ar­gen­tin­ian folk­lore, jazz, tango, and Brazil­ian mu­sic.

Over the course of a 20-year ca­reer, she has re­leased nine al­bums with her own com­po­si­tions and arrange­ments in var­i­ous mu­si­cal styles. She will be record­ing her tenth later this year, a live al­bum in Buenos Aries.

Since 2006, Zabala has toured ex­ten­sively through­out Eu­rope, North Amer­ica, and Latin Amer­ica.

MAC Center “Le Junque du Jour” sale March 24

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — Just when you think you’ve had enough of winter, MAC Center for the Arts comes to the rescue with a unique event…Le Junque due Jour Sale on March 24.

The everything must go sale will be replete with fun for shoppers of all ages when you show up to their second indoor yard sale. The best part is that everything is only .99 cents.

Come out to 158 Main Street on Saturday, March 24 to this festival of Junque (junk).

There will be many one of a kind items that are ready to find a new home.  

All proceeds go to benefit the MAC Center for the Arts and the continuing arts programming.

For more information, please visit their website, www.maccenterforthearts.com or call 334-1966.

MAC celebrates small art

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts, located at 158 Main Street, will be celebrating small art in their upcoming exhibition.

Come explore the teeny tiny wonders of the artistry of the diminutive, a member show highlighting miniature paintings, drawings, photography, printmaking, mixed media, collages and a plethora of petite pottery and jewelry as well. 

Dimensions of artwork are at the max – 10″ x 10″ so no need to bring a magnifying glass. But, you will truly enjoy being Gulliver to this Lilliputian artworld exhibit.

Join the MAC for the opening reception on Friday, April 6, from 5-7 p.m. as they kick off this unique venture into the minutia.

The exhibit runs until Saturday, May 5. All are welcome, and the exhibit is FREE to the public.

For more information, please visit their website, www.maccenterforthearts.com or call 802-334-1966.

Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The MAC won’t start summer hours until Memorial Day weekend.

MAC Center for the Arts leads children’s theatre workshop

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts held a children’s theatre workshop for youngsters ages 5-8 years old.

The thematic workshop called Rodeo Roundup, covered script writing, costume construction, designing WANTED posters, and learning many western dances and songs.

After only 3 hours, the bronco busting buckaroos performed the original short musical The Legend of Cotton Eye Joe for friends and family.

Each member of the posse received an official recognition award and an ACT 1 tee-shirt.

Organizers say they thank community businesses Vista, Kingdom Market, Brighton Elementary School, Heron’s Path, and Linda Lee Monogram for supporting the event.

Photo:

Back Row: Workshop Mentor, Sunny Naughton; Show Captain, Micaela Ortiz; Natalie Lawson, Avery Drown, Naomi Walsh, Natash Leonard; Show Captain, Abby Gonyaw; Workshop Mentors, Lynn Leimer and Judy Castonguay.

Middle Row: Ruthie Lawson, Jitter Niles, Bella Niles, Jenna Walsh, Meadow Clowery.

Front row kneeling: Penelope Longe, Amelia Drown, Jocelyn Gunther, Alice Loan.

Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival draws international crowd

NEWPORT — Winter swimmers gathered in Newport for a weekend of swimming in a 25-meter, two-lane pool cut in the ice of Lake Memphremagog.

They swam in a Hat Competition, 25 Meter freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly, as well as the 50, 100, and 200-meter freestyle.

The ice was two feet thick, with water temperatures 30.8 F. Air temps were in the 30’s on Saturday and in the 20’s on Sunday. Many were new to the sport and had been training and acclimating to cold water swimming for months.

Conor Turner of Dublin, Ireland, set records in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle.

Craig Ross, of Guelph, Ontario, set pool records in the 25 freestyle, 25 butterfly, and 50-meter freestyle.

Perennial speedsters, Daina Bouquin, of Melrose, Mass, and Martha Woos, of Manchester, Mass, set records in the 25-meter butterfly and the 200-meter freestyle respectively.

