News from the Arts Center

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Here we are in midsummer and I felt it was time for a message to our loyal members and friends bringing you up to date on things happening at the southern Vermont Arts Center.

Let me begin by announcing that Joan Teaford, a longtime resident of both Dorset and New York City has been appointed as the Interim Executive Director of the Arts Center. Joan is a woman of varied talents and is well known to many in the Manchester and the Mountains community for her work as the head tennis professional at both the Dorset Field Club and the Ekwanok Country Club. Less well known is her educational and working experience in the Arts. Joan holds degrees in both Art History and Fine Arts from the University of Colorado and following graduation worked at Sotheby's in New Your City as a cataloguer in the European Works of Art Department and subsequently in the Impressionist Paintings Department. Her love of art began at an early age as her father was a major collector of Pre-Columbian art.

Joan also has extensive fundraising experience including involvement with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where she served on the Special Projects Committee, Docent Committee and Associates Committee and as a Board Member of the Society of MSKCC. Other fundraising Committees on which she served include the Cooper Hewitt Museum Decorative Arts Society, Friends of the Highline, and The Museum of Modern Art.

The Trustees of SVAC are in the midst of an extensive review of our operations. This review is being assisted by outside experts and includes a comprehensive examination, not only of operations, but our mission, market and the expectations and wishes of the communities we serve. We believe Joan is ideally suited to lead at this time and to help us to set a strategic direction for the future.

Moving on, we recently hosted a cooperative event with Southwestern Vermont Health Care and the Susan Sebastian Foundation in the Arkell Pavilion. Approximately 125 paintings by Vermont artists were reviewed by a jury and 51 were selected. A painting by a Vermont artist will be placed in each of the hospital's patient rooms, framed and paid for by the Foundation. The Foundation thus concluded its mission of placing a painting in each hospital patient room in Vermont. This was a very successful event for SVAC, our artists, the hospital and The Susan Sebastian Foundation!

We also recently concluded an exceptional exhibit of artisan glass objects entitled "Modern Alchemy" curated by Hadrien Redouin, our Gallery Manager. This show created a lot of excitement and many visitors felt it was one of the most interesting and innovative shows held recently in the Wilson Museum. I hope you were able to see it! Now is a 20 Year Retrospective by artist David Brewster entitled "Quixotic Encounters."

SVAC was delighted to be selected as the site for the 2016 SolarFest Sunrise Festival. SolarFest promotes artistic excellence and community building while providing both general and detailed information on a wide range of sustainable living topics. Vermont currently has the most solar jobs per capita in the US, and Burlington, VT is the first city in the United States to run on 100% renewable energy. The Village of Manchester was cooperative in this effort helping us welcome SolarFest to the community.

One of many exciting new things this year is the opening of Café Sora in Yesterhouse. Café Sora (meaning "sky" in Japanese) is operated by two wonderful and talented ladies of Japanese heritage who provide an excellent selection of both Japanese and American cuisine. Please make a point of visiting the Café for a real taste treat!

Coming on August 6th are The Phantom Leading Ladies, featuring three of the former leading singers from the Broadway hit musical Phantom of the Opera. These talented singers will provide a thrilling evening of music from a variety of Broadway shows and are guaranteed to provide a wonderful evening of exceptional entertainment

On August 26th a favorite performer at SVAC, Bob Milne returns for another remarkable demonstration of his unique talent for playing Ragtime and Boogie Woggie piano. Bob is returning by popular request to demonstrate his unique abilities at moving seamlessly from one musical genre to another all without the aid of written music. He is truly unbelievable!

Our final headline entertainment event for this season at the Arkell will feature the Brubeck Brothers Jazz Quartet on September 16th. Many of you will remember Dave Brubeck, a giant of composing and performing jazz with his Dave Brubeck Quartet and a multi time visitor to the southern Vermont Arts Center. Well, the Brubeck Brothers continue the family tradition by bringing their own unique talent and style to our stage for the first time this year. If you love jazz, you'll love these guys!

The SVAC art classes under the direction of Abby Pinkard, our Director of Educational Programming, have continued to grow by educating, entertaining and enlightening both children and adults. Our instructors are both talented artists and exceptional teachers, so don't let your own latent talent remain hidden when you can grow and enjoy becoming an artist yourself here at SVAC.

I hope my update on activities at SVAC will inspire you to visit, volunteer, learn or simply renew your membership. We have a lot going on and we are working toward a great new future. Thank you for your interest and for being a part of the Southern Vermont Arts Center.

Bob McCafferty is the president of the arts center's board of trustees.


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