Reclamation Talks: On Being a Black Woman in one of the Whitest States


Announcing full Speaker Line-Up for Reclamation \ re-klə-ˈmā-shən \ TALKS on Saturday, August 4!

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STOWE, VERMONT (July 12, 2018) – The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center is excited to announce the Speaker Line-Up for a TEDX style event,Reclamation \ ˌre-klə-ˈmā-shən \ TALKS on Saturday, August 4!

Join us on the 4th at 7pm to gain perspective from award-winning artists August Burns and Dominque Medici; social justice advocate and legislator, Kiah Morris; body image and eating disorder prevention expert, Dana Suchow; 3rd phase entrepreneur Lisa Hagerty; and educator and writer, Richard Hawley.

As well as previously announced speakers comedy writer Nell Scoville and entertainment industry executive Robyn Greene-Arrington.

About the speakers

August Burns

August Burns is an award-winning portrait and figurative painter who seeks to capture the character and essence of her subjects through her art. Her paintings and drawings, which have been exhibited in galleries and shows throughout the

United States, including the Butler Museum of American Art, The Salmagundi Club, The Art Renewal Center, and Abend Gallery in Denver, Colorado, have been praised for their veracity and depth. Her career in painting follows a long career in Women’s Health and Rights, where she worked in more than 25 countries and served as a Technical Advisor to the World Health Organization among others. Burns is the co-curator of the Reclamation \ ˌre-klə-ˈmā-shən \ exhibit currently on display at the Helen Day Art Center which brings together the two passions of her life.

Lisa Hagerty

Lisa is an entrepreneur, local politician, mother of two “spectacular” young adults,  and a fierce advocate for women, young and old, to recognize their societal and economic value/importance whether they are paid or unpaid.  She has lived in Stowe for 15 years, owns Well Heeled, The Yoga Barn, and her latest venture, Five Birch Strategies and is serving her 3rd term on the Selectboard in Stowe.  She is a proud board member of the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center and is passionate about all efforts to bring intelligent, provocative and reflective conversations to this community.  Prior to moving to Stowe she had a career as an Investment Banker, was a championship figure skater, earned undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard and last but certainly not least was the sixth of seven children and the youngest of the five girls.  She grew up saying “me too” as an aspirational phrase.

Richard Hawley

Richard Hawley is an educator and writer. In 1995 he was named founding president of the International Boys Schools Coalition. Following his retirement as a headmaster and teacher, currently Hawley is a writer of fiction, poetry, and literary non-fiction, he has published more than twenty books and several monographs. His essays, articles and poems have appeared in dozens of literary, scholarly, and commercial journals, including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, American Film, Commonweal, America, Orion, and The Christian Science Monitor and is represented in many literary anthologies For ten years he taught fiction and non-fiction writing at The Breadloaf Writers Conference in Vermont, and he continues to teach developing writers in a variety of settings. Recent work, including work in progress, draws increasingly from depth psychology and classical philosophy to illuminate contemporary problems. He has lectured extensively at universities, schools, and conferences in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.

Dominique Medici

Is a Figurative Artist specializing in both Egg Tempera and Oil Painting. She studied in London and has exhibited internationally, including Art in Action, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Christies Young Artist Exhibition and the Society of Portrait Painters. Medici has been a semi-finalist in both the Outwin Boochevor Portrait Completion and BP Portrait Prize and has received awards from The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club among others. Dominique has undertaken numerous international portrait commissions and her work in displayed in many private collections throughout the US and Europe, Dominique has a passion for teaching and has taught extensively both privately and publicly.

Kiah Morris
Originally from Chicago, Kiah Morris lives in Bennington, Vermont where she serves in the general assembly as a State Representative. She is the first African-American and person of color elected from Bennington County and the second African-American woman to be elected to the legislature in Vermont history. In that capacity, she serves on the House Judiciary Committee and Vermont Judicial Nominating Board and is co-chair of the tripartisan Legislative Women's Caucus.  She serves on the Board of United Children’s Services, is a Sisters on the Planet Ambassador for Oxfam America, Leader with Rights and Democracy Vermont and is on the advisory councils for Emerge Vermont and Black Lives Matter Vermont. Morris also holds an accomplished artistic career, as well as an arts advocate with a passion for community-based. Her work focuses on amplification of voice of the oppressed, issues of human rights and social justice.

Dana Suchow

Dana Suchow gives parents, teachers and caregivers the tools they need to prevent eating disorders in girls before they start. Since overcoming Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder and exercise compulsion that resulted in permanent injuries, Dana has become an expert in the field of body image and eating disorder prevention. In 2012 Dana founded Do The Hotpants as a fashion blog, but once she realized fashion’s unattainable beauty standards were fueling her eating disorder, Dana made the difficult decision to leave the industry and focus on activism. In 2014 Dana founded #MyBodyStory, an ongoing storytelling series created to uplift women’s voices that so often go unheard. In 2016 Dana co-founded The Ripple, a nonprofit women’s collective, empowering women to make waves in their communities through the use of workshops, TED style panels, field trips and movie screenings."

Previously announced are:

Robyn Greene Arrington

"Robyn Greene Arrington has consistently brought quality images to the big and little screen.  She is a seasoned creative executive with varied experience in the entertainment industry.  In her present role as Interim Head/Vice President of Original Programming & Production at TV One, Greene Arrington is a key member of the core team that shapes the network’s creative vision.  For more than a decade, she has been a driving force behind some of the network’s most acclaimed original content, including “Bobbi Kristina,” “Change Agents: History in the Making” “Save My Son” and “Two Sides.”  Because Greene Arrington’s mother taught her “you can’t take anything to the grave,” she frequently ‘pays it forward’ by giving speeches, participating on panels and in career-building workshops.

Nell Scovell

Nell Scovell is a television and magazine writer, producer, director and collaborator on the #1 New York Times bestseller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. She is the creator of the televisions series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and her TV writing credits include The Simpsons, Coach, Monk, Murphy Brown, Charmed and NCIS. She has directed two movies for cable television and an episode of Awkward. She has contributed to Vanity Fair, Vogue, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times.  She lives in Los Angeles and Boston.

Photos are available upon request.

About the collaboration:

Reclamation \ ˌre-klə-ˈmā-shən \ TALKS

Saturday, August 4 at 7pm at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center

Building on the national conversation sparked by the #MeToo movement. It is presented in partnership and inspired by the exhibitionReclamation / rekləˈmāSH(ə)n/ at the Helen Day Art Center this Summer. In the TALKS, speakers will explore their perspective on the topic of Women and Power, including body positivity, media literacy, art history, and how gender bias impacts women’s lives, with the art world as one arena. The TALKS are geared to spark deep discussion among attendees and community.

Reclamation ˌre-klə-ˈmā-shən \  Exhibit

June 15 – September 8, 2018 at Helen Day Art Center

This exhibit is curated by August Burns (Artist), Diane Feissel (Artist, Co-founder of Women Painting Women), and Rachel Moore (Director and Curator, HDAC). This exhibit will feature nationally acclaimed, contemporary figurative women artists painting women from their perspective and experience. We anticipate 600 gallery visitors and an additional 150 visitors and residents engaged with the exhibit through complimentary programs.

Tickets for Reclamation \ ˌre-klə-ˈmā-shən \ TALKS are $20 and may be purchased at or by calling 802-760-4634.


Kiah Morris