YCQM: June 28, 2020

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) >> Darren: GOOD MORNING,
EVERYONE.
I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME,"
MASSIVE ART ON DISPLAY IN
VERMONT TO SPREAD SOME
POSITIVITY DURING THE PANDEMIC.
YOU'LL SEE.
LOCAL COMPANIES STEP UP TO BE
CERTAIN WE REMAIN VERMONT
UNITED.
PLUS, CATHOLIC CHURCHES CLOSING.
VERMONT'S BISHOP JOINS ME.
BUT FIRST, IKE BEN DAVID IS
LOOKING AT THE LISTS OF REASONS
WHY THREE PARISHES ARE CLOSING
WITHIN A WEEK.
AND HE DIVES INTO THE NUMBERS.
[ BELL RINGING ]
>> Reporter: AFTER NEARLY 90
YEARS, ST. STEPHEN'S CHURCH IN
WINOOSKI WILL RING THE BELLS ONE
LAST TIME THIS WEEKEND.
>> IT WILL BE MISSED FOR THOSE
OF US WHO HAVE LOVED IT.
>> Reporter: PEGGY HAS BEEN
GOING TO THIS CHURCH FOR 33
YEARS.
>> HELPING OUT WITH JUST ABOUT
EVERYTHING BECAUSE I'VE BEEN
THERE SO LONG.
>> Reporter: SHE'LL BE ONE OF
OVER 100 PEOPLE WHO WILL BE
LOOKING FOR A NEW CHURCH AS
ST. STEPHENS WILL HOST THEIR
LAST MASS ON SUNDAY.
>> I WAS NOT SURPRISED.
WE'VE BEEN CHALLENGED WITH A
LACK OF PRIESTS IN THE DIOCESE
FOR A LONG TIME.
>> Reporter: AND THAT'S THE MAIN
REASON FOR THIS CHURCH TO CLOSE.
THE CURRENT PRIEST IS MOVING
SOUTH AND THERE'S NO ONE TO
REPLACE HIM.
>> JUST A DIFFICULT CHALLENGE,
YOU KNOW.
IT'S THE CULTURE THAT WE LIVE
IN.
PRIESTHOOD IS JUST NOT A VERY
APPEALING MINISTRY FOR A LOT OF
YOUNG PEOPLE THESE DAYS.
>> Reporter: THE NUMBER OF
CHURCH GOERS HAVE BEEN FALLING
FOR YEARS.
DRIVEN BY AGING DEMOGRAPHICS,
DECLINE IN RELIGIOUS INTEREST
AMONG YOUNGER PEOPLE, AND PRIEST
SEX ABUSE SCANDALS THAT HAVE
DRIVEN AWAY SOME PARISHIONERS.
ACCORDING TO THE ROMAN CATHOLIC
DIOCESE IN BURLINGTON, THEY HAD
112,000 STATEWIDE.
IN 1990, THERE ARE OVER 2,000
BAPTISMS AND IN 2019, ONLY 384,
BUT ALSO IN 1990, THERE WERE
1,290 CATHOLIC FUNERALS AND LAST
YEAR, THERE WERE 1,127.
>> THE CONGREGATIONS ARE GETTING
SMALLER, SO IT MAKES A LOT OF
SENSE FOR A SMALL CITY LIKE
WINOOSKI THAT HAS TWO CATHOLIC
CHURCHES TO REALLY BRING THEM
TOGETHER.
>> Reporter: BUT WINOOSKI IS NOT
ALONE.
ON JULY 1st, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
IN MARSHFIELD AND ST. EDWARD
CATHOLIC CHURCH IN WILLIAMSTOWN
WILL CLOSE.
THAT WILL MAKE 20 CHURCHES
CLOSING IN VERMONT SINCE 1990,
CLOSURES IN SMALL TOWNS FORCE
PARISHIONERS TO DRIVE TO
NEIGHBORING TOWNS FOR CHURCH
SERVICES.
WINOOSKI RESIDENTS WILL HAVE
MORE OPTIONS WITH 12 CHURCHES
WITHIN FIVE MILES OF
ST. STEPHENS THAN SHE CAN
ATTEND.
>> I MIGHT BECOME ONE OF THE
CHURCH HOPPERS TRYING TO FIND A
PLACE TO CALL HOME AGAIN.
>> Reporter: I WANTED TO FIND
OUT WHAT THE FUTURE AHEAD IS
LOOKING LIKE AND ACCORDING TO
THE DIOCESE, AS OF 2019, THERE
ARE 50 PRIESTS STATEWIDE IN THE
STATE OF VERMONT.
ONLY EIGHT OF THEM WERE UNDER 34
YEARS OLD AND 19 OF THEM WERE
OVER 60, WHICH POINTS TO MORE
RETIREMENTS AND MORE VACANCIES
IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
REPORTING IN WINOOSKI, IKE
BENDAVID, CHANNEL 3 NEWS.
>> Darren: TO TALK MORE ABOUT
THIS, I AM JOINED NOW BY VERMONT
CATHOLIC BISHOP CHRISTOPHER
COYNE.
