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YCQM: June 28, 2020

(WCAX)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 10:47 AM EDT
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>> 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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