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Bus Start in Downtown Springfield ~ Student Art Making a Difference

January 29, 2014 in Art, Community Development, Ideas & Projects, Inspiration, Stories by Jen

Have you noticed the downtown bus stop has gotten a lot more attractive lately? We are so fortunate to have a group, Bus Start , committed to building community through student artwork in the Springfield Vermont downtown bus stop.

The first installation features 17 year old Hannah Lillie. Hannah is a local photographer and homeschooled student. She has been studying photography since the age of eight. Hannah specializes in photographing children and families, as well as historical documentation and preservation. Her work with families shows an intuitive sense of connection, and an ability to capture natural moments of play, emotion, and relationships. Additionally, Hannah’s deeply rooted local family history has instilled in her a love for, and commitment to preserving historical artifacts through the creation of visual art.
Hannah Lillie artwork
Be sure to check it out in person, show the Bus Start page some love, and give a shout-out to Hannah for her work by sharing this and other notes about her work!

— in Springfield, VT.

Hannah Lille bio
Hannah Lillie art2


Main Street in January

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Beautification Efforts Underway- Call for Volunteers

July 19, 2013 in Art, Community Development, Ideas & Projects, Stories by Jen

As  I was heading up to The Commons to see the special Community Band performance Tuesday night, I noticed a group of people on Mineral Street painting the cement retaining wall.

They didn’t appear to be vandals, so I stopped to check out what they were up to.

The Mural

There I met Mona Frye (pictured below) who told me about the mural project. What started out as a project of the Community School of Vermont has expanded to a community-wide effort. Funding has been provided by a number of area businesses and organizations.

Springfield mural flags

The large mural forming tells the story of Springfield. It seems fitting that the Vermont State Flag and the US Flag anchor the mural around the corner.

As you turn, you can see symbols and landmarks from Springfield emerging. The Calvary Baptist Church welcomes visitors at one end and towards the center, the Miller Art Center hovers majestically above the town.

Flowers adorn the bottom, mixing with a splash of colorful live foliage. I was told there is a large “Springfield” sign that will be added to the center of the mural when everything else is complete.

Appropriately, a Springfield Pride sign is proudly featured. And, as the project progresses, it is easy to see some of the reasons the town has to be proud- not just because of the buildings being shown, but because of the community and volunteers who are pulling together to do something that matters to them- and helps us all remember the beauty that surrounds us.Springfield mural- flowers

Get Involved: Call for Volunteers

There is still plenty of time to get involved- they are meeting every Monday evening around 7pm on Mineral Street. Everyone is welcome, as is any extra latex paint you might have laying around.

There is also a need for anyone with landscaping skills to help clear some areas to prevent water run-off from the hill and help preserve the mural.

Mona Frye explains the mural, the process, and why they need some landscaping assistance

Mona Frye explains the mural, the process, and why they need some landscaping assistance

A Facebook event was created to provide the most up to date information.

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SolarFest: 3 days of family-friendly entertainment, workshops, and inspiration!

July 7, 2013 in Community Development, Inspiration, Makers, Youth & Education by Jen

SolarFest- The Power of Positive Energy is a three-day festival of world-class entertainment and workshops in renewable energy, sustainability, and community engagement.

Maker Faire exhibit

Maker Faire exhibit

Mini Maker Faire

New this year is the SolarFest Mini Maker Faire. Maker Faires are a family-friendly showcase of innovation, invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. It’s an exciting way to see what people are making and share in their learning. It’s a perfect fit for anyone who appreciates Yankee ingenuity, enjoys taking things apart, or putting things together!

Live Entertainment

With a Main Stage, a Family Stage, and Off-Stage entertainment, there is something for everyone. Performers include local and regional favorites and award-winning artists, such as:

There are even more workshops to fill out the festivities. And, if that’s still not enough, the Keynote Speaker is Ben Cohen, founding partner of Ben & Jerry’s. Cohen is now President of the Stamp Stampede campaign whose goal is to get money out of politics.

About SolarFest

The SolarFest was started nineteen years ago as a festival showcasing the power and possibility of Solar Energy. It continues today as a non-profit organization with a simple mission: SolarFest blends art, education, and outreach to inspire conservation, promote renewable energy, and support sustainable communities. Through our steadfast commitment to education, arts and community outreach, SolarFest, Inc. teaches and demonstrates the power and sensibilities of renewable energy and sustainable living at conferences, performances and venues throughout the year.

As the Northeast’s premier energy and music festival, SolarFest blends art, education, and community outreach to inspire the conservation of Earth’s limited resources, to promote renewable energy, and to support the creation of sustainable communities.

Living what they believe, the entire weekend festival, including sound and lights, runs on renewable energy: mostly solar with a little wind.

SolarFest combines superb family entertainment with presentations by some of the region’s most knowledgeable Renewable Energy experts. Workshops on green building and sustainable agriculture are balanced with a series designed especially for young people called The Solar Generation. There is also a special children’s activity area (Kids Korner).

Tickets remain affordable and include all the workshops and entertainment: Children under 14 are FREE; one day passes are $15, and full weekend passes are $39. On-site camping is available.

Plenty of space is provided throughout the weekend for serendipitous encounters, conversation, dancing, hiking, camping, relaxation, and an overall celebration of our planet’s beauty.

Learn more at their website- and perhaps we’ll see you there.