Vermont Arts Council

Culture for Climate Action Workshop Series

We’re excited to announce a series of new workshops to help you think about ways to plan for and mitigate the climate crisis, which is affecting communities across Vermont, including the creative sector. Starting in February, the Vermont Arts and Culture Disaster and Resilience Network (VACDaRN) will host Culture for Climate Action Vermont, a free virtual workshop series designed by UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service to empower Vermont arts and cultural organizations to develop, fund, and implement creative climate actions that align with their unique organizational mission, values, and priorities.

The series is geared toward staff and board members from Vermont’s arts and cultural heritage sector who own or lease facilities for their organizations.

Presented in collaboration with the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service’s Culture for Climate Action program, sessions will be held every other week, from 12-2 p.m., via Zoom, as follows:

Feb. 7: Carbon Mitigation, Climate Resilience, and Your Organization

  • Focus on key climate change, carbon mitigation, and resilience concepts.
  • Reflect on organizational values & unique opportunities.
  • Homework: initial data gathering + baseline development.

Feb. 14 at 12pm: Session 1 Office Hour & featured speaker conversation
Presenter: Jen Severidt, Efficiency Vermont
Focus: Presentation about the programs and resources offered by Efficiency Vermont that are available to and most appropriate for nonprofit/municipal arts and cultural organizations who own facilities

Feb. 21: Evaluating Your Facility and Operations

  • Focus on developing a baseline understanding of current facilities and operations.
  • Homework: facilities and operations self-assessment.

Feb. 28 at 12pm: Session 2 Office Hour & featured speaker conversation
Presenter: Jackson Evans, Preservation Trust of Vermont
Focus: Provide information about the Robert Sincerbeaux Fund (RSF) opportunity for funding to assist with energy assessments etc. for historic buildings, along with relevant examples of how it has helped organizations start their energy efficiency journeys.

March 6: Strategizing for Organizational Resilience and Sustainability

Additional Presenters:  Michele Bailey and Catherine Crawley, Vermont Arts Council Cultural Facilities Grants and working with your local energy committee.

  • Focus on strategies for clean energy and resilience in facilities and operations.
  • Explore funding and financing strategies and opportunities.
  • Homework: strategy identification and prioritization, funding & financing options.

March 13 at 12pm: Session 3 Office Hour & featured speaker conversation
Presenter: Mike Bailey, SolarFest
Focus: Will share inspiring examples of their climate-focused programming, 30-year history, and the stories behind how they came to be.

March 20: Programming, Outreach, and Community Engagement

  • Focus on connecting organizational stakeholders and audiences to their shared context for climate action and resilience.
  • Homework: draft concepts for programming, outreach, and/or community engagement opportunities.

Participants will be expected to complete brief (~1 hour) homework assignments between sessions. In alternate weeks, an optional, supportive office hour will be held and will include brief presentations from Vermont-specific resources.

At the close of the workshop series, the Arts Extension Service and VACDaRN will survey participants about what ongoing support they need to sustain their nascent climate action and resilience strategies.

Space is limited to the first 25 organizations that register on a first-come, first-served basis. To get the most out of the interactive sessions, organizations should plan to attend all four sessions. You may alternate with different a staff or board member attending each session. Register the person who can be the primary contact for the series, and we will gather additional names and information after the deadline. Recordings of workshop sessions will be made available only to registered participants.

Registration is closed.


Dee Boyle-Clapp

Dee Boyle-Clapp, is Director of the Arts Extension Service, a national arts service organization, located at UMass Amherst, where she leads arts management and art entrepreneurship programs teaching students and professional arts leaders how to run impactful and efficient organizations through accredited education programs online and on campus, consulting, internship programs, and publications. Dee launched the first-ever on campus arts management program at UMass Amherst, the Arts Entrepreneurship Initiative and internship program, and in January 2022 at the ArtsHub Virtual Summit inaugurated the new ArtsHub of Western Massachusetts an online resource for artists and creatives and those who support the arts, featuring an events calendar, professional development, calls for artists, and an artist directory in collaboration with NEFA’s CreativeGround.

With a background as a sculptor, museum school studio art teacher, gallery owner, arts manager, university instructor, arts and sustainability researcher, and community partner working to develop the creative economy in Western Massachusetts, Dee has been in the unique position of participating in and facilitating the impact of the arts from teaching artist to consultant. Her work at the Arts Extension Service includes fielding calls from overwhelmed arts leaders seeking a compassionate ear and advice as they struggle to make sense of their options during and “post” COVID. She understands the myriad roles and varied impacts of the arts on artists, students, audiences, businesses, communities, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Dee’s own work focuses on the intersection of art and sustainability. She created and has taught the groundbreaking course Greening Your Arts Nonprofit Organization since 2010. She is currently working with colleague Lauren de la Parra to expand the Culture for Climate Action (C4CA) to train arts leaders how to transform their organizations into sustainable, equitable, and resiliency hubs, by reducing their carbon footprint, tapping green/clean energy, creating programming that engages their constituents in joining them to equitably address the climate crisis at their local level.

Consulting Philosophy

Dee’s consulting interests lie in guiding staff and Board members in recognizing their strengths and realizing their potential for serving the arts, their community, and artists, while building institutions that fit their community’s scale and interests. Dee is particularly interested in supporting organizations as they work to address the climate crisis, stabilize post pandemic, envision transformative programming, and work to engage with audiences and artists beyond their norm.

Dee lives on an off-the-grid llama farm in Western Massachusetts.

Lauren de la Parra

Lauren de la Parra is an interdisciplinary sustainability consultant, artist, and activist committed to cultivating the intersection of arts and culture, climate action, and community resilience. She has a background in municipal and state climate action, adaptation, and resilience planning, with a focus on equity, justice, and regeneration. She has also served as a consultant, researcher, fabricator, installer, and youth mentor on creative climate action projects with individual artists, K-12 schools, nonprofits and local governments across New England.

Lauren holds an M.S. in Sustainability Science from UMass Amherst with a concentration in Urban Sustainability. While at UMass, she co-founded Paperbark, an interdisciplinary magazine of creativity and stewardship around the climate and ecological crises. She is also a Creative Climate Leader certified by UK-based international nonprofit Julie’s Bicycle, and an organizing member of the Bay Area nonprofit Art + Climate Action. You can find her at


Accessibility QuestionsWe invite you to contact us with specific accommodations that you need to facilitate your participation. We will make every effort to accommodate requests made by Jan. 24. For questions about access, contact Michele Bailey, 504/ADA coordinator. She can be reached by sending an email to Michele Bailey or by calling 802.402.4614. Voice and relay calls welcome.

This workshop series is funded in part by the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation.  

Desmond Peeples January 3, 2024