Open Gym Playgroup


River Arts is partnering with the Lamoille Family Center to bring Open Gym drop-in classes to the community. These classes combine our Open Gym concept with the Lamoille Family Center's Playgroups.

Playgroups are a great way for children to have fun and meet new friends while you socialize and learn about resources that support the healthy development of your child and family. Playgroups are FREE and follow the public pre-school academic calendar, running through the end of May. All children are welcome to attend along with their parents, guardians or family, friend or neighbor caregivers. Come on out and play!

Held in the Robert C. Folley Performance Hall on the second floor of the River Arts Center

When: Mondays, from 9:30-11:00am

*Classes follow the Lamoille South Supervisory Union schedule. Cancelled if there is a Morrisville School cancellation due to weather conditions.
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River Arts Writing Lab

$5 suggested donation

The River Arts Writing Lab is designed to support a range of writing experience, goals, and genres. The emphasis is on providing a means for the participants to share their work, and to give and receive constructive, well-thought-out feedback.

A webpage is provided for those writers who are ready to have their work critiqued (the work can be at any stage of development). Posting manuscripts prior to the meetings will allow more time for careful consideration and productive discussion. Together we’ll develop guidelines for providing respectful and useful feedback.

A period of less structured time for reading, writing, or sharing will also be a part of the meetings.

The aim of the Writing Lab is to support each other by giving and receiving helpful commentary. It’s a cooperative effort. The group welcomes ideas for other activities that encourage and expand our writing skills.

If you are interested in joining this group, send us an email at [email protected].

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Open Studio Figure Drawing

$10/session; punchcards available - $90/10 classes (save $10)

Open Studio Figure Drawing meets every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month in the beautiful Robert C. Folley Performance Hall, located on the second floor of the River Arts Center. The group, which gathers from 3:00-5:30 p.m. invites and accommodates all levels of drawing/painting/sculpture backgrounds and expertise. The sessions feature a variety of approaches to working from the figure. The open studio is open to the public for a fee of $10 per session, and we encourage anyone interested in working from the figure to join us for a fun and creative evening. Easels and tables available.
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River Arts Photo Co-op

$5 Suggested donation

The River Arts Photo Co-op provides photography enthusiasts with a way to gather, promote and share their experience and knowledge of photography in an atmosphere of camaraderie and fun. No experience necessary – just a love of photography and a desire for discovery, building skills, and connecting with others with a similar passion!  Our goal is to promote the sharing of ideas, techniques and creativity through membership participation in workshops, competitions and monthly social gatherings.   image4  
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M.E. Art Group

Free to adults 60 and up

Want to talk art, get project ideas, share techniques and tips on media or participate in special workshops in a variety of disciplines? Join our drop-in M.E. (Morrisville Elder) Art Group every Thursday, 10-12p.m. and get creative with others! Bring your art supplies and work on your own piece, or use some of our supplies to start something new. Open to all levels of skill and experience! The Art Group will be on break for the months of July and August.
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In-School Kinder Arts Program

The River Arts’ Kinder Arts Program offers an innovative exploratory arts program for children ages 3-5. Bringing creative experimentation to preschool classrooms in our community, the program features art making through mixed media, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture photography and music.  

The mission of the program is to
build self-esteem and skills in young artists through the process of creativity. The program’s unique focus on experimentation gives young artists an opportunity to explore the materials and build on tactile experiences.

Children experience action painting, create artwork to the rhythm of music, build sculptures, create murals, and enjoy a variety of monthly art themes. Students get a first taste of art history as we study famous artists, and discover art from distant lands.  Weekly expression through sketchbook exercises/free-drawing, and group sharing builds social and emotional connections with our young students.

Instructor- Sarah Hewitt

Watch our Kinder Arts program in action here!

Participating Schools:

Apple Tree Learning Centers, Stowe

Green Mountain Kids, Morrisville

Lamoille South Early Education, Morrisville

Puffer Child Care Center, Morrisville

Wee Explorers Preschool, Morrisville

Creative Connections, Morrisville

To complete survey, please click HERE  
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  MUSIC & MOVEMENT, 2nd Friday of the Month, October- May

$5 suggested donation

Sing and swing to the beat of the music in this FREE drop-in program for infants to preschoolers and their caregivers!  Join us on the 2nd Friday each month from 11am-12pm for music, movement and FUN!   Sing along with musical favorites and classics, play instruments and learn basic musical elements such as rhythm and vocal dynamics.

