Arts News for October 2020—Covid-19 Edition
New Expanded Economic Recovery Grant Program
The State of Vermont has announced a new Covid-19 relief program, the Expanded Emergency Economic Recovery Grant. This program has expanded eligibility to welcome a variety of businesses, including small businesses and nonprofits that do not have an employee on payroll. Those who have received past relief grants from the State of Vermont or the Vermont Arts Council can apply if your business or organization continues to have an unmet need due to COVID-19 related sales/revenue losses.

Cultural Facilities Grants Award Nearly $200K to 17 Organizations
Fairlee Town Hall Auditorium
The Council has awarded nearly $200,000 in Cultural Facilities Grants to 17 Vermont arts and community organizations to help provide critical funds to improve safety, upgrade equipment, and ensure that the arts are accessible to all Vermonters.

We received 33 applications, the highest number of applications since 2001 when the Arts Council assumed administration of the program and began awarding grants.

North Bennington Unveils Kiosk with Animating Infrastructure Funds
Joe Chirchirillo's sculpture kiosk in North Bennington.
A new sculpture kiosk has been unveiled in North Bennington, created by artist Joe Chirchirillo with the help of a 2019 Animating Infrastructure Grant.

The kiosk is made with scrap metal collected from the area and includes a community bulletin board. Nearby, signage crafted by Chirchirillo points to a variety of local businesses and landmarks.

An Interview with Author and Artist Frances Cannon
Get to know 2020 Creation Grant recipient Frances Cannon in our interview with the artist, educator, and author of four books.⁠
"In many ways I feel like every aspect of my life is “hybrid,” not only my art but my existence: I’m an artist and a writer; I grew up on both the east and the west coast, I’ve lived as a city and country mouse, I’m bisexual/queer, and I’m half-luddite but I seem to spend all of my time on a computer. Perhaps the spaces in-between genre and categories feel the most natural and comfortable for me, or maybe I’m just a greedy creative, I want to work in many mediums at once."⁠

Steering the Ship: A Q&A with Vermont's Cultural Leaders
Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup
Vermont Humanities Executive Director Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup
Leaders of arts and cultural organizations must draw on perhaps until now untested courage and fortitude to navigate today’s choppy seas. A viral pandemic, economic devastation, unending climate crises, and mass demonstrations to end systemic racism—all are reshaping the cultural landscape. How will these factors shape the arts now and in the future?

As part of a new series featuring Vermont’s arts and cultural leaders, we’re asking how they are navigating these peculiar times. We hope that the responses might help other arts and cultural organizations chart their own voyage.

Read our interview with Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, executive director of Vermont Humanities.
I am a Vermont Artist: Alexa Rivera
Basket weaver Alexa Rivera
To hold something is harder than you might think. It takes preparation, motivation, ancient skill and technique. All through history, there have been people for whom holding is a calling: the weavers.

Alexa Rivera of Burlington has been weaving since she was 10. It started with needle and thread bead weaving in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she would help the older women in her classes thread their needles. After moving to Vermont in 2012, Alexa often found herself weaving with natural materials found in the woods. This habit grew into a vocation and a business, WOVN.COUNTRY, through which Alexa has been selling fine baskets and teaching the art and craft of basket weaving since 2016.

Composing the Rural Imaginary with Otto Muller
Composer Otto Muller at Kent's Corner in Calais
Step outside—into the yard or street, or the parking lot—and take note of as many boundaries as you can: where the grass meets the road, where private becomes public, where the radio station turns to static. This is what composer and educator Otto Muller has been doing to prepare for his next project, a site-specific, hybrid performance that earned him one of the Council’s competitive Creation Grants this year. To Otto, the rural landscape is a network of borders and lines drawn by people, generation after generation, and these layers of boundaries tell a long and complex story that is still being written—the story of our relationship with the land.

New Vermont Curators Group Exhibits
2020 Vision is back! 48 Vermont museums and galleries are reflecting on this world-changing year through exhibitions and events in a statewide cultural conversation, with a passport program that offers a chance to win fun prizes. Learn more at
Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery
Through Nov 28
Henry Sheldon Museum
Through Dec 31
Burlington City Arts
Through Jan 30
Arts Briefs
Poetry Out Loud is back! For 2020-2021, all Poetry Out Loud programming will be held virtually. We are offering a variety of resources to help teachers and students succeed this year, such as toolkits and visiting artist workshops. Learn more about Poetry Out Loud and register your school.
The Vermont Creative Network is holding three IdeaJams to follow up on their FutureJam gathering earlier this month, when creatives all around the state shared their visions for a stronger creative sector. Register for the next IdeaJam on Oct. 27, when artists will break out by discipline to discuss the future of their sectors.
Art heals. Help Vermont communities to thrive again by donating to the Vermont Arts Council. Since the pandemic struck, we have worked to deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid to artists and and organizations around Vermont. Learn more about what we've done and how to support us.
New Arts Experiences
Helen Day Art Center
Aug 4 - Nov 28
Community Engagement Lab
Oct 23 - Nov 8
The Front
Nov 6 - Nov 29
Recent Classifieds
Posted: October 19, 2020
Category: Job Postings
End Date: November 20, 2020

Posted: October 6, 2020
Category: Calls to Artists
End Date: November 30, 2020

Posted: August 18, 2020
Category: Grants/Funding/Residencies
End Date: November 17, 2020
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.
Vermont Arts Council | 802.828.3291