Winners received Beef Jerky from Brault’s Market and maple syrup from Couture’s Maple Shop and B & B.

Winning the highly contested Best Hat Competition was Edwin Greenfield of Richmond Hil, Ontario, and, new this year, best team Hats, the New Mexico Dream Team, led by Erin Churchill, including, Amber Zimmerman, Terry Casey, and RuthAnn Goradia, all from Albuquerque.

The “most mature” winter swimmer was Ginny Peck, 72, from North Woodstock, NH.

The youngest winter swimmer was Vera Rivard, 14, of Springfield, NH.

Newport set to welcome 75 winter swimmers this weekend

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News/Outdoors

NEWPORT — Winter swimmers from all over North America, Ireland, and Scotland will be descending on Newport next weekend for the Fourth Annual Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival, hosted by Kingdom Games.

They will swim distances ranging from 25 meters to 200 meters in a two-lane 25-meter pool cut in the ice.
Crews will begin cutting the pool on Thursday.

Saturday kicks off at 10 a.m. with a 25-meter Hat Competition, the best hat winning a pound of Brault’s Beef Jerky. The swims continue until 4 p.m. on Saturday and resume again on Sunday at 10 a.m.

The public is welcome to come watch.

Event organizers say the number of swimmers has doubled from last year.

While many are veterans of this sport, many others are novices who have been training and qualifying all this past fall and winter. Twelve swimmers are traveling from Ontario, 12 from New York, and 12 from the Boston area.

Four swimmers are coming from Ireland, 4 more from New Mexico, 1 from Scotland, 1 from Alaska, as well as from Georgia, Tennessee. California, Oregon, Colorado, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The swims are also supported by over 25 volunteers, many local, but many also traveling from places like Quebec City and New York City to help out and enjoy the Festival.

For more information vist www.kingdomgames.co or contact Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games at phw1948@gmail.com

Guests of last year's Taste of the Kingdom enjoy the array of food, drinks, and fun at Jay Peak Resort.

Green Mountain Farm-to-School hosts 10th Annual Taste of the Kingdom

NEWPORT — The 10th Annual Taste of the Kingdom, a fundraising event held by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), will take place on February 28th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Jay Peak Resort’s Foeger Ballroom.

Tickets are on sale now and are available for purchase online at bit.ly/TOKTickets.

The annual event draws a crowd of over 200 guests who gather to celebrate local food and drink producers in the Northeast Kingdom.

This year, guests can enjoy products from some of the regions most notable farmers, chefs and brewers including Butterworks Farm, Craftsbury General Store, Jasper Hill Farm and St. Johnsbury Distillery.

“This is an opportunity for us to gather with our neighbors and celebrate all of the amazing local producers in the region,” says James Hafferman, Executive Director of GMFTS. “We love connecting with people over local food and drink and providing a platform for businesses to showcase their products.”

Along with a silent auction and live music, this year’s event includes a raffle where anyone, regardless if they attend the event or not, can enter to win an exclusive Jay Peak Resort getaway for four people – lift tickets, water park access and climb time included.

Tickets are $5 each and directions on how to purchase them can be found at bit.ly/RaffleGMFTS

All proceeds from the event and raffle will go to benefit Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) and its programming.

Support from the community will ensure the Newport-based non-profit can continue providing quality programing to over half of the students in the Northeast Kingdom – planting school gardens, offering nutrition education, and serving free meals in the summer months from its Lunchbox food truck.

The event will also ensure GMFTS can continue its work connecting local farms with area schools, restaurants, and institutions through its regional food-hub, Green Mountain Farm Direct – increasing economic viability and opening new markets.

“You get to support Green Mountain Farm-to-School and the work they’re doing to connect communities through food and education all while enjoying some great local food and drinks from some of the region’s top producers,” says Caroline Paige, who has attended the Taste of the Kingdom the past two years. “What more could you ask for?”

For more information on the 10th Annual Taste of the Kingdom, to enter the raffle, or purchase tickets, visit bit.ly/TOK18.

