Category: Grantee Stories

It’s All in the Making

It’s All in the Making

Posted: November 21, 2019

Andy Warhol prescribed: “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” Easier said than done. But, Vermont's creative undercurrent remains powerful. Constant output brings art to the surface—to our venues and landscapes—over and over. The Council's Creation Grant cycle rides this wave. As the application opens again in January, the works of last year's grantees are being formed. The art of two grant rounds past has come into being, and is highlighted here, through the words of the artists. Read More
What Placemakers Say

What Placemakers Say

Posted: June 20, 2019

Creative placemaking is a growing part of Vermont’s landscape and language. The term, well-defined by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa in this white paper, refers to projects where “partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.” Creative placemaking emphasizes strategic action by cross-sector partners, a place-based orientation, and a core of arts and cultural activities. Read More
All About Place

All About Place

Posted: June 6, 2019

“It. Took. Hours.” —Gerry Whitaker , social studies teacher at Miller’s Run School referring to this stop-frame animation made by his students. Miller's Run is a PreK-8 school in Caledonia County. The entire school population, coming mostly from the towns of Sheffield and Wheelock, is about one hundred and twenty. An Artist in Schools Grant from the Arts Council supported, in part, ten days of work with Teaching Artist Evan Premo.The residency was a part of Gerry's and his sixth, seventh, and eighth graders' exploration of place and community; a unit called Thrive or Survive. Read More
You Are Welcome

You Are Welcome

Posted: May 9, 2019

“There truly is room for everyone under the big top.” Jennifer Carlo, executive director at Circus Smirkus posits that the history of the circus is a story of inclusion. “Circus really is all about celebrating differences and bringing it all into a cohesive whole.” Often performers excluded from more traditional art forms have been recognized and given a home. Circus, as she describes it, is built on “bringing different talents and different people together to create something that is just magical.” Jen is guiding the organization, with strong support from the board and their newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Committee, in renewed efforts to expand their residency program. The work stems from intentional strategic decisions. From a birds-eye view to feet on the ground, personnel at Smirkus strive persistently to eliminate barriers. Read More
The Seen and the Unseen

The Seen and the Unseen

Posted: February 14, 2019

Close to twenty boys and girls gather in the cafeteria of the St. Johnsbury School. It's 2:30. Some finish a school lunch, others work in books or on pages of staff paper. In a few minutes, they’ll move to a classroom to play their violins as an ensemble. Learning music this way is a cornerstone of El Sistema, the program that inspired the beginnings of EPIC Music. Free violin instruction is offered after school Monday-Thursday. Read More
Thriving in Community

Thriving in Community

Posted: January 3, 2019

THRIVE! was a unique community art celebration presented by Burlington High School students taking part in the new Burlington City & Lake Semester program (BCL) in collaboration with Vermont artist Mary Lacy. The opening on December 12 exceeded all expectations. The students' work was looped, then projected in giant scale on the North facade of the Old North End (O.N.E.) Community Center. The result was striking and beautiful. Or as one student, Isabel, put it in her journal the next day, “It was majestic.” Subsequent showings were hosted at Burlington High School (outdoors), Arts Riot (indoors) and Burlington’s Highlight New Year's Eve celebration (indoors). Read More