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By the way for March 23: See a play in Ripton, meet some climate heroes … and more

The Vermont Council on Rural Development recently welcomed 16 participants to its 2023 Climate Catalysts Leadership Program. They come from across the state — including Addison County — and will focus on implementing projects addressing topics such as developing town climate actions, expanding outreach regarding weatherization programs, producing an educational series on local manufacturing, and making local food more equitable, affordable, and accessible. The local folks you might recognize in this program are Lindsey Berk of Brandon, Mike Roy and Gabriella Stevens of Middlebury and Jean Terwilliger of Cornwall.

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1977 Middlebury Union High School grad Martin Guigui is showing up on a national stage again. We just heard that his latest feature film, called “Sweetwater,” will open in a couple weeks. It’s the story Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, who made history as the first African American to sign an NBA contract, forever changing how the game of basketball is played.

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If you can’t wait for “Sweetwater” to scratch your entertainment itch, head up to Ripton this weekend for some little people engaging in a big performance. Students from all grade levels at Ripton Elementary school will be staging “Alice in Wonderland” on Saturday, March 25, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 26, at 2 p.m. at the school. As usual, it should be a fun show.

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Nonprofit organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC), either on staff or board, are eligible for a Vermont Changemakers Table grant, which is being offered by the Vermont Community Foundation in collaboration with Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. The grant round is designed by the Changemakers, an annual cohort of 20 young Vermonters seeking to drive positive change in communities across the state through relationship building and collective action. Grants of up to $5,000 will be unrestricted. If your BIPOC-led organization has an annual operating budget under $300,000 and primarily serves rural communities, then get your application in by April 3. Head online to vermontcf.org/changemakers to learn more and apply.

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