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MAC Center announces another children’s theatrical workshop August 4th

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts has announced the second in a series of theatrical workshops in 2018 with the premiere Children’s Theatre Academy – ACT 1.

On August 4, from 12:30-4:30 p.m. the workshop “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” tailored for ages 6-12 years old, will be held in the lower gallery at the MAC in Newport.

Yankee Doodle Dandy will explore the history of the song as it tells the 21st-century folktale of why the feather stuck in Yankee Doodle’s hat and why it’s called “macaroni.”

The original script with music under the direction of Sunny Naughton and Lynn Leimer, will have young people hone their acting and singing skills, and learn Americana choreography with show captain, Micaela Ortiz.

The culminating event will feature a full performance at 4:00 p.m. for friends and family.

Each participant will receive a certificate of participation. Additionally, ACT 1 tee-shirts are available for sale.

All are welcome, no experience required other than a love of creativity and fun.

Pre-registration is required. The registration deadline is July 31.

Cost is $25 per student or $40 for 2 siblings/friends.

Scholarships are available upon request.

The theatre workshop is limited to 15 participants and is a first come, first serve basis.

Visit the MAC Center for the Arts to pick-up a registration form or go to the website,

For more information, please call 802-334-1966.

All questions regarding the day of the event should be directed to ACT 1, Lynn Leimer at

NCUHS grads set to jazz up Friday Night Shuffle in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts is presenting a unique musical duo this Friday during the second installment of the Downtown Friday Night Shuffle in Newport.

Come out to hear Saigelyn Green and Phoenix Malanga, and enjoy their dynamic musical stylings from 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Green is a senior at the University of Southern Maine in the Music Education program.

She graduated from NCUHS in 2015 and most recently had a composition featured in the 50th Anniversary Concert.

Many community members have heard Green perform with Northsong and a variety of other music showcases throughout the greater Newport area.

Phoenix Malanga graduated from NCUHS in 2017.

He is a consummate guitarist and well known for the variety of bands he has played in throughout the Northeast Kingdom.

Malanga will be a music major at Bennington College this fall.

MAC Center for the Arts awards scholarships to graduating seniors

in Arts and Entertainment/Irasburg/Newport

NEWPORT — Two local graduating students were recently awarded scholarships from the MAC Center for the Arts.

Logan Chaput of Newport Center, a 2018 graduate from North Country Union High School, was a recipient of the MAC Scholarship.

Chaput will be matriculating to Ithaca College with a major in Music Education and Voice.

Celeste Piette of Irasburg, a 2018 graduate from Lake Region Union High School, was also a recipient.

Piette will matriculate to the University of Vermont with a major in Theatre and Communications.

Photo (l to r) Lynn Leimer, Vice President of the MAC, Logan Chaput, 2018 NCUHS graduate, Celeste Piette, 2018 LRUHS graduate, Isobel Marks, President, MAC Center for the Arts.

Liberated Libretto: A Frolic with Gilbert and Sullivan July 6 at the Goodrich Library

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Goodrich Memorial Library will present Liberated Libretto: A Frolic with Gilbert and Sullivan as the finale performance in their CHAUTAUQUA series in celebration of the Newport Centennial.

The MAC Center for the Arts is bringing this force of talent July 6, at 7 p.m. in the upstairs auditorium at the Goodrich.

Anita Morin, Sally Rivard, Allen Cubit, Ron St John III and Lynn Leimer with Janice Luce on piano showcase the humor and history of the dynamic G&S duo with favorites such as Modern Major General from Pirates of Penzance, Three Little Maids from the MIKADO and When I Got Out of Doors from Patience.

The revue captures the satire as well as the musicality that made the operettas famous.

For those curious about the Chautauqua terminology, it was an adult education movement in the United States highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which originated on the shores of the Chautauqua Lake, NY.

Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s.

The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day.

Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is “the most American thing in America.”

Music was important to Chautauqua. Opera became a part of the Chautauqua experience in 1926 when the American Opera Company (AOC), an outgrowth of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, began touring the country.

Under the direction of Russian tenor Vladimir Rosing, the AOC presented five operas in one week at the Chautauqua Amphitheater.

By 1929, a permanent Chautauqua Opera company had been established.

So, in keeping with that genre, Liberated Libretto will affectionately honor the creativity and uniqueness of Gilbert and Sullivan.

This festooned revue, directed and choreographed by Lynn Leimer, showcases not only the vocal talents of the ensemble, but their propensity for comedy.

Join this acclaimed sextet at the Goodrich concluding the week-long Centennial events and enjoy the legendary music of Gilbert and Sullivan.

There will even be a special guest appearance you won’t want to miss.

The performance is free and open to the public, however, seating is limited.

VIDEO: Celebrating Howard Frank Mosher in Irasburg

in Arts and Entertainment/Irasburg/News/Northeast Kingdom

On Saturday, the Leach Public Library hosted an Open House honoring the publication of “Points North,” by Howard Frank Mosher, in the town where Mosher and his wife Phillis made their home for 40 years.

Phillis Mosher gave an informal talk of recollections of the Mosher family’s life in Irasburg.

The beloved Irasburg author died in January 2017.

“Points North” was published in January 2018.

Swing into Spring with the VSO benefit party at Spates the Florist

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The North Country Friends of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s annual benefit party “Swing into Spring” will be hosted at Spates the Florist and Garden Center in Newport on May 24, from 6:15 – 8:15 p.m.

The event will offer live entertainment by the Maple Leaf Seven, a traditional jazz group also specializing in swing and dance styles from St. Johnsbury.

Attendees will have the chance to socialize with friends while strolling through Spates’ greenhouses to take advantage of exquisite plants at special VSO discounts.

The cost is $35 per person and includes gourmet appetizers and two complimentary beverage choice of beer, wine or soda.

Tickets are available in advance at Spates the Florist, Memphremagog Arts Collaborative, or at

All proceeds support the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and its SymphonyKids outreach program.

Last season, SymphonyKids programs reached over 3,500 students in the North Country with 34 presentations serving 28 different schools in 25 different communities.

Fiber arts exhibition opens Friday at the MAC

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts is getting ready to present “A common Thread – Stitches and Stories from Fiber Artists Near and Far.”

The opening reception will be this Friday, May 11, from 5-7 p.m. in the lower gallery.

The event is free and open to the public.

The exclusive showcase of fiber arts will be a cornucopia of visual delights, demonstrating a wide range of accomplishment and skill.

The exhibition includes works in weaving, felting, surface design, knitting, art quilts and art to wear, and will be on display from May 11 – July 28.

Some of the remarkable artists that will have work on display include Donna Jean Safford, Andrea Strobach, Bonnie Nash, Carolyn Ferrara, Pat Lipinski, Pixie Durand, Sharon Diner, Michelle Marsh, Kelly Doyle, Pippa Drew as well as artists from Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild.

This contemporary fiber show is full of examples that blur the lines between fine art and fine craft, updating or innovating traditional practices and materials or by incorporating other disciplines into fiber.

For more information, please stop in during regular hours at the MAC, or visit their website at

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:, 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.mac­cen­ter­fort­

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.visi­tis­land­, 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 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://

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, 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, 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.


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 or contact Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games at

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

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

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

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

Space is limited to 20 participants.

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

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

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 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.

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