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One-sentence Stories of Creativity in Community

Part of the What Next? mural by Aaron Asis at Shelburne Craft School. Photo by Aaron Asis.

Part of the What Next? mural by Aaron Asis at Shelburne Craft School. Photo by Aaron Asis.

November 22, 2021

Posted By: Desmond Peeples

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to stymie our efforts to gather as we used to, we should remember that creativity is the heart of community. Over the past 19 months, Vermont artists, creatives, and arts and culture organizations have struggled to remain afloat, let alone thrive creatively, but we have found new ways to do our work. When we persevere, our communities have something to gather around.

Last month, we invited Vermonters to submit one-sentence stories of how the arts touched their town or community during the pandemic. We’ve collected some of our favorite sentences from your fellow Vermonters here.

What about you? What creative moment did you participate in? Did you make it to Catamount Arts’ vertical concert at Burke Mountain? Did you order a curbside performance from Modern Times Theater? We want to add to the list. You can send us your one-sentence story of creativity in community any time using this online form, and we may add it to this list or share it on our social media with the hashtag #creativecommunitystories. Share your experience!


The Shelburne Craft School community used the exterior walls of a beloved historic building to share words of hope during the pandemic with a quarantine appropriate participatory mural prompt: “What advice would you give yourself to help shape our future?” —The Shelburne Craft School

Bennington Museum first partnered with the North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show in 2020 and provided 20+ sculptures on our 10 acre campus for our community to enjoy while looking for something to do outdoors. —David Pilachowski, Bennington

My Greensboro community organized a Covid-style celebration for my 75th birthday and gifted me with pieces of fabric which I turned into a quilt (a true Pandemic artifact) that I call “The Quilt that Love Built”. —Judy Dales, Greensboro

We collaborated with community media centers around the state to create a community re-make of a feature film—a project we may never have considered previously! —Gin Ferrara, Crowdsourced Cinema VT, Burlington

We connected our amazing little community with our first (annual?) Jeffersonville Art Jam as a sister event to the Small Business & Art Saturday. —Rosemary D’Elia, Jeffersonville

Exhibiting my Biodegradable series outdoors and letting nature play with it, weather it, and fade it, was a gift to my community of Westford during our winter of isolation and cultural distance. —Anne Cummings

The Valley Players Theater (Waitsfield) co-sponsored a virtual Story Slam (like a Moth) in which I participated. —Susan Bauchner, Waitsfield

With simple (Stay in Your Car) parades, our community (all ages) were allowed to express themselves creatively, show gratitude and participate as a whole at a time we were separated. —Matthew Perry, Vermont Arts Exchange, Bennington

Empty storefront windows became wonderfully alive exhibit galleries for local artists thanks to the Window Warriors of St. Johnsbury—art for all the people. —Florence Chamberlin, St. Johnsbury

After a long silence, sequestered, our remote thoughts aimed directly to a seemingly limited interior vigilance, even now uncomfortably claustrophobic after weeks of new welcome nesting: We stepped out, for music—rhythm (and melody…), a dancing, gratitude, historical—when our community welcomed The Burlington Taiko Drum Ensemble, culminating just before a storm sent us back to our homes, renewed, worldly; likewise revitalized, when the Weston Playhouse performed from their vans—and set up an imaginary playscape for Seussical on our mountain bluff, transforming a forlorn ongoing pandemic year into a celebration of creative continuance (thankfully; we were breathing again in a wave of laughter and appreciation). —Peter Money, Brownsville

Tags: Commentary, community, COVID-19, Matthew Perry, Peter Money, Shelburne Craft School


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