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Below The Surface

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Talking about race in our community

When our program advisory team came together for the first time 8 months before RACE:Are We So Different? opened, we imagined the headlines we’d like to see in the paper after the run of the exhibit. Some of these hoped-for outcomes include:

* Conversations about race become mainstream; people of all walks of life come together to strike down racism!

* ECHO helps students, families, and workers learn to talk safely and productively about the impacts of race and racism.'

* The RACE exhibit leaves a positive legacy in Burlington.

These are powerful visions for ECHO, our visitors, and our community. After eight months of support and guidance from our advisory team, we think we’ve launched a set of  headline-worthy programs to engage the community in conversations about race.

One of the most exciting programs is the Saturday Community Conversation Series. On four Saturdays from October to January, ECHO offers $2 admission all day and provides workshops, performances, and panel discussions about race in our community. The first in the series was on October 6. The day focused on talking about race in our schools, homes and workplaces. It was amazing to see over 1000 people visit ECHO and to witness more than 160 guests singing along with Rajnii Eddins about skin color as a function of geography! More than 60 people stayed for a 2-hour conversation about how to talk about race, moderated by Dr. Emily Bernard. Earlier in the day, I witnessed honest and productive conversations during the "Talking about Race with your Family" workshop with Denise Dunbar of the Reading to End Racism program, including the difference between being “colorblind” and seeing color. The full day ended with Burlington High School students joining us for a screening and conversation about the local, student-made film, "Who Sits Where and Why?". The film focused on race issues in the cafeteria at their school.

Over the course of the day, and every day since, I can’t tell you the number of people who have thanked me, ECHO, and our amazing advisors and partners, for providing a safe space to talk and learn about race and how it affects our lives and community.

The next Saturday Community Conversation will take place on November 10. We will open our doors again for $2 and look forward to great conversations about transracial adoption, raising children of color in Vermont, and how changing demographics have impacted the Burlington Community. We invite you to join us for a line up of amazing speakers and presenters who will share their experiences and engage you in conversation about race in Vermont. Please join us!

* Learn more about our program advisory team here

* Learn more about events scheduled for our Saturday Community Conversation Series on November 10 here

* Learn more about additional programs at ECHO and at partner organizations across the Burlington community here


SCHEDULE FOR November 10


10 a.m. Doors open
10:30  a.m.  Workshop: Talking about race with your family with Denise Dunbar.
11:30 a.m. Panel Discussion: Inside/Outside: Transracial adoption in Vermont with Julian Segar-Reid, Simone Labbance, Natasha Eckart and Mary Brodsky.
12:30 a.m. Panel Discussion: Homegrown Variety: Raising children of color in VT with Laura Clemmons, Arline Duffy, Brian Hsiang, Ron Redman and Alison Segar.
2 p.m. Community Conversation: Burlington’s Changing Community with moderator Teresa Mares, Assistant professor of Anthropology at UVM and panelists Pablo Bose, Adele Dienno, Wanda Hines, Mediha Jusufagic, Jeetan Khadaka, Lea Turhun and others.
3:30 p.m.  Movie Short and Discussion: Living on the Fault Line, a film that explores the intersection of familial love and racial injustice in the experiences of transracial families in Vermont.
5 p.m.  Doors Close

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wine and Chocolate at ECHO



Pairing two of my favorite foods was the motivation for having this wine and chocolate ECHO After Dark event. We celebrated with two events. The first event was a wine and food pairing by Dedalus Wine and Pistou Restaurant just for our ECHO members. A small group of folks were treated to pork bellies, unique sauces and fabulous wine. Members were educated on what pairings worked with certain foods and what pairings should be avoided.
Our team was floored that 4 wine makers from Italy and France would join us in the main event for the evening: Wine & Chocolate: Tastings and Tannins! We had signature After Dark glasses etched for the evening and provided guests with 5 tasting tickets – one for each table! On each table were 3-5 different wines that the growers brought with them from their regions. Lake Champlain Chocolates introduced their new Blue Bandana Bar, a bean to bar chocolate that was just introduced to our community. Guests chatted with our partners Jason Zuliani from Dedalus Wine and Roger Myers from Lake Champlain Chocolates, plus the wine makers, about the wine and chocolate making process. Guests learned how to taste wine, why terroir was so important to the flavor of wine and chocolate and they enjoyed social time with friends. The event was held in ECHO’s newly built Revision Lakeside Pavilion and we were treated to a lovely sunset.
Several of our guests requested a listing of the wines we shared which I’ve just received from Dedalus Wines and have posted it below.
Our next ECHO After Dark event will be on November 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.,Topic 26: Café Scientifique: Race and Environmental Justice: Bridging the Gap Between Us. Tom Macias, a Sociologist from the University of Vermont, will lead us in conversation (no power point) about this topic that also relates to our current traveling exhibit Race: Are We So Different? With our Café Scientifique programs, we have 30 minutes to mingle before the talk which begins at 7 p.m. and is followed by a 45 minute question and answer period. We’ll have a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres. Please join us at 6:30 p.m. and bring your questions and your friends!
DETAILED WINE LIST FROM WINE & CHOCOLATE ECHO AFTER DARK, Oct. 11, 2012. To find out more information about any of these wines please visit Dedalus Wine Shop at 180 Battery St., Burlington or call them at 802-865-2368.


