MAY (mid) 2012


Downtown Brandon branch 
This Thursday, May 17 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Appetizers and Snacks by Café Provence  
                     ** Cash Bar ** 
Bring Your Employees & Associates 


Saturday, May 19, 2012, meet at Central Park at 9:00 AM to help with the planting of the beds in the parks. This past Saturday a group of volunteers successfully cleaned up Central and Kennedy Parks. The next step is to plant flowers in the cleaned beds: annuals for color and some perennials, maybe even some bulbs.  Amanda Berry, intrepid Master Gardener, is working out the details. Contact Steve Beck,Office of Economic Development,Town of Brandon, 247.5721 



Brandon was recently seen on Boston's WCVB Chronicle's Main Streets and Backroads. Click to watch Segment One, Segment Two, Segment Three and Segment Four. 

Will the REAL Brandon Chamber President Please Stand Up? 





Brandon Bursting at the Seams with Artists during the 20th Year of the
Vermont Crafts Council's Statewide Open Studio Weekend


Brandon, Vermont, Saturday and Sunday May 26 and 27, 10-5 pm

Hay Bales by Caleb Kenna 
On Memorial Day Weekend 2012, a wide variety of Brandon artists will open their doors and welcome visitors for a behind-the-scenes look at contemporary art in Vermont.  Eleven sites around the historic town will showcase a broad range of art including hand weaving, mobiles, ceramic sculpture, mixed media, American folk art, jewelry, stained glass, fabric paintings, prints, note cards and photography.

Artists and their art include Patty Sgrecci Kinetic Sculpture and Mobiles, Lee Greenewalt's Big Sky Farm Hand weaving Blankets, Rugs, Towels and Hats, The Brandon Artists Guild's Two Galleries - The BAG and Baguette, Susan Smith Hunter's Ceramic Sculpture, Joan Curtis's Mixed Media Artwork, Warren Kimble's American folk art, Rebecca Zelis's Adornment Jewelry gallery, Laura Rideout's Stained Glass and Suncatchers , Judith Reilly's fabric paintings, prints and note cards, and Caleb Kenna's Photography Prints and Cards from Vermont and Beyond.

"My absolute favorite part of Open Studio Weekend", says fabric artist Judith Reilly, "is when visitors' eyes pop as they turn the corner into the studio and are washed over with the color and light, with all the unusual quirky objects, piles of materials, boxes of thread and paints and an "auditioning wall" covered with designs in the
Cupola Chick by Judith Reilly 

Vermont Spring Open Studio Weekend is a statewide celebration of visual arts and the creative process in which Vermont artists and craftspeople invite the public to visit them in their studios. The Vermont Crafts Council launched Open Studio Weekend in 1993 as a way to increase the visibility of artists and craftspeople in Vermont. Maps are available at the Brandon Artists Guild, 7 Center St. in Brandon.

In addition, the Brandon Artists Guild will be kicking off its 2012 community art project, "What's Hatching in Brandon?, a free-range collection of  Roosters, Hens and Other Barnyard Fowl created by BAG artists-members. Visitors will find numerous examples as they stroll through town and will be delighted by the Chicken-related artwork in Brandon's merchant windows. More info:


Fran Bull, artist and former gallery director of Gallery in-the-Field, Brandon, will open her studio on May 26 and 27th, from 10  to 5 pm during the official Open Studio Vermont weekend event. Ms. Bull welcomes visitors to the gallery where her large format paintings are on view, and to her studio where the artist and her assistant Gabe Marder will be working on a new series of sculptural paintings. Bull says, "I'm going out on a limb with this new work, but it will be fun to share it with the community." The GITF SHOP will be open for the occasion, featuring books, jewelry, T-shirts, art prints and cards by gallery artists. Contact Fran at or phone: cell: 802-558-8609 or studio: 802-247-5321  




Kevin Thornton leads a group of Vermont's Downtown Managers on a historic walking tour of Brandon last week as part of their meeting being held in the Town Hall.

Brandon is a perfect location for meetings and small conferences. Assets include being centrally located, having a variety of venues for choice, and having options for food (always important, right?) Brandon is easy to travel to from all directions and is a half-way point between Burlington and Bennington on the western side of the state. Between Brandon's inns, restaurants, and the Town Hall, there are a number of choices for every size and budget. Expanding that choice further, organizers can decide if they want a full-served meal or bag lunch brought in, and no one has to go far to find tasty options.