Instructor: Judith Mathison

**Music & Movement follows the local school district and weather cancellation policies - if school is closed or canceled due to weather, Music & Movement will also be canceled.

Thank you to our Sustainer Level Sponsor Stowe Family Dentistry for supporting the program!

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Poetry Clinic

$5 Suggested donation

For those of you who use writing classes as a way to set aside special time for your writing practice: Here is an irresistible gift … a clinic to keep your pen and mind in motion. The first hour of the clinic will be devoted to generative poetry writing exercises; the second hour will be devoted to respectful critiques of work you bring to or make in class.   River Arts hosts workshops, readings, and clinics devoted to supporting the myriad voices living within the community and surrounding areas. Read on to see what’s been going on, about to happen, and join us!  

River Arts Review: Voices from Northern Vermont Volume 3 – Our third collection of poetry – take a look, or purchase  online!    

Click here to view River Arts Review: Voices from Northern Vermont Volume 2  

Click here to view River Arts Review: Voices from Northern Vermont Volume 1
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Kinder Arts drop-in at River Arts

River Arts

Donations Welcome!

The River Arts’ Kinder Arts Program offers an innovative exploratory arts drop-in program for children ages 3-5.  The mission of the program is to build self-esteem and skills in young artists through the process of creativity.

Each session focuses on experimentation,  giving young artists an opportunity to explore materials and build on tactile experiences. Children have the opportunity to learn about famous artists through colorful storybooks and explore many art mediums. Sculpture, clay, photography, painting,  and drawing are all part of the art adventure!

Kinder Arts drop in runs the 1st Tuesday of the month, 9:00-9:50 a.m.

* Participating children must be “bathroom savvy”.

 Cancelled if there is a Morrisville School cancellation due to weather conditions.
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West African Drum & Dance

Drop-in every Monday night! 

6pm Drumming

6:30-7:30 Dance

$12/session paid to instructor

Join Chimie Bangoura to learn traditional rhythms and techniques of West African hand drumming (djembe). Chimie is a brilliant and energetic master drummer and studio musician from Guinea, West Africa. He is originally from Matam, which is the epicenter of drum and dance in Conakry, Guinea. He studied djembe and doundoun with Tonton Soriba Sylla for eight years, while directing and teaching drum classes for visiting European students. He moved to Vermont in 2007 and is eager to share his passion and talent.
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BIG & Messy – ART Space!

$5 suggested donation

Runs October 2019 - April 2020

Paint the walls, weave on a giant loom, spin clay on the pottery wheel or explore "light collages" and shadows! There is so much to discover in this child-led, process- based program.  Materials are provided and the best part? We clean up the mess!

Our BIG & Messy ART Space is a facilitated space for families and children to explore with a focus on process, rather than product. All art stations are open-ended, and child-led. It’s always drop-in, no reservations required! All materials, including smocks, are provided. Please remember to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, painted, or wet. Note for messy arts space: NO SHOES in the studio PLEASE! This is to prevent our paint and clay from leaving the studio on the bottom of shoes.

Special thank you to Price Chopper's Golub Foundation and Ben & Jerry's for their support!
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Intuitive Painting

$45 tuition


One-Day Workshop

In this class you'll learn a new approach to painting developed at River Gallery School in Brattleboro, by Ric Campman. Sequencing is a hands-on, intuitive approach that allows beginners and more experienced artists to enter the process of painting without the common feelings of self-doubt, technical inadequacy, or uncertainty.

Studio time will begin with quiet meditation after which you'll move into your work at your own pace with a spirit of simplicity and a beginner's mind along with guidance and support from certified Sequencing Instructor Kristen M. Watson. Sequencing values process over outcome and the focus is on awareness of and joy in color, light, and the physical encounter with the paint. This workshop is particularly suited to new artists and those who want to let go of habits that do not serve them in favor of more joyful and childlike art making.
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Birch Bark Ornaments

$65 tuition


One-Day Workshop

Enjoy the simple pleasure of creating a decoration or gift from materials responsibly harvested on instructor Penny Hewitt's Northeast Kingdom farm. Utilizing techniques common to the Scandinavian and Russian style of basketry, you will craft birds and stars using strips of inner bark from the paper birch in this four hour workshop. You will also learn how these materials are harvested and prepared.

