Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Arts Education Grant Will Benefit Local School Aged Children

Arts Education Grant Will Benefit
 Local School Aged Children

            A collaborative project between two of St. Johnsbury’s cultural institutions that is intended to benefit the school aged children of the area will soon become a reality as a result of a generous grant from the Canaday Family Charitable Trust.
            The New York Trust recently announced that a three year grant in the amount of $103,500.00  has been awarded to Catamount Arts for the development of a children’s arts education program in collaboration with the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum.
            Beginning in September, representatives of Catamount and the Athenaeum will begin work on the project which will utilize the facilities and resources of both institutions.
            The goal of the project is to begin offering a series of arts education classes in the fall of 2013 to children from area elementary age school children.
            During the 2012-2013 school year, the collaborators, working with a consultant, will develop a specific curriculum of courses and secure a coordinator and instructors for the two-year pilot program of arts education classes.
            It is hoped that this arts education program will result in a variety of affordable arts classes  being made available to a wide range of area children, according to Jody Fried, executive director of Catamount Arts.
            “We are excited about working with the Canaday Charitable Trust and the Athenaeum to develop this program,” Fried said recently. “It offers a unique opportunity to help area children access the great cultural and artistic wealth available in our community.”
            Matt Powers, the executive director of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, is also looking forward to this collaborative effort and what it means for area school aged children.
            “The Canaday Trust has given our local children a wonderful opportunity to study the great cultural legacy of the Fairbanks Family and to become familiar with the other artistic resources available at the Athenaeum as well as at Catamount Arts,” Powers added.
            The primary purpose of the Canaday Family Charitable Trust is to encourage and support not-for-profit organizations that work in Vermont to improve the lives of children and families, promote environmental education and conservation, and preserve the environment.
The foundation seeks to fund innovative programs with clear, measurable goals for creating unique and significant improvements in the lives of children and in the environment.
The Canadays, Ward Murphey and Mariam Coffin, became residents of Toledo, Ohio in 1916. In 1935 Mr. Canaday took over and revived the ailing Willys Overland Corporation, a local car manufacturer, and in 1940 he led the effort to develop what became its most famous product, the JEEP.
Mrs. Canaday was a poet, classical scholar and patron of the arts. They began a program of charitable giving in 1945, supporting educational and artistic endeavors at home and abroad.
After their deaths, this tradition was continued by their family and now is carried on through the work of The Canaday Family Charitable Trust. The Trust's current focus on Vermont reflects the Canadays' long-term attachment to the state where they spent many summers.
That tradition also was valued and retained by the family, some of whom have become yearround residents in the state.
 A third valued Canaday tradition that has endured through subsequent generations is the principle of partnership, of encouraging differing interests to work together to achieve a common, sustainable philanthropic goal.
“With our collaboration on this unique and valuable arts education program for area children,” added Fried, “both the Athenaeum and Catamount are proud to continue the Canaday tradition of cooperation and working toward a common, sustainable goal.”

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In Search of the Perfect Human Diet - Special Edition DVD

By special arrangement with the filmmaker we have a limited supply of Special Edition DVD’s of “In Search of the Perfect Human Diet” available to order now - with pick-up at Catamount Arts Aug. 3-9.

In addition to the 90 min. documentary this Special Edition DVD contains special unedited interview selects with; Dr. Boyd Eaton, Robb Wolf, Dr. Lane Sebring, David Getoff (Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation), the Official Film Trailer and the Directors “Thank You" to the many people who contributed to the films completion - about 60 more minutes of extras. 

This Special Edition DVD is not for sale to the public except via Official Film Screenings or Filmmaker Special Events.

