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Activities around town — and online

LEGENDARY CRAIG MITCHELL will spin the tunes in a series of online dance parties sponsored by RecoveryVermont. Dance in private or share your moves online with the community.

As many people are staying at home these days, groups and individuals have organized ways for us all to stage engaged both physically and mentally. Here are some activities offered online by both local and national organizations.
Connect with Nature. Middlebury Area Land Trust (MALT) is providing ideas and programs including Connect with Nature home-based activities on their website. They have also prepared MALT trails for The Great TAM Hunt Part II with signs spread out on the trails and secrets clues that may win hunters a prize. Look for new ideas a few times a week here. They will also be posting regular updates on Facebook and Instagram. 
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Staycation art lessons. Artist Lillian Kennedy is posting free art lessons online. Look for new lessons online each Friday here.
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Classic film club goes remote. The Middlebury Classic Film Club will be holding online viewing and discussion of films on the theme “Discovering the Strength Inside of Us” starting March 31. Each week for six weeks movie fans can watch a film on this theme from home and then participate in an online discussion. The films are available through Kanopy, a streaming service for all Ilsley Public Library members. If you’re not from Middlebury you local library most likely provides the same service. Films include: March 31, “Charade;,” April 7, “A Quiet Passion;” April 14, “Kon Tiki;” April 21, “Florence Foster Jenkins;” April 28, “Loving Vincent;” and May 5, “Is Paris Burning?” You can contact the Ilsley or your local library for more info on how to stream Kanopy. 
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Remote library programs at the Ilsley. Along with their regular online services, Ilsley Public Library is streaming activities for all ages on its Facebook page and Ilsley’s YouthTV channel on YouTube, including Rhyme Time with Miss Tricia for the youngest kids and Storytime Stretchers for elementary school kids, where Miss Tricia recommends an online storybook reading, and stretches the story by teaching a related simple craft. For tweens and teens, Kathryn is keeping Ilsley’s Teen Facebook page and Instagram page, ilsleyteens, filled with activities and fun tidbits like a virtual scavenger hunt and YA “Book of the Day.” For all ages, on Ilsley’s Instagram accounts, ilsley_public_library and ilsleyteens, Renee and Kathryn have posed a challenge: What would your favorite book character do if stuck at home for an extended period of time? Remember to use the hashtag #myfavoritecharacterrocks and tag us @ilsley_public_library and @ilsleyteens, so everyone can share in the fun.
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Flowers and Fairies art project. Middlebury Studio School is offering this project on how to make an illuminated manuscript via their website. Its aimed at kids, but appropriate for anyone and available at the Studio School’s website.  
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Dance it out. Recovery Vermont is hosting weekly Online Dance Parties every Friday night from 7-8 p.m. Special guest DJ, Vermont legend Craig Mitchell host these parties via Zoom. You can listen to the tunes and dance in privacy, or dance on video along with the community. These dance parties are open to all, Vermonters in recovery, family members, allies … everyone.
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Come Alive Outside’s 5×5 Challenge. This challenge encourages participants to engage in five healthy outdoor activities a week for five straight weeks and share pictures of their adventures along the way. The organization calls it “a fun, vital way to stimulate creativity, stay active and enjoy the benefits of nature while also fostering a sense of global community as people share their experiences with one another on social media.” The 5×5 Challenge activity guide can be downloaded here. Daily 5×5 Challenge activity tips and weekly contests are posted on Instagram and Twitter @comealiveoutside.
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Visit the new Virtual Art Portal. Vermont Art Online has created a new virtual portal for Vermont Arts & Culture. The website lets families, students, educators, and the public enjoy Vermont’s museums and galleries from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Visitors can explore virtual galleries at art, history, and science institutions across the state, interact with spaces and exhibitions, click on objects for deeper exploration, and link to museum websites for more information and educational resources.
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Life after high school workshops. Pandemic or no, high school students are still making plans for life after high school. VSAC is inviting high school youth thinking about life after graduation to join Vermont 4-H and Lindsay Carpenter, Outreach Counselor with Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) for one or all three sessions, April 7, 14 and 21, at 3 p.m., online, to discuss how to get ready for college and career-ready. Carpenter will provide tips, tricks, and answer your questions related to college, affordability, and alternative pathways to careers. Learn more and sign up here.
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4-H distance learning. Join Vermont 4-H each week on Mondays at 3 p.m. Each week a different topic in science, healthy living, and civic engagement will be introduced alongside fun take home challenges. We will meet back up on Thursdays at 3 p.m. to share out our findings. Open to all youth ages 8+. Learn more and sign up here.
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QuaranTeen virtual science cafés. Open to Grade 7-12 students, cafés are scheduled for every Wednesday from 3-3:45 p.m. with topics ranging from small satellite propulsion systems to the science behind maple sugaring and human cell genetic editing. Leading scientists will discuss their work and lead informal discussions about their field of expertise. Students are asked to register before each event begins. Additional cafés are being planned on infectious disease and other topics. Learn more and sign up here.
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Vermont Folklife Center’s Listening in Place. Listening in Place focuses on two responses to the COVID-19 emergency: the creation of a crowd-sourced sound archive to document our daily experiences during the pandemic, and a series of online virtual story circles, where Vermonters can gather remotely to listen and share during these truly challenging times. These participatory programs are designed as ways to maintain our connections to one another when we most need them, engage with personal stories to strengthen our relationships, and create a record of what we are experiencing throughout the pandemic. More information and to participation guidelines are here. There you will find handy how-to guides for conducting interviews and recording them, suggested questions and prompts, and our archive submission tools. You can also send an email to [email protected].
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Vermont Humanities watch parties. During this time of social distancing, The Vermont Humanities Council is sharing videos, podcasts, and online resources to their digital channels every day. Check out what’s streaming at their website or go to their Facebook page. 

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