Curious readers will discover inside information about “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” but this deeply personal and intimate account of one man’s single-minded pursuit of a career as a performer is pure François Clemmons. Director of the Martin Luther King Spiritual Choir and Artist in Residence at Middlebury College before his retirement, Clemmons chronicles his early childhood and family history, his education and training, the numerous obstacles, racial and otherwise, he encountered along the way, and the faith and perseverance required to bring his voice to the world. He...
'QUEEN MOTHER,' BY Will Kasso
Looking for an artist in Vermont? Easy, check any home studio, any shared collaborative space, look on the stages, and in the workshops and sheds that cluster in the “artsy areas” of Vermont towns, or out behind some bucolic farmhouse. They’re there — the violinmakers, dancers, painters, musicians, potters, thespians, glass blowers, metal workers… they’re everywhere. But when you stop to try and identify who a Vermont artist is, suddenly the task isn’t so easy.
The Vermont Arts Council’s Spotlight Gallery in Montpelier is attempting to shed a little light on who artists in Vermont are these...
FRANCOIS CLEMMONS WEARS a King coat from Nigeria while showing off his impressive closets at his Middlebury home.
Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
VERMONT — Governor Phil Scott today announced François Scarborough Clemmons as the recipient of the 2019 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Clemmons, who lives in Middlebury, is a nationally renowned actor, singer, playwright and author. He is best known for his role as Officer Clemmons on the children’s television series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Clemmons is also a Grammy-winning opera singer and founder of the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble. He appeared in the 2018 documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" which told the story of Fred Rogers, who was a dear friend and mentor to...