Small and Inspiring grants, ranging from $250-$2,500, are aimed specifically at work that builds social capital in communities around the state. Whether a project delivers meals to house-bound seniors, offers an acting camp at an affordable housing complex, or hosts an annual summer picnic at a renovated town hall, we want to support work that connects us to our own humanity and to each other, building trust and connections among neighbors. This work embodies the sense of community in Vermont that we all know and cherish.
In 2015, Small & Inspiring made 70 grants totaling $150,583.
Small & Inspiring Grants Spring 2015
The Bristol Hub Teen Center received $2,500 to support their Hub Garden Project, which aims to teach local youth to grow their own food, provide fresh produce to their nutrition program, and build life skills.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum received $2,000 to support Abenaki Heritage Weekend, an event which provides an opportunity for members of Vermont’s recognized Abenaki Tribes and unaffiliated people of Abenaki descent to share their living arts and traditions with the public.
New Haven Conservation Commission received $1,000 for the PLACE Program, a community landscape and wildlife conservation program that involves the New Haven Planning Board; New Haven schoolchildren, teachers, and administrators; and the town’s residents.
Orwell Free Library received $2,000 to support an Introduction to Cartoon and Illustrating program and an author/illustrator discussion about young adult novel writing. The program is open to all ages and intends to provide the community with an intergenerational experience that will strengthen community bonds.
Vergennes Partnership received $1,500 for The Vergennes Arts Walk, which promotes community spirit and provides area artists the opportunity to showcase their work in easily accessible downtown business settings.
Dorset Theatre Festival received $2,500 to support a theater program for youth that encourages literacy and creativity through a new play development residency and playwriting competition at the local middle and high school.
Pope Memorial Library received $1,500 to support Community Conversations, a series of four conversations per year with experts in the areas of music, food, volunteerism, and language.
Abenaki Helping Abenaki (AHA) received $2,000 for the Wabanaki Confederacy Conference, an event which brings communities together to build social relationships, connect to the environment, educate about food sustainability projects, and help to preserve Native American culture.
Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center received $2,500 for the Adaptive Watersports Program, a service that provides people with diverse needs access to adapted teaching methods and specialized sailing equipment.
Peace & Justice Center received $2,500 to support their Racial and Economic Awareness Initiative which aims to develop, market, and pilot five workshops to be offered to schools, other institutions, and the public.
Vermont Congolese Community received $1,500 to support Congo Luzingu, a cultural festival that aims to strengthen mutual understanding between the Congolese community and their neighbors in the greater Burlington area.
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom received $2,500 to commemorate its 100th anniversary by putting on a Jan Maher play that chronicles the work of women peacemakers throughout the last century, enlivening their history for students and the community.
Young Writers Project received $2,000 for the Vermont Slam Poetry Project, which helps youths across Vermont find their voices through slam poetry and use those voices to advocate for change.
Stowe Performing Arts received $2,000 to support a concert, public lecture, and school performance by musician, dancer, and lecturer Karim Nagi in an effort to create greater understanding of Arab culture.
Sundog Poetry Center received $775 for its Nature Poetry Camp for Kids, which provides kids with opportunities to explore poetry through hands-on nature activities, read and discuss a diverse selection of poems, and create their own poems with the guidance of a teacher.
Town of Randolph received $2,500 for Arts on Wheels, which provides children with professionally taught arts education classes, delivered by the Arts Bus, a mobile arts studio, music space, and free library.
Vermont Technical College received $2,000 to support Randolph Area Table Scrappers! (RATS!), which provides Randolph with residential food scrap disposal services at one convenient drop-off location in Randolph Center for delivery to the Vermont Tech anaerobic digester for the generation of electricity and conversion into bedding and crop fertilizer.
Albany Community School received $2,345 to support the Albany Community Bowl Project, a program in which students work with a local potter to create and glaze bowls and invite families and community members to share a spring feast made by students with ingredients from local farms.
Greensboro Arts Alliance & Residency received $1,000 to support the 2015 Greensboro Writers’ Forum, an event where community members work on and share their writing.
NorthWoods Stewardship Center received $2,065 for a herptile citizen science training that intends to build understanding of the conservation needs of reptile and amphibian populations in northeastern Vermont and create a team of capable citizen scientists through volunteer training and support.
Town of Craftsbury received $1,000 for the 44th Annual Antiques and Uniques Festival. The event brings community together in the appreciation of antiques, art, and locally grown foods.
United Church of Newport received $2,500 for iMentor, the church’s Out of School Program which pairs children with trusting senior citizens to strengthen connections in the Newport community.
