Vermont Humanities

The Evolution of Jazz

Ray Vega and his quartet present a musical program at the Rutland Free Library demonstrating the elements of Jazz. The ensemble will address the ever changing styles of the music from the Blues to Ragtime to Traditional to Swing to Bebop and beyond. Vega and the members of his ensemble will participate in a question and answer session at the end of their presentation.

The words LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR stenciled on the side of a white building in blue and red paint

Religion is Always in the Room

In this presentation from the Brownell Library in Essex Junction on November 1, 2023, University of Vermont Professor Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst discusses religious literacy, what we mean when we say religion, and how even if you are not religious, religion still impacts your life.

Author Nikhil Goyal speaks in a library wearing a white shirt

Live to See the Day: The Violence of Underfunded Schools and Poverty

Drawing on nearly a decade of reporting, Live to See the Day by sociologist and policymaker Nikhil Goyal follows the lives of students overcoming challenges created by poverty and discrimination to graduate high school. Goyal confronts a new age of American poverty, after the end of “welfare as we know it,” after “zero tolerance” in schools criminalized a generation of students, after the odds of making it out are ever slighter.

Duke Ellington wears a blue suit and smiles as he points his finger off to the right, behind him is a band of four men with horns in blue suits in front of a blue and orange background

Melodic Wanderlust: Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite

Originally titled “Impressions Of The Far East,” this Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn suite was inspired by the Ellington Orchestra’s State Department-sponsored tour of the Far and Middle East in the fall of 1963. Reuben Jackson explores this extended work, which is imaginative and swinging, radical yet accessible.

Amazon Workers on strike during the pandemic, with one person in a mask holding a sign that reads UNION

An Injury to All: Labor Struggles During and Beyond the Pandemic

During the pandemic, workers fought back against dangerous workplaces, low wages, and polarizing politics. Jamie McCallum examines the long shadow of labor militancy and workplace organizing that began during the pandemic, building on hundreds of interviews with workers and a mountain of other data to look at the pandemic through the eyes of the American working class.

Sean Clute makes a sandwich on a table in front of a fireplace, wearing a white shirt and black tie, while John Killacky speaks into a microphone wearing glasses, a white shirt, and a vest.

The 1960’s Fluxus Art Movement: Blurring Art and Life

The 1960s Fluxus art movement included unconventional artists who created inter-media performative events that challenged the very notion of authorship and how art is made, presented, and received. Join Fluxus-era-inspired artists John R. Killacky and Sean Clute as they discuss this movement and the creation of their new video FLUX.

Rene Pellerin wears a baseball cap and dark winter clothing and stands between a woman with gray hair and a young boy with curly brown hair, all three standing in front of a horse on a city street

When Cultures Collide

Enter the world of the DeafBlind with René Pellerin as he recounts stories from his personal experiences as a DeafBlind person living with Usher Syndrome. “Rene The Unstoppable” uses humor to tell stories of his travels with and without support, frustrations and comic blunders experienced in both the hearing and Deaf worlds, and how he’s overcome obstacles along the way.

The leaves of an American Chestnut tree set against a light blue and orange sunset

Return of the American Chestnut Tree

In the early 20th century a blight accidentally spread to the United States and killed approximately 4-5 billion American Chestnut trees. Thomas Estill explores the historical uses, economic importance, and demise of the tree, as well as ongoing research to bring the American Chestnut back and possibly reintroduce the species into the wild in the near future.

Rene Pellerin wears a baseball cap and dark winter clothing and stands between a woman with gray hair and a young boy with curly brown hair, all three standing in front of a horse on a city street

Middlebury Snapshot

Snapshot events in Middlebury are held at the Ilsley Public Library, and occasionally on the campus of Middlebury College.

Duke Ellington wears a blue suit and smiles as he points his finger off to the right, behind him is a band of four men with horns in blue suits in front of a blue and orange background

Newport Snapshot

Newport First Wednesdays events are hosted by the Goodrich Memorial Library.