GOOD MORNING.
>> GOOD MORNING, DARREN.
>> Darren: THREE MORE PARISHES
TO CLOSE.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE BUILDINGS?
>> ALL THE ASSETS OF FAR RISHS
THAT CLOSE GO TO THE LOCAL
PARISH THAT'S MERGING WITH THEM.
SO FOR EXAMPLE, ST. STEPHENS
PARISH, THE ASSETS AND ANY
OBLIGATIONS THEY HAVE GO TO THE
JURISDICTION OF ST. CHRIST OUR
SAVIOR CHURCH.
>> Darren: YOU HEARD IKE'S
REPORT AND WHAT STRUCK ME
PERHAPS THE MOST WAS THE NUMBER
OF BAPTISMS LAST YEAR WAY DOWN.
DOES THIS WORRY YOU THAT AN
ENTIRE GENERATION IS SEEMINGLY
NOT GOING TO GROW UP IN THE
CATHOLIC FAITH?
>> THAT'S BEEN A DECLINE THAT
WE'VE BEEN FACING FOR A WHILE
NOW AND IT SEEMS TO ACCELERATE
BECAUSE AS YOU GO FROM ONE
GENERATION THAT ONLY A FEW WERE
NOT BAPTIZED, STATISTICALLY, IT
JUST KEEPS ROLLING OVER AND
GETTING WORSE AND WORSE.
IT IS WORRISOME BECAUSE WE WANT
TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO JOIN OUR
CHURCH AND BE PART OF OUR CHURCH
AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE'RE
REALLY STRIVING AS A DIOCESE TO
TURN AROUND, BUT WE'RE ALSO
FACING A NUMBERS GAME IN TERMS
OF, YOU KNOW, THE NUMBERS OF
PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY IN
CHURCHES RIGHT NOW AND TRYING TO
WORK WITH THEM TO EXPAND AND DO
THE BEST WE CAN.
>> Darren: FEWER YOUNG PEOPLE
TURNING TO RELIGION.
WHAT DOES THE CHURCH NEED TO DO,
THEN TO, ATTRACT YOUNGER
PARISHIONERS?
IS IT TIME FOR THE CHURCH TO
CHANGE SOME OF THE RULES THAT
MANY YOUNG PEOPLE DON'T AGREE
WITH?
>> WHEN YOU TALK TO YOUNG PEOPLE
ABOUT -- AND OTHERS ABOUT WHY
THEY'VE DISAFFILIATED OR LEFT
THE CHURCH OR WHY THEY HAVEN'T
JOIN THE CHURCH OR WON'T JOIN
THE CHURCH, A LOT OF IT HAS TO
DO LESS WITH -- THEY DO MENTION
SOME OF THE STRICTER RULES WE
HAVE AS A CHURCH, BUT A LOT OF
IT IS THEY JUST DON'T SEE THE
NEED FOR IT AT ALL.
THEY DON'T SEE THE NEED TO JOIN
AN ORGANIZED RELIGION.
THEY SAY THEY'RE SPIRITUAL, BUT
THEY DON'T NEED TO BE PART OF
ANY KIND OF GROUP IN ORDER TO
CONTINUE TO WORSHIP GOD AS THEY
SEE.
SO PART OF IT IS, YES -- I THINK
IT'S MORE GIVING THEM A REASON
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO PRACTICE
ONE'S SPIRITUALITY, ONE'S LIFE
WITHIN GOD IN A CHURCH WITH
OTHER PEOPLE AND TO, YOU KNOW,
TO JOIN.
IT'S JUST THAT THIS GENERATION
AND THE GENERATION BEFORE,
THEY'RE NOT JOINERS IN THE SENSE
OF, YOU KNOW, JOINING
ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE CHURCH OR
BOWLING LEAGUES OR ANYTHING LIKE
THAT.
GARDEN CLUBS, THE ELKS CLUB.
THEY'RE ALL FACING THE SAME
THING.
PEOPLE ARE JUST SO BUSY, SO
DISTRACTED, YOU HAVE TO GIVE
THEM A REALLY, REALLY GOOD
REASON TO BE PART OF THAT AND
WE'RE TRYING TO DO THAT.
>> Darren: HOW?
>> I THINK YOU HAVE TO SHOW
THEM -- IT'S BY YOUR OWN
WITNESS.
YOU HAVE TO SHOW THEM WHAT GOD
AND JESUS CHRIST N MY CASE, AND
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH MEANS AND
HOW BLESSED I AM IN MY LIFE AND
I WANT THEM TO KNOW THAT
BLESSEDNESS TOO.
BY WITNESS OF MY FAITH AND MY
GOOD LIFE AND THE WITNESS OF
OTHERS, ALL OF US JOINING
TOGETHER TO BE THOSE GOOD
DISCIPLES, THAT'S THE FIRST
STEP.
AND THEN WE HAVE TO BE A
WELCOMING COMMUNITY.
