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State of the Arts

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Burlington is soon to get another multiuse performance space at the Old North End’s hippest address: 294 North Winooski Avenue. Ben Bergstein and April Werner, proprietors of the modestly sized North End Studio (henceforth dubbed Studio B), are currently transforming the far more capacious former Imani Center into Studio A. It’s at the front of the long building that also houses the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts, The Bakery and CCTV.

According to North End Studio events coordinator Ben Aleshire, the new space will encompass a 30-by-50-foot dance floor, a café/lounge area, a meeting room, and offices for the Old North End Arts and Business network and The Salon, a literary journal that Aleshire edits. He envisions the center being used for everything from flamenco to jiu-jitsu to yoga as well as performances. Bergstein and Werner founded the Vermont Performing Arts League in 1978, support the Green Mountain Volunteers and FolKids of Vermont, and produce the annual Vermont International Festival. They are funding this latest project in part with grants, says Aleshire — but that doesn’t prohibit a good, old-fashioned fundraiser.

That’s coming this Saturday in the form of a rummage sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors and shoppers will get a look at the new space, albeit still under construction. Stay tuned for details about the center’s grand opening in early June.

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