The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association was a long time in the making. After the state of Vermont recognized the four tribes, we realized there was a need to collaborate so that our artists could be found. Please read Our Story, which follows, and then click on Abenaki History for detailed information about the types of art created by our people in the past and present.
Sylvan Linck ‘24.5 – Middlebury College
FYSE 1570: Native Presence and Performance – 13 May 2021
Due to the length of this narrative, it will be introduced in two parts over a period of two weeks. This is part two.
Therrien also illustrated the book My Bring Up, which was a memoir written by her mother Shirly Hook and published in 2019. Therrien worked closely with her mother in order to create from memory the most accurate portrayals of different aspects of Hook
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the more than 700 visitors who graced us with their presence at the Abenaki Heritage Weekend. Your enthusiastic participation and unwavering support made this event truly remarkable. We are especially thankful for the presence of citizens from the four Vermont tribes and tribal citizens from Odanak, as your invaluable contributions enhanced the richness of our gathering. Your presence demonstrated the strength of unity and the power of shared heritage. Together, we celebrated the vibrant traditions and ancestral wisdom that continue to shape our communities.
We are so thankful for the ongoing support from our sponsors and partners Vermont Humanities, Vermont Arts Council, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Abenaki Alliance, and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center.
When it was held: June 17-18, 2023
Where: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Rd, Vergennes, VT 05491
Directions: Click here for Google Map
About the 2023 Abenaki Heritage Weekend:
On June 17-18, 2023, citizens of the New England Abenaki community gathered at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to celebrate their history and heritage, and the public was invited! Organized by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, this free event was open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
One of the highlights is the Native Arts Marketplace of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, where visitors can talk to artists, watch craft demonstrations, and purchase outstanding beadwork, paintings, jewelry, wampum, woodwork, leatherwork, drums, and other items.
“The variety and quality of the work created by our Abenaki artists is outstanding,” said Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Executive Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. “Some of our artists create traditional art and some create contemporary art, often inspired by tradition. If you are looking to purchase a special gift or something new for your collection, be sure to visit the Native Arts Marketplace.”
Throughout the weekend there were activities of interest to everyone. The public was advised to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy singing and drumming by the Nulhegan Drum. Children and adults alike enjoyed storytelling by Abenaki author and historian Joseph Bruchac, and songs for the little ones with Francine Poitras Jones.
Artists in the Arts Marketplace included Michael Descoteaux demonstrating the making of hand drums; Elnu Abenaki Elder Jim Taylor making wampum beads from whelk and quahog shells; and Linda Longtoe Sheehan weaving wampum, an intricate process using the shell beads. On Saturday, the public met basketmaker Kerry Wood. On both Saturday and Sunday, children were invited to visit the “Make and Take” table, where children could make a gift to bring home for Father’s Day.
A new special exhibit, Beyond the Curve: The American Abenaki Covid Experience opened during Heritage Weekend in the Schoolhouse Gallery, and will be on view all season. Artwork and stories by 20 American Abenaki artists illustrate the impact of the pandemic in the Abenaki homeland and the resilience of Abenaki people during troubled times. Meet the curator, Vera Longtoe Sheehan, for a gallery talk.
Thanks to Vermont Humanities, Vermont Arts Council, and Vermont Department of Health for their sponsorship of the event.
Link for Accessibility information: ? For access questions, contact Elisa [email protected] or (802) 265-0092
For other questions, you may also email Francine at [email protected]
Special Programs that took place at the Abenaki Heritage Weekend:
- Storytelling by Joe Bruchac
- Nulhegan Abenaki Drum group
- Music and Storytelling by Francine Poitras Jones
Artists Featured in the Arts Marketplace
- Paul René Tamburro – hand-wrought heirloom quality silver and copper, wood carving, stone carving, and other traditional artwork
- Jim Taylor – wampum bead-making demonstration
- Jeanne Morningstar Kent – Gourds
- Linda Longtoe Sheehan – Wampum jewelry
- Roger Longtoe Sheehan
- Patrick Lamphere
- Morgan Lamphere
#Abenaki #heritage #weekend #VAAA #AbenakiHeritageWeekend #heritageweekend #abenakiheritage
Vermont Abenaki Artists Association is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA) is a Native American arts organization that serves the public by connecting them to Abenaki educators, artists from the visual and performing arts as well as literary genres.
MISSION STATEMENT: Our mission is to promote awareness of state-recognized Abenaki artists and their art, to provide an organized central place to share creative ideas, and to have a method for the public to find and engage state-recognized Abenaki artists.
We do this by presenting public programs, cultural events, and museum exhibitions that educate the public in understanding Abenaki art and culture.
Connect with us to stay up-to-date and be part of a dialogue that embraces the past, present, and future of Abenaki art.
Join us in sustaining our mission of preserving Abenaki culture and fostering artistic expression by making a meaningful donation. Your support directly contributes to our impactful programs, enriching events, educational initiatives, and the creation of new exhibitions. Together, we can ensure the continuity of this invaluable cultural legacy.
Step into a world of creativity and culture – visit our Exhibits page for detailed information on current exhibitions, including locations and dates. Immerse yourself in the vibrant stories waiting to be explored.
Click on the brochure image to download a printable copy.
Burlington, VT., August 30, 2017 – The Google Play store has released a new Android app called Vermont Abenaki Artists Association which was designed by Dustin Lapierre, a senior at Champlain College.
It all began two months ago when Lapierre
CONTEMPORARY ABENAKI ARTISTS share their artwork and family photographs in the special exhibit
Members of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association serve as faculty for this one-day professional development seminar at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM), designed to provide teachers and homeschool educators with new resources and techniques to help elementary students learn about the Abenaki tribe. This program is supported by a grant from the Vermont Humanities Council.
Abenaki culture and history that spans 11,000 years in the Champlain Valley will be introduced by culture bearers with deep understanding of how this vibrant regional culture continues into the 21st century. Some of the topics include: history and stereotypes; new resources being developed for use in classrooms; age-appropriate activities; and learning how you can better support Abenaki and other Native students while presenting American history. The program includes a gallery talk and tour of the traveling exhibition Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage that explores Abenaki identity and continuity through the lens of the clothing we make and wear to express our identity.
When: Wednesday, August 2, 2017 from 9:30am-4pm
Where: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, VT
Cost: $15 registration fee includes lunch and program materials.
Melody Walker Brook is an Adjunct Professor at Champlain College and has taught The Abenakis and Their Neighbors and Abenaki Spirituality at Johnson State College. She serves on the Vermont Commission of Native American Affairs and is a traditional beadworker and finger weaver.
Liz Charlebois, Abenaki culture bearer, is a powwow dancer, traditional bead worker, ash basket maker, and bitten birch bark artist. She cultivates a traditional garden and has organized a seed bank of heirloom seeds grown by the Indigenous people of the Northeast. Liz has served on the New Hampshire Commission of Native American Affairs and as Education Specialist at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner, NH.
Lina Longtoe is certified Project WILD instructor for the Growing Up WILD, Aquatic WILD and Project WILD K – 12 programs, which are sponsored by the EPA, US Fish and Wildlife, and the National Wildlife Federation. Her area of study is environmental science with a concentration in sustainability. She is Tribal Documentarian for the Elnu Abenaki Tribe and maintains a YouTube channel to help preserve Abenaki culture.
Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, has a background in Museum Studies and Native American Studies. She has been designing and implementing educational programs with museums, schools and historic sites for over twenty-five years. Her art is focused on traditional clothing and twined woven plant fiber bags.
For more information, please contact:
Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association [email protected]
VERGENNES, VT., JUNE 9, 2017