For December 1, 2002 Release
For further information contact:
Emiliano De Laurentiis, 413-664-2012
FIRST COVERED BRIDGE MUSEUM IN WORLD TO BE
LOCATED IN BENNINGTON, VERMONT
BENNINGTON, Vermont -- December 1, 2002 -- Starting June 14th 2003, the city of
Bennington and the state of Vermont will house the first and only museum dedicated to the
preservation and education of the history, science, culture, and the environment of covered
bridges, past and present.
|Covered Bridge Museum|
at Center for the Arts, Bennington, Vt.>
The Vermont Covered Bridge Museum (VCBM) is another project and dream of Bruce
Laumeister who along with his wife, Elizabeth Small, have already established a premier art center
in the nonprofit Bennington Center for the Arts. The Laumeisters' wish is to promote the Vermont
way of life, preserve, educate, and exhibit natural wildlife art, and Native American art and
lifestyles. In keeping with this goal, Mr. Laumeister, in collaboration with local historian John
Dostal, envision the new museum to become a major repository for covered bridge information
and resources both for Vermont covered bridges and beyond.
The museum, however, will also entertain and educate visitors and local citizens with an array of
exhibits and audio/visual stimulation that will bring a long time Vermont and New England
symbol, the covered bridge, into the spotlight it deserves. Most importantly, it will convey the
importance of covered bridge technology and how it influenced the bridges of today, while at the
same time created a magical culture unto itself.
Anyone who has lived a lifetime near a covered bridge will certainly always admit to the many
ways it has touched their lives. Combining the technology with the human element will be one of
the strong points of the museum's exhibits.
In planning the overall style and layout, Mr. Laumeister has brought in the services of Knowledge
Environments, Inc., a North Adams, Massachusetts company, specializing in delivering
knowledge both through cutting edge technology and traditional educational systems. Emiliano,
De Laurentiis, the founder of the company, has already directed the museum's film documentary
about Vermont Covered Bridges that will serve as an introduction to the museum and as an
educational overview about covered bridges, and will be available for purchase on DVD.
Knowledge Environments, Inc. has also done work with the American Chestnut Foundation in
Bennington, establishing an online curriculum.
Working with Knowledge Environments, Inc. in coordinating and designing the museum's layout
and exhibits is Robert Campanile. Robert is the director of The Center for Science and Cultural
Literacy, a project he established to provide educational resources and museum consultation.
Robert located over 2 years ago to the Northern Berkshires after spending over 9 years working
on diverse projects at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. He is past director and
designer of the North Adams Museum of History & Science in North Adams, MA.
The entire team is especially excited because the museum not only symbolizes an enduring image
of the past, its traditions, its beauty and good old fashion know how, but they also feel it will
surprise people in how many interesting things there are to be learned about covered bridges.
The museum, which is shaped like a covered bridge, cuddles the already popular Bennington
Center for the Arts with its rural surroundings that will bath the museum with the perfect
atmosphere. The entire layout will provide a full spectrum of exhibits, including the Anatomy of
the Covered Bridge, the Artful Covered Bridge, Covered Bridge Chronicles, the Natural
Environment of the Covered Bridge, the Culture of the Covered Bridge, and more. A working
covered bridge railroad layout will delight all ages, plus 3-D models and dioramas. A small theater
will continuously run the film documentary about covered bridges and act as a lecture room for
Located on Route 9 just west of Bennington, both the Bennington Center for the Arts and its new
Vermont Covered Bridge Museum will serve as a gateway and welcome center to the city of
Bennington and the state of Vermont for visitors coming from the west and south. For
Bennington's citizens, the museum will add to the flavor and excitement of a culturally growing
city and accent what is our greatest asset, being New England. When the doors open for the
scheduled June 14th, 2003 celebration, the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum will take its place
as a vehicle for enlightenment and information for all those who cherish and appreciate the
technology, influence, and culture of Vermont covered bridges and covered bridges