MAC announces first ACT 1 children’s workshop for 2018

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts, in partnership with the Northeast Kingdom’s premier children’s theater academy ACT 1, is thrilled to announce plans for 2018.

Calling all cowboys and cowgirls, Saturday, March 3, 2018, ACT 1 will debut “Rodeo Roundup,” for 5 to 8-year-old participants. The event will be a half day of theater learning, songs and fun under the direction of Lynn Leimer and Sunny Naughton.

From 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. the young cowpokes will be led through exploratory activities to learn about all aspects of storytelling and songs of the old west, culminating in a short performance for family and friends at 4:00 p.m. 

Rodeo Roundup will teach participants about learning music and movement for the stage in addition to creating costume pieces and decorating the space to reflect the wild, wild west as they imagine it.

Character work will be a major theme throughout the afternoon as the students learn what it’s like to have some fun and bring their unique personalities to the performance as an ensemble.

Judy Castonguay will help the buckaroos design their costumes, while show captains, Micaela Ortiz and Abby Gonyaw, will choreograph and teach dance moves and lead the little ones through their bronco busting adventure. 

Cost for the afternoon is $25 for one participant and $40 for a pair. Scholarships are available upon request.

Registration includes water, materials and an ACT 1 t-shirt in addition to professional training. All are welcome, and no experience is required, just the love of creativity.

The registration deadline is February 26.

All questions regarding the day of the event should be directed to ACT 1, Lynn Leimer at macartspr@yahoo.com.

Space is limited to 20 participants.

For more information and registration, call 334-1966 or write maccenterforthearts.com.  

Borderline Players to hold auditions for spring comedy

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — Auditions for Borderline Players’ premiere production, Fuddy Meers, will take place on Saturday, January 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the First Universalist Parish Hall in Derby Line.

Performances are scheduled for May 4-6 and 11-13, 2018 at the Haskell Opera House.

Written by American playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, Fuddy Meers tells the story of an amnesiac, Claire, who starts each morning with no memory, her husband and teenage having to fill her in daily about her life.

When she is kidnapped, Claire–and the audience–must piece together the ensuing mayhem.

The Borderline Players’ production will be directed by Kim Prangley, a veteran of QNEK productions during the company’s 25-year run as the Haskell as the resident theater company, a tradition that continues in 2018 with the debut of the new community-based company.

Seven roles are available; 4 male and 3 female. They are Claire (about 40, generally sunny woman with amnesia); Richard (about 40, chatty, friendly, sometimes nervous man); Kenny (17, a troubled teen); limping man (about 40, a limping, lisping, half-blind, half-deaf man with secrets); Gertie (60s, a clear-headed lady who’s had a stroke); Millet (30s or 40s, an odd man with a puppet alter ego); and Heidi (30s or 40s, tough woman in a uniform).

No appointments are necessary for auditions, and scripts will be available at the hall.

For more information, contact Kim Prangley at kadelaide2000@yahoo.com

Auditions for the summer and fall productions will be announced at a late date.

MAC Center Special Edition Exhibition thru January 5

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Just when you thought all the excitement from MAC’s Tenth Anniversary was over, there is a Special Edition Exhibition that will run through January 5, 2018. The exhibition spans two full rooms in the Lower Gallery of the MAC Center building.

The front room chronicles the journey of MAC from inception to fruition, highlighting the major milestones along the way. From ribbon cutting with the Governor to traveling exhibitions to unique vernissages and performances that have built the Memphremagog Arts Collaborative into the flagship venue that it is today.

Curated by MAC Founder, Jim McKimm, this archive was nurtured by Victoria Mathiesen and is a delightful diary of preserving the Arts in the Northeast Kingdom.

In the second room, the fashion-forward collection of QNEK Productions costumes is on exhibition.

The works of costume designers, Linda Bussiere, Carol Woodard, Lisa Foster, Susan-Lynn Johns, Carol Castle, Judy Castonguay, and Delia Leimer line the room with color, fabric, whimsey, imagination, and brilliance for the company that has become a local legend in the NEK.

