Kopkind’s 14th Annual Harvest Late Brunch

7 09 2011

Celebrating the 250th birthday of Guilford & the contributions of Verandah Porche

Sunday, October 9th @ 2PM

The Organ Barn at Tree Frog Farm

Kopkind Rd., Guilford, VT 05301

Please join us on this 250th anniversary of our town, Guilford, as we celebrate an important chapter in its history, commemorating the commune movement that brought Andy Kopkind to Vermont and honoring our friend, neighbor and community conscience, poet Verandah Porche.

Not long after the town’s bicentennial, young people began coming to this area, first in a sprinkling, then in a wave: dreamers and artists and drop-outs from a mad world, people with utopian visions or just looking for something, something else. By the 1970s many were, as Andy said, “refugees from the New Left”. He himself packed a bag in 1970, left most all he owned on a street corner in DC, and drove his motorcycle to a commune in Guilford. Verandah had come here two years earlier, to Packer Corners Farm just up the road from the Organ Barn, which has been standing almost as long as Guilford but which owes its name and peculiar feature to those days. The people who came changed Vermont, and were changed by it. Andy came out as a gay man, left, and returned a few years later to spend every summer at Tree Frog Farm, the reason we are here today. Verandah made Packer Corners her permanent home, enchanted Guilford with the creations of the Monteverdi Artists Collaborative, and has been telling the stories of people’s lives in poetry here and throughout the country ever since.

We are therefore honoring Verandah and this special moment in our town’s history at our annual Harvest Late Brunch benefit. There will be a delicious Tapas Feast. Afterward: a video tribute, a reminiscence of commune life by Verandah, and a screening of The Stuff of Dreams, which documents Monteverdi’s magical production of The Tempest, on an island in Sweet Pond.

Tickets are $35, $25 for students. With your support, the Kopkind Colony will weather the storms of nature and politics, preserving its connection to the past while developing ideas for the future. 10% of the proceeds will go to the campaign to resurrect Sweet Pond, a place once as pleasant as its name, recently drained and now the locus of community action. Reserve tickets now!

For more information or directions, contact 802.254.4859, or email at stonewal@sover.net.


29 06 2011

Learning From the World
Sunday, July 17 – Movie Night
5:30 – Potluck barbecue
7:00 – Screening

“LIVE FROM THE MEDIA REVOLUTION”, a selection of videos shot in the midst of the thrilling Arab Spring among some of the people who made it,
with filmmaker Greg Berger  Email John Scagliotti, Administrator of Kopkind for directions for the Organ Barn..  stonewal@sover.net  You can see more about this with this local article from the Brattleboro Reformer


Greg Berger will be at Tree Frog Farm July 17

Our Lives, Our History – Celebrating 40 Years since the Stonewall Riots

4 06 2009

Kick off Pride in Vermont with the grand opening on Gallery Walk Night, Friday, June 5th (5pm to 7pm) of a special art installation:

“Our Lives, Our History – Celebratin

g 40 years Since the Stonewall Riots.”

Includes a special historical visual remembrance by David M. Hall of some of the famous LGBT pioneers like Audre Lorde, Barbara Gittings and Amistead Maupin. Also the opening of the GrassRoots Wall “We Were Here!” with memorabilia from LGBT people, their families and friends in the local area.

It takes place at the Hooker Dunham Theater and Gallery, 139 Main Street. Brattleboro, VT (refreshments will be served).

Sponsored by The Kopkind Colony’s CineSlam

“I don’t think such a thing has been presented before in the area. My hope is that this presentation will get some folks in the archive preserving local history field in our local towns to begin to see GLBT lives and stories in rural America and all the great things they have done as something worthy of preserving in a serious manner.

It is my belief that we are still considered somewhat marginal when it comes to what is important to be saved and honored in rural America. I would say that GLBT marginalization is not only a symptom in the straight community but also part of the GLBT community itself. It is hard even in these times to break that feeling that our history and lives are not quite that important when it comes to saving our legacy. After so many hundreds of years of being invisible and dishonored by the major institutions of our societies, it is a very difficult task to rebound. But many are doing it.

In big cities we do have major archives like the Hormel Center in SF, the New York Public Library, Lesbian Herstory Archives, One Institute at UCLA, and Homodok in Amsterdam’s Public Library. But those took a determined effort by the many employees and activists and historians in those areas. As Audre Lorde said, “Everything we do must contribute to the struggle, because everything they do is grinding us into dust, and we will not be ground.”

So we start somewhere here in Brattleboro with this presentation and I appreciate all the folks who contributed and helped make the exhibition so wonderful. As well as the hard work that David M. Hall put into designing the historical posters.

I hope everyone reminds their friends to come and see it on Opening Night.”
-John Scagliotti

John Scagliotti, creator of In the Life.

John Scagliotti, creator of In the Life.

Kopkind Harvest Event w/ Laura Flanders

4 06 2009

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride in the stretch ahead – and no one has been tracking the political mood and the balance of forces more closely than the sparkling Laura Flanders, the featured speaker at Kopkind’s annual harvest fundraiser, a “late brunch” tapas feast, on Sunday, October 12, at 2 pm at the Organ Barn at Guilford, 158 Kopkind Road.

A longtime print and broadcast journalist, Flanders is the voice of “RadioNation” on Air America, and the host of GRITtv.org. Her latest book, Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back Politics From the Politicians, follows the trail of small ‘d’ democrats across the country battling for social and economic justice, political representation, human rights and people’s power. She has been following the electoral campaigns and the economic crises through all their twists and turns, bringing a unique perspective from the grassroots to the commanding heights.

In her previous work on WBAI in New York and on Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting’s radio show “CounterSpin”, she covered everything from Reaganism to gay liberation, the wars in Central America to the wars in Iraq, labor, feminism, sex, media and more. Her books include Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species and Real Majority, Media Minority: The Cost of Sidelining Women in Reporting. She has written in numerous publications, from The San Francisco Chronicle to The Nation.

The first Harvest event, in October 1998, launched the Kopkind Colony as a living memorial to the late journalist and Guilford resident Andrew Kopkind, who wrote on politics and culture with a matchless style and depth for national and international publications until his death, in 1994. The project, which brings together journalists, activists, documentary filmmakers and the broader public, puts on summer retreat/seminars for its resident participants and hosts film screenings and lectures for the community.

This year’s event will celebrate ten summers of political and creative exchange at Kopkind, and will also honor the project’s founder and administrator, John Scagliotti, on his sixtieth year. Scagliotti, a documentary filmmaker who was Andrew Kopkind’s longtime companion, has been a pioneer in news radio and gay media, the creator of public TV’s “In the Life” and the maker of such landmark historical films as Before Stonewall and After Stonewall.

“We are so glad to have Laura with us this year to bring sense to this exciting-dangerous-maddening time”, said JoAnn Wypijewski, president of the Kopkind board. “But also sensibility, because she has the kind of radical energy that is fundamental to our project here, a spirit of resistance but also passionate, playful engagement, which John embodies and for which we are so grateful, especially in times like these.”

Tickets for the Harvest Late Brunch tapas feast are $30 which will help Kopkind begin its work for the another decade.

For reservations and directions, e mail stonewal@sover.net or call 802.254.4859.