Leahy, Sanders And Welch: 6 VT Arts Organizations Will Net Total Of $500,000 In Funding From The American Rescue Plan

(THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2022) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that six Vermont arts organizations will be receiving a combined $500,000 in funding through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said:  “The arts was one of the hardest hit sectors in the country as the pandemic shuttered performance spaces and galleries.  In Vermont, which has some the highest participation in the arts in the nation, the closing of arts spaces has been challenging for both artists and the Vermonters who love their work, and whose lives are enriched by what they produce.  These grants will help arts organizations recover so we can all continue to enjoy the creativity and talent of Vermont’s artists and performers.”

“We applaud the American Rescue Plan’s historic investment in the recovery of our nation’s arts and culture sector,” said Karen Mittelman, executive director of the Vermont Arts Council.  “We know that arts and culture are vital to community resilience in rural states like Vermont.  All of us are grateful for Senator Leahy’s exceptional leadership, the support of Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, and the NEA’s tireless work on behalf of this essential sector.  Congratulations to these six outstanding Vermont cultural organizations.” 

Leahy chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The National Endowment for the Arts administers this program, which is awarding $57 million to arts groups across the country.  The grants were highly competitive with more than 7,500 applicants and 567 recipients across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

Among the recipients was the Flynn Center for the Perming Arts, which is receiving $100,000.  “We are immensely grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for awarding the Flynn this grant as part of the American Rescue Plan,” said Flynn Executive Director Jay Wahl.  “We’d like to thank Senator Leahy and his colleagues for their tireless work on this vital legislation, and for their support in securing these much-needed funds for organizations in our area.  The Flynn has a well-established dedication to producing creative, enriching events in public spaces — including citywide events at the annual Burlington Discover Jazz Festival.  This grant will allow us to build on this work and develop inclusive, joyful community projects that reach new audiences, so that everyone has an opportunity to experience and connect with the arts.”

Stowe Story Labs also received $100,000 to help them with their mission of supporting filmmakers and screenwriters.  “We are honored, proud, and excited to receive this award,” said David Rocchio, Founder and Director of Stowe Story Labs.  “This grant will directly help us meet our mission to support artists otherwise unable to access resources to help them hone their craft, develop their work, and build a network of peers and mentors in this collaborative world.  Senator Leahy's vision and support for this program and the arts generally is deeply, deeply appreciated."

The Vermont Stage Company, which has been unable to hold indoor theater productions for the past two years, received a $50,000 grant.  “This special funding from the NEA to support Vermont Stage is transformative for our theatre company," said artistic director Cristina Alicea.  "This kind of support will enable us to keep our theatre open and producing the thought-provoking plays that our audiences have grown to love.  We are humbled and thrilled to be among the prestigious Vermont arts organizations to be receiving this grant."

The other Vermont recipients are: 

  • Burlington City Arts Foundation, $100,000
  • Community Engagement Lab in Montpelier, $50,000
  • Craft Emergency Relief Fund in Montpelier, $100,000

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