MONTPELIER, VT—The Vermont Art Council announces the 22 recipients of its most sought-after award, the Creation Grant, which supports Vermont artists in creating new work. Two recipients were People’s Choice Creation Grantees, a new process involving the public’s vote.
Among this year’s winning proposals are works that span visual arts, literary arts, dance, music, film, and multidisciplinary fields, including a video rumination on living with chronic pain; a public art project exploring the concept of home; films about a Vermont dairy farmer and a wildlife rehabilitator; and an immersive experience with multisensory storytelling elements.
A record 225 applications were received for this highly competitive award, with a total of more than $1 million requested in funding. The Council typically has funding to support approximately 12-15% of requests for the annual grant.
Grants are awarded to Vermont artists or artist groups in amounts up to $5,000, an increase of $1,000 from last year, thanks to support from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Arts Endowment Fund.
Funding can be used for time spent developing new work, to purchase materials, or to rent equipment or space for the process. The award is only available to artists who have not received a Creation Grant within the last five years.
Criteria for selection are artistic excellence (60%), project management (25%), and impact (15%). Recipients were selected by independent panels comprised of 38 practicing Vermont artists and arts professionals. Applicants could submit audio or video files for their proposals in place of written applications.
Applicants could also indicate whether they wanted their proposal to be considered for the People’s Choice Creation Grant, a new opportunity for artists—and the broader Vermont community—to participate in the Creation Grant program, discover new artists across a wide range of artistic disciplines, and vote on the proposals. Two People’s Choice Grants were awarded.
After the traditional round of Creation Grant review concluded, information provided by participating artists in the special People's Choice Award section of their application was made public on the voting page of the Council's website. Only artists who did not receive a Creation Grant in the traditional round of review were included.
Voters had to be Vermont residents, 18 years of age or older, and could only cast one vote. Voters were encouraged to “think like a grant panelist” by using the grant criteria provided for artistic excellence and impact.
A total of 87 artists or artist groups elected to participate in the People’s Choice awards. More than 1,500 votes were cast.
The two proposals with the most votes and the winners of the People’s Choice Creation Grant were Ivan Klipstein of Burlington who will create a five-volume series of illustrated travelogue booklets and Carole Vasta Folley of Essex Junction who will create a play about women and the lifetime impact of gendered clothing.
"The breadth of artistic talent in Vermont is evidenced by the sheer number of outstanding applicants as well as the high engagement of people in voting for their favorite proposal. We’re thrilled to support these new works and look forward with great anticipation when they appear in the world," said Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Susan Evans McClure.
The Creation Grant program has supported more than 200 Vermont artists since the program began in 2009.
The Council's grant programs are made possible by support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the state of Vermont, and private donors.
For more information about the Creation Grant program, visit https://www.vermontartscouncil.org/grants/artists/creation.
FY2024 Creation Grant Recipients:
Arista Alanis (Johnson) to support the creation of three large-scale paintings
Christal Brown (Middlebury) to support the creation of story circles, listening parties, movement workshops, and community engagement around a dance-theater work entitled "What We Ask of Flesh"
Susan Calza (Montpelier) to support the creation of three 20-minute videos for the "Red Oculus: Listening" video project
Tom Gershwin (Danville) to support the creation of an original jazz album
Meredith Holch (East Hardwick) to support the creation of a handmade stop-motion animation video entitled "Taking Flight" about interactions with birds and other living creatures perceived as messengers or incarnations of recently deceased loved ones
John Killacky (South Burlington) to support the creation of a video rumination on living with chronic pain entitled "Still Point"
Sean Kirby (East Dover) to support the creation of a feature screenplay based on the real life of Vermont dairy farmer Romaine Tenney entitled "I Am My Domain"
Chelsea Knight (East Arlington) to support the creation of a short film exploring how we are shaped by the media and how as a society we can work to understand and develop agency in this process
Carlene Kucharczyk (Woodstock) to support the creation of a full-length collection of poetry for a manuscript entitled "Strange Hymn"
Shanta Lee (Guilford) to support the creation of an immersive digital installation inspired by "Black Metamorphoses"
Angelo Madsen Minax (Burlington) to support the creation of a film entitled "A Body to Live In" that traces the life and work of legendary photographer, performer, and non-binary cultural icon, Fakir Musafar
Willow O'Feral (Guilford) to support the creation of a short documentary about Fred Homer, an 85-year-old wildlife rehabilitator and artist
Evan Premo (Marshfield) to support the creation of visual elements for a new composition entitled "The Primacy of Consciousness"
Kyle Saulnier (Monkton) to support the creation of an extended work for jazz ensemble with strings
Erika Senft Miller (Colchester) to support the creation of multisensory storytelling elements for an immersive experience entitled "Net Works"
Jessica Sticklor (South Newfane) to support the creation of a novel exploring women's mental health
James Sturm (Hartland) to support the creation of a graphic novel memoir
Linda Urban (East Montpelier) to support the creation of a novel for young adults entitled "The Object Does Not Agree" exploring the lessons we internalize about what it means to be a young person in America
Ricardo Wilson (North Bennington) to support the creation of a novel entitled "Even Worse Than the Nightmare”
Corrine Yonce (Winooski) to support the creation of a public art project entitled "Longing is Just Our Word for Knowing" that uses images, story, and public art to illustrate the personal nuances and complexities in how we individually think of home