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Category: Grantee Stories

TLC: Something to Hold On To

TLC: Something to Hold On To

Posted: June 7, 2018

Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE) has built a reputation over almost 25 years of turning trash into treasure. The organization has therefore become a depository for strange and unusual items. One donation years ago showed up in the form of over 50 plaster molds. These included baby doll parts: round plump heads, angelic arms, and chubby legs. Various objects and sculptures were created with these — all reminiscent of Tim Burton’s Gothic world — until the molds found another purpose. Within a ceramics class, VAE teaching artist Kristen Blaker and the residents at the Vermont School for Girls (VSG) actually started making dolls; clay was pressed into the molds and parts were fired. The assembly of hand-sewn and stuffed bodies came into play. Wigs, bonnets, and dresses were made, faces delicately painted. Read More
A Classic(al) Example

A Classic(al) Example

Posted: May 24, 2018

The features read like a wish list. Start with rehearsal spaces for performance groups. Add a percussion studio, a recital hall within the music education building, and a performance-quality auditorium that seats 224. A green room? Adjacent. There are fourteen teaching studios and a large multi-use classroom for programs and community music projects. Considerations have been made throughout for quality acoustics and physical accessibility. There's more: A music library, archive, and inventory of instruments. A designated faculty lounge and work area and a welcoming space for families and students. Convenient parking. Read More
Moving Forward With Grace

Moving Forward With Grace

Posted: April 12, 2018

Sometimes, getting somewhere else requires knowing where you are. Stepping into leadership at a decades-old organization can be like that; you'll need your bearings. Kathryn Lovinsky had them when she started at the nonprofit Grass Roots Arts and Community Effort (G.R.A.C.E.). Kathryn knows the magic of making art. She knows Hardwick. Now she is discovering the ways to balance longstanding tradition with new ideas. Hardwick is a Northeast Kingdom town with a population of about 3,000 and chartered in 1781. The Firehouse was built in 1885. G.R.A.C.E. was founded in 1975; they bought and moved into the Firehouse in the early 2000s. Kathryn became executive director in September 2015. Read More
Spread the News

Spread the News

Posted: January 17, 2018

If Bad News Fatigue Syndrome (BNFS) is real, we are all at risk. Every day we hear about forests burning, cities flooding, and hands reaching for scary buttons. This nonstop outpouring of concerning information can be overwhelming. If good news can serve as an antidote to BNFS, we are lucky to be in Vermont — a funky little state with abundant art. Creativity is considered an asset. Communities support artistic enterprises, and more and more children are reaping the benefits of arts in education. There is good news here. We need to hear it, and we need to share it. As Erin Narey from Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury enthused, “Good news? I am all about it.” Read More
A Look at All Creation

A Look at All Creation

Posted: August 17, 2017

Ten people were notified August 1 that they would receive a Creation Grant of $3,000 from the Vermont Arts Council. This is the Council's most competitive program; there were 99 applicants this year. A panel of arts experts selected the most promising projects as described in well-constructed applications. The resulting art will be as varied as the artists themselves. Read More
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