Late March 2016
Chamber Newsletter

Today's the day!!! 
April 1st from 3-7pm
Open house for the newly renovated Town Offices!!

Celebrate the completed renovation and grand re-opening of the Town Office building in the heart of our village!! You're invited to a ceremonial ribbon cutting with state and local officials and an open house featuring snacks from local restaurants and Brandon's drinking water- THE BEST IN THE STATE!

Stop in and see the results of many volunteer hours donated by individuals and so much time, effort and hard work put in from our town officials. The results are incredible and it's great to have it up and running and part of the downtown community once again.

Don't miss it!

Judith Reilly "The Girl with the Purple Hair"- A Retrospective - Compass Music and Arts Center
Exhibit: April 1 - May 30
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 5:00-7:30pm
Gallery Talk: Sunday, May 1, 3:00pm

We all start out pretty young. And it has been said that the child artist is the only true artist because they have an uncluttered path to their own intuitions. This perfect intuitive mind of a child has been a model that Judith Reilly has tried to follow throughout her life. The Girl with the Purple Hair, the title for one of the award-winning fiber artist's transitional pieces, represents a side road, a turn she was impelled to take. This intuition (literally meaning 'inner tutor') has guided her on many such side trips along the way from beginning as a traditional quilt maker to becoming an independent, whimsical, and sometimes thought-provoking multi-media artist.
Flash forward and you will find the Brandon, Vermont artist in her studio creating representational, but not literal work; pieces which express both realistic and fantastic interpretations in a catawampus and quirky style.
Making and creating for 50 plus years, Judith has discovered a great deal about herself, creativity and life in general. As she looks back, she sees her life in stories, chapters, lessons and side roads. To her, it's not really about the art. "It is about the life that evolves and unfolds that then creates the art. The artwork is just the evidence that you have lived and listened to the intuitions and followed through. The ideas are always developing within us. Life is the muse."
The exhibit at the Compass Music and Arts Center, open April 1 - May 30, presents her work as she has seen it develop through each chapter and side road and as it relates to the 'Twelve Life Lessons for Creativity' which evolved through reflection of her own artistic journey. An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 1 from 5:00-7:30pm.
If you go back to that "sensitive child", as she describes her youthful self, you will find a farmer's child, one who loved the freedom of living in nature, playing alone, and who only ever wanted to make things - paper dolls, clothes for her Barbie, cookies, goofy drawings, and daisy chains - who learned to sew with her grandmother and was like a sponge, soaking up all that 4-H had to teach her, even then needing to create, to construct, to use her hands and fingers, her mind, instincts, and childlike curiosity; to be washed over with color and fiber and textures, to form and to shape, and to ask herself "What would happen if...?". 
The question "What would happen if...?" was what sparked her into the transitional phase. "I claim that I was a traditional quilt maker for 15 minutes", she says. This may be a mild exaggeration, but as she explains: "After learning the basics of pattern design and construction, and slogging through yards and yards of uninspired fabric choices, boredom quickly set in. And when after making the first block for a 36 identical-block quilt, I declared "I have already made that. I'm not making that again.What would happen if..?""  
So how do we clear the path and regain the magic of our genuine intuitiveself?  Judith found some answers when she was asked 20 years ago to give a talk about her quilts. She was astounded at what she discovered when reviewing images of all her past work. She quickly began to recall all that she learned while creating each piece and discovered the lessons learned were actually the lessons of life. These lessons which she has dubbed 'The Twelve Life Lessons for Creativity' proclaim that you should keep "what you think they think" out of your creative process, that if you are not having fun, you're not doing it right, that you will need to kiss a lot of frogs, and that you should determine what is traditional, accepted and expected, and not do it! You may do foolish things, but we must do them with enthusiasm!
The move she and her husband George made from Connecticut to Vermont in 2004 is when she officially "left the quilt maker behind". She found herself in a flourishing arts community that embraced her as an artist. It was here that she reconnected with her inner child and let this intuitive child come out to play. She was inspired by all the artists she worked with and learned from, yet truly found her own voice as an artist. She played, doodled, experimented, and made mistakes. She created what she wanted to create for herself, not for anyone else and channeled her inner child by being enthusiastic, silly, timeless, fearless and passionately curious.
A child's approach to creativity is something she is quite familiar with, being a grandmother to four young children. How they know every finger painting is a masterpiece and that it doesn't matter what others think because to them it is perfect (because it is), brings things full circle for Judith. These reflections reinforce that 'The Twelve Life Lessons of Creativity' truly are lessons for inspired creating and living.
Judith's work has been shown in national and international exhibitions as well as in government offices. Her quilts have been awarded in several competitions internationally and across the U.S., in addition to articles about the artist and images of her work having been published in books and magazines. She maintains a gallery in her home in Brandon, Vermont where she sells original artwork, print reproductions, a delightful collection of accessories, and most recently, hand-hooked rugs she designs for the Chandler 4 Corners company of Manchester, Vermont. Visit her website at
Hear Judith speak about her life and work at a Gallery Talk on Sunday, May 1 at 3:00pm.
Compass Music and Arts Center is located at Park Village, 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Rd.).

