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Daily Drive Report: Birth Of An Artist Mug

Tim Newcomb

A few months ago, in the midst of our winter membership drive, I opened up a copy of Seven Days and found this:

I was already a fan of Tim Newcomb's work, but obviously...this one struck a chord.

After getting a hold of Tim's contact information, I sent him an email: could we post the cartoon on VPR's Facebook page? Our listeners will love it.

Before I knew it, I had Tim's reply sitting in my inbox with the cartoon attached to his message. "I’m relieved people at VPR liked it!" Tim wrote.

As I shared his message with my colleagues Ty Robertson and Michelle Jeffery, it suddenly dawned on us that this was an opportunity we couldn't pass up...would Tim be willing to be featured as our next mug artiste?

Now, even if you are an occasional listener, you have probably heard of the VPR Artist Mug series. An institution in and of itself, over the years our mugs have featured local artists from our region including Stephen Huneck, Sabra Field, Ed Koren, Harry Bliss...the list goes on and on. A few years ago, we even took the show on the road, exhibiting the mugs alongside the original artwork at locations around the state.

We anxiously waited for Tim's reply to our request. Luckily, this is the message we received: "I would be incredibly excited and proud to do a VPR mug! It would be a real honor."

The rest is history. As you can see, Tim's mug is perfectly fun. It has even inspired the staff to come up with VPR names for the birds, like the Wertlieb Warbler, Kinzel’s Calling Switchbird...well, you get the idea. Perhaps you can come up with some (better ones) of your own? We'd love to hear them!

Credit Tim Newcomb

Everyone here at VPR really appreciates Tim's willingness to serve as our artist mug for this summer membership drive. As it turns out, the appreciation is mutual. Tim says: "VPR is an absolutely critical part of our life ('our' being my wife Sharon and me) and has been for over 30 years; I am very proud to be a sustaining member."

If you'd like to get your hands on the new artist mug, it can be yours for a pledge of $90 (or more). You know the drill: call 1-800-639-6391 or make your pledge online at!

Brendan Kinney oversees all of Vermont Public's fundraising efforts, including major and planned giving, membership, underwriting, foundation grants and capital campaigns. Kinney joined Vermont Public in February 2010.
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