Just click the ADD TO CART button below to buy your copy today!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Academy Fine Arts Teacher to Hold Photography Show at Catamount Arts

Academy Fine Arts Teacher to Hold
Photography Show at Catamount Arts

Rosie Prevost, Fine Arts department chair at St. Johnsbury Academy and photography instructor, will hold a show at Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury from May 3 to 31. Entitled “Landscapes”, the exhibition features landscape photographs from here at home and Prevost’s recent travel to New Zealand, Alaska, North Carolina, Montana, and Maine.
            “I have been fortunate, in the last few years, to have done some traveling. It’s always thrilling to me, the visual delight of seeing a new place for the first time,” says Prevost. “People who travel with me know that I usually have no idea where I actually am because all of my attention is on the nature of the landscape in front of me. My intention with these landscapes was to capture a sense of the grace for each particular place.”
Prevost is a professional photographer who began her career in the commercial field. She has operated her own studio Woodside Photography, since 1992 and is a supporter of Catamount Arts in St Johnsbury. She was a member of the 215 College Gallery in Burlington, Vermont from its inception in 2005 to its closing in 2011.
Prevost is Fine Arts Department Chair at St. Johnsbury Academy where she teaches photographic principles, visual literacy, and critique rooted in traditional silver-based materials and processes. Returning to her own photographic origin, she works strictly with black and white film, processing and printing all of her images in the darkroom.
“Making images has been a part of my life for a long time and I remain intrigued and engaged with the power and implication of isolating a moment of time and the magical alchemy of handcrafting prints in the darkroom,” she says. “Currently, I’m working with several formats: Hasselblad X-pan, a 645 medium format Mamiya, and Holga cameras. At the moment my lens gravitates to the landscape and place.”
            Rosie studied photography at Endicott College and received her BA from Vermont College. She has taught at the Academy since 2001, and resides in St. Johnsbury with her husband and two sons. 
            Profits from the May show will go to a student scholarship fund for the 2014 St. Johnsbury Academy New Zealand trip. Prevost recently returned from backpacking in New Zealand with St. Johnsbury Academy Outing Club students and faculty.
 Catamount Arts is located on Eastern Avenue in St. Johnsbury. Go to
A great article from Vermont Magazine about the Arts in our corner of the state.

Getting Inspired for the Arts - Vermont Magazine May - June 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012


NORTHEAST KINGDOM – A man who has devoted three decades of service to Catamount Arts and health education causes has been selected the Northeast Kingdom Chamber 2012 Citizen of the Year, one of the region’s most distinguished awards.

St. Johnsbury resident Robert “Bob” Swartz received the honor for his extensive commitment to Catamount, as well as a host of other organizations, including the Danville School Board, Green Mountain United Way, North Congregational Church, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Northern Counties Health Care and the Osher Lifelong Learning Lecture Series. Swartz has also served on a number of Town of St. Johnsbury boards, including the St. Johnsbury Design Control District Board, the St. Johnsbury Design Committee and town plan committee.

Swartz, born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has had a tie to Vermont dating back to his childhood, noting his parents owned a camp on Lake Champlain during the war. Due to his father being a Presbyterian minister, the Swartz family moved to Morgantown, W. Va. when he was a boy, where his dad served as a student pastor at West Virginia University. Realizing the importance of a good education, his parents saved early for his schooling, allowing Swartz to attend Westtown School in West Chester, Pa., one of five generations of his family to attend the institution.

After graduating from Westtown, Swartz attended West Virginia University where he studied psychology and human resources before transferring to Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., where he graduated with an English degree. Following college, Swartz jumped at the opportunity to go to Oxford, England, where he taught at a preparatory school for a year prior to returning to the states to teach English and French at Oakwood School in Poughkeepsie. It was at Oakwood, not Oxford, where he met his English-borne wife, Pat.

Once married, the couple moved to the Northeast Kingdom for Swartz’s new job as an English teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy, a position he held for 27 years. While at the academy, Swartz helped to start the English as a Second Language Program, the International Club and was instrumental in establishing technical writing classes at the school.

Not content to immerse himself in his education duties alone, Swartz became very active on the Northern Counties Health Care Board and Catamount Arts. Swartz served as president of the Northern Counties board when the organization decided to merge with Caledonia Home Health Care in the 1980s.