Vermont Granite Museum of Barre received $2,500 to support the RockFire Granite Heritage Fire Walk, a multi-use pathway that begins the transformation of a 12-acre field adjoining the Museum from a granite waste site into an outdoor recreational area.
Next Stage Arts Project received $2,250 for Shepherd Sleeps, a community pageant set in the hills of Putney that engages schools, organizations, and community members. Using movement and large-scale puppetry, the pageant reinvigorates early histories of the area.
Strolling of the Heifers received $1,500 for its fifth annual Slow Living Summit, an event which seeks to bring food in focus through a mindful exploration of the journey of food—from farming and food entrepreneurship to food justice and policy.
Black River Action Team received $2,500 to support Neighborhood Stormwater Runoff Outreach and Mitigation, a program that educates homeowners about the benefits of capturing and slowing storm water runoff through targeted outreach and technical assistance.
Muckross Environmental Education and Outdoor Recreation Day Camp received $2,500 to support a day camp providing a safe, natural environment where any child, regardless of economic or social circumstance, can experience hands-on environmental education and outdoor recreation.
Norwich Historical Society received $1,500 to support a series of educational programs exploring personal, family, and town history to facilitate deeper connections to community among a population that has a high degree of transiency.
Zack's Place Enrichment Center received $2,500 to support a collaboration with the Thomson Senior Center to write, choreograph, and perform a community musical production at the local high school auditorium.
Small & Inspiring Grants Fall 2015
Addison Central Teens received $1,786 to support a program that creates open dialogue with youth regarding the influence of pornography on their perceptions of sexuality, gender roles, and relationships.
Hospice Volunteer Services received $2,500 to support a community storytelling event for individuals to share personal stories of love and loss, fostering community connection and openness around the difficult but universal experiences of death and grief.
Town Hall Theater, Inc. (THT) received $2,500 to support a collaborative memoir storytelling program with Addison County Parent/Child Center (ACPCC) which aims to infuse opportunities for vibrant self-expression into ACPCC’s existing programming while making THT more accessible to Addison County families of limited means.
Molly Stark Elementary School received $2,500 to support a project that aims to rehabilitate a long neglected wooded area adjacent to the school’s campus in Bennington, creating outdoor educational spaces and educational kiosks to identify the flora, fauna, and natural history of the area.
Northshire Grows received $2,500 to support a collaborative project with the Manchester, Dorset, and West River Farmers Markets, which aims to increase the number of young people taking part in their Kids' Day markets and spur emerging entrepreneurship, business skills, and volunteerism in the region's youth culture.
Ski for Heat received $1,000 to support outdoor winter activities open to participants of all abilities, ages, and incomes that raise money for heating fuel assistance for low-income households.
Catamount Film & Arts received $2,500 to support a festival/concert featuring a deaf percussionist, an orchestra/chorus, creations by students in artist residencies at area schools, and cross-curricular presentations developed by community organizations and schools.
Community Restorative Justice Center received $2,500 to build and stock a resident supported food pantry with the Depot Square Residents Group.
Vermont Vaudeville received $2,000 to support the presentation of a professional variety show, featuring music, comedy, and circus, to 300 children from five area schools in a historic town hall.
Burlington School District received $2,500 to support Parent University, a program that works closely with community partners to provide educational classes to parents that enrich, engage, and empower them as equal partners in the education and well-being of their children.
Champlain Community Services, Inc. (CCS) received $1,500 to support an "intentional garden" at CCS that will be tended by CCS consumers with developmental disabilities. Through outreach and sharing of space, the project will engage the broader community at Ft. Ethan Allen, including diverse nonprofits and members of the armed services.
Chittenden Prevention Network received $1,912 to support the Above the Influence Youth Retreat, which brings Chittenden County youth together for a weekend to discuss and plan strategies for promoting healthy, substance-free lifestyles in their own schools and communities.
Flynn Center for the Performing Arts received $2,500 to support movement classes for people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers.
Islamic Society of Vermont received $1,500 to support a collaborative program with the Weekend Islamic School of VT’s and the Burlington YMCA for young women of all religions to build the enthusiasm and skills needed to gain a lifelong love of swimming.
Mercy Connections received $2,500 to support a mentoring retreat in which formerly incarcerated women and their mentors go to Mercy Farm to reinforce healing connections with each other, care for the earth, and engage in healthy, productive activities.
Mobius, Vermont's Mentoring Partnership received $2,500 to support an expansion of programs to support volunteer mentors, raise awareness of mentoring, increase mentor retention, recruit new mentors, and provide youth with valuable experiences.
