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Solar firm hosts art, info events at ‘pop-up’ store

MIDDLEBURY — Along with offering information to prospective customers seeking financing or product information on solar power, SunCommon has been hosting a series of educational events at the “pop-up” store it opened June 14 at the Lazarus Building, which sits at the head of Printers Alley in downtown Middlebury.
A so-called pop-up store is a space rented by a retailer or other business for a short period of time, often to sell seasonal products like Christmas items. SunCommon in this case took advantage of an unoccupied retail space in Middlebury’s downtown to showcase itself and also offer the educational component.
In addition, the SunCommon pop-up features a gallery of art that presented local craftspeople’s works at last month’s Middlebury Arts Walk, and will do so again at the Arts Walk on July 12.
Business leaders, elected officials, SunCommon staff, and friends gathered on June 14 to launch a pop-up art gallery and storefront that celebrates local artists and solar energy alike. It marked the beginning of a six-week run.
 “As we head into summer, the season of solar, SunCommon is excited to work with the Addison County community to turn up the volume on solar power,” said Jessica Edgerly Walsh, SunCommon’s lead organizer, at the opening event.
Rep. Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes; President of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce Andy Mayer; and Chair of the Middlebury Energy Committee Laura Asermily joined the SunCommon staff in celebrating the accomplishments of Addison County residents in building local, renewable energy and in the opening of the solar art gallery and environmental learning space.
350VT, the Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP), and SunCommon are all hosting events in the space. For instance, 350VT on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will host an education day in which members of the organization will offer information on the proposed gas pipeline that will go through Addison County. Organizers said the day will end with the screening of a movie.
On Tuesday, July 9, after the Brown Bag Lunch Series performance that is part of Festival on-the-Green, VEEP will host “Solar Powered Kids,” billed as a “fun workshop for the kids.” It will start at approximately 1 p.m.
Next Friday evening, July 12, 7-8 p.m., the store will be the site of a “Climate Change Poetry Reading by Greg Delanty and Friends.” Delanty is the poet in residence at St. Michael’s College and is active in the climate movement. This event will immediately follow the Arts Walk.
A full listing of events can be found at www.suncommon.com/events.

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