WHEN THEY COME THROUGH OUR
DOORS, WE HAVE TO BE WELCOMING,
WE HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING TO
OFFER THEM, WE HAVE TO HAVE A
MESSAGE THAT'S A VERY POSITIVE
MESSAGE, WHAT WE'RE FOR RATHER
THAN WHAT WE'RE AGAINST.
IT'S ONE THAT'S A REAL PROJECT
WE'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN NOW FOR A
NUMBER OF YEARS AND IT'S ONES
THAT HAS BEEN EXACERBATED BY THE
COVID-19 PANDEMIC, BUT IT'S ONE
THAT I THINK AS REAL CHALLENGE
FOR US AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE.
>> Darren: AND GETTING BACK TO
THE STRICT RULES UNDER THE
CHURCH, ARE THERE CHANGES THAT
YOU'RE HEARING FROM YOUNG PEOPLE
THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE?
ARE THERE SOME CHANGES THAT YOU
WOULD LIKE TO SEE?
>> I THINK WHEN YOU TALK TO
YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY, ONE OF THE
BIGGEST -- THE BIGGEST POINTS IN
THEIR LIFE IS THAT -- IS THE
IDEA OF TOLERANCE, THAT ONE
SHOULD BE TOLERANT OF PEOPLE
IRREGARDLESS OF GENDER,
IRREGARDLESS OF SEXUAL
ORIENTATION, IRREGARDLESS OF
RACE, ALL THE VAST CATEGORIES OF
PEOPLE'S LIVES.
AND WHEN THEY LOOK AT SOME OF
THE CHURCH'S TEACHING ON
MORALITY, THEY SEE IT AS BEING
INTOLERANT.
IT IS DIFFICULT TO LIVE THE
FULLNESS OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH
IN A CULTURE THAT OFTEN IS ONE
THAT HAS CONTRARY MESSAGES TO
IT, BUT ONCE ONE BEGINS TO ENTER
INTO THE CHURCH AND GROW IN THE
CHURCH, I THINK ONE SEES THAT
THERE RATHER IS MORE THAT CAN
SEEM TO BE INTOLERANT, BUT
THERE'S A LOT MORE THAT ISN'T
THAT INTOLERANT.
>> Darren: AND WHAT IS YOUR TAKE
ON THAT?
>> I THINK WE HAVE TO BE MORE
OPEN TO -- FOR EXAMPLE, WE HAVE
TO BE MORE OPEN TO DEALING WITH
THE ISSUE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
DIVORCED AND REMARRIED.
I THINK WE HAVE TO WORK OUT A
WAY AS THEY CAN BE SEEN FULLY AS
PART OF THE CHURCH.
RIGHT NOW, THEY ARE OUTSIDE OF
COMMUNITY BECAUSE OF THAT, WHAT
WE CALL IRREGULAR MARRIAGE.
WE HAVE TO BE WELCOMING TO
PEOPLE WHO ARE GAY, WHO ARE
MORE -- WHO ARE DEALING WITH
ISSUES OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION
THAT ACTUAL LIVE -- NOT ISSUE, I
SHOULDN'T SAY THAT, WHO HAVE A
DIFFERENT APPROACH TO LIFE IN
THE CHURCH IN ITS FULLNESS IN
THE STRICTEST SENSE RIGHT NOW.
WE HAVE TO BE MORE WELCOMING OF
WOMEN IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY
AND POWER, BUT WE DO IT
WITHIN -- YOU KNOW, WE'RE A
WORLDWIDE CHURCH.
BURLINGTON, VERMONT, JUST CAN'T
DECIDE TO DO SOMETHING FROM
SOMEBODY ELSE.
>> Darren: HAVE YOU RUN ANY OF
THOSE IDEAS UP THE FOOD CHAIN,
IF YOU WILL, AND IF SO, WHAT'S
BEEN THE REACTION?
>> I THINK WITHIN THE CONFERENCE
OF BISHOPS AND OTHERS WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS, THERE'S
A LOT OF GIVE AND TAKE.
YOU KNOW, YOU CAN SEE DIFFERENT
LINES BEING DRAWN, BUT I THINK
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS
WE'RE OPEN TO DISCUSSION.
I THINK POPE FRANCIS IS ONE THAT
KEEPS PUSHING US INTO A PLACE OF
DISCUSSION AND DISCERNMENT
AROUND THESE MATTERS AND HE
KEEPS ENCOURAGING US TO DISCERN
PERHAPS NEW PATHS AND NEW WAYS
OF LIVING IN THIS WORLD IN THE
FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, SO
I DO SEE AN OPENNESS IN THE
CHURCH.
I SEE IT ESPECIALLY FROM THE
POPE, BUT I ALSO SAY THAT WE
HAVE TO CONTINUE TO BE AWARE OF
FACT THAT WE ARE A CHURCH THAT
HAS A -- THAT'S GOTTEN AROUND
FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND HAS
TRADITIONS AND DOCTRINES THAT WE
HAVE TO -- WE CAN'T JUST
OVERTURN EASILY AND QUICKLY.
