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Art Notes: Sculpturefest features work of Woodstock high alumna
07-17-2024 4:01 PM

By ALEX HANSON

WOODSTOCK — Lela Jaacks’ interest in visual art dates to her years at Woodstock Union High School.After she graduated, in 1995, and before she headed off to Rhode Island School of Design, she helped Charlet Davenport with the myriad details involved...

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Art Notes: The Junction Dance Festival focuses on public participation
07-10-2024 6:00 PM

By ALEX HANSON

For a long time, the primary venue for dance in these parts was Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center.The college incubated Pilobolus, the celebrated, New England-based modern dance company, which itself produced spinoff companies that make regular stops...


A Life: Gillian Tyler ‘was just sparkling’
07-07-2024 5:01 PM

By ALEX HANSON

THETFORD — At Smith College in the 1950s, Gillian Lewis majored in visual art and minored in theater. Those studies presaged the direction her life would take after she moved to Thetford in 1960.Art was major, at least at first, as she made woodcuts...


Art Notes: Lebanon High School students put on play about school shootings
06-26-2024 5:04 PM

By ALEX HANSON

A little over a year ago, Seth Kelly and Arlo Hastings, who were then sophomores at Lebanon High School, had written a play they were hoping to produce.Because it was a Christmas play and their plan was to produce it in June, and because they thought...


Art Notes: Upper Valley’s summer arts off to a hot start
06-19-2024 4:33 PM

By ALEX HANSON

The heat is supposed to break by Friday, if the forecast is for real.That’s a good thing in general, but particularly for Randolph, where the Chandler Center for the Arts and other organizations have made big plans for International Make Music...


An end and a beginning for the Hanover High Class of ’24
06-15-2024 7:36 AM

By ALEX HANSON

HANOVER — Education is a series of expanding horizons. Students do their work, fail or succeed, move forward and repeat the process all over again.“The human condition is complex,” Hanover High School Principal Julie Stevenson said at the start of the...


Group defends Vermont public schools
06-14-2024 7:01 PM

By ALEX HANSON

A couple of weeks before Town Meeting Day, longtime Norwich School Board member Neil Odell wrote a letter to future Vermonters about the demise of public education.“Rather than double down on our public education system,” Odell wrote, “we instead...


Art Notes: Summer brings diverse events
06-05-2024 3:23 PM

By ALEX HANSON

After Memorial Day, the arts start to emerge, just like their orthographically similar cousins, ants. It’s warm, occasionally sunny, and the woodwork has grown confining.Arts events seem a bit weirder in the summer, more experimental and free form....


Art Notes: River City Rebels is an older and wiser punk band
05-29-2024 5:37 PM

By ALEX HANSON

The line “Rock and roll can never die” lodges in the mind in Neil Young’s voice, but there are countless examples. Keith Richards, for one.Locally, the best measure of rock’s staying power might be the River City Rebels. The band celebrates the 25th...


Bookstock literary festival grew too big to manage
05-24-2024 5:32 PM

By ALEX HANSON

WOODSTOCK — Last year, the organizers of Bookstock, the literary festival begun here in 2009, set out a lofty aim.“Our goal,” they wrote in a funding application to the Woodstock Economic Development Commission, “is to make Bookstock one of the most...


Art Notes: Canaan Meetinghouse showcase brings musicians and listeners together
05-08-2024 5:31 PM

By ALEX HANSON

CANAAN — A few summers ago, during the pandemic, Martin Decato and Peter Dionne got together to play music. Decato is a longtime pro, Dionne an avid amateur.They looked around for a good place to make music videos, and didn’t have to look far. They...


Norwich author and educator sees schools as a reflection of communities
05-03-2024 10:01 PM

By ALEX HANSON

By his own account, Ken Cadow was a reluctant student.His father had been a teacher, but went to work at IBM to earn enough to raise a family. Cadow grew up mostly in Rhode Island.“I learned a lot of stuff with my dad in the shop,” Cadow said in a...


Art Notes: City Center Ballet celebrates 25 years
05-01-2024 6:01 PM

By ALEX HANSON

LEBANON — Jennifer Henderson was a senior in high school in 1999, when City Center Ballet came to life.For years she had been studying at Lebanon Ballet School, which Linda Copp had founded in the mid-1980s. “She had built up a really excellent...


Art Notes: After losing primary venues, JAG Productions persists
04-17-2024 5:31 PM

By ALEX HANSON

For much of its history, JAG Productions, the small, White River Junction theater company that specializes in telling stories from deep inside the black, queer, American experience, has had to be nimble. Company founder Jarvis Antonio Green has...


Art Notes: The Pilgrims to perform ‘last’ show Saturday in Hanover
04-10-2024 5:01 PM

By ALEX HANSON

The journalism and the arts can meet at a fraught crossroads. One relies on facts and on creating an account as close to the truth as possible in the time available. The other is interested in truths that are more personal, less grounded, and time...


East Bethel Community Church is reborn
04-05-2024 8:04 PM

By ALEX HANSON

EAST BETHEL — From their cars, parked in a neat row on the grass outside, worshipers walked through the front door of the village’s stately, 200-year-old brick church for a symbolic rebirth.Not only was it Easter Sunday, but some of the 30 or so...


Art Notes: We the People opens big musical Friday night
04-03-2024 5:31 PM

By ALEX HANSON

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — In its relatively short history, We the People Theatre has specialized in sweeping musical theater projects, starting with productions of “1776” and “Working.” The coronavirus pandemic put an end to the company’s momentum,...


Theater Review: Northern Stage’s ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ delivers constant laughs
03-19-2024 4:31 PM

By ALEX HANSON

Like any art form, theater can carry a lot of ideological freight. Mercifully, sometimes it just entertains and amuses.And sometimes, it entertains so thoroughly that you forget everything but the present spectacle. That’s what Northern Stage’s...


Former Valley News publisher challenged newsroom to seek continuous improvement
03-15-2024 10:01 PM

By ALEX HANSON

John Kuhns arrived at the Valley News at a big moment for the small, busy newspaper.His predecessor as publisher, Willmott “Bin” Lewis, announced in January 1993 that he would step down that spring with Kuhns to replace him. Just before Kuhns started,...


Theater Review: Shaker Bridge’s ‘The Minutes’ illustrates value of unvarnished truth
03-12-2024 6:01 PM

By ALEX HANSON

Having spent untold hours in selectboard and city council meeting rooms around the Upper Valley, I’ve often joked that it would be more fun to write about the meetings held in them as if they were theater, rather than just the mostly humdrum work of...


Voters in Royalton and Bethel easily approve school budget
03-05-2024 4:54 PM

By ALEX HANSON

BETHEL — It’s a rare annual meeting at which the controversial issues are raised in the “other business” portion just before adjournment.After passing a budget of nearly $14.4 million by a vote of 98-28 on Monday evening, voters from Bethel and...

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