EXPOsion! 2016 launches Renaissance of Bennington art and culture


BENNINGTON >> In 2015, Yankee Magazine called Bennington, Vermont "a jumble of artsy shops and cafés that have a jittery beat-poet buzz, spiced up with some highly regarded museums." The same year, a study by the Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University put Bennington at the top of its list of "Most Vibrant Arts Communities in the Country." Over the past two years, Bennington's art scene has erupted, and it seems everyone else is finally catching on.

Much like its sister communities in the Berkshires and Catskills, the Bennington area is seeing the reemergence of what has historically defined the region. Back in the mid 1900's, Bennington College, Bennington Potters, and the Bennington Museum put this town of only 15,000 on the map as a destination for artists to visit and grow their talents. The continuation of that community, along with surrounding iconic institutions like the Clark Art Institute and the Southern Vermont Arts Center, laid a foundation of history and art heritage that color the entire valley in the fiery reds and warm amber shades of an autumn afternoon.

Today, with a new generation of cultural players and happenings, locals and visitors alike enjoy a fresh bounty of arts and entertainment. Local pubs and tap houses host story nights, comedy events, and open mic nights. There are interactive paint classes, the Four Corners North's Progressive Dinners and festivals, the Community Theater presentations, award winning plays from Oldcastle Theatre Company, and national touring musical acts at Vermont Art Exchange's Basement Music Series. Crafters of home products, foods and beverages gather at festivals, large and small, to show off their creations. Visual and performing arts programs abound at the many area institutions once known for more traditional liberal arts: Southern Vermont College, the Community College of Vermont, and Williams College just to the south. From hobbyists to seasoned professionals, residents are enjoying the spoils of life with art.

EXPOsion! Bennington 2016, now in its second year, is a premier press conference and trade conference that highlights the new 2016 season of arts, entertainment, and performances throughout Southwestern Vermont, Eastern New York, and the Northern Berkshires. This year will focus on the numerous art, entertainment and performance activities throughout the region, featuring the 125th celebration of the Bennington Battle Monument, the announcement of Bennington Arts Weekend in early August, the Bennington Museum's 2016 Grandma Moses exhibit, and the reincarnation of the Bennington Area Arts Council led by the Cultural Bennington Planning Committee. EXPOsion! Bennington 2016 is the window into the area's upcoming cultural seasons.

This year's exhibitors include the Bennington Museum, the Bennington Center for the Arts, the Clark Art Institute, the Vermont Arts Exchange, the Left Bank, Manchester Music Festival, Harwood Hill, The Bennington Arts Guild and the Shires of Vermont, to name a few.

Presented by The Cultural Bennington Planning Committee, the one-day exhibit will be on Wednesday, April 20 from 11am to 3pm at the Mount Anthony Country Club in Bennington, Vermont. Admission is free for press, but please pre-register.

Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/exposion-bennington-tickets-20565430757.

For more information contact John Shannahan at (802) 442-5758 or jshannahan@betterbennington.com


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