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Vermont Folklife Center Announces New Audio Documentary about Tropical Storm Irene

posted Aug 30, 2012, 11:00 AM by Melanie McCullough   [ updated Aug 30, 2012, 11:09 AM ]

The Vermont Folklife Center announces the completion of “Weathering the Storm,” a new audio documentary that explores the impact of Tropical Storm Irene on hard hit communities throughout the state. “Weathering the Storm” features the voices of 40 Vermonters from twelve towns, addressing the experience of the storm and the continuing process of recovery.

On August 28, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene hit the state of Vermont. Following the devastation caused by the storm and the resultant flooding, the Vermont Folklife Center worked to develop a response to the storm that would both address the needs of community members and create a record of their experiences for posterity. In September 2011 the Vermont Folklife Center initiated the Irene Storytelling Project: (http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/irene/). “Weathering the Storm” emerged from one part of the Irene Storytelling Project--a series of community organized, collective storytelling events called Story Circles (http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/irene/updates/storycircles/).

Story Circles provide opportunities for community members to explore together their experiences of the storm, the damage it wrought, and the ongoing path to recovery. “Weathering the Storm” draws on the content and structure of Story Circles from around the state of Vermont with the goal of representing the Story Circle model in documentary format. “Weathering the Storm” follows the flow of an actual Story Circle, highlighting the gripping personal accounts of participants and providing insight into the shared responses to the storm and the common experiences of those who worked to recover from it.

“A Story Circle brings a community together so that they can remember together,” says “Weathering the Storm” producer, Aylie Baker. “Story Circles foster the creation of a shared story, one made up of many different strands and perspectives knit together to form a complex whole—a collective, multifaceted memory of dramatic events.”

“Weathering the Storm” was produced by Vermont Folklife Center 2011-2012 Fellow, Aylie Baker. Music provided by Jake Wildwood. The program was mastered by David Cooper.

Weathering the Storm can be streamed online at http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org.

Radio stations and online broadcasters can license the piece for broadcast from PRX.org at http://www.prx.org/pieces/83876-weathering-the-storm.

Support for the Irene Storytelling Project has been provided by: Green Mountain Coffee, The Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation, Lyman Orton & Janice Izzi, Robert Fleming and Jane Howe Patrick Foundation, Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Humanities Council, and anonymous donors.

For additional information on Weathering the Storm and the Irene Storytelling Project, please contact Greg Sharrow (gsharrow@vermontfolklifecenter.org) or Aylie Baker (abaker@vermontfolklifecenter.org).

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