Here's a chance to help one of your Chamber's newest businesses. Good Earth Farm, located in the old Pinewoods Garden Center on Route 7, has an exciting opportunity!
A note from Hannah Davidson stated, "We have applied for a grant for teaching facilities at our store location!  The first phase is decided by popular vote so please help us get the word out!  Voting starts tomorrow and you can vote once a day!

We appreciate any help you can give!  Please take a moment of your time the next few weeks to help us help people reconnect to their food supply!"

Here is our gallery listing: 
 Seeds of Change® Grant Program Social Media Content
Please remember to tag the Seeds of Change® Facebook page in your content.
A strong community starts at the roots. Your vote could help us receive $20,000! Visit to vote! Search by entering our zip code, 05733, or our garden name, Good Earth Farm! The Top 50 organizations with the most votes will move on. Vote once per day until April 18. #SeedsofChangeGrant
 Vote for a stronger, healthier community! We're competing for a $20,000 grant from Seeds of Change®. Visit, search using our zip code, 05733, or garden name Good Earth Farm and press "VOTE"! You can vote once per day until April 18. #SeedsofChangeGrant
 There's still time for you to help us make the Top 50 in the Seeds of Change® Grant Program. Visit to vote for our application using our zip code, 05733or garden name Good Earth Farm. You can vote once per day until April 18! #SeedsofChangeGrant
On Twitter, please remember to include @SeedsOfChange in your tweets. There is a 140 character maximum.
Help us grow a healthier community! Vote for us @ Vote 1x/day until 4/18. @SeedsofChange #SeedsofChangeGrant (133 characters)
 Vote 1x/day for our #SeedsofChangeGrant application! You can vote @ Voting ends 4/18. @SeedsofChange (124 characters)
 Help support our #SeedsofChangeGrant application, go to to vote 1x/day until 4/18. @SeedsofChange (120 characters)

