Notes From Outside the Box
February 2020      
Funding the Creative Sector
Council funding has supported music making and youth mentoring by the Afropop group A2VT.  
Vermont Arts Council Grants, 
Workshops Available
Several FY2021 grants--for activities beginning September 1, 2020--are now open for application. Artists can apply for Creation and Artist Development Grants; organizations can apply for Arts Impact, Arts Partnership, and Cultural Facilities Grants.  

Anyone interested in applying to any program should attend a workshop, held in February and March. This year, an online option will be available.   
The Council is also offering a special funding opportunity through the Animating Infrastructure program  for communities poised to integrate works of public art into upcoming infrastructure projects.  
Federal Funding in Question 
The Trump administration has submitted their budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year--once again suggesting that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), along with other cultural agencies, be eliminated. The National Association for State Arts Agencies (NASAA) supports a request for funding the NEA at $170 million; the CEO has already testified before a committee in support of funding for the arts.
The budget process--and actions you can take right away--are well explained in this recent e-newsletter. Contact Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders as well as Representative Peter Welch ( how to reach them). You can use NASAA's talking points, or just thank your congressmen for their strong and vital support for arts and humanities funding, and remind them why the arts matter in your community.
Making Spaces Safer
Shawna Potter, singer for the Baltimore punk band War On Women, has tackled sexism and harassment in lyrics and on stage for years. Her work in training staff at night clubs and community spaces in how to create safer environments for marginalized people informs her new book, Making Spaces Safer. It is a guide for organizers of public spaces and community efforts of all sorts who want to build a healthier, more inclusive culture. 
Big Heavy World is collaborating with community partners to bring thirty copies of Making Spaces Safer to Vermont libraries so that everyone can access the knowledge and practices Potter shares.
A discussion will be held at Fletcher Free Library on February 18 and will feature an appearance and presentation by the author; more talks are planned for Bennington and Rutland. More here.

--Photo by Josh Sisk.
Inside the Creative Economy
Image courtesy Simon Pearce.
A close look at Simon Pearce reveals the generative aspect of a creative enterprise.

This celebrated glassware company came from Ireland to Quechee in 1981. The man Simon Pearce is the son of an Irish potter and a potter himself turned glassblower, who chose Vermont as the place to raise his family. The enterprise employs three hundred and nine workers (sixty-six are makers), in eleven retail locations, three glassblowing workshops, and one pottery studio. Their product is available around the world in U.S. Embassies, and nationwide via

It doesn't end there. Simon's son Andrew is a glassblower turned woodworker crafting bowls. A studio formerly upstairs spurred the work of, among others, furniture maker Charlie Shackleton and potter Miranda Thomas, and painter Glenn Suokko. Many glassblowers come to the Simon Pearce apprenticeship program each year pursuing second (or third) careers.

Creativity begets creativity.
Experience 2020 Vision
2020 Vision. Seeing the world through technology. A project of the Vermont Curators Group.
Vermont Curators Group encourages exploration of our state's diverse creative sector with a yearlong cultural conversation among thirty-six museums and galleries on the theme 2020 Vision: Seeing the World Through Technology. To reward the adventurous, prizes await those who tag @VermontCuratorsGroup on Facebook or Instagram with each exhibition visited.

Each month, Notes From Outside the Box will feature a few highlights; you can view the full calendar of exhibitions and events at
on view
Spruce Peak Performing Arts  
on view
Champlain College Art Gallery
Thursday, March 12 at 5:30
Helen Day Art Center

The Vermont Creative Network is an initiative of the Vermont Arts Council.

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.