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This week, the Vermont Festival of the Arts begins its 13th year of artistic activities in the month of August. It has grown from a 10-day event to a marathon of the arts that starts in July and ends in September, with 125 events with hundreds of artists participating in dozens of genres.

 

The 50-plus locales range from barns to restaurants to intimate studios. The events range from the performance and musical to the visual, craft arts, culinary arts, literary arts and the "art of living." There are workshops, community events, tours, events for the younger set and ongoing exhibits throughout The Valley and the month.
 
Weekly (or semi-weekly) events include the Yestermorrow Lecture Series, Candy Barr Plein Air Class, Painting at the Parade, World Culinary Odyssey, India Experience Cooking Class, Pottery Classes with Luke Iannuzzi at Wilder Farm, Cooking Classes at The Store, Summer Supper at the Barn Door, Zumba with Roarke Sharlow, Ladies' Golf Clinics, The Big Flea, Artist Demos at Artisans' Gallery, Warren Library Connections, Lareau Farm Coloring Contest and Gardening Classes.
 
Ongoing exhibits include the Big Red Barn Art Show, Design for the Theater, FLAG and Bridge Street Emporium, Mad River Antler, the Art of Web Craft, Trio, Photo Show, Purely Pastel, Palettes for Paws, Moosewalk Studios and various studios.
 
Historic Waitsfield Village, Bridge Street and Warren Village have ongoing activities while barns take on an artistic bend. And there's even a Barns and Covered Bridges Tour on August 8! Phantom Theater in the Edgcomb Barn has a full schedule: Mama Juggs, Jugglers on the Roof, Bubble Circus, Circus in Cinema, Magic Toybox. The Commons Group performs the madcap <MI>Lucky Stiff<D> in the Skinner Barn while the Knoll Farm Barn hosts the Vermont Poetry Society Annual Picnic, Barnyard Story Jam and Blueberry Sundays. The Wait House Barn celebrates its renovation with a wine and cheese social. The Barn Door Restaurant at the 1824 House features Summer Suppers and wine pairings.
 
The Open Studio Weekend on August 14 and 15 is a chance to see the artists in action and in their studios. Look for the Open Studios "Passport" and signs around town.
 
The venue that boasts the most events is Big Picture Theater and Cafe. In addition to their daily roster of movies, menus and entertainment, this community gathering place hosts a dozen special events, including: BBQ and Blues on July 30, Robby Fulks, Live, as a prelude to the Valley Stage Music Fest; Kinderfest and a Children's Film Fest; The Big Flea!; Karaoke with Cowboy Dan; Circus Minimus; Mad4Music; and the "Palettes for Paws" exhibit.
 
Timbers at Sugarbush is the site for A Taste of the Valley on Monday, August 2.  The 2009 Vermont Chef of the Year Gerry Nooney also crafts a Localvore Community Dinner, the Art in the Garden luncheon and A Feast for the Arts in Timbers Restaurant. And don't miss the Movies on the Mountain, Gardening Classes, and Ladies' Golf Clinics. The Gate House features the prestigious Vermont Young Musicians' Award Concert and Mad River Chorale's Gala.
 
The Lareau Farm, home to American Flatbread, hosts visual, performance and culinary arts at various locales onsite. Look for the Faerie House workshop, artists "sitting" the Big Red Barn Art Show, jazz in the restaurant or resident artist Joyce Kahn creating pastels. The Big Red Barn Opening Reception is on Sunday, August 1, at 5 p.m. The Inn at the Round Barn hosts The Photo Show in the Round Barn, with an opening reception on Wednesday, August 4, at 5:30 p.m.
 
Many inns host an artist-in-residence, and some of the innkeepers are themselves the artists! Classes: The West Hill House invites plein air artist Charles Pruitt on-site for a three-day residency/workshop on August 24 through 26; The Waitsfield Inn offers Moonlight in Vermont with Barbara Pafume on August 20 through 22; Yellow Farmhouse Inn hosts Chinese Exercise and Meditation on August 5 and 7 and Gourmet Living Foods: The Raw Truth on August 8; Luke Iannuzzi offers pottery demos and workshops in his studio in the backyard of the Wilder Farm Inn; Innkeeper/violinist Willi Docto reserves to play with the Vermont Philharmonic in an idyllic setting for their Pops Concert at Moose Meadow Lodge on August 15.
 
Some innkeepers get international inspiration in the culinary arts, while others keep it local. Joan and Thom Gorman of the Millbrook Inn teach their India Experience Cooking Class every year, where you learn to make the food from Thom's firsthand brush with spicy authenticity! Mike and Lisa Lang of the Weathertop Mountain Inn take guests on a World Culinary Odyssey. Maxine Longmuir and Graham Hewsion share The Art of the Aga from their English roots with a cooking demo at Aga at The Sugartree. The Pitcher Inn hosts Cheese is ARTisinal on August 10, and enjoy Shakepeare on August 20 and 21. At Hostel Tevere, Outdoor Yoga & Brunch pairs healing arts with the culinary arts.
 
For more information call Bev Kehoe at (802) 496-6682 or go to www.vermontartfest.com for a complete schedule.

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