>> Darren: THERE'S A PRIEST
SHORTAGE, AN AGING POPULATION OF
PRIESTS.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
>> WELL, IT'S THE SAME REASON, I
THINK THAT -- WELL, PRIEST
SHORTAGE IS BECAUSE MEN ARE NOT
JUST COMING INTO THE PRIESTHOOD.
I THINK WHEN YOU FACE A
SITUATION WHERE YOU HAVE FEWER
AND FEWER YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE
CHURCH, WHEN THEY'RE OPTING OUT
OF THE CHURCH AS YOUNG AS 10 AND
11-YEAR-OLDS IS WHEN THEY BEGIN
TO HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER
THIS IS ALL WHERE THEY SHOULD
BE, SHOULD THEY BE PART OF THE
CHURCH.
WHEN YOU HAVE LESS OF A
POPULATION TO DRAW, FROM YOU'RE
GOING TO FACE A SITUATION THAT
LESS FEWER MEN ARE GOING TO
JOIN.
THE ONES THAT ARE JOINING ARE
VERY GOOD MEN, BUT THEY'RE FEWER
AND FEWER.
IF WE HERE IN VERMONT CAN
MAINTAIN 40 PRIESTS IN THE WHOLE
STATE, WE'LL BE ABLE TO COVER
WHAT WE HAVE NOW, AND I THINK
WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO
THAT IN TERMS OF THE PIPELINE OF
PRIESTS COMING IN, BUT IT IS
WORRISOME AND IT HAS AFFECTED
THE NUMBER OF PARISHES THAT WE
CAN COVER.
>> Darren: THE CHURCH HAS PAID
MILLIONS ALONE IN VERMONT
BECAUSE OF THE PRIEST SEXUAL
ABUSE SCANDAL.
HOW BIG OF A ROLE DID THAT PLAY
IN THE CLOSING OF PARISHES?
>> NONE.
I MEAN, THE MONEY THAT CAME OUT
OF -- AND WAS PAID FOR IN TERMS
OF THE SETTLEMENT DID NOT COME
OUT OF PARISH FUNDS OR PARISH
ASSETS.
THOSE ARE SEPARATELY
INCORPORATED CHURCHES, SO IT
DOESN'T AFFECT THEM DIRECTLY.
IT DOES AFFECT THEM IN TERMS OF
MEMBERSHIP.
SOME PEOPLE LEFT OUT OF DISGUST
AND OUTRAGE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED,
AND SO NUMBERS IN TERMS OF THE
PARISHES DOES AFFECT IT, BUT IN
TERMS OF OUR -- THE EFFECT IS A
DISTANT ONE.
>> Darren: GOING BACK TO THE
NUMBERS, IS VERMONT UNIQUE IN
ALL OF THIS?
YOU KNOW THAT STUDIES HAVE SHOWN
THAT THE STATE IS ONE OF THE
LEAST RELIGIOUS IN THE COUNTRY.
>> WELL, I THINK VERMONT IS
UNIQUE IN TERMS OF -- YES, IT IS
ONE OF THE LEAST RELIGIOUS
STATES IN THE COUNTRY.
THERE'S FOUR OTHERS NEW ENGLAND
STATES THAT ARE RIGHT UP THERE
WITH IT AS WELL.
I THINK PART OF WHAT THE VERMONT
CATHOLIC COMMUNITY FACES IN
TERMS OF NUMBERS IS THAT WE HAVE
NOT BEEN BUOYED IN THE SENSE, OR
NUMBERS-WISE, BY A SIGNIFICANT
NUMBER OF LATINOS.
MANY OF THE PLACES THAT ARE
STILL SEEING -- SEEMING TO
MAINTAIN NUMBERS OF CATHOLICS,
AT LEAST THE NORMAL RATE IN
TERMS OF, LIKE, OVER THE PAST
FEW DECADES, MOST OF THOSE
NUMBERS ARE THROUGH NEW PEOPLE,
THE LATINO COMMUNITIES HAVE COME
INTO THOSE PLACES AND BROUGHT A
NUMBER OF CATHOLICS.
HERE IN VERMONT, WE DON'T HAVE A
LATINO CATHOLIC COMMUNITY, SORE
IF YOU SUBTRACT THE LATINO
CATHOLIC COMMUNITY, FROM FOR
EXAMPLE, OTHER NEW ENGLAND
STATES, THEIR NUMBERS ARE PRETTY
MUCH ON LINE WITH OURS IN TERMS
OF PERCENTAGE OF CAUCASIAN.
SO I THINK WHILE OUR NUMBERS ARE
VERY LOW, THEIR NUMBERS ARE
DIFFERENT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS.
>> Darren: ARE YOU EYEING ANY
OTHER POSSIBLE CLOSURES AND ARE
THOSE DECISIONS STRICTLY UP TO
YOU?
>> I TRY AND WORK WITH PARISHES
AS BEST I CAN.