After 25 years of stellar stagecraft, QNEK retired and while the costume exhibition is a mere thumbnail of the shows, many are unaware that a flood in August 2017 destroyed the entire 50 years of inventory amassed by Lynn Leimer’s company.

The few remaining items in the exhibition are all that is left.

So be sure to take time through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to stop in and enjoy the history, the creativity and the significant landmarks in our community that herald the positivity of all that surrounds the ARTS.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit www.maccenterforthearts.com or call 802-334-1966.

Newport orchestra to play annual fall concert this Sunday

NEWPORT — This Sunday, the Newport Area Community Orchestra is presenting its 7th Annual Fall Concert at the United Church in Newport.

Daniel Johnstone will be featured as soloist opening the concert with “Il Meo Tesoro” from Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni.”

The program will continue with “Nimrod” from the Enigma Variations by Sir Edward Elgar, “For the Beauty of the Earth” by John Rutter and Symphony No. 6 by Franz Schubert.

Admission for the concert will be a suggested donation of $5.

The Newport Area Community Orchestra is a community-based orchestra serving the Northeast Kingdom and surrounding communities.

The orchestra was founded by Ken Michelli in February of 2011.

Newport woman qualifies for the Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival

NEWPORT — Pam Ladds, 69, of Newport, qualified for the Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival today by spending 2 minutes and swimming 25 meters in water that was 38 F.

Air temp was in the high 40s. Ladds had to break through some thin ice to get to open water for her qualifying swim.

Seventy Swimmers and 25 Volunteers are heading to Newport in February for the 25, 50, 100, and 200 meter Winter Swim Festival in a two-lane, 25-meter pool to be cut in the ice on Lake Memphremagog.

Organizers remind everyone that the event is not a “plunge.” It is a swim competition and festival with experienced, trained, and qualified swimmers from around North America and Europe.

The Swim is hosted by Kingdom Games and Newport City Inn & Suites, who are also hosting the Memphremagog Women’s Pond Hockey Tournament earlier in February.

Local children’s book author celebrates new release by raising money for charity

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Local children’s book author Lynda Graham-Barber has a new picture book out titled Cookie’s Fortune, which she hopes will benefit both people and animals in more ways than one.

Cookie’s Fortune was written to develop awareness and empathy for all living creatures, with a shared goal that the book raise money for a local charitable organization.

The story reflects on what it’s like for an abandoned dog named Cookie in a gritty urban setting, and how kindness and animal rescue make all the difference in what begins as a hard-luck and frightening life for Cookie.

“This book has taken me years to get right,” Graham-Barber said, “so I want to do as much good with it as I can.”

Larry Bradley, owner of Newport’s Nevermore Bookstore, agreed to offer his shop for the book’s official release party, on Saturday, Dec. 9, from noon – 2 p.m.

Those who buy a copy of the book, which the author will autograph, are then encouraged to enter the name of a favorite local charity into a drawing for a sizable cash donation to that nonprofit. The nonprofit’s efforts need not be dedicated to animal rescue.

“We want to shine light on the plight of all of those searching for a safe home,” the author explained.

Nevermore bookstore is located at 100 East Main Street in Newport, near the Eagles Club.

Among the afternoon’s free offerings will be a special Red Sky Trading carrot cake, liquid libations for kids of all ages, Ben Kinsley at guitar, face painting, gift wrapping, door prizes, and Bradleigh Stockwell’s “canine” humor.

Cookie’s Fortune, illustrated by Nancy Lane, was published by Gryphon Press.

Evergreen centerpiece family workshop at MAC Center for the Arts

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Thinking about decorating for the holidays? Wondering how to make new memories and fun-lore to pass down to generations? The MAC Center for the Arts has the perfect experience to satisfy both.

On December 16 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. the MAC welcomes the community to celebrate the holidays by creating a beautiful seasonal centerpiece made of local evergreens and festive materials.

This is an activity for family members, friends and neighbors, so come with a parent or uncle, child or best friend.

