Bennington >> Bennington Museum has been changing rapidly over the past few years as it works toward the goal of becoming a center of art, history, and innovation. With the Annual Festival now in its 20th year, it is being re-created in line with that spirit of creativity and innovation, taking it in a new direction that features an exhibition of works by local contemporary artists working in a wide variety of mediums. These artists have reimagined, reinterpreted, or responded to the 4-foot Memory Ware Tower, one of the focal points of the Grassroots Arts exhibition and one of the newest pieces in the museum's collection. This year the museum introduces The Festival Reimagined on view from Nov. 27 through Dec. 29. Each piece on display is for sale by closed-bid auction through Dec. 29. However, that is just the beginning, as the theme carries into the most anticipated celebration of the season, the Bennington Museum Gala.

Participating Artists: Barry Bartlett, Michael Bonadio, Bill Botzow, Kevin Bubriski, Laura Christensen, Katie Cleaver, Michael Egan, Alejandra Noguera-Garces, Jon Gitlelson, Emily Gold, Marcy Hermansader, Brian Hewitt, Michelle Holzapfel, Lodiza LePore, Angus McCullough, Jack Metzger, Leslie Parke, Michele Ratté, Jarvis Rockwell, Tony Schwartz, Tulianna Garces-Serbousek, and Arthur Yanoff.

The Gala, Dec. 5

Cocktail Hour: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m./Gala: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.


It's Cocktail Hour at Bennington Museum. On Dec. 5 join with others for a pre-Gala cocktail from 6 to 7 p.m. (Cash bar) Be among the first guests to enjoy The Festival Reimagined featuring original works from contemporary artists. From 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Bennington Museum hosts the premiere event of the season and the museum's largest annual fundraiser, the Gala. Enjoy creative cuisine, cash bar with wine, spirits and signature drinks created for the occasion, dancing to music by the Jeff McRae Band, and spirited bidding on unique and diverse items in the silent auction, all while supporting the region's foremost museum of art, history and innovation. Free childcare on site is offered, but space is limited, so call early. Tickets for the Gala are $75 per person for reservations paid for by November 13; $90 per person after Nov. 13, and $175 per person for a Platinum Museum Supporter. Tickets may be purchased by calling the museum at 802-447-1571.

Many items have been generously donated for the silent auction and include a selection of jewelry from Cake Gallery, a hand-stitched quilt wall hanging by Mary Kohler, wine from private collections, two original oil paintings from Tracy-Baker White and Pat White, a child's winter birthday party from Mt. Anthony Country Club, small CSA from Mighty Food Farm, and family membership and gift basket from Hildene. And that is just a few of the over sixty items that are available to bid on from November 27 through the Gala on December 5. Stop in early and often at no charge to bid on that special gift while supporting the museum's largest annual fundraiser.

Family Day and Children's Shopping Day — Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate the season with $3 admission to the museum for everyone (even Santa) on Family Day! Any child that brings new school supplies, hats, mittens, gloves, warm socks for children in need is admitted free. The discount applies to those under 18 only, but adults are welcome to bring a donation too! This year these items will be going to the children attending school in the Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union.

Throughout the day enjoy crafts, a bake sale, and more. Some activities require a small additional fee, up to $4, but many are free! Visit with Santa from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and with Will Moses from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the museum shop. Of course, there is the Children's Shopping Boutique open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thanks to the donations of friends of the museum, we are pleased to offer this special shopping experience, just for children ages 4 to 12. Shoppers' Helpers are always on hand to help children pick out presents for their friends and family members. Gifts range in price from $1 to $10, and free gift-wrapping and gift tags are included.

Adults Can Go Shopping Too! For the adults, there will be plenty to see and enjoy. This year beginning on Nov. 21, Cake Gallery has a pop-up shop adjacent to the museum shop, so the gift options are even more spectacular than before. Both specialize in beautiful and unusual items for every budget, and offer unique Vermont-made items not found at other locations. On Nov. 27 – 29, the Museum Shop is offering wonderful discounts on all merchandise. Members will enjoy a 25 percent discount while not-yet-members will receive 15 percent off their purchase.

Remember to visit the Classroom Creations! Students from classrooms in Bennington, Shaftsbury, Pownal, and Woodford have worked hard to create an object inspired by the Memory Ware Tower. For $1, you can purchase a chance to win the item of your choice. Winners will be notified on Thursday, December 17. Every year the children come up with creative new ideas, and this year is no exception. Visit their display and enjoy their contribution.

The museum would like to recognize and thank their lead sponsors the Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal. Thanks also to Maru Leon Design, Inc for the great invitation design and the businesses, sponsors, donors, volunteers, and individuals that have supported this year's Festival. The museum is located at 75 Main Street. Visit or call 802-447-1571