State of the Arts
No matter how sweet home is, sometimes you just gotta leave it. That’s what the Vermont Stage Company  is doing this month. In residence for a decade at Burlington’s cozy FlynnSpace, VSC is taking its 2007 hit Woody Guthrie’s American Song  to Middlebury’s newly renovated Town Hall Theater  for a July 22-26 run. While VSC Artistic Director Mark Nash will once again direct the show, Montpelier’s Patti Casey  will return as both cast member and music director. Oh, and don’t worry, B-town: VSC will be back at the Flynn this fall for a brand-new season. Stay tuned … Rabble-rouser alert: The PanAshé Steeldrum Band  is looking for dancers to “raise the energy” this Friday, July 3, in the 18-piece sax/drum ensemble’s performance at the Montpelier Independence Celebration . The world-premiere show is called “Les Bluettes Sauvages” (“Wild Blueberries”) — and who wouldn’t want to be part of that? If you’ve got some red, white and blue enthusiasm to spare, call PSB head Emily Lanxner at 472-5913. Rehearsals begin at 1 p.m., the parade at 6 p.m. … If you like to watch films en plein air, the Vermont College of Fine Arts  in Montpelier has got a deal for you: “Movies on the Hill.” That is, eight Friday-night films, July 10 through August 28, shown outdoors on the green beginning at dusk. Word has it the fare will be family-friendly. Best of all, it’s free. Come early and picnic. Call 828-8580 … Speaking of the Capital City, a new group called FindArts Montpelier has organized to, well, help everyone find the arts. Kind of a cultural chamber of commerce, it is mustering arty cognoscenti and the proprietors of bookstores, galleries, restaurants, etc. to collectively facilitate and market the town’s culinary, visual, performance, literary and film offerings. Already host to a monthly art walk, annual fashion show and summer-long outdoor SculptFest, Montpelier is embracing this thing called creative economy. More to come as this develops. Info, email@example.com  … Have you heard the Quad starts this week? If not, what rock have you been hiding under? The 12-day quadricentennial celebration of Samuel de Champlain’s giving our almost-great lake a French name takes shape in the Queen City as the more generically titled Burlington International Waterfront Festival . All of it has been getting mucho publicity in this paper and elsewhere. But one little-heralded component of the massive lineup is a series called “Forums on the Future” — that is, of Vermont — to be held at Burlington City Hall Auditorium daily, July 6-11, at noon. Notable speakers will wax eloquent on a variety of topics. We’ll just mention two arty ones here; you’re on your own for the rest. On Tuesday, July 7, in “Writers’ Visions of 2050,” kiddos from the Young Writers Project  and a stellar smattering of grownups will read what they wrote from the imagined perspective of that arbitrary year down the road, followed by a Q&A. The adult readers are nothing if not diverse, ranging from professional actress/playwright/optimist Kathryn Blume  to alarming author James Howard Kunstler  (The Long Emergency). On Thursday, July 9, visual artists paint a picture — with words — of what it means to be a Vermonter and how “our collective cultural output reflects our sense of place and community.” Grappling with this one are painters Val Hird  and Annemie Curlin , architect John Anderson , filmmaker Nora Jacobson  and John Miller  from Lyman Orton ’s “Art of Action”  project. Whew.