Arts News for January 2021—Covid-19 Edition
An Update From the Executive Director
2021 opens with a momentous transition in political leadership and the first phase of COVID vaccinations across the country, bringing hope to millions of people. While we know that the nation—and our arts and culture sector—face grave challenges, “there is always light,” as we were reminded last week by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman.

Our Director’s Update offers hope in the year ahead as well. The Arts Council will continue to focus on convening, engaging, and amplifying the power and potential of our state’s creative economy; supporting diverse creative talents and voices; and finding ways for the arts to help us all to heal and rebound from the pandemic.

Arts Council Elects Five New Trustees
Elected to three-year terms beginning in January 2021 were Emily Bernard (South Burlington); Will Kasso Condry (Burlington); Sharon Fantl (Brattleboro); and Holly Groschner (Corinth). Elected for a three-year term beginning June 2021 was Mark Foley (Rutland).

“We are fortunate to be welcoming these five exceptional Vermonters to our board,” said Board Chair Gail Nunziata. “They bring talents as working artists, administrators, and economic influencers, each with distinct life and work experiences. Their perspectives both within and outside of the arts sector will be incredibly valuable to us. I look forward to working with each one of them.”

2020 Highlights: Annual Report, Arts Awards, and More
As a new year takes off, we look back on some of the highlights of the extraordinary year that was 2020.

Our annual report, released in a new digital format, tells stories of artists and organizations who inspired us over the past year. Read the FY2020 Annual Report.

While we couldn't celebrate the recipients of the 2020 Vermont Arts Awards with the usual in-person fanfare, we are thrilled to honor each with a brief video about their work. View the 2020 Arts Award videos.

The Covid-19 pandemic devastated Vermont's creative economy in 2020 and responding has been the Council's most urgent task. In partnership with Vermont Humanities, we have given over $780,000 in relief funds to 123 cultural organizations all across Vermont through the CARES Act. Read the CARES Act Report to the Community.
New Grant Rounds Opening Soon
Looking to fund a creative project in 2021? Over the next few months, several Council grant programs will reopen to applications.

Artists and organizations seeking funding in 2021 should review our grants carefully to see which—such as Artist Development, Cultural Facilities, or Creation—is most appropriate.

Grantseeker workshops will be announced shortly to help you prepare your applications, and a new application system will come online soon to ease the process of applying for support. We encourage grantseekers to make use of the resources and "Knowledge Centers" gathered in the new "Resources" tab of our website's main menu.

I AM... 2021 Coming to Virtual Spotlight Gallery
The Council’s Spotlight Gallery announces its new all-virtual season with an incredibly diverse group of Vermont artists.

Viewable on the Council’s website from Feb. 18 through April 30, I AM… 2021 will feature the work and perspectives of nineteen artists from the Council’s popular I Am a Vermont Artist interview series.

On the third Thursday of each month, join the artists virtually to peek behind the scenes of their creative process and discover how they work, whether that's in home studios, living rooms, or on kitchen counters.

Steering the Ship: Q&As with Vermont's Cultural Leaders
Danny Lichtenfeld & Keisha Luce
"We can’t undo generations of ingrained inequity and exclusion incrementally or painlessly. If it feels difficult, especially at the start, that might mean we’re moving in the right direction."

—Danny Lichtenfeld, executive director of Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
"...if you meet doubt with the ability to be comfortable experimenting and changing direction when needed, then the challenges become easier to tackle."

—Keisha Luce, executive director of Highland Center for the Arts
Read the latest installments of Steering the Ship, our Q&A series with Vermont's cultural leaders. This month we spoke to Danny Lichtenfeld and Keisha Luce.
I am a Vermont Artist: Dona Ann McAdams
For almost two decades, renowned photographer Dona Ann McAdams has been raising goats on a farm in Sandgate, Vermont. A photographer for whom work and community are one and the same, Dona’s recent photos are often of goats and cows, horses, scenes of milk production, and other denizens and phenomena of rural life.

Before Vermont, Dona’s community and subjects were thoroughly urban. She studied photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in the ‘70s, and her friendship with Harvey Milk taught her to use her art for social change. After Milk’s assassination, Dona returned to New York City, where she was born and raised, and she began photographing subjects like the gentrification of the Lower East Side, the queer liberation movement, people living with mental illness, and the women of the city.

Dona’s photography has been exhibited in such acclaimed venues as the Whitney and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Since 2019, a retrospective exhibit of her work, Performative Acts, has been touring museums and galleries around Vermont. Curated by Vermont State Rep. John Killacky (D-South Burlington), the former director of the Flynn Center, the exhibit features photos spanning four decades of her career and will be on view next at the Bennington Museum on April 2, 2021.

2020 Vision Continues Into 2021!
The year 2020 changed the world forever. 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
Studio Place Arts
Through Feb 27
Flynndog Gallery
Through March 31
Catamount Arts
St. Johnsbury
In-person, outdoors
Through Feb 28
Vermont History Museum
Virtual Exhibition
Through April 3
Arts Briefs
Vermont's virtual Poetry Out Loud competition is underway! Twenty-one Vermont schools are participating in the poetry recitation competition this year. A virtual showcase event will be held on March 15, when students will display the skills they've been learning from our teaching artists via online training videos.
The Vermont International Film Festival has partnered with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival to present "Split/Screen," an eight-month curatorial collaboration. From November through June 2021, the festivals will co-present a monthly series of films online. See what's playing on Split/Screen.
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies' new report on the arts' contributions to economic recovery in the US is a valuable resource as we work to restore the creative economy. And our study on the NEK's creative economy is a featured case study! Read NASAA's report on how the arts drive economic recovery.
New Arts Experiences
Middlebury College
Jan 29
Vermont Studio Center
Feb 8
Recent Classifieds
Posted: January 18, 2021
Category: Classes/Conferences/Webinars
End Date: February 27, 2021

Posted: January 14, 2021
Category: Calls to Artists
End Date: February 28, 2021

Posted: January 11, 2021
Categories: Calls to Artists, Grants/Funding/Residencies
End Date: March 12, 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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