BRATTLEBORO -- After spending seven weeks learning about the work of local merchants, community leaders, service providers, artists and nonprofit directors, Hilltop Montessori Middle School students will present a collection of films and artwork that they created as part of a study titled "Sense of Place." The short films, which document the work of two dozen people who work in Brattleboro, will be screened at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on Friday at 7 p.m.

The author Wallace Stegner wrote in his essay, The Sense of Place, that "Ša place is not a place until people have been born in it, have grown up in it, lived in it, known it, died in it," and "No place is a place until things that have happened in it are remembered in history, ballads, yarns, legends or monuments." Taking Stegner’s words to heart, the students each selected community members to shadow and interview about their work. In addition to the documentary films, the students also produced photo collages about their subjects, which are on display at Amy’s Bakery Arts Café during January.

Also on display during January are original books that the students created about various topics in Brattleboro history, including the impact of I-91 and the water cure craze of the 19th century. The books combine academic research with creative flights of imagination.

For more information, call 802-257-0500 or visit www.hilltopmontessori.org.