Instructor, Annie Holdridge will be back again this year to conduct the workshop in the MAC lower gallery.

Last season the sold-out workshop was so successful that the MAC has decided to make it an annual holiday event.

The workshop is limited to 25 participants and has a nominal fee of $5.00 per participant, so register early and reserve your space soon.

After you have finished creating your masterpiece, take time to browse through the upstairs gallery and select from an astonishing array of extraordinary pieces of arts and crafts, music, books, jewelry, and furniture. Their distinctive collection is matchless and supports shopping local.

For more information, visit www.maccenterforthearts.com or call the MAC at 802-334-1966., or stop by the MAC and pick up a registration form. You can also email pattyos@earthlink.net.

MAC Center to celebrate 10 years with historic ceremony on December 2

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — On Saturday, December 2, the Memphremagog Arts Collaborative will be celebrating their 10th anniversary.

The event, titled Ten On Main, will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Music will be provided by cellist Janice and Thurmond Knight, as well as Paula Graveline and Linda Schneck.

This elegant and historic ceremony will highlight the past ten years from concept to fruition. An exhibit in the downstairs gallery will chronicle the journey and will be on display in concert with the QNEK Costume Exhibit commemorating the theatre company’s 25th anniversary and final season.

The vision for the collaborative started with Jim McKimm. Soon to be retired organist at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, McKimm is a man of many talents. His quest to establish an arts organization in the Northeast Kingdom started in 2007 with GOT ART hosted at the Hebard Building.

The original charter group of trailblazers also included Ann Volatile, Betsy Sylvester, Tim Daley, Lynn Leimer, and Susan-Lynn Johns.

The initial ribbon cutting ceremony with Governor Jim Douglas and his wife was held November 17, 2007, along with a plethora of dignitaries and guests. The MAC has moved three times since conception and has settled into their present 2,000 square foot “home” at 158 Main Street next to Dusit Thai.

The MAC is the only non-profit art gallery with no employees and is totally run by volunteers. Their commitment, dedication, and talents are what keeps the Vermont arts economy thriving on rural Main Street for the past decade.

The MAC has seen many transitions over the years, as well as establishing signature events like Art in Bloom and scholarships for graduating seniors.

The present Board of Directors includes President Isobel Marks, Vice President Lynn Leimer-Flint, Secretary Janice Luce, Treasurer Jennifer Hopkins, and directors Patty Oliver-Smith, Manfred Rieder and Dr. Bill Peck.

So come on out for this truly extraordinary gala, wine and cheese, beautiful music and stellar silent auction.

Tickets are required and limited. For tickets and more information, please visit MAC at 158 Main Street, Newport, or call 802-334-1966, or visit the website www.maccenterforthearts.com

Orleans County Citizen Advocacy launches new arts-based initiative

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — Orleans County Citizen Advocacy (OCCA) announced the launch of a new arts-based initiative to enhance the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness of their partners and advocates. The first stage of this initiative is now on display through the winter at The Tasting Center in Newport.

Facilitated by local artist and teacher, Natalie Gillette, the art was created using mixed media of acrylic, watercolor, and collage.

Visitors will find a vibrant and colorful gallery display of artwork created by OCCA partners and advocates. These original pieces are created by individuals of all ages and abilities.

OCCA is a local non-profit organization serving Orleans County for over 30 years. Their mission is to match volunteer advocates with community partners with unique developmental differences.

While small, this organization is vital in providing much needed social supports to important yet vulnerable members of our rural communities. 


If you might be interested in becoming involved in this organization, they are in need of advocates.

Advocates and partners are free to form unique relationships based on their individual needs. Even just a few hours a week can make a profound impact on another person’s life.

Dailey Christmas craft fair this Saturday

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Newport

DERBY — The Dailey Memorial Library is gearing up for its annual Christmas craft fair and Christmas café luncheon.

The event will take place this Saturday, November 11, at North Country Union Junior High School in Derby.