In the past week, there have been two small meetings in town and another is being organized for  September. The Rutland County Democrats held their "Women Making a Difference" brunch at the Brandon Inn last week, bringing county leaders to their northern-most town for the afternoon. Last Friday, the State of Vermont Downtown Program quarterly roundtable brought in a group of about 20 downtown managers for the day who met at the Town Hall and enjoyed a bag lunch prepared by Plan-It Sheri Catering. In September, the Vermont Council of the International Association of Insurance Professionals is holding a two day meeting in Brandon bringing in about 40 industry professionals. Thanks goes to Barb Watters, former Brandon resident and Director of the VCIAIP, for scheduling their 2012 event here.


What's great about these events is that they pack a financial punch to our local businesses while exposing our terrific assets to people who might otherwise never have come to town. At last week's downtown manager meeting, a few said they had never been to Brandon before and in fact, didn't really know where the town was located until they got in the car and turned on their GPS unit. These groups are of the right scale and size for most of our venues and our business community is accommodating and eager. For more information about scheduling an event or meeting in Brandon contact the Chamber at 802-247-6401.




Starting this Saturday, May 19, the Maple Museum will be open from 8:30 am - 5:30 pm daily. The Museum features the story of maple sugaring and is the world's largest maple museum. Antiques, paintings, slide show, folk art exhibits, maple syrup samples. A simulated boiling process, "sap to syrup" is presented all year. Gift Shop with mail order service. In-Season Open daily. 8:30-5:30 PM May 18- October 31. Admission $2.50, Children under12 yrs $.75, under 6 yrs free. Off-Season rates 10-4 PM March 9- May 17 and November 1- December 23, 26-30. Located at 4578 Rte 7 in Pittsford, 8 miles north of Rutland. (802) 483-9414. Senior and AAA rates. Visit our web site:



The Brandon Senior Citizens Center hosts a monthly community dinner the second Tuesday of every month at 6 pm. These dinners are sponsored by local area businesses and are a great way to socialize with your neighbors while being served a great meal for only $7. The Brandon Senior Citizens Center hosts a free community lunch every Friday at noon.  You don't have to be a senior to attend, we are a community center now and everyone is welcome! The Center hosts BINGO the first and third Monday of every month. The Senior Center is also hosting a huge yard sale in the parking lot on Saturday, July 14. Space is available for $10. Call 247-3121 to reserve your spot.


JUNE DINNER: Sponsored by: Heritage Family Credit Union    

Tuesday June 12 - 6p.m.

Menu: Bar-b-qued Burgers, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Rolls, Strawberry Parfait, Coffee, Tea, Lemonade 

$7 per person. Reservations required. Call - 247-3121





Brandon, where community art projects originated in Vermont with the Really Big Pig Show in 2003, is revisiting the barnyard this summer, and celebrating its 10th annual such event. Plans are underway for What's Hatching in Brandon?, a free-range collection of Roosters, Hens, and Other Barnyard Fowl, to be found at the Brandon Artists Guild, 7 Center Street, beginning May 25.


The 2012 theme reflects the energetic recovery -- some of it yet to come -- in this small community, which suffered downtown damage as the Neshobe River waters tore up Route 7 on August 28th and seriously damaged a number of buildings.


In a business-as-usual mode, the fifty artist-members of the successful Brandon Artists Guild co-op (known as the BAG) will each create and donate to the Guild a piece of art, in celebration of all birds that cluck, scratch, and crow. Expect the town to be "painted" rooster-red, figuratively speaking, as the artists install interactive barnyard displays around the village, for the summer enjoyment of passersby and serious visitors. The festivities will start to "hatch" at the end of May.


In the past, the season-long fundraiser culminated in a rolicking auction in October. However, for the upcoming year, the donated art will be for sale throughout the summer. In addition, raffle tickets for Fowl Art by local artists Judith Reilly, Dolores Furnari, and Stacey Stanhope will be sold all summer, with winner announcement at the gala ending on September 30th weekend.


Tourists and onlookers have been delighted each year following the 2003 Pig Show as Brandon Artist Guild painters, sculptors, and craftspeople continued to mount a town-wide frolic every year, donating their own time and hand-created or hand-decorated objects, many of them substantial in scale. There was a Birdhouse year ("Brandon Is for the Birds"), "Brandon Rocks" (rocking chairs), "It's Raining Cats and Dogs," and, more recently, "Art Makes Brandon Tick" (functioning clocks).


"What's Hatching in Brandon?" carries on the popular tradition and gives Brandon something to crow about. All proceeds of the four-month event will support student scholarships, promote the arts in our community, and help supplement the Brandon Artists Guild gallery.


