Arts News for July 2020—Covid-19 Edition
The Creative Sector Reopening and Recovery Guide
The Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Creative Network, and the Vermont Creative Sector Response and Recovery Team have created a resource guide for the creative sector's reopening and recovery during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While we are still a long way from any return to normal, the purpose of this guide is to serve as a resource for arts and cultural organizations in Vermont as they make decisions about operations and programming while the Covid-19 pandemic persists. Guided by principles of placing health and safety first and a dynamic approach that responds to changing conditions, these guidelines are designed to aid organizations as they navigate questions around reopening in accordance with the guidelines of both the state and federal government.

Topics covered in the Reopening and Recovery Guide include employee and volunteer health and safety, patron health and safety, patron education, specific sector guidance, and more.
Teaching Artists Can Be "Leaders of Re-entry" in Unexplored Territory
In mid-June  the Arts Council held a webinar  in which teaching artists and state arts education officials convened to discuss adapting their practices while the pandemic persists. As participants shared tips, challenges, and policy insights, a consensus emerged: This is largely unexplored territory, but arts educators are especially suited to explore it, to be “the leaders of re-entry.”

As Vermont Agency of Education Arts Specialist Kyle Anderson put it, “as artists we bring two kinds of learning that are going to be key to students’ success during the pandemic. Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary learning—that is learning that can be applied in multiple contexts, in school and outside school—and social-emotional learning, the learning that connects us to ourselves and our community.”

First Person: "Wearing Masks in Museums" by Catherine Crawley
This is the first installment in our new "First Person" series in which Council staff share their experiences attending arts events in the new pandemic landscape.

On Saturday, July 11, I had the oxymoronic pleasure of enjoying art during a pandemic – a first-time experience, to be sure, and one I’m not entirely sure I wish to repeat, unless the experience can be pulled off as neatly as the one at the Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC) in Manchester.

Donned with my mask and armed with tissues for opening metal doors, I attended the opening reception of SVAC’s new exhibition, “Women Take Wilson,” celebrating the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote. The exhibition currently features three artists: painter  Misoo Bang , of South Burlington; sculptor  Sarah Tortora , of Philadelphia; and neon and light artist  Lauren Booth , of Connecticut.

ACCD Grant Applications Still Open
It's been three weeks since the ACCD opened their Emergency Economic Recovery Grants program to help Vermont businesses and nonprofits impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Five million dollars of that recovery package was allocated to the Vermont Arts Council to distribute to arts and cultural nonprofits, and thus far we have distributed nearly $1 million to approximately 40 organizations.

Funds are still available for arts and cultural nonprofits, so we encourage all who have yet to apply to do so. Note that grant awards are based on "program service revenue" only, and organizations must have at least one paid staff person on payroll.
Emergency Grants Help Vermont's Creative Sector Recover
Through our two most recent—now closed—grant programs, Cultural Relief and Rapid Response Artist Relief, the Council has distributed nearly $1 million to Vermont artists and arts and cultural organizations.

Through the Cultural Relief grant program, Vermont Humanities and the Vermont Arts Council together distributed nearly three-quarters of a million dollars to 122 Vermont cultural organizations, including museums, libraries, performing arts venues, and other cultural centers. Through the Rapid Response Artist Relief program, the Council distributed more than $170,000 to 425 artists.

Ten Vermont Cultural Organizations Receive National Grants
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced ten Vermont arts and cultural organizations will receive $629,154 in highly competitive direct grants through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to mitigate the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I am a Vermont Artist: Shani Stoddard
By day Shani Stoddard is like many Vermonters: boots and caps, hikes with dogs, a house in the woods of Stannard. By night he is… “Shani.” In stilettos and braids, dancing himself sweaty for tips and the joy of the stage, the joy of drag.

The art of drag is the performance of gender, or better yet, the freedom to perform gender as you please, to its fullest and wildest extent. In Vermont’s drag scene, Shani is among the cream of the crop. Raised in Lyndonville, he left for New York City to study musical theater and drama before returning to strut the stages of Burlington and beyond. In 2017 Shani won Outright Vermont’s “Drag Idol” competition, firmly establishing himself in a new generation of Vermont drag performers who bend gender even more than what fans of “traditional” drag may be used to seeing.

Casting Call: Vermont Artists, Designers, Musicians, Dancers, Performers, Makers and Creators
We’re looking for stories that tell about the incredible resourcefulness and resiliency of Vermont’s creatives. Send us short video or photos about your work and tell us about what you’re up to.

The Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Creative Network are crafting a series of short videos that will profile Vermont’s creative individuals, organizations, and businesses. The videos will feature creative’s work and highlight the important social, cultural, and economic benefits that we collectively contribute to our state – especially during this very challenging year.

If you’d like to be part of this effort and submit a video, please  visit the casting call webform  for complete content guidelines and DIY video instructions. Your submissions would be included in an archive and edited into a video to be included in the new video series and will be posted to the Vermont Arts’ Council website, social media, and shared with other Vermonters, including legislators and other local and state leadership.
Vermont Curators Group: Summer Reopenings
The cultural conversation continues at Vermont's museums and galleries, both in-person and online. Follow Vermont Curators Group on Facebook or Instagram for updates on new virtual or in-person exhibitions and events. Check individual location websites for visitation guidelines.
Opened July 12
Rokeby Museum
Online Exhibit
Old Stone House Museum
Arts Briefs
We encourage arts and cultural organizations to complete this survey from the Department of Housing and Community Develoment, " Rethinking Vermont Streets and Public Spaces COVID-19 Survey ." This survey will help the DHCD develop and share a crowdsourced database of local initiatives and investments that improve streets and public spaces during the pandemic.
The deadline to apply for the National Endowment for the Arts' Our Town Grants is August 6 . Our Town Grants  support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Learn more and apply for an Our Town grant.
The deadline for our Cultural Facilities grants is this Monday, July 27 . These grants enhance, create, or expand the capacity of an existing building to provide cultural activities for the public . See examples of projects eligible for funding in our list of FY2020 Cultural Facilities grantees , and start your Cultural Facilities application today .
New Arts Experiences
Highland Center for the Arts
July 11 - Aug 9
Chandler Arts Center
August 1
Vermont Jazz Center
Aug 9 - 14
Recent Classifieds
Posted: July 20, 2020
Category: Job Postings
End Date: August 31, 2020

Posted: July 13, 2020
Category: Classes/Conferences/Webinars
End Date: August 13, 2020

Posted: July 2, 2020
Category: Calls to Artists
End Date: August 17, 2020
Submit Listings to Our Arts Calendar and Classifieds
Are you organizing an arts event, class, or ? Do you need to list an ad for space, residencies, or a call for submissions? Submit your event listing to our calendar , or submit a classified ad listing .

Listings are free and seen by thousands of people throughout and beyond Vermont. Once submitted, eligible listings are reviewed, categorized, and published within two business days. Council staff may contact you for more information.
The Vermont Arts Council is funded, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts , which requires a 1:1 match from the Vermont State Legislature. Council grants, programs, and statewide arts promotion would not be possible without the critical funding provided by these government agencies.
Vermont Arts Council | 802.828.3291