Home News and Features Community and Business News in Brief, Oct. 4, 2023

Community and Business News in Brief, Oct. 4, 2023

Painting on wooden bowl by Pat Harrington. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Taste of Montpelier Returns October 7

The Taste of Montpelier Food Festival, presented by Hunger Mountain Co-op, returns for its third year as the main event in Montpelier’s weekend-long Reopening Celebration. 

The event features food trucks, vendors and artisans, chef demonstrations, beer and cocktail gardens, and street performers, and runs from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7 on Langdon Street and State Street from Main to Elm. It features over 20 food trucks and artisan foods.

The demo tent features four different presentations ranging from a high school student teaching how to make tamales, a heritage passed down from his great, great grandmother; a Vermont Fall Harvest tasting from Get Creative Culinary; a bruschetta demo from Woodbelly Pizza; and a demo about making Barr Hill’s house-made tonic and what makes it taste so good. The festival also features world-renowned street performers, including Cate Great, The Red Trouser Show, The Real McCoy, and Mr. Crites and Woodhead. It’s an event not to be missed!

This year’s event is also a fundraiser for Montpelier’s restaurants, many of which are still recovering from flood damage. Part of the vendor fees and all the busking money collected during performer acts will support impacted restaurants. For more information, visit montpelieralive.com/taste.

—press release

Removing the Mask: Let’s Talk about Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse affects one in three girls, one in four boys, and one in two gender nonconforming youths before age 18, nationally. Facing personal stories and statistics — and not knowing what to say or do — overwhelms many people, causing an epidemic of silence. To support dialogue and enhance prevention efforts, Mosaic Vermont will launch an event series Oct. 6 through Nov. 7. 

On Friday, Oct. 6, from 4 to 8 p.m. during Montpelier’s Art Walk, the public is invited to join an artist reception showcasing the paintings, puppets and storied wooden bowls of child sexual abuse survivor Pat Harrington, followed by a month-long exhibition at Montpelier Senior Activity Center through Nov. 7. Subsequent events at the same location (and one next door at the T.W. Wood Art Gallery) include a healing art workshop, a panel discussion on preventing CSA, and a community conversation seeking feedback and ideas. Details and a schedule can be found at  facebook.com/MosaicVermont.

Note: There will be conversations about heavy topics during these events. A content warning is advised. Trained advocates and resource materials will be available at all events. 

Learn more and make tax-deductible donations at mosaic-vt.org. Call Mosaic’s 24/7 helpline if support is needed: 802-479-5577.

—press release

Bridge Anniversary Event Nov. 17

Preserving Democracy Through Local Journalism: A Call To Action, an event celebrating The Bridge’s 30th anniversary, is happening Nov. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. at College Hall at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, featuring a conversation with Vermont journalist Kevin Ellis, Rumble Strip podcaster Erica Heilman, and more. Full details will be announced in the next issue of The Bridge. In the meantime, look for 30th anniversary content in our next several issues, including re-runs of some of our early stories; first-person tales from our founders, and more.

—Bridge staff

Romance at the Bear Pond

Bear Pond Books is celebrating one of the most popular genres in the shop — by getting romantic. The Montpelier bookstore is hosting its first ever Romance Readers Night on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. with Vermont-based romance author Amber Roberts. Roberts will be reading from her new book “Text Appeal” and will be joined by popular Instagram influencer “smuttybookreviews” along with Bear Pond staffer and devoted romance reader Cora Kelly, for a fiery, adults-only conversation about all things romance. 

“This is going to be a wonderful conversation between three fabulous women — a romance writer, a romance reviewer, and a loyal romance reader,” promises Bear Pond Books events coordinator, Jess Turner.

Turner points out romance’s evolution from the supermarket aisle to one of the most popular genres in books.

“It’s not just considered a ‘guilty pleasure’ anymore,” Turner says. “It’s a mainstream form of literature with a broad readership. That’s certainly true at Bear Pond. Our post-flood, rebuilt store has the romance shelf featured prominently, right at the front of the store.”

 Details can be found at bearpondbooks.com

—press release

Final $1.9 Million in COVID Relief Distributed to Vermont’s Creative Sector

The Bridge newspaper is one of 85 creative sector organizations and businesses awarded funds from the Vermont Arts Council Creative Futures Grant program, marking the end of an unprecedented investment in Vermont’s creative sector. In its final and third round of awards, the Vermont Arts Council awarded $1,931,000 recently and has distributed more than $8.8 million in all to 233 organizations and businesses across the state since December 2022. 

The Bridge was awarded a $25,000 Creative Futures Grant, designated for overhead and operations of the nonprofit independent news organization.

Supported by funds from Vermont’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act, the program aims to provide relief to one of the state’s economic sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding of up to $200,000 was available to Vermont-based creative economy nonprofits and for-profit entities, including sole proprietors, that demonstrated economic harm caused by or exacerbated by the pandemic. 

Funding amounts were based on 2019 (pre-pandemic) operating revenue and could be used for any regular operating expenses, including but not limited to payroll and benefits, utilities, rent, and insurance. 

The program was the first time that the council had the ability to grant funds to the full creative sector, including for-profit businesses. 

Distributions were made in three rounds, which began in January 2023. Applications that were not funded in one round could be reconsidered in subsequent rounds. 

—press release