WOODSTOCK — Billings Farm & Museum’s Woodstock Vermont Film Series is back — and it’s reach may be wider than ever before.
That’s because, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual documentary film series is going virtual.
“We can open this up to a much larger audience than we had in the past,” said Marge Wakefield, PR and community relations coordinator at Billings Farm & Museum. “You had to be in comfortable driving range to watch a 1½- to 2-hour film in the winter.”
Viewers can stream JFK: The Last Speech through Sunday via billingsfarm.org/filmseries. Tickets cost $9-$12. The 15-film series began last week with The Pollinators and Wakefield said attendance numbers were similar to in-person showings.
“For the audience, moving to this type of platform — not everyone is savvy in that type of thing and we’ve had to walk a few people through. But for the most part we had happy customers,” she said.
The nonprofit organization is asking people who have multiple viewers per ticket — for example, a family of four gathering in one household to watch it — to make a donation.
“We’re leaving it up to everyone to make that decision,” Wakefield said.
Attending viewings in years past was more than just a chance to watch a documentary. There were also the refreshments and the opportunity to meet friends for a winter outing.
“A lot of the people who came to the theater in past years, it was a very big social event,” Wakefield said. “They got a chance to catch up with one another, sit together and watch the films.”
Filmmaker Jay Craven would often hold a discussion afterward. This year, Craven is recording introductions to the films and interviews with people involved in creating them.
“This is a whole new ballpark for all of us,” Wakefield said. “It could be a different audience for us.”
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Here’s a look at other Upper Valley-based events taking place over the next few days.
■Stream It’s Fine, I’m Fine, a one-woman show written and performed by Stephanie Everett and The Naked Librarian by playwright Marisa Smith through Nov. 29. Virtual Tickets: $15. northernstage.org.
■Stream DamNation, a 2014 advocacy documentary about the changing attitudes in the United States concerning the large system of dams, through Nov. 25. Register at damnation-tickets.eventbrite.com. Sponsored by Sustainable Woodstock.
■Learn about how a project called “Rural Environmental Justice Opportunities Informed by Community Expertise” is trying to establish an environmental justice policy in Vermont from 5:30-6:30 p.m. during Sustainable Woodstock’s monthly Virtual Green Drinks event. Register at ej-invt.eventbrite.com.
■Join Cat Buxton on Zoom at 6:30 p.m. as she explains the basics of seed saving. Register by emailing [email protected] All ages welcome, though young children will need an adult helper.
■Author and singer Francois Clemmons — known to the world as Officer Clemmons from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood — will share stories and songs at 7 p.m. during a Virtual Bookstock and Norman Williams Public Library event. Register at https://bit.ly/3neqBsb.
■Dana Lyn, fiddle, and Kyle Sanna, guitar, perform a through-the-looking-glass approach to traditional Irish Music at 6:30 p.m. during an augmented reality concert hosted by the West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts. Join the artists after the premiere for a Zoom chat at 8 p.m. The show can be streamed through Sunday. Suggested donation is $25 per person and $40 for a family. Student tickets are free, and scholarships are available to anyone by request. Register at wcc-ma.org.
■Comedian Bob Marley will perform at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the Claremont Opera House (58 Opera House Square). Tickets cost $37.50 and can be purchased at claremontoperahouse.info/ or by calling 603-542-4433. Social distancing guidelines in place. Marley’s three Saturday shows have sold out.
■A Thanksgiving Market will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. outdoors at the Norwich Farmers Market Grounds (281 Route 5). Facebook: “Norwich Farmers Market.”
■Choose a course and time of day to run between now and Nov. 26 as part of the Hanover Parks and Recreation department’s Virtual 10K or 5K Turkey Trot. Top male and female prizes for each race. Raffle for all registered participants. $5-$10. Register at hanoverrec.com.
Christmas Market with a difference — Goes Online: Sales of hand-made gifts benefit nonprofit organizations around the world. Visit cdcucc.org to shop through Nov. 30.
Christmas Show and Sale in West Lebanon: Shop for hand-crafted items made by members of the Lebanon Art and Crafts association through Dec. 23 at the old Sears location at Upper Valley Plaza, 250 Plainfield Road/Route 12A. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday-Wednesday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursday and Friday. lebanonartandcrafts.org or Facebook: “Lebanon Art and Crafts Association.”
Gallery of Gifts: Handmade for the Holidays in Newport: Craft show featuring handmade gifts from more than 100 artists and crafters from the region through Dec. 23 at the Library Arts Center, 58 N. Main St. Open for in-person shopping in the gallery with health safeguards. Limited number of shoppers. Scheduled visits available. Masks required. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday. libraryartscenter.org.
Editor’s note: Before attending in-person events, be sure to check updated COVID-19 regulations for each community.
Submit Upper Valley-based events to the Valley News at calendar.vnews.com. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3221.