Instructor Bio: A craftsperson, teacher, homesteader, and homeschooling mom, Penny Hewitt lives with her family on a diversified farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Through the curiosity of her sons, she became fascinated with and then passionate about preserving and passing on traditional skills, particularly in the forms of black ash and birch bark basketry. Working with responsibly harvested and hand-processed materials from the forest surrounding her home, Penny seeks to create objects of beauty that are useful in everyday life. She is inspired by traditions of other cultures, and grateful for the opportunities of connection to people, place, nature, and self that her craft cultivates. Her experience with weaving includes teaching workshops, leading homeschool groups, and crafting for income.
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Fall Figure Drawing Marathon

$40 for one day, $75 for two days


The Open Studio Figure Drawing Group is hosting it’s Annual Fall Marathon! Two days of drawing from the figure…it doesn’t get much better….

  Artists and art lovers with all levels of experience are invited to spend one or two full days drawing, painting or sculpting, with a diversity of models for inspiration. The doors at RA open at 9 a.m. There will be free coffee, tea, and bagels available both Saturday and Sunday. We will begin artwork at 9:30 a.m. sharp in the gallery space upstairs. Please set up your work space keeping in mind that space is limited and others will be working closely around you. A lunch break will take place from 12: 30 - 1:30 p.m.

The Marathon will feature nude and clothed sessions.


Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Traditional nude session, start with short poses and end with one long (45 min) pose

12:30 - 1:30pm. Lunch break

Sat. 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. Long, clothed session

Sun. 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Long, nude session

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch break

Sun. 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. Long, clothed session

The Sunday afternoon session will close with a wine and cheese reception and a friendly sharing of artwork created during the marathon.

Register Soon! Space is limited!

For more information please call or e-mail River Arts at: 802.888.1261, [email protected]

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T’ai Chi

$65 - 6 session series


T'ai Chi Chu’an is a sequence of precise body movements done slowly and without effort that balance the flow of energy within the body. Developed in China where it has been practiced regularly by millions for a millenia, T'ai Chi requires no special clothes or equipment, keeps you on your feet, takes only a few minutes a day, can be learned at any age, and builds internal health.

If you find it difficult to concentrate, can't find time for sports or regular exercise, or feel that your life is wearing you out and making you tense, then perhaps you should discover T'ai Chi Ch'uan. It can improve your balance, and introduce you to the basics of selfdefense, while coordinating your mind and body. T’ai Chi is ideal for individuals with sedentary or repetitive jobs. It frees the body of tension rewarding its practitioners with energy and focus.

Intro classes to T'ai Chi last an hour and run for 6 weeks, each building on the one before. T'ai Chi is a sequence of precise movements, 108 in all, divided into 3 sets. The intro class teaches the first of the 3 sets. Students who find T'ai Chi appealing usually take the intro class 1-4 times. From 11-12pm will follow a more advanced class immediately after the intro class, tailoring it to the specific needs of the group.

Instructor Bio: Alan Erdossy began studying this moving yoga of China in 1970 and has taught at businesses, movement studios, and art centers throughout the Northeast. Mr. Erdossy earned an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1972 and while in LA studied T'ai Chi with master Marshall Ho'o. Marshall is a member of Black Belt magazine's Hall of Fame, was chairman of the National T'ai Chi Ch'uan Association, and founder of the Aspen Academy of Martial Arts. Alan also runs fly fishing schools in Northern NH.and Vermont, and has taught T’ai Chi locally at GMCR, River Arts, One Studio, and Ballet Woilcott

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Fascinator Workshop

$25 includes materials + cash wine bar


Grab your friends and join this fun mini-millinery workshop! Create a beautiful piece of wearable art to show off at Viva Las Artes or your next special occasion. Prepare for this fall's annual fundraiser Viva Las Artes, where attendees are encouraged to accessorize to the nines and will feature international food stations and awards given out for best hats, fascinators, neck-ties, and accessories. A wonderful array of trimmings and materials provided, but feel free to bring along any feathers, flowers, fabric, or ribbons you might like to incorporate into your unique design. Come ready to have fun and bring ideas you may have to complete!

No experience needed, and you do not need to attend Viva to attend the workshop

More about our annual fall fundraiser Viva Las Artes, November 1st, online here!
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Afterschool Clay Class: Intro to Throwing


Class full - contact [email protected] to be put on the waitlist

Ages 8-18

5 Sessions

Developing skill in throwing takes patience and dedication. This beginning ceramics class will focus on gaining skill on the wheel and attempting to make multiples of a single form. With time devoted to using pattern and surface design to unite pieces, students will both develop their muscle memory of throwing and working with clay. Looking at ceramic works throughout history, students will leave with a better understanding of functional wheel-thrown ceramics.

