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The workshop from to is limited to 15 participants. On Sunday, July 26, family, friends and colleagues gathered for a celebratory luncheon at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home, to honor Susanne Rappaport posthumously and Jane Beck.The award is given annually to Vermonters who have made extraordinary contributions in the areas of land conservation and/or historic preservation.a great beacon of light and hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.” It then was, and now is, widely known that Lincoln hated slavery from the time he began to form his own thoughts as a young man and it was Lincoln who brought about the end of slavery.Yet he also long thought blacks to be inherently inferior to whites.Their efforts have enabled future generations to learn about, experience and interact with their Green Mountain State heritage.During her lifetime the preservation work of West Pawlet resident Susanne Rappaport focused mainly on her own small town and the quarries of the Slate Valley, while folklorist Jane Beck’s efforts have taken her to virtually every corner of the state. These women can best be described as tireless researchers, collectors and preservers of Vermont’s past, clearly fitting the profile of past Hildene Award honorees as “Vermonters who have made extraordinary contributions in the areas of land conservation and/or historic preservation.“ Vermont’s first and longest serving folklorist, Jane Beck, is Director Emeritus of the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury.The important work of past and present recipients is the embodiment of Hildene’s mission, Values into Action.When speaking of Susanne Rappaport, Molly Biggs Celani, President of the Board of Trustees of the Slate Valley Museum, reminisced that, “Susanne taught us to see that the history of a place is about the history of the people of that place.” When introducing Jane Beck, Gregory Sharrow, co-executive director, with Andy Kolovos, of the Vermont Folklife Center expressed the feelings of many in attendance, saying, “Thanks to Jane many things that would have remained unknown are known, and many elements of our history that were hidden are revealed.” Ken Moriarty, Chairman of the Hildene Board of Trustees, then presented the awards to Jane Beck and to Eileen Travell, Susanne’s lifelong friend, with praise for their accomplishments.
Jane has dedicated her life to documenting Vermont’s distinctive heritage, recording and archiving more than 4,000 interviews with Vermonters of all backgrounds.
It is a database of photos, with audio excerpts and detailed descriptions in need of a 21st century facelift.
Once completed, it will become a tool for understanding the Pawlet community for generations to come.
Jane not only documented Daisy’s life through interviews, but she helped preserve the Turner Farm, buildings and landscape, making it an important cultural heritage landmark and now a site on the Vermont African American Heritage Trail.
Jane has a book forthcoming on the life of the woman who became her dear friend, Daisy Turner.