New A2VT Video: “Ghetto”

Words by David Cooper. Video Edited by Shavar Dawkins (Influence Media).

Burlington, Vermont based African musical group A2VT debuted their latest single with a music video called, “Ghetto.”

The song laments the plight of refugees worldwide, who leave behind the turmoil of their homeland for a better life in the West, only to find the grass not necessarily greener there, while at the same time being grateful for the hospitality. “Born in a ghetto, raised in a ghetto, come to America, still feeling ghetto,” sings Jilib. “That’s a common experience we have. We leave behind our poverty-stricken country in Africa, only to also find great poverty when we arrive here. It’s a shocking surprise compared to what we were taught about life in America.”

The video finds founding members Jilib and MG Man collaborating with five dancers, all who have come to the U.S. as refugees from several war-torn African nations. “We have been rediscovering our musical and cultural roots, yet with a very modern twist,” says MG Man, regarding the pumping electronic track that underlies the vocals, which are sung in English, Swahili and Maay Maay (Somali Bantu language).

The video was filmed in and around Burlington and Winooski, with an extensive indoor shoot at Talent Skatepark, featuring numerous local skateboarders, including Collin Hale.

A2VT are Jilib (Somalia), MG Man (Tanzania), with dancers Li’l B, Lu Swag, Prince Liv, Dogo Janja and Eric Barigiego. Additional information can be found at or email David Cooper,

Video Info:

A2VT: Jilib (English, Maay Maay), MG Man (Swahili, English)
Special Guest: Li’l B
Dancers: Lu Swag, Prince Liv, Dogo Janja, Eric Barigiego.
Skateboarders: Collin Hale, James Ford, Cody Ly, Brendan Ly, Russell Looby, Alex Weiss, Jaron Thibault, Andrew Mindell, Sheamus Morrisey, Johnathan Townsend, Mikey & Tristan Delaportas, Axel, Ivan, Levi, Vera & Lisa Glenney, Joey Handy, Horace Williams, Ian & Myles Rossi.

Filmed at Talent Skatepark, Andy A-dog Skatepark and on location in beautiful Burlington and Winooski, Vermont.

Edited by Shavar Dawkins (Influence Media)

Song recorded at Creamy Goodness Studio, Burlington, VT. Produced by David Cooper.

A-dog artwork by Jozie Furchgott-Sourdiffe

Special team thanks: Hannah Deene Wood, Ben Bergstein, Ken French, Ahmed Kush, Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Folklife Center.

Music-making in Bennington

Bennington Joins Make Music VT with Parade and Downtown Music-Making!

Words by Vermont Arts Exchange.

This coming Wednesday, June 21st at 4:00pm join in with your Bennington neighbors for international Make Music Day. Gathering at the downtown four corners, community members and musicians of all ages will make music, hold a short parade and end up at Harvest Brewing for more lively performances.

Vermont historically joins 120 countries in simultaneously celebrating music across the landscape, participating in the annual international ’Make Music Day’ celebration on the summer solstice. Representing the southwest corner of Vermont, Benningtonians are welcomed to bring drums, instruments as we celebrate.

Founded in France in 1982 as ‘Fête de la Musique,’ it is brought to Vermont as ‘Make Music VT’ by Big Heavy World. A free day-long public celebration of music in all its forms, Make Music VT encourages Vermonters of all ages to join together and play at porches, sidewalks, stores, and stages. Make Music VT includes everyone from high school bands to marquee names, and people who have never touched an instrument, playing and learning alongside experienced musicians.

This year, more than 50 U.S. cities are organizing Make Music Day celebrations, creating thousands of music making opportunities nationwide. Vermont joined this worldwide festival in 2016 as the first entire U.S. state to participate — more than 700 cities have led the way, including New York, Brisbane, Prague, Edinburgh, and Vienna.

If you can’t make it downtown, get out on your porch or go to your closest park and make music! The event is meant to help Vermonters experience the joy of live music, making it free and festive during a day of sharing. Make Music VT is hosted by Big Heavy World, Vermont’s independent music office — a nonprofit organization promoting and preserving the original music of the state, Big Heavy World is a member of the Make Music Alliance,, the national coordinator of Make Music Day in the U.S. For more information on the Bennington event, please call Vermont Arts Exchange at 442-5549. More about Make Music VT can be found at

Memorial Auditorium

Author Talk About Gentrification + History of Memorial Auditorium June 30

Words by James Lockridge. Press Release by Rights & Democracy.

Memorial Auditorium on Main Street in Burlington has been a city-owned performing arts venue since it was built in 1928, and is home to 242 Main — the legendary teen center and our country’s longest-running all-ages punk rock venue. The building was neglected by the city government for so long it became unsafe, so for now it’s closed and programming has moved — or shut down, like 242 Main, until repairs are made.