IN THIS RECENT SPATE OF
CLOSURES, IT CAME DOWN TO THE
FACT THAT WE JUST DIDN'T HAVE A
PRIEST TO BE ABLE TO ASSIGN TO
THEM, SO THERE WASN'T REALLY A
LOT OF CONSULTATION, WHICH IS
NOT MY PREFERRED METHOD, BUT WE
ARE HAVING TO FACE THE SITUATION
THAT MANY OF OUR SMALLER
CHURCHES AND PARISHES IN THE
STATE OF VERMONT, LIKE MANY OF
OUR SCHOOLS, OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
AND OTHERS, ARE FACING NUMBERS,
SIGNIFICANT DECLINING NUMBERS,
AND THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE
SCHOOLS IS THE SAME QUESTION AS
THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THESE
SMALL PARISHES.
DO YOU REALLY NEED TO HAVE THREE
OR FOUR PARISHES IN ONE AREA
WHERE PEOPLE CAN DRIVE TO CHURCH
IN 15 OR 20 MINUTES RATHER THAN
ONE PLACE OF WORSHIP WHICH WOULD
THEN ALLOW FOR RESOURCES TO BE
USED WELL.
I WOULD SAY THERE'S PROBABLY
GOING TO BE MORE CLOSURES, BUT
I'M TRYING NOT TO MAKE IT JUST
ABOUT SMALL PARISHES, TOO,
BECAUSE WE'RE FACING THEM IN THE
CITY, AS YOU SEE HERE IN
WINOOSKI AND WE'RE GOING TO BE
FACING IT IN OTHER PLACES THAT
HAVE A SIGNIFICANT POPULATION AS
WELL, LIKE RUTLAND FOR EXAMPLE.
>> Darren: SO YOU'RE EYEING A
CHURCH IN RUTLAND?
>> I'M NOT EYEING ANY PARTICULAR
CHURCH IN RUTLAND, BUT THE
REALITY IS THAT YOU HAVE THREE
LARGE PARISH CHURCHES IN
DOWNTOWN RUTLAND AND THAT'S NOT
SUSTAINABLE, AND SO THERE'S
GOING TO BE A QUESTION OF HOW
THAT COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER
AND MAKES A DECISION AS TO HOW
THEY'RE GOING TO MOVE ON.
THAT'S CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO BE
SOMETHING I'M JUST GOING TO
IMPOSE ON THEM, BUT THAT'S ONE
THAT'S GOING TO INVOLVE A LOT OF
CONSULTATION.
>> Darren: IT MIGHT BE EASIER
FOR PEOPLE THAT ATTEND CHURCH IN
PLACES LIKE RUTLAND OR
BURLINGTON OR WINOOSKI WHERE
PARISHIONERS ARE IN MORE
POPULATED AREAS TO FIND ANOTHER
CHURCH TO GO TO, BUT WHAT ABOUT
THOSE CHURCHES YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT IN THE MORE RURAL AREAS
WHERE FOLKS WOULD NEED TO DRIVE
MUCH LONGER DISTANCES TO ATTEND
SERVICES, SAY, IF THEIR PARISH
CLOSES?
>> LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.
ISLAND POND IS A CHURCH THAT WE
WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO CLOSE
BECAUSE OF IT'S ISOLATED IN
TERMS OF PEOPLE THAT LIVE UP IN
THAT AREA OF THE STATE.
IF YOU CLOSE THE ISLAND POND
CHURCH, YOU'RE LOOKING AT, FOR
SOME OF THEM, 45 MINUTES TO AN
HOUR'S DRIVE.
WEST TOWNSEND DOWN IN THE SOUTH,
THAT'S ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE
ISOLATED PARISHES THAT PEOPLE
WHO LIVE AROUND THAT AREA WOULD
LOOK AT ANOTHER 45 MINUTES TO AN
HOUR'S DRIVE.
SO THERE ARE SMALLER PLACES,
SMALLER CHURCHES THAT WE WOULD
HAVE TO MAINTAIN TO PEOPLE CAN
GET BACK AND FORTH TO THE PARISH
IN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME,
BUT THERE ARE PLACES WHERE WE'RE
TRYING TO LOOK AT AND SAY --
LIKE FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT WE JUST
DID DOWN IN WILLIAMSTOWN.
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN WILLIAMSTOWN
CAN EASILY GO TO NORWICH --
NORTHFIELD, EXCUSE ME, OR
NORTHFIELD AND BARRE OR
RANDOLPH, SO WE DO TAKE THAT
INTO ACCOUNT IN TERMS OF THERE
ARE SMALLER PLACES THAT JUST
HAVE TO STAY OPEN AND WE WILL
SUSTAIN THEM BECAUSE OF
DISTANCE.
>> BISHOP COYNE, THANK YOU, BE
SAFE, STAY HEALTHY.
>> OKAY, DARREN.
GOD BLESS.
>> Darren: STILL AHEAD, A
65-ACRE ART EXHIBIT YOU'LL SEE.
BUT FIRST, LIKE VERMONT STRONG
DURING TROPICAL STORM IRENE,
VERMONT UNITED MAY BE THE NEW
PANDEMIC CAMPAIGN.