The fair will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Lunch will be served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Over 40 talented crafters from throughout the area will be set up throughout the day. There will also be several raffles, including a turkey basket door prize raffle, instant raffle, rug raffle, and crafter’s raffle.

The Christmas luncheon will feature soups, sandwiches, pastries, and beverages.

Get in the holiday spirit by shopping with seasonal music, the smells of evergreen, and delicious comfort food.

Call the library at 766-5063 for further information or questions.

Locals win at Fly to Pie marathon and bike race

in Arts and Entertainment/Brownington/coventry/Glover/Newport/News/Outdoors

GLOVER — A 52-year-old athlete from Canaan defended home turf and won the fourth annual Fly to Pie, Kingdom Marathon with a time of 3:05:11.

David Herr, 52, of Canaan, took home first this year. He has run in all four marathons and is a three-time winner.

Winning among the women was Karen Benway, 45, of Williston, with a time of 3:50:25.

The vista riddled course is run on dirt roads through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom, from the airport in Coventry through Brownington, over Barton Mountain, through Barton, over Burton Hill into Irasburg, and back to Parker Pie in West Glover.

It is described by many as the most beautiful and toughest road marathon in the east.

Winning the 26.2 mile bike race, Doin’ the Dirt, were locals Chad Harden, 42 of Newport Center, and Tamsin Durand, 40, of Derby.

The run, bike, walk, was held on Sunday, October 8. Fall foliage was at its peak. The weather was warm, and the mix of sun, rain, and wind added to the excitement of the day.

Runners, bikers, and walkers who participated in this year’s Fly to Pie ranged in age from 7-year-old Jonah Matte of Barton, to 75-year-old Newton Baker, of Montpelier, running the marathon for the fourth straight year.

Participants came from California, Virginia, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Montreal, Magog, and Sherbrook, Quebec.

The event raised $815 for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Free Vermont Symphony Orchestra Halloween concert coming to Haskell Opera House

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — The Haskell Opera House recently announced they will host a kid-friendly, free Halloween concert on Sunday, October 29, at 2:00 p.m.

The concert includes an introduction of the instruments and several seasonally spooky selections.

The highlight of the performance is a narration with music based on the book, “A Symphony of Whales,” by Steve Schuch, taking its inspiration from a true story about whales stranded in the Siberian Sea, and the heroic efforts by villagers and a Russian icebreaker to free them.

Music plays a key role in the heartwarming rescue, and audience members get to participate in a crucial decision.

Organizers are inviting everyone to wear Halloween costumes, join the parade of costumes and take home treats afterward.

Free tckets are available the MAC Center for the Arts in Newport and the Haskell Free Library, in Derby Line.

Seating is limited.

For more information, please contact opera@haskellopera.com, www.maccenterforthearts.com, or call 802-873-3022 (x205).

MAC Center for the Arts to host Halloween mask making workshop

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts in Newport is inviting students ages 9 to 14-years-old, to come out and create wild, scary, gorgeous, funny, and all around wonderful Halloween masks this year.

The event will take place on Saturday, October 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the downstairs gallery.

The workshop is limited to just 15 participants, so pre-registration is recommended.

Organizers say a fee of $2.00 per participant will be used to cover supplies.

For more information, visit www.maccenterforthearts.com or call 802-334-1966.

Wood and Belsher return to the Haskell Opera House this Sunday

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — Fiddle and guitar duo Wood and Belsher will return to the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line on Sunday, October 8, for a 7:30 p.m. show.

Richard Wood, Prince Edward Island fiddler, artist, composer, and entertainer, has come full circle, not just in his musical career, but from the sheltered innocence as a child prodigy to learning life’s lessons the hard way.

Joining Wood on stage again this year is Gordon Belsher.

With a gentle charm that has become his trademark, Belsher’s versatility, engaging personality, and exceptional musicality have earned him the prestigious Music PEI 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Whether playing before festival crowds or intimate folk settings, his talent is extraordinary.

