Our team of educators, ethnographers, and media makers is here to support student learners as well as offer high quality, transformational professional learning opportunities for educators.
Mary Wesley, Discovering Community Program Co-Coordinator, Media Producer
Mary studied Anthropology and Philosophy at McGill University, then returned to her native Vermont to work as a field archaeologist for the UVM Consulting Archaeology Program. After falling in love with the New England folk music and dance scene Mary learned to teach and call traditional contra and square dancing (building on the legacy of her grandparents, who were both square dance callers in their hometown of Middlebury, VT). She has taught and performed in schools, community centers, grange halls and at festivals and camps throughout Vermont and across the U.S. and Canada. Mary attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies to learn radio production and Multimedia Storytelling. In collaboration with the Country Dance and Song Society, she helped conceive and manage a community storytelling project, collecting oral histories in traditional dance and music communities around New England. She has worked with other Vermont non-profit organizations including Young Tradition Vermont and the Wake Up to Dying Project to create opportunities for community education and engagement. Mary’s was an intern with the Vermont Folklife Center in 2009 and in 2013 returned as the manager for the New Neighbors Music Project.
Trish Denton, Discovering Community Program Co-Coordinator
Trish has been committed to the facilitation of community-based projects for 15 years. With a focus on storytelling and the performing arts, she received a BA in Cultural Studies from Goddard College. During this time she was the Managing Director of ClothingChange, an organization that facilitated collaborations between artisans in developing nations with young, urban makers. Relocating to Burlington, Vermont in 2009, Trish began freelancing as a Teaching Artist, working closely with organizations such as Very Merry Theater, Burlington City Arts, and Vermont Arts Council, to incite dialogue through storytelling and the performing arts. While pursuing an advanced degree at Dartmouth from 2014-2017, Trish was involved with Telling My Story, an applied theater project using storytelling and personal testimony in rehab and correctional facilities. Her thesis, “The Education of Imagination” combined research in oral history, collective memory, pedagogy, and performance, to propose a new model of arts integration borrowing from folklore and ethnography. The thesis took the form of an applied, city-wide project centered on a 2016 mainstage production of Brundibár. Trish is the founder of In Tandem Arts, an organization that serves as an agency for socially engaged artists, as well as a production company for community-based performance. She has partnered with Community Engagement Lab, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Museum, 350VT, Vermont Birth Network, Counseling Services of Addison County, The Miller Center for Holocaust Studies, and VSAVT to design innovative programming. Trish serves as the Co-Coordinator of Educational Programming at VFC, focusing on Discovering Community outreach and community partnerships.
Kathleen Haughey, Executive Director & Ethnomusicologist
Kathleen has a diverse background in education, ethnomusicology, and collaborative ethnography and media making. As a PhD student in Ethnomusicology at Brown University, Kathleen co-led an audio and video ethnography project with Mbyá-Guarani musicians in southern Brazil. Kathleen also has years of experience as an educator, having taught in both K-12 and higher education settings. She has additional years of experience teaching early childhood music and cello in private music studios.
Kathleen received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature and a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, and a Masters in Ethnomusicology at Brown University in Providence, RI.
Ned Castle, Digital Media Instructor & Photographer
Ned is a native Vermont photographer who focuses on documentary and ethnographic subject matter. His work includes In Their Own Words, a collection of stories from refugees resettled in Vermont, Indigenous Expressions, comprising portraits of Native Peoples from the Lake Champlain Basin, and most recently the HIGHLOW Project, which is now touring the state. Ned attended photography school in Florence, Italy and New York City, and is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in Biology and Psychology.
Ned also is Program Director and Media Producer at the Vermont Folklife Center.
Evie Lovett, Education Outreach/Media Instructor & Photographer
Evie Lovett is a photographer, artist and teacher who describes her work as documentary portraiture. She was first exposed to the work of the Vermont Folklife Center when she collaborated with the VFC on an exhibition of her photographs of drag queens in Vermont, Backstage at the Rainbow Cattle Co., which culminated in a tour of Vermont’s 14 counties, with funding from the Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation. She attended the Discovering Community workshop and now serves as a volunteer Educational Outreach/Media Instructor for the VFC in southeastern Vermont. She teaches photography at Vermont Academy and The Putney School and is currently working on an NEA-funded public art project for the town of Brattleboro, Vermont.
Her work can be seen at www.evielovett.com and http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/vision-voice/rainbow/. She lives in Westminster West, Vermont.