Local News

Project 240 presents Democratic Primary debate

CASTLETON–The Paramount Theatre and Castleton University present a broadcast of the Democratic Primary debate as part of the 14-month series “Project 240: Celebrating the American Experience” on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Paramount Theatre. Doors open at 6:40 p.m., with the event set for a 7 p.m. start. The event is free; snacks and beverages are available for purchase.

Hosted by former Associated Press Vermont bureau chief and celebrated author Chris Graff, the evening kicks off with introductory remarks and analysis by Graff, followed by a town hall style question and answer period immediately before the debate commences.

Audience members will watch the debate live on the Paramount Theatre’s HD large-screen projection system at 8 p.m. Upon the conclusion of the debate, the audience and host will have a chance to discuss the debate and reflect on the evening.

“Those who attended the Republican debate in September experienced just how empowering it can be to participate in the process,” said Castleton Director of Fine Arts Rich Cowden. “A spirited crowd of hundreds of students and community members respectfully participating in democracy is exactly what we had envisioned.”

Chris Graff will host the Nov. 14 debate providing context for audience members. Graff writes and speaks extensively about Vermont’s politics, focusing on Vermont’s transformation from the most Republican state in the nation to the most Democratic. He is a former journalist with The Associated Press and is the author of “Dateline Vermont,” a memoir of his 30 years in journalism. For 15 years, Graff hosted “Vermont This Week,” a public affairs program on Vermont Public Television, and produced and hosted numerous documentaries for the statewide network, including “The Governors,” a series of interviews with every governor who served from 1959 to 2011. Since 2006 he has worked at National Life Group, a financial services company based in Montpelier. He is a contributing editor of Vermont Business Magazine, chair of the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund, and was a member of the Council on the Future of Vermont.

Project 240 is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Paramount Theatre and Castleton University. The collaborative effort is designed to elevate public discourse around the 2016 general election, while bringing the community together for a series of impactful events in celebration of the 240th year of our republic.

The series of 17 events at the Paramount Theatre will span 14 months and exist at the intersection of civic engagement, education, and entertainment. The event on Nov. 14 and all except three of the events will be free, and those who attend can expect a range of programming featuring nationally prominent participants, public discourse, patriotic music, satirical theatre, and more.

For a complete schedule of events and more information on Project 240, visit www.project240.org.

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