Skip to Content

Category: Grantee Stories

Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper

Posted: May 25, 2017

A year ago, the Council published the results of the 2016 Vermonter Poll. The study made clear that art matters to us in our public life, schools, and homes. A full 85% of Vermonters agreed with the statement, “I value the arts as an important element of life in my community.” We shared this data with Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development since 2000. He said, “This statistic doesn’t surprise me. It mirrors what we hear from Vermonters all around the state. In all the years I’ve been involved in work with Vermont communities, the arts turn up time and time again as key local assets, as a driver for the local brand, and as one of the crucial points of attraction for entrepreneurs, youth and new residents.” Read More
Reaching for Mastery

Reaching for Mastery

Posted: March 30, 2017

April Ossmann is an author, award-winning poet, editor, teacher, and consultant. She has taught creative writing and developed the workshop, “Thinking Like a Poetry Editor:  How to Be Your Own Best Critic.” April is also the proud recipient of an FY2013 Creation Grant from the Arts Council. The $3,000 award enabled her to take eighteen days off work to write new poems to add to an in-progress manuscript. In her grant application, April said she had three goals in mind. They were “to grow and improve as a poet; to complete and publish a book manuscript; and to share it with others by performing readings from it.” By the time she submitted her final report, she had met the first goal and half the second. Securing publication, waiting for publication, and performing readings, she said, would “likely take several years.” Read More
In a New Space

In a New Space

Posted: February 16, 2017

Leaving a beloved old home called for a creative solution. North Bennington's Sage Street Mill is set into a hill alongside Paran Creek. The brick building has floor-to-ceiling windows and a smoke stack out back. For 21 years, 10,000 square feet of the old factory was the rented home of the Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE). Matthew Perry, VAE co-founder and executive director, said the building "served us well for all these many years and it was a central gathering place for arts and education in the community." But, it was expensive. "The building was not energy efficient and utility costs continued to rise. " Read More
An Artist Evolves

An Artist Evolves

Posted: February 2, 2017

Kathy Stark's first winter in Vermont was in the year 2000. Right away, she began to capture "the season's subtle variation in color" on her canvases. At first glance, those paintings appear a bit barren. A more sustained look uncovers the artist's characteristic marks, lines, movements, and patterns set into paint. Two of those pieces are in the exhibit called "… and the journey continues …" now in the Spotlight Gallery. They are both from a series called White Works. Five different series are represented in the show. Read More
Intersecting Art

Intersecting Art

Posted: January 19, 2017

From maple products to skating rinks, 43 Brattleboro fourth graders researched and mapped their interests. Artist-in-residence Mollie Burke led the Academy School students through a project integrating mapmaking with the study of Vermont history. First, they found facts: Where are Vermont's skating rinks? Sugaring facilities? Highest populations? Then, over ten days, the students sketched and hand painted maps depicting information about a favorite topic. Read More
Sean Williams on Crowdfunding

Sean Williams on Crowdfunding

Posted: October 13, 2016

Sculptor Sean Williams was thrilled to receive an FY2017 Artist Development Grant. He planned to use the funds to attend a workshop on digital sculpture and the human anatomy at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles. The grant would cover some expenses, but wouldn't stretch far enough for travel costs. The intrepid artist turned to crowdfunding; he set up a campaign on GoFundMe, took a deep breath, and made the ask. Sean not only met his financial target — he exceeded it.  Read More