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Highland Center For The Arts is Greensboro's Home Of Entertainment

By Michael Abelson

There are many ways to entertain from the stage and all are on offer at the Highland Center For The Arts. The theater, located in Greeensboro, has become an anchor in the Northeast Kingdom with its varied selection of musicals, dance, movies and more. With such a varied program of shows, classes, and activities, there's always something going on at the Highland Center. Executive Director of the center, Annie Houston, answered some questions for Vermont State Homes about the center and its success.

What was the inspiration behind opening Highland Center for the Arts? How long has it been open?

The Highland Center for the Arts opened in May 2017, and has been offering a robust programming schedule of musical, theatrical, dance, circus, gallery, and cinematic events since. The Center also offers classes, and a good meal at our Hardwick Street Café, which includes a well-rounded drink menu and locally-sourced meals.

The inspiration was to provide a place of cultural connection for the communities in the Northeast Kingdom and the region beyond. Rather than a passive artistic experience, we want our patrons to actively create and experience art in this space. We're committed to providing opportunities for a diverse array of artistic tastes, hence our multi-disciplinary programming. It's our goal that residents of and visitors to the area see this as a hub where there's always something going on, and as a place where the community connects and creates regularly.

Valdine mentioned you are the new Executive Director for the center. How would you describe your vision for the direction you hope to take the Center?

As executive director, I want to make good on our goal to become a place for community connections and high-quality artistic experiences. There's an incredible abundance of creative individuals and endeavors in the region, and I want to capitalize on bringing people together and sharing the best of arts and culture in a local, regional, national, and worldwide context. My vision is that each week we're active with programs like dance classes, poetry slams, artist talks, music, theatre events, and films; that there's something for everyone to enjoy regardless of age or background; and that the Highland Center for the Arts continues to grow as a place for building community and creating cultural experiences.

How do you choose the artwork you choose to feature in the gallery?

We have been partnering with Miller's Thumb Gallery in Greensboro, VT for the curation of our gallery space. Our region has a wealth of visual artists, and we're pleased to highlight local talents through exhibits such as Elizabeth Nelson's "The Book of Changes: Symbolic Landscapes of the I Ching", a Lucien Day retrospective, and a showcase of Caspian Arts members.

The center has several events coming, including a Valentine's Day Dinner for kids and a Shakespearean performance. Which event are you most looking forward to this upcoming year and why?

It's impossible to choose. That said, according to the recent CultureTrack report, one of the main motivators for people to attend cultural events is to have fun, so I guess one could say I'm most looking forward to seeing people having fun in our space, regardless of the event.

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