• Spring Into the Arts

    Celebrating Addison County Students’ Visual and Performing Arts 

    Spring Into the Arts, a biennial event, showcases student artwork and performances from public, private, and homeschool settings in the communities of Addison Central.  Students’ visual artwork will be displayed at the event, as well as in businesses throughout Middlebury. Elementary, middle, and high school students will perform and participate in workshops with professional guest artists who ignite our students’ love and passion for the arts, and will also present their own musical and theatrical performances for their peers.  The workshops and performances will take place on May 29 and 30, 2019 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Mahaney Center for the Arts, Middlebury College, 72 Porter Field Road, Middlebury, Vermont and are free and open to the public. There will also be a free evening performance featuring a band of ACSD elementary students and music from guest artist Tim Cummings on May 29, at 7:00 pm, at Middlebury Union Middle School.  

  • This year's festival theme is "Where We Are in Place and Time: An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives" (The IB Primary Years Programme).

  • Student artwork will be on display:

    • May 29-June 2, at the Mahaney Arts Center (the MAC). During the SITA week, the Center’s hours are 8:00 am - 6:00 pm.  The MAC is a fabulous space, and it is full of color, sound, and energy during our SITA festivals.  If you're not sure what to expect, check out the MAC/SITA Social Story.
    • May 29 Evening Performance, at the MUMS Gym. Featuring ACSD Elementary Band and Tim Cummings. 7:00 pm.

    • May 24-June 2, at various Middlebury businesses. Look for student artwork at Community Barn Ventures, Noonie’s Deli, Bourdon Insurance, Ilsley Public Library, National Bank of Middlebury, The Vermont Book Shop, Vermont Sun Fitness Center & Forth ’N Goal. 

    • This year Bundle will host a special exhibit of high school and middle school student art from May 22-June 5. Bundle, at 60 Main Street, is open 10am and 4pm Monday - Saturday and will offer viewing and treats from 8am to noon on Memorial day.  A closing finale to celebrate the students will be held on June 5th at 6:30pm. 
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  • Featuring guest artists . . . 


    TIMOTHY CUMMINGS is a Vermont-based composer and multi-instrumentalist (chiefly a piper) who enjoys an uncommonly diverse repertoire.  His music spans from contemporary and sacred music to the traditional melodies of the British Isles, Appalachia, Cape Breton, Brittany, and beyond.  Tim earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education (The College of Wooster, Ohio), both a B.A. Honours degree in Ethnomusicology and an M.A. in Musicology (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), and spent a semester at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and National Piping Centre (Glasgow).  Tim was the 2002-03 Artist in Residence at The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada (Summerside, PEI). While living in New Zealand, Tim was a member of the highly competitive Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band. In recent years he has been leading workshops and performing at a variety of festivals and gatherings throughout North America. He performs regularly with Triton, a trio with accordionist/pianist Jeremiah McLane and violinist/nyckelharper Alex Kehler.  Tim is currently on applied faculty at Middlebury College and the Middlebury Community Music Center, offering private tuition for Scottish pipes and tin whistle.

    Collaborative Performance | Tim will perform with ACSD's combined elementary band on Wednesday, May 29th, 7:00 pm at Middlebury Union Middle School. 



    CHRISTAL BROWN (performer, choreographer, educator, activist, mother, disciple of Christ) is the Founder of INSPIRIT, Project: BECOMING, the creator of the Liquid Strength training module for dance and the Chair of Dance and Faculty Director of MiddCORE at Middlebury College.  Brown is a native of Kinston, North Carolina, where she remembers accompanying her mother to NAACP meetings and performing at Black Caucus rallies.  This early exposure to social responsibility innately produced a strong desire in Brown to put her gifts to work for the good of the communities she inhabits.  Brown earned her BFA in Dance and minor in Business from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her MFA in New Media Art and technology from Long Island University. Browns professional journey has been shaped through working with and learning from icons such as Chuck Davis, Bill T. Jones, Andrea E. Woods, Liz Lerman, Blondell Cummings, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Bebe Miller.

    Workshop: A Body of Knowledge | This interactive workshop is designed to give students the opportunity to tell their personal, cultural, and communal stories through movement. By using a wide range of movement vocabularies and structures students will think, move, and discover how much intelligence they carry on a daily basis.  



    JOAN ROBINSON & SUSANNA OLSON | Across a span of 20 years, Susanna and Joan have worked as teaching artists for the Flynn Center for Performing Arts, collaborating on many literature-related projects, touching scores of students and teachers across Vermont.  Susanna holds an MA in Acting from Northwestern University.  Joan formerly served as the children's librarian in Middlebury's Ilsley Library. 

    Workshop: Tales for a Better World | Vermont storytelling team Susanna and Joan draw on their extensive experience working with children as they present a selection of folktales from around the world.  by combing their voices and involving the audience, the pair brings to life the wisest of tales, leaving their audience happier and smarter and ready to build a better world.

    courageous stage

    LINDSAY PONTIUS, Co-Founder and Director of Education | Lindsay Pontius has been a professional actor, director, and teacher working both regionally and internationally for over 25 years. Pontius is Co-Founder and Director of Education of Courageous Stage, and also serves as Education Director of Town Hall Theater (THT) in Middlebury, Vermont. Over the last seven years, Pontius developed the THT Education Program, which annually serves more than 20 schools and a thousand children in Vermont. Pontius is a founding member of Shakespeare & Company’s nationally award-winning Fall Festival of Shakespeare that involves 10 high schools and thousands of students (grades 7-12) every year. She has a doctorate in Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont.