Check later for updated information; Brandon Artists Guild, 7 Center Street, Brandon, VT 05733 (phone: 802 247 4956).







Brandon Music at 62 Country Club Road will host saxophonist Benny Sharoni, on May 20 at 7pm and the Swing Noire Trio on Friday, May 25 at 7:30 PM. The Swing Noire Trio will feature David Gusakov on violin, Rob McCuen on guitar, and Jim McCuen on double bass. Tickets are $15 per person and may be purchased by calling 465-4071 or emailing


Benny Sharoni is an Israeli-born tenor saxophonist, band leader, composer and arranger and is now a mainstay on the U.S. jazz scene. After emigrating to the United States to study at the Berklee College of Music, Sharoni studied with masters Charlie Banacos, Jerry Bergonzi and George Garzone before exploding onto the scene with his own unique brand of music. Fusing together classic influences of Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Steve Grossman, Sharoni flavors his music with Latin rhythms and an energetic drive that delights audiences worldwide.   

Based in Vermont, Swing Noire plays Gypsy Jazz in the tradition of the world-famous Hot Club of France. Their sound is reminiscent of the early days of jazz with a unique take on hot swing in the spirit of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Reinhardt and Grappelli are credited with bringing this unique music into the world during the early 1930's and creating some of the first jazz based outside of the African American tradition. Swing Noire builds on that energetic and exciting musical tradition to entrance and delight audiences around the state.


Surrounded by gracious countryside on the edge of the downtown community of Brandon, Brandon Music is home to a range of attractions, including the Music Café, recently named "Best Classical Lunch" by Yankee Magazine in their "Best of New England 2012" Travel Guide edition. The Music Café serves lunch and afternoon tea from 11:30am until 5:30pm every day. Closed Tuesday.   

Brandon Music offers an Early Bird dinner special, which includes a ticket for the jazz performance, for $25 per person. Enjoy the chef's award-winning chili and cornbread as well as dessert before listening to world-class jazz. Reservations are required for dinner.


For Tickets Contact Brandon Music: (802) 465-4071 /


Compass Music and Arts Center will feature a 250-seat performance hall, expandable to 450, available for live music and dance performances, as well as installation art exhibits. The artists' wing will offer studio space to local artists, who will be encouraged to showcase their artistic talents in gallery spaces around the Center. The musicians' wing will likewise feature studio space where musicians can offer lessons in various musical disciplines.


Upcoming Sunday Jazz Shows:

5/27 Sharon Jones (Swinging and Sultry Vocals)

6/03 Judi Silvano (Celebrated Vocal Artist)

6/10 Michael-Louis Smith (NYC Jazz Guitarist)

6/17 The Soul of a Man (Blues & Jazz)

6/24 Harvey Sorgen & Esa Pietila (Adventurous Duo)


And Congratulations are in order to Brandon Music: 

Brandon Music Named a 2012 "Best of New England-Editors' Choice" Winner by Yankee Magazine


 Brandon Music Café in Brandon, Vermont, has been recognized as a 2012 "Editors' Choice" winner in Yankee Magazine's Travel Guide to New England, on newsstands now. This designation is awarded by Yankee's editors and contributors, who name select restaurants, lodgings, and attractions in New England to the exclusive list. For 36 years, Yankee Magazine's Travel Guide to New England has been the most widely distributed and best-selling guide to the six-state region, providing readers with a comprehensive vacation-planning tool and daily reference.


Termed the "newest British invasion" by Yankee Magazine, Brandon Music Café is open for lunch and afternoon tea from 11:30am to 5:30pm every day, except Tuesday. In addition, the Café now offers an Early Bird dinner special on Sundays, which includes a ticket for the Sunday Jazz series, for $25 per person. Enjoy the chef's award-winning chili and cornbread as well as dessert before listening to world-class jazz. Reservations are required, and dinner is served from 4:00pm until 6:00pm, with final seating at 5:30pm. Sunday Jazz concerts begin at 7:00pm. Brandon Music Café is managed by Penny Powers. The Café's head chef is Donna Towle. 


"This special travel issue highlights 'The Best of New England' (p. 85): more sights to see, things to do, places to eat or spend an overnight than most of us could possibly fit into even the most jam-packed vacation," says Yankee's editor Mel Allen. "Wherever you may travel this season in New England, there's certain to be a Yankee 'Best' nearby."


