As the Juno Orchestra Project takes its first steps, embarking on its intentionally limited run to celebrate a particular, compelling art form, it would be wise to take stock of the environment, the neighborhood Juno is about to enter.
It is a non-controversial fact that the Brattleboro area is cultural hot spot. Though the population of Brattleboro (12,000) has remained doggedly steady for over 100 years, this community shines in many ways. Just one: What other community this size supports three or four community choruses (and I’ve heard that some of the area’s churches boast outsized choirs)? The county’s 43,000 residents could slip inside the limits of Burlington, considered tiny by U.S. urban/rural city standards.
The region’s cultural assets have been repeatedly referenced, and, over the years, the list just keeps growing. Writer Joyce Marcel recently captured at least some of the energies in the central article of the ten-year anniversary issue of Southern Vermont Arts and Living.
Juno embraces this (local) world of culture. We know we are entering an exuberant, multi-faceted neighborhood. We will be thrilled to add what we can to the many colorful cultural expressions, the continuous explorations for expansion and meaning, and the recognition of the power of meaning found among our community friends and colleagues.
And we know for certain that our work bolsters the creative economy. This is important, and not often enough remarked upon. Vermont’s creative sector represents nearly 9% of all jobs. That, my friends, is significant.
Juno‘s inaugural concert last September proved an unqualified success. The opportunity given us to rehearse in a terribly exciting acoustical space and then to open the new hall at the Brattleboro Music Center was unparalleled. Thank you, BMC!
The Brattleboro area offers fertile soil for this Juno Project. As we step forward, wish us well.