Arts Council of Windham County
Brattleboro CoreArts Project: Track I: discussion by Arts Leaders
13 May 2013, Latchis Main Theatre 10:00-11:30
ACWC President Doug Cox invited leaders from the 46 arts organizations listed in the Brattleboro Arts Compendium to discuss the recently released “Brattleboro: an Atlas of Cultural Assets”, produced by three students from The Conway School for the Brattleboro CoreArts Project. 21 attended (see below)
The CoreArts Team (Zon Eastes, Rod Francis, Kate Anderson) gave an introductory presentation on the CoreArts Project and the Track 1 process that lead to the Atlas. The nature and scope of the Atlas was determined in large part by the decision to engage students from the Conway School to do this work. The Atlas reflects their curricular and time constraints, and the particular parts of the Brattleboro cultural community to which they were exposed.
1. A discussion of where the line for West Brattleboro begins.
- Was West Brattleboro included in the Atlas appropriately?
2. A discussion of what organizations are seemingly included in or excluded from the Atlas.
- Youth are included but seem to be a weakly linked to the arts establishments.
- For those looking at the maps and not reading the text, certain organizations seem to be missing, ie, NECCA, NEYT.
- The intent of the Atlas is not evident at first, but upon reading into the Atlas becomes more so.
- It’s disconcerting that Brattleboro’s larger organizations are not more prominent.
- The title (Atlas) is misleading. Atlas implies comprehensive and complete. Perhaps if the title were, say, “A Day in the Life of Brattleboro.”
- There exist important forces outside Brattleboro that are missing entirely, ie, Yellow Barn, Marlboro Music Festival, Marlboro College, Sandglass Theater, Vermont Performance Lab
- The Atlas is elegantly produced. A good read.
- The Brattleboro arts scene is rather like a ball of yarn, therefore difficult to untangle, yet perhaps I see a thread which is my organization—a golden thread. The Atlas plays with the idea that Brattleboro might be a ball of yarn.
- Had the Atlas set the stage by perhaps relating some history, some provenance that engenders the creative environment here, then the Maps might be more readily comprehended.
- The Atlas is idiosyncratic, quirky. Perhaps its purpose is to reveal some of Brattleboro’s quirkiness. Perhaps it is an Atlas in which the big institutions are not central.
- I see Atlas equaling Compass.
- Larger organizations may not be so aware of the struggles of many young artists.
- The Atlas describes Brattleboro in some of its many parts.
- Don’t forget the literary arts. No bricks and mortar here.
Presenters noted the “Atlas” was intended to “open conversation for the next step” and “for no other purpose.” Further publication remains an open question. It’s purpose is to provide a discussion starter for the CoreArts Project whose goal is “community development with arts at the core.”
Others termed it a “curious document,” albeit “beautifully presented” and further editing would likely not be time well spent. It is suitable as an “educational tool” but not one for marketing.
3. A discussion of surprises found in the Atlas.
- Speaking to the provenance: Perhaps the dearth of larger institutions places unusual stress on younger, individual entrepreneurs?
- Questions that accompany each map are pure genius.
- The sense of relationship found in the community.
- That so many important institutions seem to be non-apparent.
4. A discussion of the intent / future versions of an Atlas.
- Will the Atlas be reconfigured, become larger?
- Is the Atlas intended to be a marketing tool?
- Everything is a potential marketing tool. The Atlas is not that. No one sought to engage the Chamber.
- The Atlas is intended to step towards Tracks II and III.
- The Atlas is an excellent resource for education, using the probing questions associated with each map.
- While CoreArts does not presently have a formal link with SeVEDS (Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategy), a “conversation could be had.” It was noted that SeVEDS is planning a June “focus group” on the arts for specially invited guests
- Might there be a list of all organizations included? (the Compendium exists)
- Might there be a list of individual artists?
- The Atlas informs our thinking of the idea of a cultural district.
- Ask organizations to supply info for an ‘intro’ chapter. Go quirky with the language, to fit the style of the Atlas.
Summit of Arts Organization Leaders
CoreArts Atlas reactions
- Rod Francis, Town Planning Dept, Director
- Zon Eastes, ACWC, VAC, Community Relations
- Kate Anderson, TAC, Chair
- Doug Cox, ACWC, TAC, President
- Arlene Distler, Write Action, Secretary
- Bronna Zlochiver, Brattleboro Clay Works, Secretary
- Pam Lierle, Brattleboro Music Center, Managing Director
- Becky Graber, Brattleboro Women’s Chorus, Founder/conductor
- Petria Mitchell, Brattleboro West Arts, RGS, BMAC, Board member
- Meg Donahue, MatterFactor, Founder
- Danny Lichtenfeld, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Director
- Jerry Goldberg, Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director
- Sandy Rouse,Brattleboro Literary Festival, Director
- Kathleen Kennedy,The Future Collective, Collective Member
- Daniel Kornguth,Generative Arts VT ,Executive Director
- John Dimick, ACWC,Trustee
- Eugene Uman,Vt Jazz Center, Director
- Jessica Callahan Gelter, Vt Theater Company,President
- Robert Oeser, Friends of Brooks Library, President
- Natalie Blake, Fulcrum Arts, Partner
- Randy Holhut, The Commons, Reporter