Dar Williams to speak about building up small towns at Bristol conference

BRISTOL — Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is coming to Holley Hall for a sold-out event this Friday, June 8.
Williams, who has performed her pop folk tunes around the country for two decades, this time will give the keynote address at the 2018 Historical Preservation and Downtown Conference in Bristol.
Her 2017 book, “What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities,” examines the plight of post-industrial towns. In the book, she discusses what she has learned after 20 years of touring in countless towns and cities, fundraising for libraries, public radio and community gardens, and supporting the renovation of old theaters. Williams is big on building social capital, what she calls “Positive Proximity,” that allows towns to become unique, prosperous and self-reliant.
In her talk from 9:30-10:15 a.m. at Holley Hall, Williams is expected to muse on why some towns flourish while others fail, examining elements from the significance of history and nature to the uniting power of public spaces and food. Her goal is to offer real solutions to rebuild declining communities.
The day-long conference is organized by the Preservation Trust of Vermont in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development, the town of Bristol and Bristol CORE.
Other events will include:
•  Lunch mini tours of Bristol Cohousing and of three Main Street Bristol Mill properties.
•  Village Greens Matter, a discussion on the importance of public spaces.
•  Trails to Towns, a presentation and guided walk of the Coffin Factory Historical Walking Trail.
•  Pop-Ups to Permanency, an exploration of “pop-up” retail shops.
•  Time to Adapt, a panel on repurposing Bristol’s architectural resources.
•  Decoding Designations, a demystification of various federal, state and local designations.
•  The Creative Connection, a session focusing on Bristol’s vibrant downtown arts scene.
A full schedule is online at ptvermont.org.
Williams will speak in Randolph the following day and perform in concert there that night.

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