SEE HOW IT STARTED.
>> Darren: WHAT STARTED AS A WAY
TO SHOW WE'RE ALL IN THIS
TOGETHER HAS NOW BECOME SOMEWHAT
OF A PANDEMIC SLOGAN.
>> WE'VE GOT A LONG WAYS TO GO.
>> Darren: YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED
GOVERNOR SCOTT WEARING HIS HEART
ON HIS FACE LATELY.
>> DEFINITELY A SENSE OF PRIDE
AND A SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT TO
SEE THESE ITEMS OUT THERE AND
KNOW THAT WE HAD A PART IN
PLAYING A POSITIVE ROLE IN THIS.
>> Darren: A MASK CALLED THE
VERMONT UNITED LOVE MASK.
A HEART REPLACES THE AMP.
RON HENDERSON'S COMPANY,
MITCHELL'S T'S AND SIGNS SCREEN
PRINTS THEM.
>> WE HAVE SOME OF THE BEST
FACILITIES.
>> Darren: AFTER GETTING THE
MASKS FROM VERMONT GLOVES.
SAM HOOPER'S COMPANY SWITCHED
GEARS WHEN BUSINESS SLOWED.
THEY WENT FROM MAKING GLOVES TO
MAKING MASKS TO FILL THE NEED
FOR FACE COVERINGS AND KEEP HIS
EMPLOYEES ON THE PAYROLL DURING
THE PANDEMIC.
>> IT'S A WAY FOR PEOPLE TO FEEL
LIKE THEY'RE UNITED IN
SOMETHING.
>> Darren: VERMONT UNITED ALL
STARTED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA, A
GROUP OF LOCAL COMMUNICATIONS
PROFESSIONALS DONATING THEIR
TIME TO CREATE A PLACE WHERE
PEOPLE COULD SHARE THE GOOD
THINGS GOING ON IN THE STATE.
NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS,
SIGNS OF HOPE, ANYTHING TO HELP
SPREAD POSITIVITY.
IT CAUGHT ON, AND VERMONT UNITED
BECAME A BRAND.
AND NOW A FUNDRAISER, TOO.
>> IT'S A WAY FOR US TO GIVE
BACK TO ALL THE COMMUNITIES
THROUGHOUT THE STATE IN THEIR
EFFORT TO GET BACK ON THEIR FEET
AFTER THIS.
>> Darren: THE GROUP LIKENS IT
TO THE VERMONT STRONG CAMPAIGN
SET UP AFTER TROPICAL STORM
IRENE DEVASTATED THE STATE.
MITCHELL'S T'S SET UP AN ONLINE
STAR SO PEOPLE CAN -- STORE SO
PEOPLE CAN BITE MASK AND OTHER
VERMONT MERCHANDISE.
VERMONT GLOVES WILL KEEP
PRODUCING THE MASK AT COST.
>> IF WE CAN MAKE WEARING THE
MASK A LITTLE BIT MORE FUN AND A
LITTLE BIT COOLER AND GET MORE
PEOPLE TO STAY COMMITTED TO
WEARING MASKS WHEN THEY'RE OUT
IN PUBLIC, THAT'S A REALLY
IMPORTANT THING IN TERMS OF
CURBING THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.
>> Darren: ALL THE MONEY RAISED
GOES TO THE VERMONT COMMUNITY
FOUNDATION WHICH IS DONATING
COVID-19 RELIEF MONEY TO
NONPROFITS AND OTHER
ORGANIZATIONS HELPING
VERMONTERS.
>> WE'RE WILLING TO KEEP THIS UP
AND RUNNING AND DO IT AS LONG AS
WE CAN TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT
THE FUND AND TO PROMOTE THIS.
>> CORONAVIRUS IS -- IT'S A
PERSISTENT, BRUTAL THING THAT'S
IMPACTED A LOT OF LIVES AND IT'S
IMPACTED ECONOMIES AND OBVIOUSLY
THE HEALTH AND WE'VE LOST 56
VERMONTERS, SO THAT'S -- IT'S
GONNA REQUIRE EVERYBODY TO STAY
COMMITTED AND STAND TOGETHER IN
THIS.
>> Darren: WE'VE GOT A LINK TO
THE VERMONT UNITED PAGE AND THE
VERMONT COMMUNITY FOUNDATION ON
OUR WEBSITE, WCAX.COM.
NEXT, YOU CAN'T MISS THESE
LARGER THAN LIFE ART EXHIBITS.
WE'LL TELL YOU WHERE TO FIND THE
MONSTROUS PIECES AFTER THE
BREAK.
>> Darren: A VERMONT COUPLE
FOUND A UNIQUE WAY TO COPE WITH
COVID AND TO GIVE BACK TO THEIR
COMMUNITY DURING THE PANDEMIC.
WITH SHOWS AND EXHIBITS PUT ON
HOLD, HUSBAND AND WIFE ARTISTS
AND THEIR DAUGHTERS TURN THEIR
65-ACRE HAY FIELD INTO A FREE
ART GALLERY.
