Vermont Arts Council

Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts

Arthur Williams looking toward the camera while opening mail
Arthur Williams (1926-2013)

The award is named after the Council’s founding executive director, Arthur Williams. In addition to his critical work at the Arts Council, Williams’ long career included public school teaching, serving in the Vermont Legislature, and chairing the effort to restore the Vermont State House. The award is given to those who mirror his selfless public service and devotion to artistic excellence as one vital ingredient in a robust community as well as his desire to see the arts thrive.


Selected by the staff of the Vermont Arts Council, this award is given to a person or organization for meritorious service to the arts in Vermont, according to the following criteria:

  • is living and currently resides Vermont
  • has a local or statewide reputation in their chosen field as evidenced by third-party acclaim or reviews from independent sources
  • has significant standing in a Vermont community


Matthew Perry from the shoulders up in a news cap and checkered shirt.2023
Matthew Perry, co-founder and executive director of the Vermont Arts Exchange




Judy Dow
, executive director of Gedakina, teaching artist, award video

Lydia Clemmonsco-founder and president of Clemmons Family Farm, award video

Shanta Lee Ganderwriter, photographer, award video

Douglas Anderson, 
artistic director, Town Hall Theater in Middlebury

Judith Chalmer
, author, retired director VSA Arts in Burlington

Gregory Sharrow,
folklorist at Vermont Folklife Center

Stephen Rice, music educator

Gary Eckhart, president of Valley Arts Foundation in Waitsfield | video

Jody Fried, executive director of Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury

Bruce Bouchard, executive director of the Paramount Theatre in Rutland
Carol Driscoll, executive director of the Carving Studio in Rutland

Connecticut River Artisan Group
Vermont Crafts Council

Steve Ames, executive director at River Arts in Morrisville

Submit a Nomination

Nominations are accepted throughout the year. For information about how to submit a nomination, click here.

admin-place February 25, 2015