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The Arts, our History and Diversity

MBA Heritage – The Arts, our History, and Diversity

Manchester is home to many wonderful organizations that are always working to give back to the community. The numerous programs which lend a helping hand, have made Manchester a wonderful place to live and grow. Some programs provide monetary assistance, while others provide a platform to teach those willing to learn.  Manchester’s arts and entertainment initiatives have been kept alive by the support of passionate Vermonters. With all that has been accomplished, there is always work to be done to improve inclusion and diversity. Keep reading to learn more about some of the local initiatives that are fighting for equality for all.

One exhibit opening soon at the Southern Vermont Arts Center is inspired by Ronald Takaki’s A Different Mirror. The Many Americas exhibition and public programming takes as a premise that we do not share a common history, and our divergent histories are the source of our troubled civic discourse. Each of the artworks in the exhibition uses history as its point of departure and speaks to present-day issues. The artworks demonstrate the multiple, sometimes competing histories of America. The exhibition will feature approximately two dozen artworks and installations and a variety of audience engagement approaches including texts, guided tours, and programs that draw out the issues raised by the artwork. In doing this, we seek to demonstrate how an art museum can become a public square where people can come together and talk about important civic issues. To develop the exhibition, guest curator Ric Kasini Kadour undertook an eighteen-month-long research project funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts that examined the intersection of history and contemporary art.

Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home, offers a provocative exhibit featuring a restored 1903 Pullman palace car and explores the complex history behind the rise of America’s Black middle class. The exhibit includes a timeline overview, ‘Many Voices’, that spans 100 years, representing the Pullman Company, its wealthy passengers, the black porters who worked on its rail cars, and the voices of those who visit.  Modern-day visitors are challenged to ask questions and engage in civil civic discourse with others, an outcome that fits squarely within Hildenes’ mission, ‘Values into Action.’ “While a job as a porter was perceived by those in the Black community as one of prestige, the porters themselves knew that it was arduous work with long hours and low pay.” Pullman porters earned good wages and had an opportunity to see the wider world, but often experienced an exploitive work environment.

Art Enrichment

Taconic Music Chamber Players brings music to schools, libraries, bookstores, art galleries, veterans’ homes, senior residences, and other non-traditional venues. They offer demonstrations of all string instruments, and can also feature percussion, woodwinds, brass, guitar, harp, piano, theremin, and singers. Programs can be individually tailored to include a variety of styles from classical to rock to folk and jazz arrangements. We can focus on specific composers or time periods, and draw links between music, art, literature, science, nature, and much more. For information on having Taconic Chamber Players visit your organization, please call (802) 362–7162.

The Manchester Music Festival (MMF) Young Artists Program is a full scholarship, five-week chamber music intensive for string players and pianists, ages 18-26. Young Artists receive daily coaching sessions by a faculty composed of world-renowned artists in preparation for public performances of full chamber works across the duration of the festival.

Each MMF Young Artist receives a scholarship that provides full tuition, free accommodations, and a weekly stipend.  Scholarships are made possible by the generous contributions of individual sponsors and endowments.  Young Artists sponsors have the opportunity to interact with their Young Artist and are gratefully acknowledged in MMF programs.  Patrons at the full scholarship level receive two free tickets to the Young Artists Concert Series, and patrons at the half scholarship level receive one free ticket to the Young Artists Concert Series.

Dorset Theatre Festival addresses peace and justice with a promise. “Now we must all come to the table for the purpose of doing the work necessary to create change within the Festival, our community, and the nation. We commit to identifying and abolishing the ways in which our theater has contributed to the racism plaguing the United States since its founding. We commit to listening and learning in order to transform Dorset Theatre Festival into a creative haven and producer for all artists. We commit to growing along with our audience. We welcome your help and your action. Black Lives Matter. Below are some resources, many based right here in Vermont, that you can use to start your own education.”

Manchester is home to many wonderful organizations that are always working to give back to the community. The caring and passionate people of Vermont are what make it so unique, and the area’s art scene certainly reflects that. Through various programs and offerings, Vermont has been voicing support for inclusivity and equality for all.

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