Arts & Leisure

ASHLEY WOLFF ILLUSTRATED a book version of the classic Raffi song, "Baby Beluga."
MIDDLEBURY — This past Friday afternoon, author and illustrator Ashley Wolff gave a talk to a group at the Lodge at Otter Creek in Middlebury about the “Tale of Two Books.” With over 70 children’s books to her name, Wolff wanted to talk about the “one book that got away” and how that led to her later success. “The book was called ‘Poncho Claus,’” Wolff said, remembering back to the early 1980s when Penguin Books asked her to illustrate the book. “It was a Tex-Mex version of ‘The Night Before Christmas.’” She took the assignment and got to researching. “I had some questions about the usage...

KATIE TRAUTZ WILL perform music from her new CD “Passage” with Mike Roberts, Julia Wayne and Tyler Bolles at the Ripton Community Coffee House on Saturday, Jan. 4.
RIPTON — The holiday season is rolling right along, with it’s merry energy and brightness during these dark winter days. However, it won’t be long before it’s January and we all remember just how long Vermont winters are. But before you despair, mark your calendars for Katie Trautz’s CD release show at the Ripton Community Coffee House on Saturday, Jan. 4. During this show, Trautz will perform music from her new album “Passage” with Mike Roberts (electric guitar), Julia Wayne (harmonies) and Tyler Bolles (bass). “Passage” is Trautz’ second solo album, but this one is distinctly her own —...
Fiona is 10 months old and loves wrestling with her kitty friends Sweetie Pie and Silas, going to the park with her big brother Harrison, and running around the neighborhood visiting whenever she can escape her pet yard. She’s learning to leave her parents’ shoes alone, now that she is done teething, and curls up on top of the sofa to relax. She loves camping and hiking and has already climbed Camel’s Hump. Every day is a busy play day for Fiona! Alice Grau Bridport

JOIN IN MIDDLEBURY’s annual Messiah Sing on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. at the Congregational Church of Middlebury. Photo/James P. Blair
The Middlebury Congregational Church once again hosts the area’s annual “Messiah Sing” that each year attracts hundreds of singers and players from throughout Addison County and beyond beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22. Jeff Rehbach, conductor of the Middlebury College Community Chorus, leads the sing-along of this famous work by George Frederic Handel for choir and orchestra. Come join friends and neighbors for the afternoon of community music-making at the Congregational Church of Middlebury, located at 2 Main Street. Singers, instrumentalists and all who enjoy music are warmly...

THE YOUNG TRADITION Vermont Youth Commission Ensemble, a group of talented young musicians, consists of Fern O’Donnell, left, Hadley Stockwell, Romy Munkres, Abi Sandy and Ben Munkres. Romy Munkres, as the commissioned artist, chose the members of the group and is working with YVT to set up gigs for the ensemble.
VERMONT — Young Tradition Vermont (YTV) recently announced its first Youth Commission. The YTV Youth Commission Ensemble, which involves several Addison County residents, has been rehearsing this fall and their first performance is scheduled for Dec. 31, at 2 p.m. at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, as part of the annual Highlight! Festival. Additional performances by the ensemble are being scheduled through summer of 2020, including the annual Spice on Snow Festival in Montpelier on Jan. 25 starting at 7 p.m. and the annual Young Tradition Weekend concert at City Hall in Burlington...

Black-capped chickadees are one of the most frequent visitors to our bird feeders in winter, but do we really know them? This common bird exhibits some remarkable behaviors and winter survival strategies. Undoubtedly you’ve heard the familiar “chicka-dee-dee-dee” call in the winter woods. Soon after spotting the caller, with its black cap and bib, you’ll often notice more chickadees showing up on the scene, all calling. This is known as mobbing behavior. The chickadees are investigating to see if you are a potential threat. The birds don’t usually get too worked up when they see a human. (In...

Christian Bale in “Ford v Ferrari” (2019)
Ford v Ferrari — Running Time: 2:32 — Rating: PG-13 If you avoided seeing “Ford v Ferrari” because you aren’t interested in car racing, you might just reconsider. Why did I avoid it? Car racing and all-male casts have never drawn my interest. How could an audience be held in suspense for two and a half hours of men speeding around in circles to a deafening soundtrack? Yet finally, there I was in the movie, on that track, rooting for the good guys. During a five-year sales slump at the Ford Motor company, designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) begins to wonder how to make the Ford badge stand...
(Grove Press)   Albert Woodfox, who spent 43 years and 10 months in solitary confinement, and Robert King,  who spent 29 years in solitary, two of the Angola Three housed at the notorious Angola Penitentiary, spoke at Harvard Law School on March 8, 2017. Woodfox was quoted as saying, “Confinement is unnecessary evil which exists because society sanctions it.” His story, as put forth in “Solitary,” a National Book Award Finalist, is, most remarkably, of hope and transformation. It is revealing in the way that only someone who has lived through what Woodfox, an insider, has lived through could...

COMEDIAN JASON LORBER will perform the one-man play “The SantaLand Diaries,” based on the David Sedaris essay and adapted by Joe Mantello, at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury on Friday, Dec. 20. Margo Whitcomb, a former Middlebury resident, directed this performance.
MIDDLEBURY — Holidays can bring out the best in people — or not. It’s a time of joy, happiness, love and giving; what could possibly go wrong? Come see just how sideways the holiday season can go with Jason Lorber’s performance of David Sedaris’ original essay “The SantaLand Diaries.” The one-man show, adapted for the theater by Joe Mantello and directed by Margo Whitcomb, will take the stage at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury on Friday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m. “I’m excited to be part of this almost cult-like play,” said Burlington-based actor and comedian Lorber. “Vermont is Sedaris country....

“THE THINGS HENRY Collects” by Cathlin McCullough
MIDDLEBURY — A new exhibit called “Childhood” is on view now at PhotoPlace Gallery, at 3 park St. in Middlebury. This exhibit like others at PhotoPlace accepts thousands of entries from all over the world, then a juror selects 35 images to place on display in the gallery, and 35 more to exhibit online. Anne Berry curated “Childhood,” which will be on view through Dec. 28. “Culling just 70 images from well over a thousand is not an easy task,” she said in her juror statement. “I am excited about this collection of work but sad to leave behind so many worthy submissions… Every photograph in...


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