The future of Memorial Auditorium is likely to be a public conversation — a lot of community members are helping raise awareness that Memorial Auditorium is an architectural and cultural treasure that has played an important role in Burlington’s history and should continue to serve the city as a multi-function community space, including 242 Main. But we all have to understand what Memorial Auditorium has meant to us, for us to make decisions about it that are anchored in our values.

On June 30, Professor Thomas Visser, director of the Historic Preservation Department at the University of Vermont, will give a short presentation about the history of Memorial Auditorium. It’s free, at the SEABA Center, 404 Pine Street in Burlington. See all the information about the event in the press release below, and please join us to learn a little about Burlington’s historic and endangered concert venue.


CONTACTS: James Lockridge (802) 373-2890 | Shay Totten: (802) 324-3198

NYC Author/Journalist Peter Moskowitz Speaks On Gentrification and Displacement; UVM Professor to Share History of Memorial Auditorium June 30, SEABA Center

BURLINGTON — Join Rights & Democracy on Friday, June 30, 6pm, for a discussion about how development as a strategy for economic advancement needs to be balanced by policies that prevent the otherwise inevitable geographic inequity of displacement.

RAD is hosting Peter Moskowitz, author of How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood at the SEABA Center, 404 Pine Street in Burlington, on Friday, June 30 from 6:30pm-8:00pm. The event is free and open to the public.

How To Kill A City cover artMoskowitz uses Detroit, San Francisco, New Orleans and NYC as models for how standard development policies can set a region on a path toward gentrification.

Library Journal calls ‘How To Kill A City,’ “A forceful critique of gentrification and its impact on disempowered members of American society.” Mark Karlin of Truthout says, “Gentrification takes a community’s personal tragedy, loss and destruction, and monetizes it. Understanding how this happens, and how individuals may unwittingly find themselves a part of it is what makes Moskowitz’s book so important. It isn’t a lesson about what happened, it’s a warning about what is happening now.

Moskowitz portraitMoskowitz has written for the Guardian, New York Times, New Republic, Wired, Slate, Buzzfeed, and many others. A former staff writer at Al Jazeera America, he is a graduate of Hampshire College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Moskowitz lives in New York City.

Memorial AuditoriumThomas Visser, professor and director of the Historic Preservation Program at UVM, will open the event with a brief presentation about the history of Memorial Auditorium, drawing from the research of graduate student Emma Rose Haggerty. Visser’s talk will help Burlington citizens understand the value, symbolism and cultural relevance of the 1928 structure. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger intends to solicit community input about the future of the auditorium through a public request for proposals. The time is right to understand Memorial Auditorium’s place in Burlington’s civic story.

Rights & Democracy brings citizens together to build a movement for rights and true democracy, seeking policies that lead to healthy and just communities. RAD organizes on issues related to environmental, economic, racial, and social justice issues. Last Fall, RAD hosted a forum on bringing Fair Development principles to Burlington as a way to ensure that new development provides benefits and protections for all residents. See for more. The event is being coordinated by James Lockridge, a Burlington resident and advocate for public process and the preservation of Burlington’s landmark teen center ‘242 Main.’ See

Phoenix Books — a locally-owned bookstore that values other local businesses, authors, and artists — will be vending copies of ‘How to Kill a City.’ Moskowitz will be available to sign purchased copies. Phoenix Books has locations in Essex, Burlington, Rutland, and Misty Valley: “In an increasingly homogenized world, local character is linked to prosperity.”

The SEABA Center is wheelchair accessible. Free coffee will be served, courtesy Keurig Green Mountain and Big Heavy World.

Download high resolution images: ‘How To Kill A City’ book cover, Peter Moskowitz portrait, Images courtesy Peter Moskowitz.

— END —

BTV Ignite

BTV Ignite Sponsors Make Music VT!

Big Heavy World sends very special thanks to BTV Ignite for their sponsorship of Make Music VT! BTV Ignite is a non-profit helping Burlington and the wider community thrive in a 21st century digital economy, raising awareness of the city’s intensely fast Gigabit network at Burlington Telecom. Big Heavy is working with BTV Ignite, Burlington Telecom and other community partners to demonstrate futuristic LOLA and Internet2 tech during Make Music VT. BTV Ignite is Burlington’s outpost of U.S. Ignite, a national effort to spur the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities.

BTV Ignite


Make Music VT is a Vermont Arts 2017 event.VT Arts 2017

Jeff Crowe with the MMVT Shirt

Calamity & Crowe’s Trading Post Deliver ‘Galaxy’ Tie-Dyes for Make Music VT!

Photos by Jinny Janesik and James Lockridge.

Calamity & Crowe’s Trading Post, official shirt-maker for Make Music VT, have delivered the 2017 festival shirts! Showing off the ‘Galaxy’ spiral design, the shirts are heading out to Make Music VT site coordinators across the state, from Burlington to Bennington! Calamity & Crowe provide screen printing and hand tie-dying of shirts, flags, banners, and pretty much any fun thing you want to talk to them about. Contact Jinny and Crowe at and learn more about Make Music VT at Being Tie DyedMMVT T-ShirtsMake Music VT is a Vermont Arts 2017 event.VT Arts 2017

Dave & Jed

Dave Clark & Jed Dickinson at Silver Lake State Park, June 21 For Make Music VT!

