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Pentangle Arts Is Changing Woodstock, Vermont One Show at a Time

By Elisha Neubauer

In 1974, the arts and culture scene changed forever for the folks of Woodstock, Vermont.

Gathered in a local living room, a group of friends began to discuss a serious problem at hand for the community: a lack of art promotion in the area. The friends were all local business owners or artists themselves and realized they were the solution to the problem they were facing.

This seemingly insignificant meeting turned out to reap great benefits for the community as it was the founding of the Pentangle Arts Council. Backed by the Vermont Council on the Arts, the group was officially organized in March 1974.

The organization was originally focused on arts education experience in area schools. Since its opening, however, the company has rebranded and expanded to include presenting movies, concerts, theater performances and doing outdoor art exhibits in addition to the arts outreach and education programs. The rebranded, including the renaming of the organization to simply Pentangle Arts, came when the company moved into a brick and mortar location in 1987.

"When Pentangle was founded, the organization did not have a performance venue, so the organization was volunteer driven and with many outreach efforts made in Woodstock and the four surrounding towns of Barnard, Bridgewater, Reading and Hartland," Alita Wilson, Executive Director and Serena Nelson, Assistant Director, said.

The mission which the facility has set itself out to achieve sounds simple enough. They simply want to cultivate an appreciation of the arts through a varied manner of media, including performances of all genres of music, community theater, dance, film and the visual arts.

"Pentangle puts special emphasis and attention on arts education through programming designed specifically to reach local elementary and high school children," Wilson said. "Our programs reach out directly to K-12 students, offering exciting, in-depth programs that bring children into direct contact with artists and initiates a lifelong connection with the arts."

The company's Dana Emmons Arts in Education program serves an estimated 5,000 K-12 students and educators annually, not only in the Woodstock area but also in surrounding towns.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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