Yankee Magazine's May/June 2012 Travel Guide, on newsstands April 24, features 287 "Best of New England-Editors' Choice" selections, which include the region's best dining and lodging venues, attractions, adventures, local secrets, and bargains. This special issue also names 120 top events around New England and shares 15 walks-form strolls on Martha's Vineyard, and inn-to-inn trek in Vermont, and a cliff walk in Maine. Treat yourself and celebrate the season with fresh recipes for summer's first fruit-strawberries. Plus, feast at the best 12 lobster shacks in our six state region.


Brandon Music Café will also be recommended on



The Visitor Center at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace has brochure racks and shelves waiting for literature from member businesses. All Chamber members are allowed free display in the Center. The Brandon Museum will be opening for the season starting May 21 and will be staffed from 11 am - 4 pm daily. Please drop off materials with the person working at the Museum and we will display it for you. Contact the Chamber for more information.  

One of Brandon's liveliest events is scheduled for Tuesday, July 24, 2012. The Great Brandon Auction has been raising funds for development projects in the Town of Brandon since 1989. The Chamber has been able to turn over well over $150,000 into many town projects over the years.

We invite you to be a part of the 24th Annual Auction. Donate your quality used goods. Think of us when doing your spring cleaning and when sprucing up the garage. Do you have any barn treasures, attic finds, or other items in good sale-able condition? Contact the Chamber and we will you work with you to make arrangements for pick up.


Saturday, May 19
8:30 - 11:30 am

and the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area

Leicester Hollow Update

This summer the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps will be hard at work in Leicester Hollow.  This multi-year project has resulted in the Leicester Hollow Trail being rerouted to a new location with a higher elevation--which was necessary after 2008 storms heavily damaged the old trail.  In June, the VYCC crews will be working to complete the final 0.8 mile stretch of the trail system.  This is not easy work and we are grateful to the VYCC staff and crews who work throughout the hottest, most-mosquito ridden stretches of summer to get this work completed.  THANK YOU!  This work is made possible through a grant secured through the State of Vermont Recreation Trails program.  

Lights, Camera, Action!
Sometimes it is hard to put into words just how special the Moosalamoo NRA is--so we thought we would show you!  We recently completed a video to showcase what the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area has to offer to the region--in terms of beauty and recreation.  The video was completed by a Middlebury College student, and we think he did a terrific job.  The video is posted on YouTube.  Take a look!

National Trails Day, June 2nd
The Moosalamoo Association has partnered with the the Vermont State Parks and US Forest Service to organize a "Trailgating Party".  Join us at Branbury State Park on June 2nd to celebrate our public lands and many wonderful natural resources.  There will be guided hikes, rides and fun activities.  This is a free event and family friendly.  Entrance to Branbury State Park will be free that day. 



Join the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and MVP Health Care as they bring together a panel of experts and stakeholders to explore the complex issues surrounding state and federal health care reform and how they relate to your coverage, business or practice. Topics to be discussed will include:

  • How a "single-payer" system will change Vermont's health care market  
  • How a health benefit exchange will impact benefits and employer relationships
  • How Supreme Court deliberations could impact state efforts
  • How cross-border issues will impact coverage and provider reimbursement.

    Wednesday, May 16 
    12:00 noon 
    at the Holiday Inn,
    Rt. 7 South 


    A complimentary lunch will be served. Details: 



As we near the end of the Rutland County Energy Competition, I want to take a moment to clarify the competition guidelines. Please review them carefully.

Each town will win $50 for every completed Home Energy Improvement Project that is tested-out between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012. All towns are eligible to win one of two $10,000 grand prizes. Prize categories are:
  • The town with the highest average energy saving resulting from completed improvements.
  • The town with the highest percent of completed improvements per capita.
  • Improvements must be completed, with test-out, between June 15, 2012 and
  • May 31, 2012 to be counted for a grand prize.
  • Towns are only eligible to win one prize.
  • Only homes with completed energy improvements that have had a test-out by a BPI certified Home Performance with ENERGY STAR ® contractor /auditor will count toward towns' tally.
  • Money must be used for an energy-related item(s) or services(s) for the town.
Time is short, but there is still time to earn more money for your community.
Please call or email with any questions!

Laura Asermily, H.E.A.T. Squad Outreach Coordinator
Rutland West Neighborhood Housing Service Inc.
NeighborWorks® of Western Vermont
Licensed Lender #6200
110 Marble St., W Rutland, VT 05777
P (802) 438-2303 x 229



The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will next meet for a general meeting on Monday, May 21, 2012 at 6:30 pm in The Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace.
Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce

PO Box 267
Brandon VT 05733

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