“Bob is someone you can always count on for effective follow through when it comes to hard work or difficult and complicated challenges,” said NVRH’s Paul Bengston, a Citizen of the Year recipient in 2001, commenting on the many organizations Swartz has been involved in over the years. “He is someone who makes things happen and makes sure important ideas are shared and implemented.”

Swartz has never ventured far from an interest in the health-care field, serving as a corporator for NVRH for many years and working as the education resource coordinator for Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center since its start in 1997, whose main mission has been to attract and retain health-care professionals in rural areas.

“Bob Swartz’s community spirit embodies the true meaning of civic commitment and is an inspiration to all those fortunate enough to work with him,” said Margaret Trautz, an AHEC colleague. “Bob is a person of many gifts who has never hesitated to share them with his family and neighbors, his community and professional colleagues and with a multitude of community organizations.”

As strong as his devotion to health causes are, Swartz is perhaps best known for his many years of service on the Catamount Arts board, serving as a board member and president of the organization during its move to its new building on Eastern Avenue and the subsequent capital fund-raising campaign. Sixteen of his fellow Catamount Arts board members, in fact, endorsed his bid to become Citizen of the Year.

“His leadership is a labor of love for the community and an inspiration to us all,” said the board in its nomination packet. “No one can say ‘no’ to Bob. His enthusiasm for the project (the move) and Catamount’s mission and vision buoyed the board through countless campaign hurdles.”

In addition to his Catamount work, Swartz has also played a leadership role in the North Congregational Church, serving as a moderator, deacon, executive council member and the founding chair of the Archives Committee. He has been lauded for his “intelligence, thoroughness and collegial leadership,” said the Rev. Jay Sprout.

Whether it was his tenure on the Osher Steering Committee, time teaching at Springfield College or Community College of Vermont or his service on a multitude of town and civic boards, Swartz has been praised by all for his fairness, good humor, common sense, follow through and diligence to completing a task, no matter how difficult.

“I can think of no greater enthusiast for life in the Northeast Kingdom than Bob Swartz, and Bob is someone who acts on this enthusiasm and works hard to make our communities absolutely the best places to live,” said a friend.

Past Citizen of the Year recipients have included Doug Kitchel, H. Stanwood Brooks, Dr. Howard Farmer, George Young, Mildred H. Smith, Wesley Calderwood, Durward Ellis, Joseph Sherman, Rosalie Harris, Kay Ellis, R.J. (Pete) Brisson, William T. Costa Jr., Sterry R. Waterman, George M. Crosby, Ernie Begin, William Stowe, William P. Kennedy, G. Julian Butler, Howard K. Gieselman, Bernier L. Mayo, Donald Mullally, Alfreda (Freddie) King, Barbara McKay Smith, Dr. John H. Elliott, B.J. Murphy, Dr. John A. Stetson, Doug Drown, Dr. Frederick C. Silloway, the Rev. Mel Richardson, Brent W. Beck, Paul R. Bengtson, Joan Wollrath, Donald E. Bostic, Richard Lawrence, Dale Wells, Fred Laferriere, Reeve Lindbergh/Nat Tripp, Elwin Cross,  A. Richard Boera, Greg MacDonald and David Keenan.

Bob has been married to wife Pat for 46 years and is the father of three daughters, Rebecca Butcher, Rachel Smith and Anne Cornish. He is also the proud grandfather of six, Ben and Kate Butcher, Hayden and Nick Smith and Burke and Hannah Cornish.

The Northeast Kingdom Chamber Citizen of the Year Award is presented each year to a Northeast Kingdom resident who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and extensive community involvement beyond the candidate’s normal occupation. Local civic, social and town leaders comprise the committee that selects the recipient.

The Citizen of the Year dinner is being tentatively planned for Friday, May 4, with the location and dinner cost still to be determined. Friends and family members are encouraged to send congratulatory cards to the chamber so they can be included in a memory book for the award recipient. Details of the dinner will be posted on the chamber web site,www.nekchamber, as soon as they are finalized.

