We really do have the best of both worlds here: small town charm with an arts scene that rivals the big city.
For such a small community, Middlebury has a great deal to offer for those who love the visual and performing arts.
The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series offers a full spectrum of performances, exhibits and workshops throughout the year that are open to the public, from world-renowned classical musicians to the college’s own student performances. The College maintains an impressive art museum and regularly hosts special exhibitions such as “Edward Hopper in Vermont,” and “The Art of Devotion: Panel Painting in Early Renaissance Italy.”
Film is also an important part of life in Middlebury. Each year, Middlebury College hosts the Hirschfield International Film Series, which screens extraordinary foreign and independent films every Saturday, which are free and open to the public. The College also regularly hosts special events. Recently, Robert Redford screened his documentary, Watershed, about the Colorado River system in Middlebury.
Town Hall Theater, a lovingly-restored Middlebury landmark, has become a performing arts anchor for the Middlebury community. Local and national talent is showcased here in productions ranging from large-cast musicals like The Music Man to one-person plays like Shirley Valentine. Simulcasts of operas from the Metropolitain Opera in New York or London Theater are always on the bill, as are performers in Middlebury’s “After Dark Series.”
For children, Town Hall Theater offers theater classes and workshops, and is the venue for many a dance recital. It also hosts a film series, and showcases events for local singers, dancers, bands, and other performers in the community.
Dance enthusiasts have several options to choose from in Middlebury, including classes in ballet, jazz, tap, Irish dancing, hip hop, and Bollywood/Indian dance.
Interested in the visual arts? If you’re looking for art classes, the Middlebury Studio School is the place for you, with classes in pottery, painting, drawing, and photography, as well as art classes for children throughout the year. Especially popular is the Middlebury Studio School’s summer art camp for kids.
Edgewater Gallery, in the heart of Middlebury, has been contributing to the local culture with vibrant exhibitions from emerging and established artists, drawing national and international collectors and collaborating with a diverse local artisan community. Edgewater sits beside and overlooks the town’s iconic natural feature, the 18 foot high Middlebury Falls on Otter Creek. Founded in November 2009, the gallery occupies the One Mill Street building, which for over the last 30 years has been the premiere location for the works of Vermont-based artists.
Stroll into downtown Middlebury on the second Friday of the month and you’ll discover the Middlebury Arts Walk. Stores extend their hours and transform into galleries displaying the work of dozens of area artists. Art turns up in restaurants, on the town green, and in other exciting and unlikely places. This is a regular monthly event from May to October.