1761 Arts to acquire Arlington Church

February 2019

In partnership with the Vermont non-profit 1761 Arts, long-time East Arlington resident Roger Cooper has made preliminary arrangements to purchase (the former) St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Church property and grounds in downtown Arlington, Vermont.  The team is in the very early stage of developing its plan to convert the property into a concert hall.

Roger Cooper commented, "This is an exciting opportunity for us to strengthen and grow the local economy by establishing the concert hall as an integral part of the arts, recreation, and education communities in Arlington and Southern Vermont."

The property consists of four buildings and a parking area for approximately 150 vehicles.  It is located on Route 7A, adjacent to The Arlington Inn. It is centrally-located in the Arlington business district.  The buildings include: a de-consecrated church that seats approximately 300 people, an 8 bedroom rectory, a separate 2 car garage, and a parish hall with full kitchen.

The converted venue will provide a much-needed space in Arlington for professional productions and live concerts, but will also be available for community events and education programming.  It will not only provide on-going employment to locals, but will also improve the quality of life for those living and working in the area. Certainly, it will help with recruitment and retention of employees in the community - and with the Vermont State-mandated Flexible Pathways (Act 77), this complex will create opportunities for students who are interested in the performing arts, but will also help those who are interested in the technical aspects of the industry find a path to success.

Key to the renovation of the facility is State funding and the support of the Town of Arlington.

Roger Cooper is a retired international banker, having managed the investment bank operations of J.P. Morgan Chase throughout the Americas.  For the last 30 years, he has served as Chairman of the Board of 7 not-for-profits that care for the handicapped / special needs individuals (including art / theatre / music education programs).  Having trained as a lighting designer originally, most recently he has been involved in the arts as a producer. Roger is a principle in Red Spear Productions, which has produced 12 Broadway shows to date.  Roger has been a very happy and proud resident of Arlington since 1989.

For any further inquiries, please contact Carolyn Blitz of Mountain Media at




July 13, 2018

By Greg Sukiennik

MANCHESTER — It's not every day that talented stage actors, dancers and singers, recognized as among the best at their craft, find their way to Manchester to premiere a Broadway musical. 

That day is July 20, when the curtain rises on "Perfect Picture," a musical based on the life of Norman Rockwell and starring Tony and Emmy award winner Lillias White at Southern Vermont Arts Center's Arkell Pavilion. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on July 20, and 3 and 

7:30 p.m. on July 21. 

The show, which is co-produced by Joshua Sherman Productions and The Mill, Sherman's East Arlington-based creative space, is being directed by four-time Tony nominee Randy Skinner. It's the centerpiece of the 4 Freedoms Festival, a monthlong celebration of Rockwell, who made Arlington his home and inspiration for 13 years. The New York Times called the musical one of this summer's 15 must-see theater productions.

Sherman, who is also a physician at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, has been watching the development of his mother and aunt's musical about Rockwell for years, in stage and concert settings across the country, including New York's Lincoln Center. "I grew up in house full of music and heard the development process ," Sherman said. "It's what inspired me to have a good understanding of what artists need to move projects forward and collaborate effectively." 

"Finally having the opportunity to have a Broadway cast and all-star director and choreographer stage this production is thrilling as we plan on moving it forward to New York," he said. 

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