For more information on this event or to reserve a spot, contact the NEK Chamber at 2000 Memorial Drive-Ste. 11, St. Johnsbury, VT  05819; call 802-748-3678; or e-mail

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Group is seeking student artwork for the banners

ST.  JOHNSBURY, VERMONT – Four nonprofits dedicated to the arts and culture in St. Johnsbury —Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, Catamount Arts, St. Johnsbury Academy, and St. Johnsbury Athenaeum — will work with St. Johnsbury’s schools to produce colorful banners that reflect the community’s unique character.  Banners will celebrate the “Arts & Culture Campus” on Main Street and Eastern Avenue as well as the Railroad Street business district.
            The St. Johnsbury Arts & Culture Alliance is working with the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce and Town Office to create banners that highlight the distinctive architecture, rich heritage and cultural life of the community.  
            Jody Fried, executive director of Catamount Arts explains. “We’re eager to make a visible difference in a way that can be enjoyed by everyone and excited about working with students in St. Johnsbury’s schools to showcase the dynamic arts scene that exists already.”
            The banners will be colorful markers that define a distinctive arts and culture district, along Main Street from the Fairbanks Museum to St. Johnsbury Academy and along Eastern Avenue from the Athenaeum to Catamount Arts and beyond.
            Banner designs will relate to St. Johnsbury’s architecture, community life, iconic parks, or distinctive statues.  
            Joe Healy of St. Johnsbury Academy says, “This is a way to highlight our cultural heritage and call attention to the many treasures in our town.” His thoughts are echoed by Jeff Moore, president of the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce, who adds, “We’re delighted to be working with this group to tap into the creative spirit of this community.”
            The St. Johnsbury’s Arts & Culture Alliance was formed last year to enhance St. Johnsbury’s cultural climate and creative economy. The Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation provided a grant to support this banner project and the work of the St. Johnsbury Arts & Culture Alliance.

Joe Healy, St. Johnsbury Academy,
Jody Fried, Catamount Arts,
Anna Rubin, Fairbanks Museum,
Mary Ellen Reis, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum,

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Catamount Gallery Group Annual Exhibit

The Northeast Kingdom is rich in a wide variety of talented and gifted artists who will have the opportunity to share their visions and their works with area residents this March when Catamount Arts presents its annual Gallery Group exhibit. Each March, Catamount dedicates its main gallery to a presentation of art works by more than 30 Northeast Kingdom artists who each choose one of their best or favorite works from the past year to share with the public. This year’s spotlight exhibit will feature oils, watercolors, photos and sculpture by such artists as Emiko Sawaragi Gilbert, Mark Nielsen, Muffin Ray, Rosie Prevost, Naomi Bossom, Claire Van Vliet, Roderick Wells, Joan Harlowe, Bill Tulp, Judith Unger Murphy, Ann Young and many others. A special reception honoring these artists and their accomplishments will be held from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Friday, March 9, at the Catamount Arts center on Eastern Avenue in St. Johnsbury. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Many of the individual artists will be present to discuss their works.

The Catamount Gallery Group, which exists to promote and encourage artistic talent in the Northeast Kingdom, was created by Patty Mucha and Lois Whitmore in 1993-1994 under the direction of Phil Reynolds, who was then the executive director of Catamount Arts. The initial group was composed of twenty local artists from northern Vermont and New Hampshire. The membership of the group has now increased to more than 80 artists from the area. The Gallery Group’s show each March is one of the largest and most highly anticipated exhibits in the Northeast Kingdom. This year, as in recent years, the show will be curated by Bob Manning, a local artist and art historian who is also a member of Catamount’s Board of Directors. This year’s Catamount Gallery Group show will be on display through Sunday, April 1. Catamount’s galleries are open free to the public from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday and before and after each film screening.