News Release — Vermont Folklife Center
September 12, 2017
Created by Vermont musician, Deb Flanders to honor the work of her great aunt, Helen Hartness Flanders, the Flanders Award for Traditional Vermont Music provides a stipend to a Vermont musician aged 15-29 to support the perpetuation and performance of the traditional Yankee and Franco-American musical repertoire of the state.
Award funds are intended to offset the cost of travel to one or more Vermont archival repositories so the recipient can work in person with collections of field recordings, manuscripts and rare books of vocal song or instrumental music rooted in the cultural heritage of the state.
“As a kid I remember loving the smell of our library, taking books off the shelf, leafing through the pages and looking at pictures before making my selection” says, Deb. “As an adult discovering my great-aunt’s folk song collection was deja-vu—the smell of the old books in the library and listening to the old recordings until I found a melody I loved.”
In addition to assisting with travel costs, Award funds also serve to encourage learning and rehearsal of songs/music as well as basic research into the history and performance of the selected materials.
“Vermont’s archives, libraries and historical societies have preserved a rich collection of the state’s traditional music,” says Andy Kolovos, Vermont Folklife Center Director of Archives and Research, “the goal of the Flanders Award is to give these treasures new voice in the present.”
“I hope the recipient(s) of this scholarship will feel the same excitement as I did. There are still so many more songs just waiting to be heard,” says Deb.
The Vermont Folklife Center’s mission is to broaden, strengthen, and deepen our understanding of Vermont and the surrounding region; to assure a repository for our collective cultural memory; and to strengthen communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont.