The Putney Historical Society will hold its Annual Meeting on Sunday, August 27 at 2:00 pm at Next Stage. This year’s program will include a short business meeting followed by presentations by Putney Central School Social Studies teacher Leah Toffolon and Next Stage Arts Project Executive Director Maria Basescu. The event is free and open to the public.
Leah Toffolon will screen excerpts from “Putney Food Stories,” a collection of short films made by the Putney Central School class of 2017 about people in the Putney community connected to growing, harvesting, making and selling food. For the last three years, Leah’s 8th grade students have worked with Evie Lovett from the Vermont Folklife Center to learn the fundamentals of ethnographic research, interviewing techniques and media production. The students learn to be “storytellers” – to explore and capture stories in their communities by doing primary source research, thereby building empathy and compassion and seeing themselves as part of a wider, interwoven community.
Maria Basescu will lead a discussion about “LegacyPutney: A Collaborative Celebration of Putney’s Arts, History and Culture.” “LegacyPutney” encompasses a yearlong engagement process of eliciting, crafting and harnessing stories from Putney area residents, and presenting them in a range of performance genres that are a hallmark of Next Stage – literary, film, music, theater, movement and visual. Presentations will be shared throughout the year, culminating in a 2-week festival in May, 2018 that will feature Putney stories and works by and about cultural figures and groups in our local and state history that have shaped the Putney of today. Next Stage Arts Project was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fresh Sound Foundation, and will partner with the Town of Putney, the Putney Historical Society, the Putney Library and area schools, for this project.
Next Stage is located at 15 Kimball Hill in downtown Putney, VT. For more information, visit www.nextstagearts.org.