Museum gears up for annual Festival

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BENNINGTON — Bennington Museum is gearing up for its annual Festival, a seasonal celebration and the museum's largest annual fundraiser. The Festival is in three parts — an exhibition, a Festival Gala evening, and Family Day — organized around the theme "A Snowy Evening," inspired by Robert Frost's iconic poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

The exhibition, a celebration of the creativity of 30 regional artists responding to the words of Frost, will be on display in the Parmelee and Limric Galleries beginning Nov. 29. All artwork will be available in a closed-bid auction taking place from Nov. 29 through Dec. 22 at 4 p.m. The winning bid will be split, with half going to the artist and half to the museum. Those items not being bid on will remain on exhibit through Dec. 30. As works in the closed-bid auction become available, they will be posted on the museum's website, www.benningtonmuseum.org.

Bids may be placed in person at the museum, emailed to sstrano@benningtonmuseum.org, or faxed to 802-442-8305. Winning bidders will be contacted by Dec. 23. The museum suggests placing bids of odd amounts in order to avoid a tie.

The festival is a prelude to next summer's major exhibition, "Robert Frost: 'At Present in Vermont,'" which will be on view June 27 through Nov. 3, 2020. That exhibition will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Robert Frost's move to Shaftsbury and his time spent in Vermont. This major exhibition will examine Frost's life and work in the context of the landscape and culture of Bennington County.

Family Day

The museum will hold its annual Family Day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 7. Admission will be reduced to $3 for everyone, and any child who brings a personal care item or non-perishable food item for Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless will be admitted free.

Participants can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 1 to 3 p.m., create crafts throughout the day, and special this year, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., create a "Memory Bear" with VNA and Hospice of the Southwest Region. The children's shopping boutique from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will feature a wide range of gifts priced from $1 to $15. Shoppers' helpers will be on hand to help children ages 5 to 12 select presents for their friends and family members. Free gift-wrapping and gift tags will be included.

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For adult shoppers, The Museum Store is offering an expanded selection of artisan products. On Nov. 29 and 30, and Dec. 1 and 7, museum members will receive a 25 percent discount, and non-members 15 percent.

Festival Gala

The museum will hold its Festival Gala on Dec. 14 from 7 to 10 p.m.

As Frost's favorite color was rumored to have been a shade of black, guests are invited to celebrate by dressing in black-and-white, be it chic, costumed, or country. Holiday fare will be offered by Chefs' Consortium, partnering with other non-profits to share their love of local food and farm fresh cooking. Signature cocktails, brews and more will be offered by Madison Brewing Company. The Mt. Anthony Union Chamber Singers will perform, and the gypsy swing ensemble Hot Club of Saratoga, New York, wil play a repertoire that reflects the spirit and style originated by Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France.

There will be more than 40 unique and diverse items in the silent auction. In addition, the winning ticket for a week in Puerto Rico will be drawn at the Gala. Tickets are available at store.benningtonmuseum.org, and only 100 will be sold.

Tickets for the Gala are $100 per person. This year, the museum is offering Young Poets Society pricing - $1 per year of age, 10 through 35. A Vanguard package, priced at $500 to $2,500, offers recognition in the program and, at the higher levels, a reserved table for the evening. Reservations may be made through the museum's online store at store.benningtonmuseum.org. Reservations can also be made by calling the museum at 802-447-1571, ext. 200.

Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main St., Bennington. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday, and will be open Dec. 24 until 1:00 p.m. for last-minute holiday shoppers. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18. Admission is never charged for younger students, museum members, or to visit the museum shop or to bid on art in the closed-bid auction. Visit the museum's website www.benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.


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