Spoonful Herbals received $2,500 to support “Backyard Herbal Medicine” workshops and “Herb Mobs” to collect/glean unwanted medicinal plants and deliver them to sliding-scale community herbalism clinics which will make them available to community members seeking affordable nature-based health care.
Theatre Kavanah, Inc. received $2,500 to support a community-driven performance of Brundibár, a children's opera and a historically powerful work, whose story is one of giving voice to the voiceless to engage populations traditionally under-served by the arts.
Alice M. Ward Memorial Library received $2,500 to support a program created to explore the Canaan Community Forest by bringing experts in foraging, primitive skills, and sustainable outdoor activities to town for free public programs at the library.
Town of Guildhall received $2,500 to support the repair and preservation of the 1795 Guild Hall building for continued use by the Town Office and for hosting vital social, political, and cultural community events.
Town of Sheldon received $2,000 to build community support for a new and permanent home for the Sheldon Historical Society, a place where history can be gathered, displayed, discussed, and preserved.
Treat the Heart and Heal the Soul received $2,500 to support a women’s circle in which women will gain the leadership skills necessary to uplift their families and community and ensure women’s voice in tribal and civic decision-making, using Abenaki traditional ways.
Global Campuses Foundation received $1,500 to support a program connecting people with intellectual disabilities by hosting regional conferences. The participants will have the opportunity to meet and learn from others from different parts of Vermont who experience disability.
Hope On The Rise received $2,500 to provide new life experiences for women who are cancer survivors, through free weekend fly fishing retreats that are designed to help women find renewal, healing, and hope.
Williamstown Historical Society received $2,500 to support the construction and celebration of a multi-purpose wooden pavilion in the newly created Williamstown Veterans Memorial Park in the village.
The Art House, Inc. received $2,500 to support a monthly film series, which seeks to facilitate conversations around social issues through documentaries and panel discussions in an effort to connect the community to services, develop awareness, and strengthen social fabric around prevalent issues.
Four Winds Nature Institute received $2,450 to support the creation of a nature playscape at Rutland County Head Start’s Hickory Street site.
Lothrop Elementary School received $2,500 to support a public performance of an adapted Shakespeare play through a ten-week residency directed by Middlebury Town Hall Theater's Education Director.
The Ruth Stone Foundation received $2,500 to bring artists and writers to Goshen to visit, be inspired by, and work on Ruth Stone's literary and physical estate while also making vital stabilizations to the historic house.
Town of Tinmouth received $2,500 to support the community-driven construction of a front porch for Tinmouth’s Old Creamery building, modeled after an original which sheltered farmers' wagons, to create a community gathering space.
Barre Area Senior Center received $600 to support regular chair yoga classes for seniors, which offer the benefits of flexibility, strength, mindful breathing, meditation, improved balance and posture, and social engagement.
The Children's Room received $2,500 to support a series of weekend play dates for families with young children where families will engage with each other and their larger community.
Church of the Good Shepherd, Barre received $2,400 to support a program providing a nourishing breakfast and a warm space to the homeless and food insecure of the area twice a week.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center received $2,500 to support a pilot project that will transport homebound seniors to the senior center for nutritious meals and senior center programming.
Rural Vermont received $2,500 to support a program that helps family farmers who wish to inform public policy makers about their unique needs and contributions to Vermont's economy and communities through civic engagement training.
Art in the Neighborhood received $2,000 to support visual art classes for children enrolled in Health Care and Rehabilitative Services therapeutic activities programs.
Post Oil Solutions received $2,500 to support a series of facilitated cross-class dialogues, in which participants will learn from each other’s experiences, build trust and understanding, and become better equipped to work together across class differences.
Turning Point of Windham County received $2,500 to support an "ecological living room" for the recovery center's new permanent facility, enlisting both center volunteers and neighborhood supporters to bring to life a design this summer's Permaculture Design class created.
Vermont Performance Lab received $2,500 to support Doggie Hamlet, a full-length outdoor performance that weaves dance, music, visual and theatrical elements with aspects from competitive sheep herding trials.
Main Street Museum received $2,500 to support Fair Gender Faire, a three-day symposium which brings together a diverse group of individuals who will educate, lecture, exhibit, recite, and perform works on LGBTQAI topics.
Synergy received $2,500 to develop a support group for full-time, in-home caregivers who serve adults with disabilities through wellness activities, social and community connections, and information sharing. Synergy will Partner with Health Care and Rehabilitative Services.