Five events at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center explore issues around guns

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BRATTLEBORO >> Throughout September and October, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) will present a series of events exploring issues surrounding guns. Offered in connection with the exhibit "Up in Arms: Taking Stock of Guns" (on view at BMAC through Oct. 23), three illustrated lectures and two panel discussions will examine guns through the lenses of history, media and entertainment, art, law enforcement, and regulation. "We hope these presentations will broaden our community's understanding of this challenging social issue and encourage constructive dialogue among those with divergent viewpoints," said BMAC Director Danny Lichtenfeld.

On Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m., Dr. Mark Timney, professor of journalism at Keene State College, will give a talk entitled "Off-Target:What Hollywood, Journalists, and Shooters Get Wrong About Guns," an apolitical examination of what Timney calls "the mythology surrounding firearms." A former television reporter, producer, and news anchor; freelance writer, and public relations consultant, Timney will explore how our perceptions of firearms have been distorted by media and folklore.

One week later, on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m., Carrie Brown, a curator with the American Precision Museum in Windsor will discuss the history of gun manufacturing in the Connecticut River Valley. Entitled "The First Arsenal of Democracy: 'High Tech' in the Connecticut Valley,1795-1900," Brown's illustrated lecture focuses on the region's vital contributions to American military might.

The presentations by Timney and Brown are being offered by BMAC in collaboration with the Vermont Humanities Council. They are supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Admission to both events is free.

On Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., BMAC will present a panel discussion entitled "Artists Taking Stock of Guns." Visual artists Linda Bond and Susan Graham, whose work is included in the exhibit at BMAC, will be joined on a panel by playwright and theater director Ain Gordon and a member of the musical ensemble So Percussion, who have collaborated to create "A Gun Show," a theatrical program being presented by Vermont Performance Lab on Sept. 23 to 24. The four artists will discuss the ways in which guns have informed their artwork.

On Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m., a second panel discussion entitled "Guns in Our Community" will bring together a gun control advocate, a survivor of gun violence, a hunter safety expert, and a law enforcement officer to discuss the state of gun ownership and use in the greater Brattleboro area.

Finally, on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., photographer Kyle Cassidy will discuss his 2007 cross-country odyssey, during which he photographed gun owners in their homes and asked them why they own guns. The result of his journey was the coffee-table book, "Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes," selections from which are included in the exhibit at BMAC.

Admission to the events on Sept. 21, Oct. 6, and Oct. 20 is $5 for adults, free for BMAC members, students, and youth 18 and under.

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents rotating exhibits of contemporary art, complemented by lectures, artist talks, film screenings, and other public programs. The museum's exhibits and gift shop are open every day except Tuesday, 11-5. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students. Members and children 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free to all on Thursdays after 2 p.m. Located in historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142, the museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit brattleboromuseum.org.

Major support for BMAC is provided by its members and C&S Wholesale Grocers, Sam's Outdoor Outfitters, People's United Bank, David F. Walter Goldsmith & Platinumsmith, Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery, and Allen Brothers Oil.


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