At 10:30 a.m. on the Fourth of July, Main Street in Castleton
will be filled with giant puppets, live music, and many wild
surprises. Vermont high school students attending the VT Governor's
Institute on the Arts produce the entire production.
The students encourage, everyone to join in and move your body
to the samba band as it propels the parade along. Watch the
colors of the rainbow go by, signifying a full day from dawn to
night, as dancing sculptures display their personalities and
curbside poets howl at the moon.
The Vermont Governor's Institute on the Arts, known as GIA
(www.giaofvt.com), is a two-week summer arts-enrichment residency
program for 130 Vermont high school students entering 10th, 11th,
and 12th grades.
Since 1984, students from around the state have
gathered to create an unique and fun learning community while
taking classes with experienced, professional teaching
artists. GIA is not specifically a gifted and talented
program, but exists to offer students with all kinds of interests
the opportunity to try something new, embrace different
perspectives, engage in a unique community, and make connections
with peers across the state.
The Institute strives to offer classes
unlikely to appear in Vermont high schools' art curricula. Students
choose classes in two artistic disciplines (from such diverse
fields as physical arts, dance, theater, writing, music, and visual
arts), community chorus, evening performances, and chances to
attend and lead workshops in many areas.
GIA 2012 is being held at
Castleton State College from June 24 to July 8.
The Annual Samba Parade, is a highlight for the students and for
GIA's Director is Woodstock native Elizabeth
Frascoia, who splits her time between New York City and Los
Angeles. Frascoia, having graduated from Harvard studying
psychology and neuroscience, has also traveled all over the United
States as a jazz trombonist, vocalist, and educator, and has
performed internationally in South America, Europe, Canada, and the
Caribbean. Her professional credits include national television
(American Idol, Conan O'Brien, The Today Show) and employers such
as Michael Bolton, Jill Sobule, Matt Wilson, Kenny Wollesen, and
St. Vincent. She recently traveled to Russia as part of a
Burlington ambassadorial team, and is an active music clinician in
schools around the country.
Frascoia believes that giving back to the artistic community -
and to Vermont - is an essential part of being an artist. She
attended the Vermont Governor's Institute on the Arts (GIA) in
1994, and is thrilled to have a hand in affording other Vermont
students the opportunities she has gained from the arts. Her
team members include several other alums of the program including,
Sophie Wood, a performer, clown, and arts organizer, and Corey
Harrower, a dance artist.