Marlboro College

News Jay Craven to Produce 2009 Burlington’s Champlain Quadricentennial


Marlboro, VT - (July 17, 2008) -- Marlboro College Film Studies professor Jay Craven has been named by the City of Burlington to produce the city's 2009 Quadricentennial Celebration, marking the 400th year anniversary of the region's first visit by a European explorer, French voyager Samuel de Champlain.

Craven will lead the multi-faceted commemoration during the next year, while remaining connected to the College on a reduced teaching schedule.

"The Champlain Quadricentennial provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to unite the region of Vermont, Quebec, and upstate New York," said Craven.  "It gives us a unique chance to showcase Vermont, attract visitors, and affirm far-reaching values and goals that, properly articulated, can provide substantial long-term benefits."

In addition to teaching at Marlboro College, Jay Craven is well known to Vermonters through his work at jayKingdom County Productions (KCP) which he established in 1991 with Bess O'Brien.  At KCP, Craven has produced and directed feature films including, "Where the Rivers Flow North," "A Stranger in the Kingdom," and "Disappearances," based on novels by Howard Frank Mosher.  He has toured these movies to more than a hundred Vermont towns and many more venues across the U.S. and internationally.  Special screenings include The Smithsonian, Lincoln Center, Harvard Film Archives, American Film Institute, Cinemateca Nacional de Venezuela, Beijing University, Jerusalem Cinematheque, Cinematheque Francaise, Art Institute of Chicago, and Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Craven's 2004 TV comedy series, "Windy Acres," won two New England Emmys and played PBS affiliates in ten states.

Craven also founded and directed (1975-91) St. Johnsbury's Catamount Arts organization.  At Catamount, Craven established the town's arts center and staged hundreds of film and performance events, including Northeast Kingdom and Burlington shows by Spalding Gray, Mummenschanz, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Guthrie Theater, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Miriam Makeba, Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheney, Arlo Guthrie, Stephane Grappelli, and many others.  He also presented shows and residencies by dozens of Vermont artists, co-founded (with Rob Mermin) the Circus Smirkus, and co-produced Don Sunseri's GRACE Project for mostly older indigenous visual artists.

Quadricentennial program events will be announced throughout the coming year, starting in mid-August.  "We're inviting all Vermonters to join us in Burlington," said Craven, "and to help create Quadricentennial commemorations.  We'll be soliciting stories and ideas for our radio variety shows, for example.  We'll issue a formal call, but people who can't wait-and have funny or unusual stories about border crossings, first dates, or the December winter holidays should definitely send them along for possible use."

The City's culminating "signature event" on Saturday, July 11th will include a mammoth parade and dozens of activities staged along Burlington's Lake Champlain waterfront.  After dusk, audiences will be treated to an electrifying evening pageant of world-class theater and dance artists, followed by an international fireworks display.

"The City also looks forward to working closely with local schools-and dozens of community organizations, including Burlington's First Night, the Echo Center, the Flynn Theater, the Vermont Stage Company, Vermont Public Radio, Vermont Public Television, and others," said Craven.  "And to reach out to other Vermont groups developing Quad festivities, among them the Vergennes Opera House, Shelburne Museum, Vermont Arts Council, and St. Alban's Maple Festival."

"We're also planning to host Quebec artists, naturalists, historians, performers, and filmmakers," said Craven, "in the spirit of our shared history and with an aim to forge closer links for the future.  The Quad provides a chance to break down barriers and look forward to the region's next hundred years-and to have a blast doing it."

People wishing to make contact or offer ideas should contact Jay Craven at the Burlington Quadricentennial, c/o Burlington City Arts, 149 Church Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401.  E-mail contact is (

For more information, please contact the Marlboro College Public Relations Department at (802) 251-7644, or visit the news section at

Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, graduate study focused on Internet technologies. Its 330 undergraduate students enjoy an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community and individualized courses of study on a 350-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont.



  1. Recent News
  2. Upcoming Events
  3. Social Media
  4. Press Releases
  5. Publications
  6. Drury Gallery
  7. Commencement
  8. Archives