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Activities around town for May 14

LEARN MORE ABOUT electric cars at a free webinar hosted by Drive Electric Vermont and Waterbury LEAP on Wednesday, May 20, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Join a Craven Conversation. Join Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Artistic Director Jay Craven for a series of conversations with talented MNFF alumni, live on Zoom, beginning Friday, May 15, at 4 p.m. EDT with Jenifer McShane, the director of “Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops.” The film follows two San Antonio Police Department officers who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment — one 911 call at a time. In the process, they are redefining policing policy and its mandate to “keep people safe.” The film’s relevance and timeliness has only increased in this fraught pandemic environment where mental health challenges and domestic abuse incidents are on the rise.
While MNFF will host this discussion live on Zoom, they will also record and share it on the MNFF website and Facebook page. Questions for the filmmakers are welcome. Want to send one in advance of the event? Contact Phoebe Lewis at [email protected], or submit a question during the event using the Zoom “Chat” function.
Go to tinyurl.com/craven-conv-MNFF to enter your email in a secured space. MNFF will send you the Zoom invitation on the morning of Friday, May 15. 
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Make It Together: Kitchen Karacters.
Materials Needed:
•  Items from kitchen drawers—wooden spoons, potato mashers, dinner forks, soup ladles.
•  Plastic wrap, aluminum foil, small plastic bags, yarn, paper strips.
•  Recipe cards or small pieces of stiff paper (file folder, cereal box panel).
•  Scissors.
•  Tape, glue, yarn or string.
•  Markers, crayons or colored pencils or pens.
•  Collection of other items for decoration, as you wish
Step 1: Take a look at the items collected from the drawers. Turn them upside down/hold them by their handles, for example. These handles become your puppet controller. Make sure there are holes are loops at the top of the implement (see photo).
Step 2: Weave strips of plastic wrap, foil, paper, yarn etc. through the top holes or loops to form hair. If you make it short, it will stand straight up. If you make it long, and of several strands, you might braid it.
Step 3: Make eyes or other features on the stiff paper; cut out and add to the base, as you decide.
Make a story up for this new creation, or act out a favorite book or story. If you make two puppets, you can have a conversation with your “kitchen karacters” on your own; if someone else is home with you, they can join in making a puppet, or using the extra one you’ve made.
TIP: Use these items with permission, and avoid gluing anything that can’t be removed later to make use of the kitchen gadget, for real.
• • • • •
Go to a virtual gallery. Balancing Act, an innovative exhibition that brings together works from a variety of non-representational artists, opens on Ellenbogen Gallery’s Facebook Live on Saturday, May 16, at 3 p.m. It is also visible from the promenade at the gallery, located in the Manchester Shopping Center in Manchester Center. This carefully curated collection focuses on the concept of balance within non-representational, abstract art and explores a multitude of understandings of the word ‘balance’ itself.
• • • • •
Catch an opera at the Met, an Alvin Ailey dance performance, or Jazz from Lincoln Center. Go to Town Hall Theater’s “What’s On?” page on their website for links to nightly Metropolitan Opera streams, Steven Sondhiem’s 90th birthday celebration, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals, full length plays from London’s National Theater, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performances and workshops.
• • • • •
Learn more about electric vehicles. Drive Electric Vermont and Waterbury LEAP are hosting a free webinar about electric vehicles (EVs) on Wednesday, May 20, from 7 to 8 p.m. Vermont’s incentive program offers up to $5,000 for an EV purchase, but that incentive has an uncertain future due to COVID-19 budget issues. That means it’s a great time to save on an electric vehicle while incentive funds remain available.
The webinar will cover the basics about electric cars:
•  What to keep in mind if you’re considering switching over from a gas-powered car. 
•  Types of EVs available in Vermont (including some recently introduced models).
•  Different ways to charge, and current availability of charging options.
•  Incentives for buying an EV.
•  You’ll also hear from some Vermonters who’ve made the switch to an EV, including Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt owners.
The webinar is free. Preregistration required at tinyurl.com/EV-VTwebinar. Once registered you will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the webinar through a web browser (no software download required).
• • • • •
Attend a virtual fashion show. In response to the pandemic, CVOEO postponed the live Karibu fashion show to 2021. But Karibu 2020 is not canceled and is going online instead. For the fourth edition of Karibu (Welcome! in Swahili), new American models are invited to compete on a virtual runway for a chance to win cash prizes. Winners will be announced on June 27 based on votes from the community. This benefit event is a fun way to raise funds for our community’s most vulnerable immigrants: asylum seekers. While their application is being processed, they are not allowed to work and cannot access services funded by the government. CVOEO’s Asylum Seekers Assistance Program provides them with emergency funds to purchase essential personal hygiene items, diapers, food, and medicine. CVOEO also helps them navigate red tape and paperwork. The event website is at karibuvt.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/karibuvt.
• • • • •
Experience an online world premiere. Middlebury Acting Company will present the virtual world premiere of “St. Bernard, An Opioid Play” by Peter Espenshade and directed by Rebecca Strum, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, and Friday, May 29, via live stream. 
“St. Bernard, An Opioid Play” follows the story of Amanda, a young mother struggling to stay clean and get her infant daughter back from Vermont’s Department for Children and Families. While Amanda works hard with a sympathetic nurse and does well, her erstwhile boyfriend, the charismatic Kenny, strays from the path of recovery with his two sidekick friends and gets into all sorts of trouble, imperiling Amanda’s success. 
MACo has been working with Recovery Vermont President Peter Espenshade on the development of his script since last fall, and, due to COVID-19, is introducing the play online in two serialized installments. Ultimately, this timely, funny and vital Vermont story will be presented onstage, but for an early look at the project join the company on YouTube for a live-streamed performance. Each act will last about 45 minutes and will be taped for viewing at any time.
The performances will be live streamed on MACo’s YouTube Channel: bit.ly/2YOP7ah.
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Classic film series continues. The Middlebury Classic Film club will begin Virtual Series 2: “A Question of Ambition” on Tuesday, May 19, with the 1937 version of “A Star is Born.” This will be the first of four films in the series, one per week. 
As with the first virtual series, each film will be available to you on Kanopy. Each Ilsley Library patron has or can have a Kanopy account. Each account provides for six films that may be streamed each month. Because the series covers the months of May and June, participating in this series should not exhaust your Kanopy account for either of these months. Email [email protected] if you need assistance with Kanopy.
The club has made a schedule of suggested viewing dates and times so that those who wish to can simulate watching each film together as we normally do. After each film, we will there will be a virtual discussion via the club’s email listserv. for the films in this series. The series runs through June 9, and in addition to “A Star is Born,” includes The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), The Battle of Algiers (1966) and The Bicycle Thief (1948)
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Grow a pumpkin, win a prize. University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H is sponsoring a statewide pumpkin-growing contest for youths ages 5 to 18. Upon registering, you will receive one or more varieties of “mystery” pumpkin seeds to grow throughout the season. Selected varieties are suitable for a northern climate, may be direct sown and will mature at 140 pounds or less. Although free to participate, and membership in 4-H is not required, you must register by May 25 to receive seeds and a 4-H Pumpkin Challenge record book. Contact Martha Manning, UVM Extension 4-H educator, preferably by e-mail at [email protected]. Or call (802) 827-3913. Include your name, address, e-mail, age and phone number.
• • • • •
Virtual Storytelling Sessions.
The Children’s Literacy Foundation hosts virtual storytelling on Tuesdays at 3 p.m., All are welcome, and CLif encourages everyone to share info on the event with children and families. 
You can sign up for the sessions at clifonline.org/clifs-virtual-storytelling-series.

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