Arts News for May 2020—Covid-19 Edition
The Creative Sector in Governor Scott's Economic Recovery Plan
On Wednesday, May 20, Governor Phil Scott announced plans for a $400 million economic relief and recovery package, a portion of which would be available to creative sector businesses and nonprofits that have closed or suffered significant revenue losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Council is in conversation with legislators and policymakers to ensure the creative sector receives support, and is recognized as a vital part of Vermont's recovery. We will share updates as the proposed recovery package develops.
The Creative Sector Response and Recovery
The Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Creative Network have organized a series of Creative Sector Response and Recovery events to connect you with resources for a safe and responsible reopening, and to ensure the sector's needs are heard by state policymakers. We launched this new series with a statewide forum held on May 11 .
Nearly 500 artists, creative professionals, legislators, and policymakers gathered via Zoom to share updates and hear from the creative sector and learn more about how arts and culture are essential to Vermont's recovery. View a video recording of the forum on YouTube, and read our poll report on how participants responded to a variety of question.

Join us for our next event, Part II of our conversation and Q&A with state epidemiologist Patsy Kelso at 12 p.m., Wednesday, May 27. Dr. Kelso will respond to questions and share Department of Health recommendations about Covid-19 with Vermont's creative sector. 
Vermont Creative Network Covid-19 Support Survey
The Vermont Creative Network is following up on the Creative Sector Response and Recovery Forum with this survey to learn what kinds of support VCN could offer to help the sector, both now and into the future. Take the survey online today .
Vermont Cultural Organizations Receive Emergency Relief
In partnership with Vermont Humanities, the Council has distributed $517,500 to 82 organizations throughout Vermont, including JAG Productions, Lost Nation Theater, Green Mountains Review, Chandler Center for the Arts, Out in the Open, and many more. Visit our website for an ongoing list of our Cultural Relief grantees , as we are still awarding funds . The deadline to apply for Cultural Relief grants is May 31.

The COVID-19 Cultural Relief Grant Program was established with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.
Rapid Response Artist Relief Closes, Funding Over 400 Artists
The Council has awarded more than $170,000 in relief grants to more than 400 artists through its Rapid Response Artist Relief program. The program was established in March to support artists who have lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While our RRAR grants have closed, we are still accepting direct donations to support our efforts in responding to the devastating and rapidly-evolving impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the arts sector. Donations given to the Vermont Arts Council for Covid-19 recovery will support grants to artists and arts organizations. Donate for Covid-19 recovery using our secure online donation form .
VACDaRN Launches New Website
The Vermont Arts & Culture Disaster Resiliency Network recently opened its digital doors with a new website . Visitors can learn more about the network's mission and perspective, keep up with steering committee meetings, and access a variety of resources for emergency management.
Art in the Time of Covid: Modern Times Theater
Since 2007, husband and wife team Justin Lander and Rose Friedman have toured New England as Modern Times Theater , an old-fashioned puppetry and novelty music show that Boston's WBUR radio has called "part funny-serious puppets, part jaunty live 1920s band, part serious social critique, part shenanigans."
Rose and Justin are also half of the founding team behind Vermont Vaudeville , a biannual production based out of Hardwick since 2009. Performing artists like Rose and Justin, who make their income entirely through their art, have been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, they remain creative and connected to their community, offering safe, curbside performances by delivery.

As part of our series featuring creative professionals’ responses to the virus, Rose Friedman, co-founder of Modern Times Theater, shared her thoughts with the Council. Read more about Modern Times Theater on the Council's website .
Summer 2020 Governor's Institutes Go Online, New Pay-What-You-Can Tuition
For over three decades, talented young Vermonters have gathered each summer for the Governor’s Institutes : college-level academic and artistic enrichment programs where students dive deep into their passions on campuses across the state. When the Covid-19 pandemic began, this summer tradition as much as any was under threat of cancellation, but in early April it was decided the Institutes must go on—virtually.
For the first time in its history, the Governor’s Institute will be held not on residential campuses like UVM, Castleton, Goddard, and Bennington, but in students’ homes and on their screens. As jarring as the loss of an on-campus experience may be, GIV prefers to think of it as an opportunity to innovate, and to double down on their mission of giving all Vermonters access to exceptional, student-centered education.

Explore Vermont's Creative Sector, Online!
New museums and galleries have been added to . Virtually enter exhibitions, click on objects to learn more, and try art-at-home activities great for students, parents, educators, and YOU. For more virtual art, culture, and learning resources from curators around Vermont, follow @VermontCuratorsGroup on Facebook or  Instagram .
Arts Briefs
Do you know a Vermont artist or arts organization we should feature on our blog? We are always seeking leads for new stories about the arts in Vermont, and we're inviting the public to help us find them. Use this form to submit contact info for any Vermont artist or arts organization you believe merits attention.
We are continually updating our Covid-19 resource center with a wide variety of tools and information to help the creative sector respond and adapt to the pandemic. Find new funding opportunities, stay up to date on state and federal relief efforts, and see how the press has been covering arts and culture during Covid-19.
An additional round of Artist Development Grants has opened to support artists as they adapt and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Apply by July 13 to support professional development efforts like building your digital skill set, purchasing new equipment, developing your website, and more.
Upcoming Virtual Arts Experiences
2Creative Community
Every other Friday
Southern Vermont Arts Center
May 29
Literary North
June 8, 15, 22, and 29
Submit Virtual Events to Our Arts Calendar
For regular updates on virtual arts experiences during the pandemic, follow the Council on Facebook or Twitter , or check out our Arts Calendar's new "virtual" category .

Are you organizing a virtual arts event? Submit your listing to our calendar using our online form. 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