Brooks Memorial Library
How has Vermont handled questions of development and progress in the past, and how we might use those lessons to discuss a path forward to the future? Join us for a community conversation Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Main Reading Room of Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St., Brattleboro. Northern Vermont University professor Paul Searls will open the discussion by reviewing themes and events featured in his newly-published book Repeopling Vermont: The Paradox of Development in the Twentieth Century, which highlights the stories of different communities and their responses to difficult questions as part of his inquiry into how Vermont has balanced competing visions for the state. At the turn of the 20th century, Vermont’s overwhelmingly rural character was both a distressing problem to be solved, and the state’s greatest asset. Searls traces two distinct but interrelated stories to help illuminate the tension between progress and preservation in the last century, and how these forces continue to shape Vermont today.
Following Searls’s presentation, attendees will be invited to share their own perspectives on their communities. How can we use the lessons of history to frame our planning going forward? What is important to preserve, and when is it important to move forward? How can we balance different interests and create a Vermont that works for everyone?
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