An Evening with the DuPont Brothers and Friends
Brandon Music- April 2 at 7:30pm
Brandon Music is excited to bring back brothers, Sam and Zack DuPont, and this time, with some of their friends! The Vermont-made folk-Americana duo performs April 2 at 7:30pm. Their lush finger-style guitar work is complimented by elegant prose and a vocal blend that could only be matched by blood relation. The Mountaineer describes them as "Deeply passionate old souls with a new and refreshing take on contemporary folk-pop music".
Their first full length release, 'Heavy as Lead' received praise from Smoky Mountain News, who said"It's the essence of what stop-you-in-your-tracks music is suppose to do, which is shake you out of your day-to-day life..." The brothers are nearing the releaseof their next recording, being produced by Michael Chorney.Zack says the new album is "a tasteful balance of our stripped down style with orchestral and textural embellishments from violin, upright bass, electric guitars and pedal steel. We're really moving towards a band element moving forward and this album will bring that new concept to our listeners."  
"Together the DuPont Brothers resonate at just the right frequency. There were moments that honestly gave me chills." - Dan Bolles, Seven Days VT.
Since 2013, the brothers managed to play over 400 shows, covering 50,000 tour miles throughout the U.S. Versatile songwriting modes, blood harmonies and fingerstyle guitar arrangements have opened doors to support a wide variety of national acts including Grace Potter, Sturgill Simpson, Bahamas, Jerry Douglas, Langhorne Slim, Blake Mills, Howie Day, The Lone Bellow, Ben Sollee, Horse Feathers and Chris Eldridge and Julian Lage. 
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20.  Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner.Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733 |

Brandon Fire District #1
Water Distribution Improvement Project
Informational public meeting on April 5 at 6:00 pm at the Brandon Fire Station
The Fire District is pleased to report that a construction contract has been signed with J. Hutchins, Inc. of Richmond, VT to construct the water distribution improvements approved by the District voters last year.
The Contractor plans to begin work on March 28. Construction will begin on Champlain Street, Church Street and Rossiter Street. The plans are to complete all work on these streets before moving on the next areas. Otter Creek Engineering, designers of the improvements, will have a full time resident engineer on the project to observe construction and testing. In addition, Water Superintendent Ray Counter will be very active on the project, coordinating with other Town utilities and project details.
The District will have a public meeting on April 5 at 6:00 pm at the Brandon Fire Station to provide information on the project, the project schedule and answer any questions. Please plan to attend if this project is of interest to you.
The District will also provide notification prior to construction to other neighborhoods as the project progresses.
Thank you for your support of Vermont's best municipal water system!!

Adult music jams here at
Hands-On Music in Brandon!
Our first jam night is Monday, January 25
starting at 7 PM

Do you play an instrument but have trouble finding other musicians to jam with? Well here's your opportunity!
 Click here for all the exciting info!  You will have TOO much fun!


Sarah Blacker at Brandon Music
April 9 at 7:30pm

Brandon Music is excited to welcome Sarah Blacker with Aaron Katz on April 9 at 7:30pm as she premieres new material in preparation for an upcoming live album. The singer-songwriter, a Brandon Music favorite, is known as Boston's 'Sundress Rocker'. The Huffington Post says "her infectious, well-written songs led to her being named Female Performer of the Year at the New England Music Awards." She has often been compared to Sara Bareilles but the Huffington Post says "comparisons be damned: she's her own artist."
Sarah certainly has a knack for songwriting. She writes in an uninhibited, honest and fearless style, producing "a constant flow of material" that, according to South Shore Magazine "is a testament to the fact that she is such a prolific writer".  Red Line Roots agree; they say Sarah "weaves songs that tell personal, yet relatable tales."
However, her ability to write is only half the battle, says South Shore, because "when Sarah performs her music, she is equally steeped in technical proficiency as well as pure emotion, bringing a veteran's confidence to the whole package." Along with Aaron, a percussionist with the national band Percy Hill, Sarah artfully spans rock, pop, indie-folk, and Americana.
In 2014, Sarah was nominated for song and songwriter of the year at the New England Music Awards, in addition to winning 'Female Performer of the Year'. She was also nominated for 'Songwriter of the Year' in the Boston Music Awards. Sarah has toured extensively and shared stages with dozens of internationally renowned artists including Mishka, Sara Bareilles, Leon Russell, Rusted Root, Carbon Leaf, America, Eddie Money, Richard Thompson, 10,000 Maniacs, Loudon Wainwright III, Livingston Taylor, Paula Cole and many others.
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2016, celebrating public funding for the arts.
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20.  Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner.Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733 |

Click on the link below for more info on the evening and bios of the authors!