Out-of-class work time will be available through private lesson or during RiverArt’s All Ages Thursday Evening class. Students can expect help with managing their work in between classes, as the Instructor will assist in wrapping, misting or unwrapping wet pieces for success in the studio. Students will be able to draw from communal clay supply during scheduled classes, though bags of clay will be available for purchase for independent studio projects.

Instructor Bio: Lisa Wolfgang is an interdisciplinary artist who has been living and working in Vermont since 2016. Since graduating from Alfred University with her BFA in Sculpture and Expanded Media, Lisa has worked in wide variety of fields attempting to understand better what it means to live and make in a time of environmental crisis. In her work, Lisa calls for a solution to these pressing dilemmas through interactive, tactile, and often emotional installations which set the scene to examined our connections between one another and our lives in this world. Her experience as an educator ranges in subject matter and setting as she has frequently found herself interfacing with people through education as a means to build positive connection. Her background includes work as an instructor of sculpture and ceramics at the Helen Day Arts Center, as a instructor of ceramics and as a studio technician at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, as an outdoor educator at the Battle Creek Outdoor Education Center, and as the kid’s tent coordinator for four seasons at HollerFest, a three day music festival. Lisa joined the clay studio this past fall and is looking forward to making more connections at RiverArts as she begins teaching beginning and intermediate ceramics classes.
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Fleming Museum Art Trip – Over 60’s

$10 suggested donation



River Arts invites seniors (60+) to join a special day trip. The comfortable bus will depart from River Arts in Morrisville at 9am before heading to the Fleming Museum located in downtown Burlington.

In addition to their permanent collections, they will have on exhibit:

Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul: Selections from the Light Work Collection photography exploring topics of politics, social justice, identity, and visibility

Resist! Insist! Persist! exploring the intersection of art and activism

Contemporary Voices of Vermont

Register online at, or by calling (802) 888-1261. $0-10 (sliding scale) includes packed lunch, bussing, and museum admission. For accessibility requests, please contact Heidi Bielenberg at (802) 888-1261 or [email protected] The River Arts Elder Art Program provides workshops and events to community members aged 60 and up for free or reduced cost through the generous support of the Copley Fund and private donations.
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In Change: Writing for Healing Workshop



Explore with a group the dynamics of change for those shifting their lives either through loss, changes of work, partner, home, way of being in the world. We will explore what holds us back, what helps to leap us forward through the creative process. There will be in-class exercises and sharing in a supportive lively environment. No writing experience necessary. You will gain insight, writing tools to keep focused, to let go and to process life's transitions.

Laurie McMillan Instructor Bio, RN, M.Ed, Writer

Laurie is a published writer and has been leading writing groups for 17 years using writing to encourage new possibilities and create a conversation about life issues among workshop participants. She began this journey with clients with cancer in an outpatient chemotherapy setting where she worked as a RN and experienced how writing enhanced the client’s integration of painful and disconnected feelings and gain a sense of well being. Inspired by the process, she continues to lead writing groups in libraries, community education centers, art galleries, senior centers, nature centers, schools and homeless shelters. She has found through her groups, and individual work with clients, that writing and discussion inspires hope for participants and fosters an increased ability to meet life’s challenges. Simultaneously, Laurie works as a RN and has done so for almost 34 years. She just moved to VT and loves it.
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Sip n’ Slurry – Pottery Friday Nights

$20 per session or $50 for series + cash bar


Sign up for fun pottery nights! This fall River Arts will be hosting a Sip n' Slurry creative experience - the pottery twist on Paint n' Sip. Clay Studio instructors will walk you through a simple handbuilding project, all while enjoying a glass of wine or locally brewed beer. Handbuilidng is a great introductory method of working with clay, no prior experience is required (pottery wheel not used in this class as it requires more than one class to complete work).

Students will make 1 - 2 pieces during this 2 hour class, such as a bowl, plate, mug, or decorative piece. Couples and groups encourages, bring some friends and make it a party!

Includes materials, pieces will be available to pickup after glazing and firing approximately 3 weeks later.

Special thank you to Rock Art Brewery for sponsoring the series!

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