Starksboro Stories - Art & Soul Civic Engagement

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Residents of Starksboro, Vermont gathered for a community storytelling event at which Middlebury College students shared digital stories they created this past fall. The event was part of the Art & Soul Civic Engagement initiative of the Orton Family Foundation and the Vermont Land Trust.

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<ul><li> 1. A community storytelling celebrationin conjunction with the Art &amp; Soul Civic Engagement Initiative Robinson Elementary SchoolStarksboro, VT December 4, 2008 2008www.orton.org</li></ul> <p> 2. Art </p> <ul><li>Starksboro residents sat together and talked over dinner farmers and historians, parents and teachers, old-timers and newcomers, elderly and kids.Many met and talked with their neighbors for the first time. </li></ul> <p> 2008www.orton.org 3. </p> <ul><li>The story celebration and the story gathering process brought together citizens of all ages and prompted discussions about what the town could look like for future generations. </li></ul> <p> 2008www.orton.org 4. </p> <ul><li>Members of the Jerusalem Schoolhouse committee prepared and served dinner for the community.The Schoolhouse was profiled in a digital story by Middlebury College students. </li></ul> <p> 2008www.orton.org 5. </p> <ul><li>A Starksboro resident surveyed a room full of his neighbors as the storytelling presentation began. </li></ul> <p> 2008www.orton.org 6. </p> <ul><li>Fifth graders from Starksboros Robinson Elementary School sang for the crowd at the start of the storytelling celebration. </li></ul> <p> 2008www.orton.org 7. 2008www.orton.org Art Clifford awaits the presentation of Farming Conversations, a digital story featuring him and his wife Suzie and another farming family, the Shepards. 8. </p> <ul><li>More than 200 people packed the Robinson Elementary School to listen to Starksboros stories over 10% of Starksboros population, and a higher attendance than at any community event in recent memory. </li></ul> <p> 2008www.orton.org 9. 2008www.orton.org If you dont plan for your future, someone else will, said Lyman Orton, founder and President of the Board of the Orton Family Foundation.Orton reminded the crowd that the storytelling celebration is the first step in the larger Art &amp; Soul Civic Engagement initiative, which will also include art, community discussions, and taking action. 10. </p> <ul><li>A group of Middlebury College students from the course, Portrait of a Vermont Town, presented a book they published compiling months of interviews of Starksboro residents. </li></ul> <p> 2008www.orton.org 11. </p> <ul><li>The students produced and shared stories in various forms maps, video, audio, photographs and hard copy publications - all of which will be archived for Starksboro. </li></ul> <p> 2008www.orton.org 12. 2008www.orton.org Middlebury College Professor John Elder, who was recently named Vermont Professor of the Year, spoke about the motivation behind the course and thanked residents for welcoming his students into their lives and community. 13. 2008www.orton.org Residents flipped through their copies ofStarksboro Storiesthroughout the evening a publication designed by Middlebury College students and given to each family in attendance. 14. 2008www.orton.org The Starksboro Stories project culminated the first phase of the Art &amp; Soul Civic Engagement initiative a partnership of the Orton Family Foundation, the Vermont Land Trust, and the Town of Starksboro.Middlebury College students in a course entitled Portrait of a Vermont Town, led by Professor John Elder, spent the fall documenting the stories of Starksboro residents.They presented those stories back to the residents at the community dinner and storytelling celebration documented here.Visitwww.orton.org to learn more and view Starksboros stories.</p>

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