The Spark of Creativity: Conversation Series with Fran Stoddard - "Musical Pursuits"

hands using flint and steel
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type: 
Adult Program
Location: Pizzagali Center, Shelburne Museum, 5555 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT
Fee: Free

Where do ideas come from? How do you pursue them? How do you keep creativity alive throughout your life? Who in your life encouraged you along the way?

Join moderator Fran Stoddard, former VPR and Vermont PBS host, for a three-part series exploring the Spark of Creativity through a lens of Music, Entrepreneurism, and Education.

This first conversation in the series features special guests Alex Crothers and Ryan Miller to explore creativity in musical pursuits.


Alex Crothers is the co-owner of Higher Ground, Vermont’s premier live music venue located in South Burlington, VT.  Crothers, who grew up booking bands since high school and music festivals in college, now works as the Promoter and Event Producer of Higher Ground. As the public face of the venue, he has been a major player in its incremental growth and local and national success. For 18 years, Higher Ground has hosted and produced over 6200 shows. Not only providing a platform but also supporting some of the biggest and most talented musicians on the planet. Almost every contemporary artist has played at one time or another including Jack Johnson, My Morning Jacket, Bob Weir, Kings of Leon, Third Eye Blind, Black Crowes, LCD Soundsystem, David Byrne, Phish, Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Black Eyed Peas, Michael Franti, Mos Def, The Shins, Modest Mouse, Bon Iver, and many, many more.  In 2010, Alex teamed up with Bowery Presents to open the State Theatre in Portland, Maine.  He is also the producer of Wilco’s Solid Sound Music Festival, Grace Potter’s Grand Point North, Twiddle’s Tumble Down, and Lake Champlain Maritime Festival Concerts.  Always looking to create a unique experience, Crothers has even produced a music festival in the second oldest bullring in Latin America.  


Ryan Miller, moved to Vermont in 2010 with his family after living in Boston, New York City, and spending time in Los Angeles.  For over twenty years, Ryan has been the frontman for the alternative pop rock band, Guster.  When not touring with his band, he hosted a TV series on Vermont PBS called Makin’ Friends with Ryan Miller in which he travels around the state making friends with “high functioning weirdos”. He also has composed the film scores for the movies Safety Not Guaranteed, In a World, and The Fundamentals Of Caring, among others.

Other upcoming conversations in the series:

Wednesday, March 22 - “Fearless Entrepreneurism”

Wednesday, April 5 -  “Fostering Creativity”

This series is a collaboration between All Souls Interfaith Gathering, Shelburne’s Pierson Library, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Museum, and Media Sponsor, RETN.

Registration Details: 

Registration is not required, but is appreciated. Please conact Tre McCarney, Director of Community Programs, at [email protected] with any questions.


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