Acclaimed songwriter, Rupert Wates, performs at Brandon Music
April 23 at 7:30pm.

Since coming to the US in 2006, Rupert Wates has won more than 30 songwriting awards. AMP The Magazine says he is "morecompelling, more sympathetic and more emotionally accessible than many other modern performers." Since the late 90s Wates has been a professional songwriter, writing a diverse mix of styles and genres for Eaton Music Limited and then for himself and his bands. Wates will be performing his eclectic mix of acoustic, melodic art/folk, with flavors of jazz, vaudeville and cabaret at Brandon Music on April 23 at 7:30pm.
 He has released seven solo CDs, all having been very well received by the online press, with tracks played on radio stations all over the world. Wates' will perform several songs from his next album, 'Colorado Mornings', which was just recorded in February and will feature twelve acoustic love songs. He explains that "it's probably the most integrated and organic album I've ever written."
 Audiences everywhere respond to Wates' brand of melodic art/folk-haunting songs that ring true. He writes with "great emotional depth" (Times Square Chronicles); putting out music that often gets covered by other artists all over North America and the UK.
 Rupert Wates averages 120 live shows every year, in acoustic venues in every state in America, in Canada and in Europe. He was voted an Artist of the Year 2013 by the international house concert network Concerts In Your Home, and in 2015 he was recognized as their most booked performer, having secured well over 100 dates through their website.
 Despite Wates' British background, and underpinning the universality of his music's appeal, Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange called him "a prime figure in American music". They said
"I'm not sure which to praise more: Rupert Wates' marvellous lyrics, the spotless music, or that streetside cabaret folk voice of his, a crafted instrument which seduces as it gently reproves... This is one gifted S.O.B., throwing off song after affecting song with what appears to be complete ease... If you're not hip to this guy, you're missing a lot."
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2016, celebrating public funding for the arts.
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20 (view the menu online).  Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner.Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733 |

Brandon  Artists Guild Member Show:Out on a Limb

The show will hang through May 3rd.

There is nothing that compares with the unique spirit and sculptural form of a tree. The members of the Brandon Artists Guild are proud to present "Out on a Limb", reflecting the personal style and media of each artist.
"The moon was so  bright, and there were many bands of varying shades of yellow all around it, glowing thru the trees", said artist Joan Drew about her watercolor painting, "Moon Glow".
Judith Reilly, known for her intricate stitched fine art, has created an optically illusionary piece called "Limbs", with "multi-colored threads sown in a tight, squiggly manner...when you step back, you see that what remains black are human figures pressed together and reaching out to form a tree, a tree created by 'limbs' ".
Robin Kent, in creating her large large assemblage, "Tree of Life", said, "I was trying to mimic what nature suggests, through trial and error". It tells the story of a lumber jack who changed his mind when "after close inspection, saw its beauty and thought
differently. Such is life."
Warren Kimble has created a large sculptural wall piece, "Tree", measuring 4 feet high. It is a debut of a new contemporary style, with a free form shape and textured acrylic.

The Expo will be on Saturday April 30th

Vermont Retail & Grocers Association (VRGA) is hosting a 2-day
event from Friday April 29th to Saturday, April 30th called the
The Expo will be on Saturday April 30th from 11:00am to 4:00pm at the Hilton Burlington on Battery Street in Burlington, VT. The Expo is FREE to attend by industry professionals which many of your members might be.
We encourage employers and employees working in clothing stores, sports stores, supermarkets, food coops, beverage stores, convenience stores, general and country stores, as well as many other merchant stores. Additionally this event is open to manufacturers, wholesalers, brokers and relevant service providers and other businesses.
This event brings Vermonters together for a business-to-business show loaded with collegial networking, outstanding educational seminars, quality goods at every price point and important business services for businesses of any size. In addition to the Expo we have a variety of FREE and some ticketed events happening Friday 4/29 & Saturday 4/30.