THEY'RE HERE TO TELL US ALL
ABOUT IT.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> GOOD MORNING.
>> GOOD MORNING.
>> Darren: TELL US WHAT YOU'VE
DONE.
>> WHY DON'T YOU START.
>> SO WE WERE FEELING FRUSTRATED
BECAUSE WE HAD SHOWS COMING UP
THAT WERE INDEFINITELY PUT ON
HOLD BECAUSE OF THE ISOLATION
AND THE PANDEMIC, AND WE THOUGHT
WHAT CAN WE DO THAT WILL END ABE
PEOPLE TO VIEW OUR ARTWORK IN
PERSON?
NOT JUST HAVING TO GO ONLINE.
IN-PERSON IS A VERY UNIQUE
EXPERIENCE THAT CAN'T BE
REPLICATED ANY OTHER WAY.
WE THOUGHT, WE'VE GOT THIS LAND
ACROSS THE STREET FROM OUR
HOUSE.
WHY NOT MAKE SOME REALLY
ENORMOUS WORKS THAT PEOPLE CAN
SEE JUST DRIVING BY.
>> AND WE STARTED OUT WITH THE
IDEA OF MAKING JUST ONE PIECE.
WE CONSIDERED FOR A LONG TIME
DOING LARGE INSTALLATION PIECES
AND NEVER REALLY HAD THE
OPPORTUNITY, AND WE SAID, WELL,
WE HAVE ALL THE TIME RIGHT NOW
IN THE WORLD, SO LET'S TRY IT.
AND THE FIRST ONE RECEIVED SUCH
GREAT SORT OF -- PEOPLE DRIVING
BY.
>> IT HAD A TERRIFIC RESPONSE.
100% POSITIVE.
PEOPLE DRIVING BY, WAVING,
HONKING, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE
YELLING THINGS ACROSS THE
STREET.
PEOPLE WALKING IN THE FIELD.
IT'S BEEN TERRIFIC.
>> AND SO WE DECIDED TO MAKE
ANOTHER AND THEN ANOTHER AND
THEN ANOTHER.
>> SO WE'RE UP TO FOUR.
>> WE'RE UP TO FOUR.
>> AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE ONE
MORE FOR A SET OF FIVE AND WE
HAVE A PATH NOW IN THE FIELDS
WHERE PEOPLE CAN STOP AND THEY
WANT TO APPROACH THE ARTWORK TO
GET A CLOSER LOOK, THEY CAN.
>> Darren: SO TELL US HOW,
THOUGH, SPECIFICALLY PEOPLE CAN
CHECK THIS OUT AND WHERE IN
POLLITT ARE YOU?
>> WE ARE AT 671 RIVER ROAD.
PEOPLE CAN SIMPLY DRIVE BY THE
WORK THAT THEY WANT.
IT'S A DRIVE-BY ART EXHIBIT AND
WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO
EXPERIENCE IT THAT WAY OR
ANOTHER WAY --
>> AS WELL AS ANYONE WITH
MOBILITY --
>> IF YOU WANT TO ACTUALLY WALK
AND GO UP TO THE ARTWORK,
BECAUSE THEY'RE VERY BIG, THE
LARGEST PIECE IN THE FIELD IS
ACTUALLY 32 FEET WIDE.
>> WE HAVE A PARKING SPACE.
>> WE HAVE A PARKING AREA
ASSIGNED AND PEOPLE CAN WALK AND
THEY'RE MORE THAN HAPPY TO GO
OUT THERE AND EXPLORE.
THE THIRD WAY IS THEY CAN GO TO
OUR WEBSITE IF THEY'RE TOO FAR
AWAY.
EVERY TIME WE MAKE AN ARTWORK,
WE POST EXTENSIVE VIDEOS AND
IMAGERY GOOD THE PRODUCTION, SO
THAT'S -- ABOUT THE PRODUCTION,
SO THAT'S THE THREE WAYS THAT
PEOPLE CAN EXPERIENCE THE WORK
RIGHT NOW.
>> Darren: ASIDE FROM JUST HOW
HUGE THESE PIECES ARE, WHAT ELSE
CAN FOLKS EXPECT?
WHAT WILL THEY SEE?
>> EVE.
>> WELL, THE ART WORKS ARE
PHOTOGRAPHS THAT ARE CREATED BY
MY HUSBAND.
THEY'RE COLLAGE ON FILM, SO
THEY'RE MULTIPLE EXPOSURES, AND
AS HE SAID, THEY'RE MONUMENTAL.
THEY'RE VERY LARGE IN SCALE.
THEN I TAKE PAINT AND I HAND
WRITE TEXT INTO THE IMAGERY, AND
SO MANY OF THE PIECES ARE SORT
OF MEDITATIONS ON DIFFERENT
THINGS THAT WE'RE THINKING ABOUT
DURING THIS VERY UNUSUAL TIME.
