Thursday, June 9, 2016

Open House Reminder - and "out of the mouth of a child."

Compass Music and Arts Foundation Open Day 
Thursday June 23rd, 2pm-8pm 
at the Compass Music and Arts Center, Park Village, Brandon
The Compass Music and Arts Foundation is holding an open day to show some of the work of the Foundation over the past three years. Members of the Foundation Board will be available to talk with Foundation friends, members, and visitors about our work. Stephen Sutton will also be showing visitors around the greatly enhanced Phonograph Rooms and giving demonstrations on how some of these vintage recording machines operate. Arthur Doty will be placing the "Golden Spike" in the Model Otter Creek Railway and running the trains around the tracks for all train enthusiasts to enjoy. Laura King will be reading stories to children in the Children's room (starting at 4:30), complete with the help of puppets - and there will be free ice cream for all visitors, courtesy of Ben and Jerry's. The event is free. Visitors can also enjoy The Sky's the Limit pastel exhibit in the Main Hall, browse the Treasure Chest and Bagatelles stores, visit the Divine Art CD Store, buy from the Farmer's Market and enjoy Mexican Food, for purchase, at the Heart and Soul cafe. 

And - out of the mouth of a child...

Eavesdropping on some students getting ready to leave after an afternoon at Compass learning about fiber arts, I heard a 3rd grader sigh, "I just love this place! I could stay all day." I looked over at the teacher, also listening, who said, "She needs things like this. They all do-a place outside of the box."

For more information about the open house, please contact Edna Sutton Acting Executive Director, on 247 4285, or by email

This Amazing Place, a reflection

Yesterday, while working on a grant for Compass, I reflected on Compass Foundation's past and present.  We really have come far....

Compass Music and Art Foundation (CMAF) benefits from the boundless energy and enthusiasm of the Sutton's, owners of the Compass Music and Art Center - who bring artists and musicians into the space and community. The Suttons have also made room for others with an entrepreneurial spirit - "makers," if you will. At one end of the building, there is a consignment shop, Treasure Chest, where people can find something needed and give it a new life; and at the other end, a farmer's market, featuring local eggs, meat, vegetables, and homemade goods, and the Heart and Soul Cafe, where Tiffiny makes creative sandwiches, smoothies, and treats for her building client base.

In between is the heart and soul of Compass Center - the arts, featured in intimate galleries and shops, with seasonal exhibits and events in the central space.

And then - there's us - the Foundation. Anyone who leases from Compass joins in the belief that arts education of our communities is essential. CMAF leads this endeavor, bringing our community and schools to classes and events just for them; but couldn't do it without the inventive and evolving ethos of this collection of creative and industrious individuals.

The Foundation is now at a crossroads.Going on our third year - it's time for us to reach out for more support, and make more people aware of what could happen at Compass Center in the future. With the demonstrated support we currently have - we took a risk and wrote a flurry of grants.  If we get them - you will hear a big hooray! In the meantime  - we hope you will find your way to get more involved with this amazing place. Join our organization, renew your membership, and PLEASE! Come to our Open House, June 23rd, from 2-8pm.  There will be free ice cream, artist demonstrations, and a story time for children. We want to see you - and celebrate the beginnings of summer in this magical place.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Waking up to a violin on the radio....

Yesterday, I awoke to NPR classical - a violin persistently begging me to wake up and start the day. But, for a brief moment, I thought back to a day in November, 2015, when I experienced the notes played by Madeleine Mitchell. Did you know this international violinist performed in little Brandon, Vermont? Thanks to her benefit performance at Compass Music and Arts Center, the site now owns more tables and chairs - making its events for the public more comfortable and participatory.

Just last week, more than thirty school children from Leicester Elementary School visited Judith Reilly's art exhibit in the main Compass gallery and then sat down at those very tables - to write and draw their responses to Judith's amazing work. The next day I interacted in the classroom with one of those students, who pulled me aside to say, "I can still see that quilt about the moon in my mind. It's my favorite, so I'm writing about that one." This quote reflects one of the goals of  the Center's non-profit organization, Compass Music and Arts Foundation: to provide memorable arts experiences for our community and its children.

Whether you are an adult waking up in the morning, or a child making their way through a school day, experiences at Compass Center stay with you, center you, demand the attention of your creative self.

And, what about today? I am thinking about my current favorite painting - that rooster, squawking at me in Robin Callahan's gallery space. He's demanding something of me - "Come visit Compass! Have some lunch in the Cafe! Listen to the music playing! Take a notebook and write, or draw, or... just fly on down and have a 'cock-a-doodle doo' of a time!  And, don't forget to come see me!" So...I'm picking up the phone and inviting a friend to lunch....

Laura King

Exciting Poetry Event, May 5, 7:00pm

Compass Music and Arts Center, Thursday, May 5, 7:00pm

This year's Theme:  "What would Happen If..."

Please come to this community event - the second annual Poem in your Pocket Open Mic Event, co-sponsored by Compass Music and Arts Foundation and Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union (RNESU). Throughout the months of April and May, K-6 students from RNESU elementary schools have visited (or will visit soon) Judith Reilly's retrospective exhibit, "The Girl with the Purple Hair" at Compass Music and Arts Center. Inspired by Judith's creative quilts and stories, students wrote creative pieces in response to one of Judith Reilly's most favorite open-ended questions, "What would Happen If...?" They were further inspired by her quilts and wrote more and more...until poems emerged!  

Now, students, their families, and members of the community-at-large are invited to this open mic poetry reading. Students are invited to read their pieces - and the public is also invited to recite favorite poems that match this theme of creativity and imagination. 

2016 Winners of RNESU's K-6 annual poetry contest will be announced.  Please come and enjoy the creative words of young poets - amongst the creative sights and sounds of Compass Music and Arts Center in Brandon, Vermont. Bring your creative words to this event, or share words of your favorite poet! You will be surrounded by the inspiring and whimsical quilts of Judith Reilly - and joined by others who value the playful antics of words and poetry.