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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Collaboration And Community At The Center For Arts And Learning In Montpelier

T. W. Wood Gallery/ Facebook
The Center For Arts And Learning in Montpelier is home to several non-profit arts and education organizations, including T.W. Wood Gallery, The Monteverdi Music School and more.

The Center For Arts And Learning in Montpelier houses a group of non-profit arts and education organizations. They use their shared roof to collaborate on creative projects and are working to bring more of the community into their shared space.

The Monteverdi Music School is located in the building and Stephen Falbel, who is on the board of directors, joined VPR to talk more about it.

About The Center For Arts And Learning

“The building that we occupy at 46 Barre Street in Montpelier started out decades ago as a convent and catholic elementary school. But for the past ten years, the Monteverdi Music School has resided there … in the intervening years we’ve been joined by other non-profit organizations, including the River Rock School, which is a K-8 independent school, and the T.W. Wood Gallery.

On the benefit of having multiple organizations in one building

“The individual organizations were all looking for stability in a permanent place to call home so we could invest in the facility and create better spaces. We also looked at all the opportunities to collaborate with each other, in terms of having an art gallery next to a music school. So when a new exhibition went up which featured art from the 1930’s we could think about music from the 1930’s and create an opening or a show that would combine those things."

"Having a K-8 school there as well means those children have access to the fine art the Wood Gallery has, they are able to work with music teachers from the Monteverdi School, the River Rock School is very much involved in performance and arts. The Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture is also located in the building and there have been numerous collaborations. We have a number of studios and community spaces that are for other artists in the community to share the space and we’re also looking to create rehearsal spaces for organizations like the Green Mountain Youth Symphony and Onion River Chorus. Organizations [like that] that have traditionally hopped around from school to school or church to church looking for places to rehearse."

On collaborations between the organizations

“Collaborations have involved the art walks in Montpelier where the Wood Gallery has put out some of its collections and some of the individual artists from the studios in the building have exhibited some of their work. We’re hoping to create a community calendar that will be a central hub for all sorts of arts and performance information in central Vermont.”

On how they have been inviting the community into the space

“That’s certainly the goal of what we’re doing and the open house we had in June was the first step towards that. Because we’re a new organization and we’ve only owned the building for less than a year, most people don’t really know about us yet.  We’re hoping through various activities, and this online calendar, to really raise the awareness of CAL in the community and get people to understand what the benefits are of these groups working together and ways that these community spaces that we offer can be used. We don’t have all the answers … we’re hoping that the community in general will find new collaborations and ways to cooperate in the arts and music.”

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
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