Arts & Leisure


ZENO MOUNTAIN FARM'S “Best Summer Ever” was filmed in Lincoln, Bristol and Mount Abraham Union High School. Here is a scene from the musical that closed down Main Street in Bristol for a whole night.
Springtime feels good, and it’s about to feel even better. Zeno Mountain Farm (a foundation in Lincoln that champions lifelong friendship and opportunity for people with disabilities and other marginalized communities) is prepping to release its first feature length movie (shot in Lincoln and Bristol) to the public in late April. “Best Summer Ever” — a fresh and exhilarating take on the beloved teen musical genre — premiered last month at the annual South by Southwest festival to rave reviews. The Hollywood Reporter called it “irresistibly likable.” USA Today ranked the musical number six in...
(Harper) The adolescent brain is a marvel of biology, and understanding the pace of its growth is how this book begins to unravel why teens are “wired for risk.” Numerous studies have been done, not with actual teens (but with rats!) about the effects and consequences of substance use and abuse on brain development and it’s possible, actually probable, that Jessica Lahey has read them all (citing and notating them in her comprehensive notes and bibliography at the end of the book). Luckily for us, Charlotte, Vt., author and educator Lahey is a master explainer. She has the ability to...

BRAM ALLEN
Bram Allen is eight years old and he loves horror. “I think it’s because I was born in October, and that’s when all the scary stuff happens,” he explained. When Bram learned recently that Mary Shelley only wrote Frankenstein because she and her friends were taking part in a challenge to write the scariest ghost story, he got an idea: He would invite everyone he knows to write a scary short story. The second-grader is a big fan of Edgar Allen Poe — “I like ‘The Masque of the Red Death,’” he said — and he dressed up as Poe for Mary Hogan’s Book Character Dress Up Day last fall. He loves...
"Life during the COVID epidemic," the theme of Weybridge’s Third Annual Haiku Competition, attracted 178 wide-ranging reflections from 28 writers across Vermont and several states. “We need to be nurturing our spirits as well as our bodies in this difficult time. These haikus have done that,” Julia Alvarez, founder of the competition, commented in announcing the winners. Alvarez and Jay Parini, both acclaimed novelists and poets, are co-poet laureate’s for the town of Weybridge. As in past competitions, there are “winners,” but Alvarez has also created 28 categories reflecting the breadth of...
What are some of the best ways to improve the value of my home? Whether selling your home or not, addressing deferred maintenance and safety items, such as routine cleaning/inspections of heating and plumbing, is always important to keep on the list. Sellers in the current market may be fortunate regarding not having to make significant updates to their homes before putting them on the market. With less inventory to choose from, buyers need to be realistic that they can’t expect state-of-the-art appliances or the most up to date décor. But even in this “Hot Market” nothing beats a decluttered...

DRIED CALENDULA FLOWERS can be used for soaps, salves and other body products, as well as teas. Photo / Bonnie Kirn Donahue
Do you have herbs and flowers that you dried or preserved last summer still sitting in your cupboard or freezer? If so, now is a great time to pull them out and put them to good use. Dried herbs can be used in many ways depending on their variety and flavor profile. Some might be better for sweet dishes, such as lavender and anise hyssop, and some for savory dishes, including dill and tarragon. Before you start, check to see if there are any signs of mold, moisture or odd smells. If there are, it is best to discard these. Mint, chamomile and other dried floral herbs are ideal for making tea....

MATT BONNER WROTE and produced “Daylight” — a song and video featuring 20 local musicians. “Daylight” premiered during Porter Auxiliary’s recent online event “Laughter Is The Best Medicine” and is now on YouTube for everyone to see.
Can you feel it? Spring is tugging us outside, begging us to shed our hats, mitts, coats and — oh, heavens — maybe even our masks. After a year of carefully considering COVID precautions, the promise of vaccines and the nicer weather have many of us grasping for the light at the end of the tunnel.  Matt Bonner — a musician, writer, producer and entrepreneur from Cornwall — has been feeling this way since the New Year when he wrote “Daylight,” a song envisioning “coming back together, hope and connection and daylight.” He recently coordinated with 20 other local musicians to produce a music...
(Algonquin Books) In their free Black community, rooted in still-rural Brooklyn in the days of Reconstruction following the Civil War, Libertie’s mother was a person of high regard, a Black female doctor, though with light skin; she was revered, respected and relied upon. In her position, she was frequently called upon to administer aid and give shelter to passengers on the Underground Railroad who had fared poorly on their journey. Libertie, surely her mother’s daughter by measure of intellect, bore the dark skin of her father, and growing up as the daughter of a physician, she ached for...

IN THE 'CROAK, Slither and Slide” session on frogs, kids will make sparkly slime from baking soda and saline to learn about frog spawn. Photo / Liz Kenton
Kids of all ages are invited to sign up for ‘Croak, Slither and Slide,” a six-week exploration of frogs, snakes, salamanders, turtles and other reptiles and amphibians. The free herpetology course, offered by University of Vermont Extension 4-H, will delve into the life cycles, habitats and food sources of a number of species found in New England and beyond. Participants also will learn about the cultural connections and body dynamics, among other topics. Sessions will be held via Zoom from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on six consecutive Thursday afternoons. The dates are April 15, 22 and 29 and May 6, 13...

THE KING'S GARDEN at Fort Ticonderoga presents the Ninth Annual Garden and Landscape Symposium virtually on two consecutive Saturday mornings, April 10 and 17.
The King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga presents the Ninth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium virtually on two consecutive Saturday mornings, April 10 and 17. This online program features practical, easy-to-implement strategies for expanding and improving your garden or landscape. Everyone is invited to join, whether you are an experienced gardener or you are just getting started, for helpful insights from garden experts who live and garden in northern climates. Presentations Include: Sarah Salatino on “Water Wise Perennials and Gardening” Bill de Vos on “Tree Care Concepts” Amy Ivy on “...

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Addison County Independent