Brandon Vermont
Your center for exciting entertainment and events in 2016! Take a peek at what's coming up this summer and fall and start to mark your calendar so you don't miss a thing!!
See the attached pdf listing and print it to refer to
throughout the season.  2016 Town Hall Events

Compass Treasure Chest
Open every day!!

We're delighted to announce the Compass Treasure Chest! Run by a group of local residents, the store is a unique co-op consignment shop. They sell and consign collectables, antiques, dishes, tools, furniture, jewelry, stamps, puzzles, books, toys, art items and much more! They will always be looking for more items and of course, always receiving new items, so stop in frequently to see what is new.

For more information or to inquire about consigning with them, contact Annie at 802-558-2663 or email and follow them on Facebook.

Compass Music and Arts Center has more to offer!
There is always something going on at Compass- stop in and explore!!

You've probably seen events, classes and exhibits mentioned here for the Compass Music and Arts Center in Park Village, but do you know what else Compass has to offer?

The Compass Café is open daily from 10:00am - 5:00pm (with the exception of most Saturdays when they close at 2:30 due to concert events at Brandon Music) with daily specials, soups, salads, wraps, Donna's award-winning chili, delicious home-made desserts and more. Stop in for a bite while you explore the rest of Compass.

The Phonograph Rooms is a permanent exhibit at Compass. It offers fascinating insight into the history of recorded music in the home. The exhibit features vintage "talking machines" from 1890 to the 1970s, with the opportunity to listen to great recordings of the past - both classical and popular. A display of antique radios and TVs is also included. There is a small entrance fee to help with maintenance of the machines.

Compass is also the home of the international record company Divine Art Records. You can browse their 400+ CD titles and CDs by local musicians, as well as art and music books, general interest books both new and collectible, and a wide range of gift items at the Compass shops.

Looking for a studio to rent or office or retail space? Compass has rooms available to rent by the month or by the hour. There are currently several artists working out of Compass and by now you may have heard about the Compass Treasure Chest, a consignment shop located in the Compass building.

 There is always something going on at Compass- stop in and explore!

 Compass Music and Arts Center  333 Jones Drive, Brandon, VT 05733  802-247-4295


Check out Little Pressroom's
latest newsletter!

43 Center Street- Highly visible on route 7, prime downtown Brandon retail space. 1,500 sq. ft. restored historical storefront with maple floors, high tin ceiling and windows over the Neshobe River. A couple of storage spaces and plenty of parking. Located next to Gourmet Provence Bakery.
Available immediately. Call Jim Leary @ 802-247-9595 or Nancy Leary @ 802-558-1444.

The OFFICES at 25 Union Street

Furnished, private professional offices with shared conference room, full kitchen, comfortable customer waiting area, and parking. $350 - 3750 per month (all utilities included). Co-office environment. Walking distance to village center. Community includes educational publisher and accountant. Large unfinished space also available.

The GRANARY at 29 Union Street, Brandon VT

This beautifully renovated, historic building contains 14 artist studios. The spacious studios have lots of natural light, great lighting, handicapped ramp and parking. The community includes milliner, jeweler, graphic designer, painters, sculptors, photographer and Brandon Artist Guild. The GRANARY is located in the village of Brandon, walking distance to shops, restaurants and galleries. Rents range from $325 - $485 per month ( all utilities included).

Please forward to anyone who may be looking for space in Brandon. I look forward to discussing the available options and showing you the spaces. 
Please contact me at or 247-3214 or 683-8209.

 Brandon to be profiled in Vermont Magazine's July/August issue- Vermont Towns department!
Special advertising opportunity for Brandon area Chamber businesses!

