Arts News for February 2021—Covid-19 Edition
Ten NEA Grants to Vermont Totaling $185K
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced its first major round of funding for FY2021, and among the awardees are nine Vermont organizations and one individual writer representing every region of our arts landscape. These NEA grants to Vermont total $185k. Please join us in congratulating these vital organizations:
  • Kingdom County Productions, Barnet, $10,000
  • Marble House Project, Dorset, $10,000
  • Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, $25,000
  • Tupelo Press, Manchester Center, $15,000
  • Presidents & Fellows of Middlebury College, Middlebury, $10,000
  • Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, $30,000
  • Sandglass Theater, Putney, $10,000
  • Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, $30,000
  • Stowe Story Labs, Stowe, $20,000
  • Matthew Olzmann, White River Junction, $25,000

Read more about NEA's 2021 grants, and see a state-by-state listing of all grants awarded.
Creative Economy
Making the Case for Creatives
Are you an advocate for arts, culture and creativity? There are many opportunities for advocacy. You can write to your state and federal legislators. You can address your Selectboard and your neighbors during the upcoming Town Meeting day. Some messages are more effective than others, and how you frame the message can help to build public support.

“Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation” is a new, evidence-based messaging guide from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. The guide has specific language recommendations, sample narratives, and insights into how advocates can hone arguments to broaden support for the arts and position the arts as a necessity. The NASAA resource page for advocacy and messaging also has some one-page tip sheets based on the guide.
Powering Our Communities with Creative Industry
How do states and localities leverage the creative sector to reignite economic growth in hard times? A new national report highlights how 11 communities across the country are doing it, and Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is one of the leading lights. “Creative Economies and Economic Recovery: Case Studies of Arts-Led Recovery and Resilience” provides a collection of case studies showing how creative economies of many regions achieved growth in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and how these sectors could serve as a model in a post-COVID-19 pandemic environment.

Creative economies exhibit continued resilience in the face of daunting circumstances. “These stories highlight the strong synergies between cultural development and community-led economic development and how creativity contributes to the success of rural regions, metropolitan centers and communities with histories of persistent economic disenfranchisement and distress,” the report observes. Check it out.
Grant Opportunities
Creation Grants
A new round of Creation Grants is now open to applications. Creation Grants support the creation of new work by Vermont artists working in any discipline, be it poetry, metal arts, circus, weaving, or digital media. In this round of funding, special consideration will be given to emerging artists. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on April 14, 2021. Visit our website to learn more about criteria, see recently funded projects, and start your application.
New England States Touring Grants
New England Foundation for the Art is accepting applications for its New England States Touring (NEST) grants. NEST grants help New England organizations present regional, national, and international touring artists—and for the first time, eligible projects may be either in-person or virtual. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2021 for projects occurring from June 1, 2021 through August 31, 2022. Learn more about NEFA's NEST grants.
Steering the Ship: Q&As with Vermont's Cultural Leaders
Ben Doyle
"The experience of the pandemic has revealed the extent to which 'multi-faceted challenges' are connected. That’s why I’m inspired by cultural organizations thinking about food access. Economic development agencies thinking about equity. Historic preservation that thinks about the future. The more we approach our challenges as connected ones, the more successful we will be in finding solutions."

—Ben Doyle, president of The Preservation Trust of Vermont

Read the latest installment of Steering the Ship, our Q&A series with Vermont's cultural leaders.
I AM... 2021 Launches with Packed (Zoom) House
Artists in the I AM…2021 Spotlight Gallery’s virtual exhibit introduced their work to an audience of over 50 people in a Feb. 18 virtual event, the first of three virtual gatherings about the exhibit. The artists spoke about how the pandemic has affected their practice and answered questions from the audience. View a recording of the event on YouTube.

The virtual exhibit is viewable on our website through April 30. Two more artist talks will be held online for the public: "Behind Creation: Discussing the Creative Process" will be held on March 18, and "The Business of Creativity: Getting Our Work Into the World" will be held April 15.

Visit our online gallery to explore the exhibit and register for the next events.
Virtual Poetry Out Loud Champion Showcase March 15
Join us at 7 p.m., Monday, March 15 for a virtual celebration of Poetry Out Loud champions from 21 schools around the state.

Poetry Out Loud is the only competition that brings young people across the nation together in the name of poetry. In previous years we have come together in person at local auditoriums and theaters. While nothing can replace an in-person celebration, we are happy to be able to gather together on the digital platform OVEE, hosted by PBS.

Actor Andy Butterfield will emcee the virtual showcase, and six local guest poets will be featured: Frances Cannon, Rajnii Eddins, Tina Escaja, Shanta Lee Gander, Ruth Rodriguez, and Bianca Stone.

2020 Vision Continues Into 2021!
The year 2020 has changed the world profoundly. 48 Vermont museums & galleries are reflecting on the year through a statewide cultural conversation into 2021, with exhibitions both in-person and online.

Explore, submit passport entries, and be entered to win prizes! Find out more at
Southern Vermont Arts Center
Through March 28
Studio Place Arts
Through March 6
Fairbanks Museum
St. Johnsbury
Reopens Feb 27
Arts Briefs
The Central Vermont Refugee Action Network (CVRAN) is holding a March Arts Marathon. Writers and artists at every career level will make art every day for a month with the support of sponsors to raise money for the Asylum Seekers Assistance Network. Learn more about the March Arts Marathon.
The Dorset Theatre Festival's annual Young Playwrights Program is going online for the first time, and enrollment is open now. The Festival has also announced two exciting new initiatives, the Commissioning and Fellowship Programs.
The Waterbury MakerSphere has acquired Waterbury Center's Seminary Arts Center, joining the two organizations under the MakerSphere name. Visit their website for information on virtual classes and studio rentals.
After the success of last year's virtual immersions, the Governor's Institutes of Vermont is going virtual again for summer 2021. Tuition is on a "pay-what-you-can" model, and applications are open now. Apply for GIV's summer 2021 immersions.
Middlebury artist Katie Runde has been selected to paint a large-scale portrait for the Vermont State House of Alexander Twilight, an important early Vermont educator and minister. Twilight is believed to be the first American legislator of African descent.
At 9 a.m., March 10, join local artists and the Vermont Recreation & Park Association for a "Safe Outdoor Venues" discussion about managing outdoor events during the pandemic in 2021. Learn more and register for the meeting.
New Arts Experiences
New England Center for Circus Arts
March 6
Vermont Studio Center
March 17
Artistree Community Arts Center
March 20
Recent Classifieds
Posted: February 3, 2021
Category: Job Postings
End Date: February 28, 2021

Posted: February 6, 2021
Category: Calls to Artists
End Date: March 12, 2021

Posted: February 12, 2021
Category: Calls to Artists
End Date: March 26, 2021
Submit Listings to Our Arts Calendar and Classifieds
Are you organizing an exhibit, concert, class, or other arts event? 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.
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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.
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