Burlington City Arts

JANUARY 28, 2015

Three Days Of Workshops And Events Explore The Future Of Burlingtons The South End


Sandrine Thibault
Planning & Zoning, City of Burlington

BURLINGTON, VT – For 3+ days next month, part of the empty, enormous Burlington Food Service building on Pine Street will be taken over by the planBTV: South End project, for a multi-faceted Community Workshop. Starting on Wednesday, February 11th and running through Saturday, February 14th, there will be interactive workshops, presentations, and imagination sessions where the community is invited to learn about the challenges facing the neighborhood and help shape its future.  

An opening workshop on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 11th will explore possibilities for the South End. A closing workshop on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 14th will focus on discussion of a draft “plan framework,” integrating ideas that have emerged from three days of community conversation.

Over the course of the 3+ days, themed discussions will cover pressing topics including: Economic Development; Mobility; the Environment; Open Space; Arts + Innovation; and Land Use. An Arts + Innovation Breakfast will include a special presentation and panel discussion focused on creative neighborhoods, and how to sustain them over time. Display and interaction with many artists’ work-in-progress will also be taking place throughout the time. [Please see full schedule below and on the website]

“There are many opportunities to have meaningful interactions with community members artists and experts during this 3-day event,” says Doreen Kraft from Burlington City Arts. “It’s a real chance to not only learn what goes into creating a vibrant neighborhood, but also to contribute to the visioning process. How do we protect what we love about the South End – for example, the arts and innovation district and creatively meet the challenge of affordability. This 3-day community conversation is a concentrated time and space devoted to thinking big and working small.  It’s a chance to dive into possibilities and to help shape what can be – to imagine how to make this place even greater than it already is.”

On Thursday, February 12th from 7:30-9:00pm there is a special event in collaboration with the Burlington Writer’s Workshop (BWW), Now + Next: Words + Pictures.  The BWW put together teams of writers and photographers to create profiles of the South End as it is today, and how it could be in the future.   Many of the artists will be reading and discussing their work; cash bar. 
“So far in this process, we’ve received lots of information from people about what they what to preserve and what they would like to see change in the South End,” explains Sandrine Thibault, a comprehensive planner at the Department of Planning and Zoning.  “Now we’re ready to look at the specific challenges the neighborhood is facing, in areas like mobility, the environment and economic development, and come up with ideas about how to address those challenges. We have a full schedule of workshops, displays of Artists’ works-in-progress, and visioning sessions – during the day and evening – and really hope to get as much input as possible from anyone who lives in, works in, or visits the South End.”

In addition to the many workshops and presentations, several artists will show works-in-progress that have been created specifically to engage the public in each part of the process.  These works will be available for view during the open studio times each day, in addition to scheduled Ideas/Works in progress sessions.

Symbolic of the potential of the South End, the event is being held in the former Burlington Food Service building (747 Pine Street), which will be redeveloped by Nedde Real Estate, who generously donated the space for this event.  The drawings for their renovation plan will be on display during the 3+ day event.

planBTV: South End Community Workshop Schedule

11:00 – 12:15     OPEN SPACE Discussion
5:00 – 6:30        WORKS IN PROGRESS: Conditions analysis and Artists’ work 
                         Explore national trends, the South End’s unique characteristics, and possible directions for future growth and change. Share your ideas at this interactive workshop. Light snacks provided. Cash bar.

7:30 – 8:45         ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Discussion
11:00 – 12:15     ENVIRONMENTAL Discussion
12:30 – 1:45       MOBILITY Discussion
5:00 – 7:00         IDEAS/WORKS IN PROGRESS 
                         Stop by after work to check-in on the conversation. Light snacks provided.
5:00 PM             Presentation of Pine Street Corridor & Watershed Ecological Design Drawings by architects, neighbors, and students.  
5:30PM              Pin-up: see the draft plan framework take shape and share your thoughts! 
7:30 – 9:30         NOW + NEXT: WORDS + PICTURES with the Burlington Writers’ Workshop 
                         Teams of writers and photographers have created profiles of the South End as it is today, and how it could be in the future. Come view their work!  Light snacks provided. Cash bar.

7:30 – 9:30         ARTS + INNOVATION Districts Breakfast
                         Special presentation and panel discussion focused on sustaining creative neighborhoods over time
11:00 – 1:00       LAND USE Discussion
5:00 – 7:30         IDEAS/WORKS IN PROGRESS  - Stop by after work to check-in on the conversation. Light snacks provided.
5:30                   Pin-up: see the draft plan framework take shape and share your thoughts!  

                         Discuss draft BTV South End plan framework, Integrating ideas that have emerged from three days of community conversation. 

PLUS: Studio open hours – stop in any time
Wednesday, February 11 - 11am to 9:30pm
Thursday, February 12 - 7:30am to 9:30pm
Friday, February 13 - 7:30am to 9:30pm
Saturday, February 14 - 7:30am to noon

The full event schedule, including times and locations of special events, can be found on the planBTV: South End website:

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