    CRAIG MARAVICH, Co-Founder and Programs Director | As a professional actor for nearly 20 years and member of Actor’s Equity, Craig Maravich has worked in leading theatres in Vermont and across the United States. Maravich is Co-Founder and Programs Director of Courageous Stage, and Education Associate at Town Hall Theater. Maravich has been a member of The Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble and faculty artist at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English since 2010. He currently holds a position of Visiting Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College and is a teaching artist at The Flynn Center for the Arts where he curates a community engagement play-reading series that he founded. Maravich holds an MFA in Classical Acting from The Academy for Classical Acting at The Shakespeare Theatre/GWU.

    Workshop: Maverick Voice | Maverick Voice is a fun and energizing process where students personalize their learning, think on their feet, work collaboratively and generate performance. Maverick Voice is a theatre arts program that integrates with English Language and Social Studies/History to investigate the central line of inquiry: What does it mean to be a Maverick? We will unpack that definition as we explore the language of two entirely different mavericks who have shaped their communities and the world. Participants will create a short performance including some of the ‘maverick’s’ text, their own text and movement. Some of the ‘mavericks’ to be considered are Malala Yousafzai, Rachel Carson, Albert Einstein and recent Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Nadia Murad.


    TED SCHEU | Ted Scheu is a children's poet and teacher from Middlebury who is often introduced as a 3rd grader stuck in a grown-up's body. He taught grades K-5 in Shelburne before starting to write funny poems seriously about 20 years ago. His poems are published over two dozen anthologies in the US and UK, and in six collections of his own: "I Froze My Mother," "I Tickled My Teachers," "I Threw My Brother Out," "Now I Know My ZBCs,” “Getting the Best of Me,” and his latest, a tribute to teachers through kids’ eyes (Ted’s kid-eyes) called, “Someday I’ll be a Teacher.”  Most recently, his poems are featured in two extraordinary poetry anthologies from National Geographic, “The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry,” and “The Poetry of US.”  When he’s not writing humorous poems about kids’ lives, Ted spends about 100 days a year visiting schools around the country as a writing teacher. He shares his poems too, but mostly helps young writers find their own voices in writing workshops, encouraging them have the kind of fun with poems he never had as a kid. Ted tries to write a poem every day, and when he's not writing or visiting schools, he loves to eat cereal with lots of milk, and ride his bike—just like any kid his age. If you venture to Ted's website, you're in for a tickle. Ted and his 'cousins' will entertain you—just remember that his target audience is 5-10 year-olds. It's all at www.poetryguy.com.  Ted is totally tickled to be teaching at Spring into the Arts this year. We will have a blast! See you there, polar bear!

    Workshop: Poetry Helps Writers Find Our Voices! | Vermont children’s poet and teacher Ted Scheu will offer several 45-minute writing workshops for grades 1-8, all designed for maximum fun, and guaranteed to promote and reveal imagination, heart, and careful word choice. Basic revision tips will be liberally sprinkled about, along with a steady trickle of giggles. Every student will have fun producing a first draft of a short poem, and hopefully share it aloud. Poetic licenses will be awarded by Ted to each student at the end of each session. All that in 45 minutes? Yes!


    Mary Wesley is a digital storyteller and explorer of folk culture. She studied Anthropology and Philosophy at McGill University, then returned to her native Vermont to work as a field archaeologist for the UVM Consulting Archaeology Program. After falling in love with the New England folk music and dance scene Mary learned to teach and call traditional contra and square dancing (building on the legacy of her grandparents, who were both square dance callers in their hometown of Middlebury, VT). She has taught and performed in schools, community centers, grange halls and at festivals and camps throughout Vermont and across the U.S. and Canada. Mary attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies to learn radio production and Multimedia Storytelling. In collaboration with the Country Dance and Song Society, she helped conceive and manage a community storytelling project, collecting oral histories in traditional dance and music communities around New England. She has worked with other Vermont non-profit organizations including Young Tradition Vermont and the Wake Up to Dying Project to create opportunities for community education and engagement. Mary serves as the Co-Coordinator of Educational Programming at the VFC and is also the host of the VFC’s own podcast, “VT Untapped.”

    Trish Denton has been committed to the facilitation of community-based projects for 15 years.  With a focus on storytelling and the performing arts, her thesis, “The Education of Imagination”  combined research in oral history, collective memory, pedagogy, and performance, to propose a new model of arts integration borrowing from folklore and ethnography. Trish is the founder of In Tandem Arts, an organization that serves as an agency for socially engaged artists, as well as a production company for community-based performance. She has partnered with Community  Engagement Lab, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Museum, 350VT, Vermont Birth Network, Counseling Services of Addison County, The Miller Center for Holocaust Studies, and VSAVT to design innovative programming. Trish serves as the Co-Coordinator of Education at VFC, focusing on Discovering Community outreach and community partnerships.

    Workshop: Mapping Our Place | Vermont Folklife Center educators Trish Denton and Mary Wesley lead students in an exploration of place through personal and community-focused map-making. Students will take home their own, handmade maps as well as contribute to a large-scale, communal map of Addison County.


    Check out the schedule of workshops and performances here 

    *Note: Student groups sign up in advance to attend workshops with guest artists.  Student performances and artwork displays are open to the public. 


    Thank you for helping celebrate the arts in our schools!

    We depend on many volunteers to plan for and support SITA!  If you've already signed up to volunteer this year, thank you!  If you have any questions as you prepare for the festival, don't hesitate to contact Sharon Koller (sharonkollervt@gmail.com; 758-2188) or Marnie Wood (middmarn@yahoo.com; 388-4140).