>> ONE OF THE FIRST PIECES WE
DID WAS SORT OF MEDITATING ON
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE SEPARATED
FROM FAMILY --
>> YES, THIS IS A DIFFICULT
CHALLENGING TIME AND SO THE TEXT
THAT I WROTE FOR THAT VERY FIRST
ART WAS THINKING ABOUT THAT.
I WROTE MY HEART IS VERY BIG,
SOMETIMES I WONDER IF IT IS BIG
ENOUGH.
AND THAT REALLY SPEAKS TO HOW I
WAS FEELING DURING THIS MOMENT
IN TIME, THINKING ABOUT OUR
FRIENDS, OUR FAMILY, OUR
COMMUNITY.
>> Darren: THAT'S GOT TO
RESONATE WITH ALL OF US, FOR
SURE.
SO WHEN NOT IN A PANDEMIC, HOW
DO YOU USUALLY OPERATE?
>> WELL, WE ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN
MARRIED NOW FOR 22 YEARS AND
WE'VE ONLY RECENTLY IN THE LAST
YEAR AND A HALF TEAMED UP --
>> COLLABORATED.
>> -- AND FORMED EVE AND STEVE,
AND SO WE'VE HAD -- NORMALLY
I'VE SHARED MY WORK IN GALLERIES
AND EXHIBITIONS.
WE WERE HAVING EXHIBITIONS HERE
IN VERMONT, THE VERMONT ART
COUNCIL, ALL OF WHICH THIS YEAR
HAVE NOW BEEN POSTPONED.
>> ALL INDOOR ARTWORK ON MUCH
SMALLER -- STILL LARGE IN SCALE,
SOMETIMES TEN FEET, EIGHT FEET.
>> SO WE HAVE PIECES THAT ARE
20, 30 FEET, INDOORS AS WELL,
BUT THAT'S OBVIOUSLY MORE GUILT
TO FIND LOCATIONS TO HANG PIECES
THAT WAY.
>> YES, SO AGAIN, THOSE FEESES
WERE DONE, LARGE PHOTOGRAPHIC
TECHNIQUES THAT I WOULD HAND
WRITE ON, MUCH SMALLER, MORE
ELABORATE TEXT.
WHAT I REALIZED WHEN SOME OF
THESE WORKS WENT OUTSIDE, THEY
WERE GOING TO HAVE TO GET BIG
AND THE TEXT WAS GOING TO HAVE
TO BE VERY SHORT AND EASY TO
COMMUNICATE, SO THAT GAVE ME A
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SET OF
PARAMETERS.
>> WE PRIMARILY MAKE THREE
DIFFERENT KINDS OF WORK.
WE MAKE WORK INSPIRED BY
HISTORY, WORK INSPIRED BY A SITE
SPECIFIC LOCATION, OR WORK
THAT'S JUST A COMPLETE FICTION,
A NARRATIVE.
SOME PIECES USE A LITTLE BIT OF
ALL, BUT THAT'S SORT OF THE WAY
WE APPROACH OUR WORK THE LAST
YEAR AND A HALF.
>> AND OUR SERIES OF ART REALLY
HELPS US MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD
AND DURING THIS PARTICULAR TIME
IN HISTORY, WE NEED ART MORE
THAN EVER.
AND SO WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE
THAT PEOPLE HAD ACCESS TO ART IN
PERSON AND SO THIS IS SORT OF
OUR GIFT TO THE COMMUNITY.
>> REALLY VERY MUCH IS A LOVE
LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY TO
BRIDGE THE GAP.
>> Darren: THAT'S AWESOME.
YOU ROPE IN THE FAMILY TOO.
YOUR DAUGHTERS ARE INVOLVED.
TELL US ABOUT THAT.
>> SURE.
FOR THE LAST PROBABLY 15 YEARS,
I USED OUR FAMILY AS MODELS AND
I WORK WITH OUR OLDER DAUGHTER
GRETA WHO'S HOME NOW, SHE GOES
TO SCHOOL IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT
THEY SHUT EVERYTHING DOWN, AND
OUR DAUGHTER ILSA HAS BEEN PART
OF THE LAST SEVEN OR EIGHT
BODIES OF WORK I'VE DONE.
THIS HAS BEEN GREAT.
HAVING THEM HERE AT THIS TIME
AND ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THE
BUILDING OF THE FRAMES --
>> THEY'VE HELPING PAINT AND
CONSTRUCT, BUT THEY ALSO ACT AS
MODELS IN THE WORK AS WELL.
SO EVERYBODY'S INVOLVED IN EVERY
ASPECT OF THE PRODUCTION.
IT'S BEEN REALLY WONDERFUL WAY
TO COME TOGETHER DURING THIS
TIME.
>> YADA STEVE AND EVE, THANK YOU
SO MUCH.
MY BEST TO YOUR DAUGHTERS AS
WELL.
BE SAFE AND STAY HEALTHY.
>> THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU, YOU DO.
>> Darren: THAT WILL DO IT FOR
"YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
HAVE A GREAT DAY, EVERYBODY.
WE'LL SEE YOU SOON.
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