Vermont Magazine is pleased to announce that it will profile the town of Brandon in its July/August issue's Vermont Towns department. Vermont Magazine, published five times each year and first published in 1989, is a source of both information and entertainment for anyone who loves Vermont, and is happy to provide a special advertising opportunity for Brandon area Chamber businesses. This issue of the magazine is expected to reach between 8,000 and 9,000 paid subscribers (60% live out of state, principally in NY, NJ, CT, MA, PA and visit frequently--the average is three times per year) and between 2,000 and 3,000 newsstand readers in the northeast.
Chamber members will receive the following rates in a special page (or pages, depending upon participation):
All ads are color and prices are based upon ads being received 'ready to run' in digital format. The magazine can design an ad if you do not have one ready, for an additional, minimal fee.
1/12th page: $155
1/8 page:        235
1/6 page:        259
¼ page:          419
1/3 page:        519
½ page:          729
Please contact Vermont Magazine for more information and to place your ad.
Ad reservations are due no later than May 23, 2016; Ad materials deadline is June 3, 2016   (802) 375-1366
Please Practice Polite Parking :)
Be aware of your fellow businesses and their needs.

We all have to be aware of parking by our employees in the downtown. Try to park off the main streets when possible, and if you park out front before other businesses open, try to move your vehicle after regular hours kick in.
 There's lots of off-street parking so take advantage of it when you can.
Remember we're here for hours working, but our customers are only popping in for a short time, so let's make it easy and convenient for them to shop and support all of our businesses.

Thanks for making it easier for all of our customers.

Vermont Association of Chamber Executives
Insurance program offerings for Chamber members.
Although the VACE health insurance program, that many of took advantage of for years, is no longer available, other products still offered through VACE include, Dental, Vision & Life packages.
More information on all of these products can be found at
Or contact Holden Financial Services (802) 775-2503 
Meet this month's newest 
Chamber business!
Our latest addition to the Chamber family.

Good Earth Farms
(formerly Pinewoods Garden Center)
2473 Franklin St.
Brandon, VT

Welcome !!
2016 New Members- go to for more info on our newest members

-Good Earth Farm- Hannah Davidson- 310-8534
-Simple Systems of Vermont- Greg Smela- 458-0620
-Common Ground Restaurant & Pub-Erynn & Andy Doaner- 464-8010
-Upscale Resale-Leo and Penny Larocque, Jill and Tim Comes, Mary & Tim Shields- 324-0613
-The Little House-A Vacation Home- Kerrie Quinn & Russ McColman- 247-2770

Own a business?? Join us and connect with other dynamic businesses in the Brandon area and gain great exposure for you business!
Just click here for an application and rates.  
We also have many Individual Members -- what a great way to support a local non-profit and all the great things we do in our town. (Individual/couples memberships are only $50/year)

NEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS 2016- who will be our first in 2016?   Maybe you ??

Gov. Shumlin Signs Healthy Workplaces Bill...Now What?
Main Street Alliance Releases Paid Sick Days Implementation Resources for Vermont Businesses

MONTPELIER, VT - With Governor Peter Shumlin's signature on the Healthy Workplaces bill today, The Main Street Alliance of Vermont launched an informational webpage for businesses to use as a resource and to ensure they are in compliance with the new law. The page includes pertinent information for businesses, a series of frequently asked questions, links to research on paid leave laws in other states, and contact information for businesses to use should they have additional questions. 
"We want this page to be a go-to for Vermont businesses as they consider their own leave policies, and we hope it will help bring businesses into compliance with the new law," said Lindsay DesLauriers, Director of Main Street Alliance of Vermont. "We welcome additional questions from business owners and plan to update and add to our page as the new law rolls out."
The page, which can be found at, primarily contains information for employers. However, it will also link to information that will be useful for employees.
Vermont is the fifth state to pass an earned leave law.
Main Street Alliance of Vermont is a statewide non profit organization that works with small business owners on public policy issues that are good for business, their employees, and the communities they serve. 

Next Chamber Meeting
Monday, April 18th, 2016 at 6:30
The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will meet at 6:30pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace. Chamber membership and the general public are invited to attend.
The March meeting will be a work session for our board of directors.