the Confluence Project


The Confluence Project was an ambitious experiment in creative place-making that demonstrated an in-depth model for bringing arts, youth, community groups, regional planners and educational institutions to the civic dialogue table to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of our rivers, our land and our watersheds.

The Confluence Project linked Vermont Performance Lab’s artist residency program with the community development work of the Windham Regional Commission. Through public programs and integrated art-science residencies and curriculum, The Confluence Project  supported three local schools, built understanding of our local watersheds, and fostered a new model for civic engagement and helped create deeper engagement around environmental and social issues in our community.

As part of The Confluence Project, VPL brought integrated arts-science residencies to three local elementary schools in Guilford, Brattleboro and Marlboro. Teaching artists Judy DowGowri Savoor and Lida Winfield worked with stream scientists, teachers, community members and students to delve into the science, history, and culture of our local watersheds. The residencies culminated with student art projects, presentations, community celebrations and the Confluence Paddle.

Vermont Performance Lab and the Windham Regional Commission were pleased to collaborate with three Windham County schools: Guilford Central SchoolHilltop Montessori School and Marlboro Elementary School and so many community partners to make the programs and integrated arts-science residencies possible: the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, the Brattleboro Planning Department, Brattleboro Museum & Art CenterConnecticut River Conservancythe Green River Watershed AllianceRiver Gallery School, the Vermont River Conservancy.

 For more details of how these artists worked in our community visit Judy Dow’s, Gowri Savoor’s and Lida Winfield’s  residency pages.

These programs and in-school residencies were made possible with the help of our community partners and with grant support from the Fresh Sound Foundation, the High Meadows Fund, The Thomas Thompson Trust, the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Windham Foundation and VPL’s Creation Fund donors.

Watch the site specific dance that Marlboro Elementary School students created with choreographer Lida Winfield as part of the Confluence Project HERE

Hear about the research that Hilltop Montessori students did on "Saw Dust Alley" as part of the residency with artist Judy Dow HERE
View excerpts from the Watershed Identity panel organized by The Green River Watershed Alliance as part of the Confluence Project

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