Special Funding Round Supports Artists with Covid-19 Relief

MONTPELIER, VT—A pandemic calls for creativity, and while Vermont artists have that in abundance, they might lack the support to help them express it. The Vermont Arts Council announces nine recipients of Artist Development grants, a special funding round to help artists adapt and respond to the current Covid-19 crisis.

The grants, which range from $250-1,000, support activities that enhance mastery of an artist’s craft or skills or that increase the viability of an artist's business. Many of the grant proposals from this round focused on today’s digital reality, with proposals to support the redesign of websites or to attend online learning opportunities.

Since the Vermont state of emergency was declared in March, artists and arts and cultural organizations who have applied to the Arts Council for support have reported current and projected losses of approximately $36.8 million.

Forty Vermont artists applied for the Artist Development grants, collectively requesting a total of more than $25,000 in support. The Council typically has funding to support approximately 25% of requests per round.

“It’s inspiring to see how artists across Vermont are re-imagining and sometimes deepening their creative practice while living and working remotely,” said Executive Director Karen Mittelman. “At the same time, we know artists are struggling financially and need support on many levels—to sustain their work, to engage with audiences digitally, to acquire new skills or to market their art—as we all adapt to this new environment.”

The Artist Development program has supported 277 Vermont artists since the program began in 2009.

This round of Artist Development grants was funded through a partnership with the Vermont Community Foundation. The Arts Council's grant programs are made possible by support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the state of Vermont, and private donors.

Three additional Artist Development rounds are planned with deadlines of Sept. 28, 2020; Jan. 11, 2021; and May 10, 2021. The next funding rounds will also support teaching artists for developing the skills necessary to provide instruction in K-12 schools remotely during the Covid-19 crisis.

For more information about the Artist Development grant program and to apply online, visit https://www.vermontartscouncil.org/grants/artists/artist-development.

Artist Development Grant Recipients:

Elizabeth Billings (Orange County), $455 to support attendance at an online digital drawing and rendering workshop through Yestermorrow Design/Build School

Dana Block (Chittenden County), $500 to support the design of a new website

Robert Burch (Windham County), $700 to support a website re-design

Stuart H. Carter (Chittenden County), $999 to support the purchase of a Yamaha Clavinova CVP 809GP

Bonny Hall (Windham County), $375 to support the purchase of a drum carder and brushes to blend locally sourced wool for artwork

Michaela Harlow (Windham County), $528 to support a website re-design
Tori Lawrence (Addison County), $900 to support professional sound design services and music for a dance film

Lisa McCormick (Windham County), $900 to support a website re-design

Mindy Wong (Chittenden County), $608 to support attendance at an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center, as well as the annual Postgraduate Writers’ Conference at Vermont College of Fine Arts

The Council continues to support artists and organizations through the pandemic and, in addition to the Artist Development grants, has thus far issued more than $170,000 in direct relief grants to 425 artists. More than $780,000 has been awarded to 123 Vermont arts and cultural organizations through a program with Vermont Humanities. Additional emergency relief grants have been made to the Clemmons Family Farm and to the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association for artists in their networks.

The Council continues to accept direct donations to support advocating for and supporting the creative sector during the Covid-19 pandemic and recovery. Donations can be made at https://www.vermontartscouncil.org/get-involved/giving


The Vermont Arts Council envisions a Vermont where all people have access to the arts and creativity in their lives, education, and communities. Engagement with the arts transforms individuals, connects us more deeply to each other, energizes the economy, and sustains the vibrant cultural landscape that makes Vermont a great place to live. Since 1965, the Council has been the state's primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts in Vermont. Learn more at vermontartscouncil.org
Catherine Crawley, VAC Communications Director, [email protected], 802-828-5422