Toes were tapping and fingers were snapping last summer, when the community of Swanton enjoyed some lively music on the Village Green in a series of free summer concerts. These were hosted by the Swanton Arts Council over the course of the summer with funds from a RiseVT Amplify grant. The events were free and open to the public, occurring once a month for two hours each, and allowed local musicians to connect with community members who had the opportunity to listen, socialize, dance and share time together while enjoying the outdoors.
Music brings vibrancy, vitality and connection to communities, acting as a catalyst for community gatherings and providing opportunities for people from all walks of life to connect and enjoy. In this case, it also offered a venue for local talent to spread their musical wings and engage with other musicians and community members, weaving together positive role models, joy and affirmation within each session.
Local talent included Caleb Barrett, Scott Aaron Martell, Seth Yacavone and Eric George, who played a range of styles from blues to folk to original songs. All were charming performers, taking the occasional enthusiastic shout from passing cars in stride with a joke and generally engaging the crowd and drawing them in. They all expressed their enjoyment of the experience and shared that they look forward to performing in Swanton again.
The crowd that gathered was diverse and included residents basking in the fresh air and enjoying the music from their front lawns and porches, as well as folks from out of town – both summer residents and day trip visitors who stopped by after checking out the swans or getting a cremee nearby. They came on foot and by bike, some with strollers and some with dogs, who seemed to enjoy the shows as much as their owners did.
The Swanton Arts Council expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to offer this series to the community, highlighting the arts in Swanton, promoting the green space there and hopefully opening the door for more music opportunities and community connection in the future.