Folklife Center to unveil new location

MIDDLEBURYThe Vermont Folklife Center unveils its new headquarters in downtown Middlebury with a free open house celebration on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The public is invited to stop bythe new 88 Main St. location and see the restored home that includes an interactive multimedia exhibit, state-of-the-art digital recording studio, Vision and Voice workspace, and unique gift shop. The day will include demonstrations of Abenaki arts, hands-on activities, and the premier of a photography exhibit by Burlington artist Mary E. Johnson. The VFC uses research, interpretation, and training to offer a window into the cultural and social fabric of Vermont's diverse communities. This Center will allow us to increase our statewide programs and advance our goal of helping Vermonts distinct cultures thrive today and in the future, Executive Director Brent Bjorkman explained. The renovation actually spanned two directors. Bjorkman was recently appointed to the position following the retirement of founding director Jane Beck. In addition to staff-led tours of the new Center, the Open House will welcome VFC Apprenticeship Artists to share their talents. Abenaki traditional artists Jesse Larocque and Judy Dow will be demonstrating basket making techniques throughout the day. The new center will include an expanded climate-controlled archive to house over 4,000 hours of interviews it has collected during the past 23 years. In addition, the construction of a recording and digitization studio will allow staff to transfer this treasure trove to a digital format that will make the collection much more accessible to researchers across the globe. During the open house, visitors will be invited to experience the new recording studio while participating in brief interviews. The move also allowed the center to expand its unique gift shop, featuring traditional art and craft from Vermont, New England and around the world.

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