Photo courtesy Dave Clark, Yellow House Media.

Dave Clark & Jed Dickinson team up to play a broad range of ballads, blues, rock and originals for Make Music VT at Silver Lake State Park from noon to 3pm on June 21 during Make Music VT. Entry to the park is free on international Make Music Day! Silver Lake State Park is located at 20 State Park Beach Road in Barnard.

Make Music VT is a Vermont Arts 2017 event.VT Arts 2017

Jen Grossi & Don Sinclair

Bradford, VT Goes Town-Wide During Make Music VT June 21

Press Release by Ann O’Connor. Photos courtesy the artists.

Local businesses in Bradford, VT will open their doors in the second annual Make Music VT between 3-6PM on June 21 as part of the International Make Music Day festival. Locations throughout the state of Vermont will again bring music to the streets. This initiative was brought to Vermont by Big Heavy World, a Burlington based organization, whose mission states in part, “(T)o develop community among Vermont musicians and their patrons…empowering and educating youth.” Vermont joins 750 cities, and 120 countries, allowing anyone to participate in this day of music.

At least ten local businesses will sponsor free music and encourage participation at every level. The list is growing almost daily thanks to the effort of Jennifer Grossi & Don Sinclair, of the Summer Street Music Series, based in Bradford. This free community involvement event, endorsed by the Bradford Business Association, is part of an ongoing mission to showcase the arts by local businesses. Also endorsed by the State of Vermont State Parks Department, Make Music VT is open to all ages and skill levels as a community building experience. More information can be found at

Editor’s Note: Further information contact James Lockridge, Executive Director Big Heavy World; 802-865-1140;

Ann O’Connor – Community Organizer, Make Music VT 603-398-6535;

Senayit Tomlinson – Community Organizer, Make Music VT 603-353-4592;

Bradford VT Participants & Schedule:

JM Landscaping 3:00-3:30PM – Dance Fitness with Josie – 757 Lower Plain Bradford, VT

Dragon 3:00-3:30, 4:30-5:00 – Wandering Minstrel (throughout Bradford Village)

The Hungry Bear Restaurant –3:30-4:30 Thomas & Emily -766 Lower Plain Bradford VT

Village Eclectics – 3:30-4:30 – Kids Kazoo concert (all ages. kazoo supplied)- 45 Bank St Bradford

North of The Falls – 3:30-4:30 – Shake it Up! 148 Main St; Bradford VT

Bradford Public Library – 3:45-4:00; 4:15-4:30 – Tom Livingston; Holly & The Handpan – 21 S Main St, Bradford VT

The Local Buzz – 3:15-3:30; 4:00-4:30 – Trystan & His Harp; Cliff & Friends -142 Main St; Bradford VT

Valley Floors, Inc -4:30-5:00 – YOU play our piano then enter to win an area rug – 515 Waits River Rd, Bradford VT

Wells River Savings Bank (Denny House Location) 5:00-5:30; 5:30—6:00 – Metamorph; Donna Thunder & Chris Lightning – 223 Main Street, Bradford VT

David Penland Jewelers – 4:15- 4:30 – Tom Livingston; 149 S Main St Bradford, VT

Photo at top: Jennifer Grossi and Don Sinclair. Photo below: Senayit and Friends.

Senayit & Friends

Make Music VT is a Vermont Arts 2017 event.VT Arts 2017

Dan O'Brien

Dan O’Brien Joins BHW Documentary & Outreach Crew

Words by Dan O’Brien. Photo by Alice Koeninger.

“Hello, I’m Dan, a broadcast media production major at Champlain College going into my senior year. I hail from the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts and have recently relocated to Burlington. Exploring different cultures has always been a passion of mine and music is the most pointed expression of any cultural identity. I’m looking forward to helping Big Heavy World continue chronicling and supporting the Vermont music scene and by extension the identity of Vermont.”

Make Music Day app

Free Make Music Day App for iPhone and Android

Make Music Day has a mobile app, to help find Make Music VT concerts in Vermont on June 21! Here’s the link for the iOS (Apple) version: And here’s the Android version in the Google Play store,

Make Music VT is a Vermont Arts 2017 event.VT Arts 2017

Ryan Breen

Ryan Breen Joins BHW Outreach & Archive Crew

Words by Ryan Breen. Photo by Alice Koeninger.

“Hi, I’m Ryan a recent graduate from Wesleyan University. I’m originally from the Philadelphia area but I’m happy to call Burlington home for the summer. Music has been my life for a while and I look forward to archiving and concert planning at BHW over the next few months. In my free time I love playing, recording, and writing about music as well as skateboarding (when the weather is nice). The Burlington music scene has been incredibly welcoming, and I can’t wait to hit the ground running at Big Heavy World.”