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Category: Grantee Stories

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
THRIVE! Art

THRIVE! Art

Posted: January 3, 2019

Artist in residence Mary Lacy led an immersive, semester-long exploration of art and community for high schoolers in the Burlington City & Lake Semester program (BCL). Near the end of the semester, each student made an original piece of art in response to the question, "What makes community thrive?" Read More
Passion at Work

Passion at Work

Posted: December 6, 2018

“It’s really a blessing when you get to love what you do.” Heather Geoffrey, the new managing director at Main Street Arts in Saxtons River said that about her job. Few people are as qualified as she to make that statement. Heather teaches people to uncover self-expression through art and through the shaping of their life. She has decades of experience in nonprofits; having served as education and outreach coordinator, executive administrator, assistant director, and director in different organizations. She is also an artist, painter, poet, and photographer. She is a teacher. How about mystic or healer? "All of those are accurate," she says. Read More