New Bennington concert venue heats up with Bella's Bartok


BENNINGTON >> The Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE) comes out of the Basement and hits downtown Bennington at the Masonic Hall at 504 Main Street. Join us Jan. 9 as we give the new place a proper party welcome with Bella's Bartok, described as "New England's most infectious band" by Music Inkorporated. Doors open at 7 p.m. the show begins at 8 p.m.

Bella's Bartok's members are six music-making extraordinaires from Northampton, Mass. who dare you to come see them and try to stay in your chair. When the Balkan-inspired, circus-y sound of Bella's Bartok hits your ears, you are no longer in control. Bella's Bartok makes everyone dance, regardless. From living rooms to concert halls, alleyways to weddings, the band's energy makes getting up and moving irresistible. Music Inkorporated states, "Seriously, this is a band worth seeing. A charming melodic noise party with just the right amount of sinister. Travel if you must."

Past music veterans of the Basement will see signs of the old venue from Stephen Alcorn's prints and Philip Wofford paintings to our Angel of music and the dedicated volunteers welcoming and serving you. You'll also get a chance to experience more space, a great, wood dance floor, a new bar, new stage lights, a lounge-coat room and several newly created lamp shades by artist Mary Jane Sarvis. All this in the setting and historic atmosphere of the Masonic Temple. Through their old photos and artifacts you'll get a sense of this active international fellowship of men that includes a variety of famous past members such as George Washington, Mozart, Count Basie, Oscar Wilde, Paul Revere, John Wayne, Mark Twain and Richard Pryor. The partnership between the brothers and VAE is a win-win allowing each to collaborate and support each other's organizations.

The Basement Music Series will present concerts throughout the winter into Spring and also produce non-VAE events that wish to rent the Hall. Please contact VAE for more information. Tickets to Bella's Bartok can be pre-purchased for $20 through Brown Paper Tickets, the first and only fair-trade ticketing company, at,, or by calling 800-838-3006 — a small processing fee will be charged. Tickets are $25 at the door on the day of show on a first-come, first-served basis. Libations will be available from Thyme Tables Catering. This season sponsors include Prue Electric, Bennington House of Tile & Carpet, The Hampton Inn and Bad Dog Creative Group.

Follow the current season on the Vermont Arts Exchange Facebook page (

Up next: Jeffrey Broussard and the Creole Cowboys on Jan. 22. Feb. 6 an all ages show with Phil Yates and the Affiliates opening for the SNAZ with a special student ticket price. Gypsy Layne on Feb. 12 and 13 and closing out February on the 27 with Jazz vocalist Tessa Souter. Many other shows to be announced.

The Masonic Hall is an accessible facility, call for specific accommodations. For more information about Vermont Arts Exchange and the 2016 Basement Music Series season, contact VAE at 802-442-5549 or visit


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