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

Vermont Folklife Center's New Podcast Brings Its Archives Right To Your Ears

Mary Wesley looks at the camera at the VPR Studios.
Bayla Metzger
Mary Wesley is an educator and audio producer at the Vermont Folklife Center, and the host of its new podcast "VT Untapped."

From deer hunters to drag performers, Vermont is full of unique characters and stories — and sharing them is the goal of VT Untapped, a new podcast from the Vermont Folklife Center. The podcast draws on the organization's massive archive of ethnographic research and oral histories.

Mary Wesley is a community program coordinator at the Vermont Folklife Center, and she's the host of VT Untapped.

Listen above to Mary Wesley's conversation with VPR's Mitch Wertlieb about the Vermont Folklife Center's podcast.

Wesley told VPR the Folklife Center has been recording Vermonters since the mid-1970s, and now has an archive of around 6,000 interviews.

"Our mission is to document, sustain and present the diverse cultures of Vermont — so that means we like to talk to people about their lives and their experiences," Wesley said.

According to Wesley, the podcast is just "the tip of the iceberg" as far as what the Folklife Center’s archive holds. Future episodes will feature more diverse voices from around the state, Wesley said, including recordings of Franco-American music and culture.

“The more that we can kind of see and understand our neighbors and other people who are living in our communities and in our state, the more connected we can feel and the more understanding can be created,” Wesley said.

Update 2:59 p.m. This post has been updated with the correct stylization of the podcast title.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
Bayla joined VPR in 2018 as the producer for Morning Edition. She left in 2019.
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