Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This Month

Champlain Quadricentennial
Forums on the Future
July 6-11
Contois Auditorium, Burlington City Hall
Noon-1:30 p.m. Daily. Free.

As we pause to consider the meaning of Samuel de Champlain's 1609 voyage and look at where we are four centuries afterward, it's an occasion to also imagine what our world will be a hundred years from now. In keeping with the Quadricentennial's spirit of visionary introspection, Fran Stoddard of Vermont Public Television hosts and moderates daily panel discussions on our future from various perspectives on Monday, July 6 through Saturday, July 11. Bring your lunch, or just yourself, and sit in on a lively, fast-paced presentation of ideas, followed by discussion and questions from the audience. The sessions will be recorded by educational cable-access TV channel RETN for future broadcast, and forum pages on the festival's website offer a place to continue the conversation.

Monday, July 6
Creating and Utilizing Visions of the Future
Following a brief overview of how Burlington marked the Samuel de Champlain anniversary in 1909 and 1959, we’ll look at the State of Vermont’s work at “visioning” over the last century, and track how forward-looking studies become governmental policy. Panelists include State Archivist Greg Sanford; former Governor Madeleine Kunin, creator in 1987 of the Governor's Commission on Vermont's Future; Karen Meyer, UVM Vice President of State and Federal Relations, Vermont Council on Rural Development Executive Director Paul Costello, who recently released findings from the Vermont Commission on the Future; and communications entrepreneur and media commentator Bill Schubart.

Tuesday, July 7
Writers' Visions of 2050
Budding scribes from the Young Writer’s Project and professional regional authors will present personal journal entries from a day in the year 2050. Readings of the best entries will be followed by discussion with writers and our audience. Entries continue to come in, but confirmed authors include Burlington novelist Mark Estrin (Golem Song), post-peak oil prophet James Howard Kunstler (The Long Emergency), youth author, Tanya Stone (Elizabeth Leads the Way) nonfiction writer Jim Tabor (Forever on the Mountain), and poet-playwright David Budbill (Judevine), , playwright Kathryn Blume (The Boycott).

Wednesday, July 8
The Evolution of Sustainable Agriculture in Vermont
In a session on the opening day of the Taste of Champlain Food Festival, we'll sound out the challenges and possibilities for the future of Vermont’s food industry. Panelists include Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee, UVM food science professor and author Amy Trubek (The Taste of Place), Vermont Fresh Network Executive Director Meghan Sheradin, Tom Stearns of High Mowing Seeds and Hardwick's Center for an Agricultural Economy, General Manager Clem Nilan of City Market/Onion River Co-op and Natural Resources Manager for Ben and Jerry’s, Andrea Asch.

Thursday. July 9
Artists Envisioning Our Future
What does it mean to be a Vermonter, and how does our collective cultural output reflect our sense of place and community? Artists Val Hird, Annemie Curlin and John Miller with Lyman Orton's “Art of Action” initiative, architect John Anderson, and The Vermont Movie filmmaker Nora Jacobsen discuss their creative processes as part of a multi-disciplinary panel.

Friday, July 10
How the Past Informs the Future
An air of nostalgia envelops ideas of “the real Vermont.” Are we who we think we were? If there were a genetic code for “real Vermonters,” would we clone more? Key visionaries from a variety of sectors offer sweeping observations and debate visions of the future. Panelists include CEO/President of Earth
Turbines, David Blittersdorf, Montpelier lawyer and historian Paul Gillies, Jungian and spiritual teacher Sue Mehrtens of Waterbury, communication technology consultant Steve Shepard, preservation activist, Paul Bruhn, Green Mountain Power CEO, Mary Powell and author and UVM political-science professor Frank Bryan.

Saturday, July 11
The Future of Diverse Communities in Vermont
Explore the future of Native Americans from our region as well as new, culturally unique communities who have settled or are now settling in Vermont. How do members of these populations imagine their future in the state, both in the short term and generations hence? How does past experience influence their vision, and what is the impact on the state? Panelists include Brent Bjorkman of the Vermont Folklife Center; Bosnian community leader Mehida Jusufagic; Jacob Bogre of the Association of Africans Living in Vermont; Wanda Heading-Grant, Associate Provost for Multicultural Affairs and Academic Initiatives at the University of Vermont; Abenaki historian and storyteller Marge Bruchac; and Tracey Tsugawa of the Vermont Human Rights Commission.

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