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State of the Arts


Published April 29, 2009 at 9:05 a.m.

Hop Loss

Arts organizations tend to struggle in the best of times. And these are not the best of times. So it was a bummer, though not a shocker, to learn this week that Burlington’s South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA) finds itself without funding for an Art Hop 2009 coordinator. That means current coordinator Bob Bolyard is out of a job. Or at least one of his jobs.

“We were, after all, not spared from the current economic climate,” SEABA director Carlos Haase writes in an email, “for which we’ve quickly had to adapt and reconsider how to staff SEABA and the ever-changing Art Hop.” He believes in silver linings, however, and suggests more “community engagement” will save the day. “This year I will be heavily relying on college summer interns and volunteers,” Haase notes. Sounds like more people organizing their own mini-events during Art Hop would be a good thing, too. Not that the city’s artist types have been holding back.

Come what may, the popular annual fest along the Pine Street corridor will take place this year on September 11 and 12. Watch for updates in this paper and at

Change of Guard

Stowe’s Helen Day Art Center, meanwhile, has a new exhibitions director and curator: Essex artist Odin Cathcart replaces outgoing Idoline Duke this month. Says HDAC director Nathan Suter: “Odin has a background in curating, exhibition design, art installation, marketing, branding and writes critically about art.” All good, since any member of a small arts org inevitably wears many hats. Congrats to Cathcart, and stay tuned for a proper introduction on these pages next week.

Pamela Polston

Show Me the Money

Members of the Vermont Film and Media Coalition, a group of local film production pros, still have hopes for S.104, a bill that would create new tax incentives for film productions spending over $50,000 in Vermont. In February, it was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, where, a VFMC member posted on the group’s blog on April 7, initial testimony was “rushed and incomplete.” Meanwhile, the group is circulating a video clip made by Burlington’s Nate Beaman, in which writer/director Bobby Farrelly and Oscar-nominated actor William H. Macy proclaim their love of Vermont and make a case for tax credits that might lure big productions. “The studios won’t allow you to come here if it’s way cheaper to go somewhere else,” warns Farrelly, whose Me, Myself & Irene (1999) was one of the last high-budget Hollywood films to shoot in these parts. That may be the bottom line.

Youth Writes

The Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, the first U.S. institution to offer an MFA specifically in writing for children and young adults, has announced a new prize for work in that same vein. It’s called the Katherine Paterson Prize after one of Vermont’s most famous YA authors — who will also judge the entries. But no Twilight-sized manuscripts: Submissions must be unpublished and of picture-book or short-story length (no more than 5000 words). The fee is $20; the prize, $1000 and publication in a new online arts journal from Hunger Mountain, the college’s print outlet. June 30 is the postmark deadline; email for more info.

Margot Harrison