Table 1: Study in Terroir - 2 Chenin Blanc, 2 Sauvignon Blanc
Pascal Janvier Jasnieres 2011 - $17.75, in-stock now!
Chateau D'Epire Cuvee Speciale Savinnieres 2011 - $21.50, (available soon!)
Regis Minet Pouilly Fume 2011 - $21.50 (available by special order)
Daniel Chotard Sancerre 2011 - $22.50, in-stock now!
Table 2: Sicilian Reds from Rivofavara
Rivofavara Spaccaforno 2009 - $19.50 (available next week)
Rivofavara Sciave 2009 - $31.25 (available next week)
Table 3: Chablis from Lavantueux
Roland Lavantueux Petit Chablis 2010 (2011 available next year) - $19.50
Roland Lavantueux Chablis 2010 (2011 available next year) - $23.50
Roland Lavantueux Chablis  Magnums 1997 and 2006 - unavailable
Table 4: Rhone Wines from Sang de Cailloux
Sang de Cailloux Un Sang Blanc 2010 - unavailable
Sang de Cailloux Cuvee Flouretto 2010 - (available next year, 2009 in-stock now!)
Sang de Cailloux Cuvee Lopy 2004 (old vines) - (available soon!)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Batty for Bat Week!

What kind of animal makes up about one fifth of all mammal species? Here’s a hint: Many of them have a Nose Leaf.  Need another? They have wings that are composed of skin that connects their long fingers to their legs.

If you said “Bats” you’re right!  Bats are incredibly cool animals and the only mammals that can truly fly. 

When we think of Lake Champlain we don’t often think about the bats that live here. But they can be seen in the summer months all along the lake, above fields and into the mountains at dusk. Vermont is home to nine bat species, all of which can be seen as beneficial to us in one way or another.  For example, Little Brown Bats (or brown myotis bats) forage over bodies of water, feeding on aquatic insects like mayflies and caddisflies. Each individual can catch up to 1,200 insects in just one hour! 

Bats are also an important part of the ecology of the Champlain Basin that often don't get the attention that other animals do. On Saturday, October 27th,  we are dedicating a substantial portion of our programming to bats to educate guest on just how important they are. Scott Darling, the bat biologist for Vermont’s Fish & Wildlife Department, will be here talking about bats, Ann-Marie Keppel will be reading a children’s book about bats and we will have bat-related crafts all day long. 

Bat Awareness Week Activities 
This programming is part of Bat Awareness Week, with participating businesses and organizations across Vermont. 

Want to find out more? Visit:  https://www.facebook.com/events/215459358585448/

We look forward to seeing you here at ECHO on Saturday, October 27th! Doors open at 10 a.m. and all bat programming as well as admittance to our current exhibit, RACE: Are We So Different, is included in the admission price. 






Monday, October 1, 2012

Muskellunge Are Back!!!!!!

Lake Champlain is the only lake in New England to which muskellunge (muskie)are native.

According to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, the largest Muskellunge caught and recorded in Vermont was a 38.22 lbs fish taken on September 9, 2005 from the Missisquoi River by Chris Beebe.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife - Fish Transport Vehicle

This year ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center partnered with Vermont Fish & Wildlife to acquire several juvenile muskie to display in an exhibit in the near future. 
The muskie originated from eggs taken from wild brood stock collected in April, 2012 on Lake Chautauqua in western New York State. 

New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s Chautauqua Hatchery, located  on Lake Chautauqua in Mayville NY, hatched the eggs and grew them to 4 inches for release.  
Currently, the few juveniles at ECHO are 6 ½ months old, but many thousands more were released into Lake Champlain on August 22, 2012.

Juvenile Muskie Ready for Release


The released muskie are expected to attain 10 to 12 inches before winter sets in and their growth slows. 
In the hatchery, they have been fed exclusively a formulated pellet diet, but once they switch over to live prey in the lake, their growth rates will be very high. 




In the last 4 years, Vermont Fish & Wildlife have stocked a total of 25,000 of these fish into the lower Missisquoi River and Missisquoi Bay in an attempt to restore a viable muskellunge population to Lake Champlain.   
Here are the actual stocking numbers provided by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife:

Year             #of fish      
2008            250
2009           10,000
2010           0
2011           5,300
2012           8,800
We invite you to come visit the Upper Animal Care (UAC) window on the top floor at ECHO where we have 2 juvenile muskie on display. Come watch them grow!