New scholarship will honor iconic Irasburg writer

in Arts and Entertainment/Irasburg

IRASBURG — Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) and Phoenix Books, a Vermont-based independent bookseller, announced the creation of a new VCFA scholarship that honors late author Howard Frank Mosher.

Called the Phoenix Books Howard Frank Mosher Scholarship, the $10,000 award will be merit-based and given annually to an emerging fiction writer from Vermont in his or her first year of VCFA’s MFA in Writing & Publishing residential program.

The first scholarship will be awarded in the 2018-2019 school year.

Mosher, who lived in Irasburg, was the award-winning author of 13 books that mostly took place in and around Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. He passed away in January 2017 after a short illness. His last book, “Points North,” will be released this January.

“This scholarship is the perfect way to honor Howard’s memory,” said Mosher’s wife, Phillis Mosher. “He always tried to help new and upcoming writers by offering them advice, and often times encouraged them to pursue an MFA. He was also a champion of local bookstores. He used to say that independent booksellers were the ones that made him a success.”

Phoenix Books provided the gift and funding for the purpose of an annual MFA in Writing & Publishing scholarship, said VCFA President Thomas Christopher Greene.

“Howard was the first significant writer to support my own work many years ago and we became personal friends,” said Greene.No writer was better known in this state and among his peers for his generosity.”

Greene and poet Daniel Lusk, speaking on behalf of Phoenix Books, announced the scholarship’s creation during the third annual Vermont Book Award Gala held at VCFA on Sept. 23, 2017.

Mosher was a judge for the 2015 Vermont Book Award and this year’s gala was dedicated to him.

Jay gears up for second annual Oktoberfest celebration

in Arts and Entertainment/Jay/Outdoors

JAY — The town of Jay Community Recreational Centre and the Jay Focus Group are teaming up to bring on the fun at Jay Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 7.

Activities begin with a Pumpkin Pi(e) 3.14-kilometer race at the Jay Community Recreational Centre.

“This will be a wonderful celebration of fall,” said Peggy Loux, Jay Focus Group and select board member.

Registration is at 8:30 a.m., and the race start is at 9. Other activities include a pumpkin carving and decorating contest, as well as a chili-cooking contest.

From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., kids and adults alike can play Oktoberfest games in downtown Jay, including pumpkin and gourd bowling, crabapple chip and putt, apple croquet, cornhole, candy corn toss, apple flingshot, small pumpkin launchers, and pumpkin trebuchet to name a few.

Lynx Mountain Guides will provide a Tyrolean adventure from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All activities are in downtown Jay and games require tickets, which will be available for purchase at the event. There will also be over 20 vendors on site to show their wares.

The Jay Village Inn is hosting the band Neighbors Hate Us from 1 to 4 p.m. Oktoberfest food and drink specials will be on the menu.

Contest winners will be announced during the music in the afternoon.

Proceeds from the event go towards trail development and maintenance at the Jay Community Recreational Centre.

For more information, go to jayvt.com, or .

Fly to Pie and Kingdom Games to support American Red Cross disaster relief

in Arts and Entertainment/coventry/Glover/Outdoors

WEST GLOVER — On Sunday, October 8, Fly to Pie’s 6-mile run, bike, or hike from Irasburg to West Glover will be dedicated to supporting the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

The $25 fee for the walk, run, or bike will be dedicated in its entirety to the Red Cross.

Parker Pie is offering up all the pizza you can eat, with Hill Farmstead beer on tap. Music will be provided by Hardwick Granite.

Fly to Pie also offers 13.5, 17, and 26.2-mile distances for running and biking on dirt roads through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom, starting at Lakeview Aviation in Coventry and also ending at Parker Pie.

Normally, Kingdom Games donates a portion of its proceeds to local charities. However, organizers say this year it seems the right thing to do to support recovery efforts in Florida and Texas.

Runners and bikers are coming from California, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and around Vermont to savor the fall foliage, fine pizza, excellent beer on tap, and great music.

Online registration for all courses is open at www.kingdommarathon.com.

MAC photography exhibit features people of Chhattisgarh, India

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts in Newport will host a photography exhibit titled “The People of Chhattisgarh, India’s Crown Jewels.”

An opening reception will be held on Friday, October 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the downstairs gallery with a presentation by the photographer, Steve Malshuk, at 5:30 p.m.

The exhibit will run through November 4, and is free and open to the public.

Mr. Malshuk, a world-renowned photographer and native of Orleans, returns to the MAC after another photographic journey, this time to India, where he visited the state of Chhattisgarh.

The India photographic venture took Malshuk and seven other photographers to an area where there are no Taj Mahals or dramatic scenery. The local populace was the reason for the trip.

Hours were spent driving on dirt or incredibly crowded roads to walk, observe, and photograph four of the approximately 700 Indian tribes.

For more information, visit www.maccenterforthearts.com.

Nunsense: QNEK’s last show starts September 15

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/News/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions will finish their final season with a production of their signature show, Dan Goggin’s Nunsense. The show will run September 15 – 17 at the Haskell Opera House on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Near and dear to many in the area, this show is sure to bring on the laughs and will certainly be “habit forming!”

Lynn Leimer reprises her role as Mother Superior, a star turn that has long delighted audiences, as she hangs up the habit and retires her company after 25 years.

A local legend in her own right, Leimer is grateful for all of the support QNEK has received over the last two decades and looks forward to sharing this show that has meant so much to her and the community one more time.

Nunsense begins when the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters, and they are in dire need of funds for the burials. The sisters decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show, so they take over the school auditorium, which is currently set up for the eighth grade production of “Grease.”

Directed by and starring QNEK’s founder and Artistic Director, Lynn Leimer, the show features local favorites reprising their roles, such as Anita Mayhew, Sally Rivard, Ruth Ann Fletcher, Emily May, and Janice Luce on piano with Sean MacAllister playing drums.

Judy Castonguay is the Stage Manager with Dennis Ziegler serving as Tech Director and Brandon Alexandre running the lights.

You do not want to miss the finale of the company that has delighted, surprised, entertained, and brought the community together for 25 years.

Come celebrate and say goodbye to local legend QNEK Productions, and “your right Reverend Mother” Lynn Leimer in Nunsense.

Tickets are available by calling the QNEK Box Office at 802-334-2216, reserving by email at qnek.com, by advance purchase online or by phone at catamountarts.org and the Catamount Arts Box Office at 888-757-5559, and by advanced purchase at the MAC Center for the Arts in downtown Newport.

Plein Air Exhibit opens on September 9 at the MAC Center for the Arts

in Arts and Entertainment

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts and the Memphremagog Watershed Association will host an art exhibit featuring farms and waters of the Memphremagog Watershed.

Resident artists and visiting artists at all levels are painting at many sites around the Northeast Kingdom through the NEK Plein Air painting group to document today’s landscapes that contribute to tomorrow’s history.

The opening will take place Friday, September 9, from 5 – 7 p.m. The exhibit will run through the September 30. This is a free event and open to the public.

Painting sites include views of local waters and views of soil and water conservation practices at four farms that are working with the Orleans County Conservation District.

This exciting art project includes highlighting strip cropping and grassed waterway in corn fields, grazing and laneways in pastures, and Riparian Forest buffers conservation practices that reduce soil erosion by water; increase infiltration and available soil water; and improve habitat, water quality, visual quality of the landscape and farm community relations.

Strip cropping is arranged on cropland across the general slope so that equal widths of grass strips are alternated with annually tilled cropped strip. Grassed waterways are generally planted to perennial grass in annual crop fields and are constructed to convey runoff from low spots where concentrated flow areas where ephemeral and gully erosion control is needed.

Artists and community members will learn about these local field based conservation efforts and all the participating farmers will receive a framed print of one of the paintings.

To become a member, an artist simply needs to join their meetup.com group at http://www.meetup.com/Plein-Air-Northeast-Kingdom/ to receive notices of our planned paint-out meetups.

For more information about the exhibit, visit www.maccenterforthearts.com.

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