Vermont Community Foundation Announces 35 Small and Inspiring Grants

The Vermont Community Foundation awarded 34 Small and Inspiring grants totaling $66,879 to support projects in towns across the state this spring and summer. One of a number of competitive grant rounds at the Foundation, the Small and Inspiring program funds work that helps connect people to their neighbors, their land, and their history in ways that strengthen the fabric of the community. Community Foundation fundholders partnered with the Foundation in making the grants, which typically range from $250 to $2,500.

Nonprofits interested in applying for a Small and Inspiring grant are encouraged to visit for more information. There is one remaining round of Small and Inspiring for 2014, with a deadline December 1st.

Small & Inspiring Grants Spring and Summer 2014


Addison County Chamber of Commerce received $2,000 to stage French Heritage Day, a July celebration of the influence of French and French-Canadian culture on Vergennes and the wider Vermont community which featured reenactments, food, games, historical displays, hands-on activities, and live music.

Vermont Department of Health, Middlebury District Office received $1,575 to build raised garden beds for families in Addison County and offer continued gardening and harvesting support.

Mount Abraham Union High School received $2,000 for its On-Site Compost System project to reduce food waste, support the growth of school gardens, and educate middle- and high-school students about environmental ethics and sustainability.


Northshire Grows received $2,500 to organize a series of open, facilitated community meals and dialogues to identify needs and a strategy for moving the area's conversation around food and community forward.

Oldcastle Theatre Company received $2,000 to support its “Telling Vets’ Stories: Military Veterans Playwriting Workshop,” bringing together veterans from conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan to write, direct, and watch their stories performed onstage.

Paran Recreations received $2,200 to support “Into the Woods: Summer Camp for Kids in Need,” a two-week program that promotes outdoor, environmental, and survival education and skill development for at-risk youth.


350Vermont received $2,000 to support Unraveling and Turning: A Climate Change Cabaret, a showcase of artistic work from Windham County that speaks to the impact of climate change on both individual and community life in Vermont.

Alzheimer's Association, Vermont Chapter received $2,000 to support “The New Normal,” a community-building initiative centered on social events and activities that unite and empower people living with early Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

City of Burlington, Department of Parks and Recreation received $2,000 to support three live music performances for teens at the 242 Main teen center, with opportunities for the youth to photograph and video the shows, record them for broadcast online and on the radio, and interview the bands for the Big Heavy World website.

Burlington Writers Workshop received $2,143 to collaborate with StoryhackVT and convene free digital storytelling workshops, led by web developers and artists, on narrative techniques, website creation, and app development.

Essex CHIPS & Teen Center received $2,000 for “CHIP In! Community Service Opportunities for Youth,” which offers an array of activities for adolescents to engage in social service and contribute to meaningful community-building.

Jeh Kulu Dance and Drum Circle received $1,000 to support the 2014 West African Drum Festival in Burlington November 7-9, featuring Guinean and Senegalese dance and drumming workshops, flamenco, salsa, and hip hop classes, a cultural competency course, crafts, and West African food.

Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center received $2,500 to support Floating Classrooms, a program that provides environmental education and sailing instruction on Lake Champlain for local students.

The Schoolhouse Learning Center received $1,535 for “The Kid-Powered Grain Mill” project, an innovative collaboration between the Center and senior engineering students at the University of Vermont to build and use a grain mill for preschool, elementary, afterschool, and summer camp education.

The University of Vermont received $2,500 to host Vermont’s first “Ash Tree Awareness Week,” a multi-county campaign to increase public knowledge of the value of ash trees and the threats that they face from the Emerald Ash Borer, a prolific insect species capable of devastating Vermont’s Ash trees.


Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union received $2,500 to further develop the Franklin Northwest Supervisory Mindfulness Program, which empowers students with increased focus, awareness, goal-setting, and stress-reduction strategies.

St. Albans City School received $2,500 to support “Equitable Summer Learning,” which offers kids a holistic educational experience in academics, healthy eating, exercise, and gardening.


Clarina Howard Nichols Center received $2,200 to launch a public media campaign, LAVA (Lamoille Anti-Violence Advocates), which strives to enhance public awareness of sexual violence and educate community members about healthy relationships and tools to combat abuse.

Laraway Youth & Family Services received $1,500 for its Small and Inspiring Kids! Program to teach art skills to at-risk children who often can’t participate in extracurricular art projects.

River Arts of Morrisville received $2,000 to support Teens with Cameras: the Big Picture, a program to build youth confidence, creativity, and aspiration through experiential photography.

The Town of Morristown received $2,100 to display painted flags and banners downtown designed and created in collaboration with artists in recovery at Lamoille County Mental Health Services.


Back Roads Readings received $1,500 to celebrate the lifetime achievements of Galway Kinnell, a former Vermont State Poet with national renown. Kinnell, a resident of Sheffield in the Northeast Kingdom, joined fellow poets at the Statehouse to read from his works this summer.

Coutts-Moriarty Camp received $2,250 for Clyde River Connections, a place-based afterschool series that connects kids to their communities in the Clyde River watershed through interactive science, outdoor recreation, cultural activities, and service work.

Glover Historical Society received $1,000 to support “It Takes A Village: Glover Pioneer Camp Community Outreach and Awareness Campaign” a series of social and informational activities at the Historic Parker Settlement and public events to increase awareness of the camp as a resource and build community engagement.


Rutland Area Farm and Food Link received $2,500 for Rutland Grows, a weekly gardening program that engages Rutland residents with horticultural skills and stewardship practices while strengthening community relationships.


Community Engagement Lab received $2,000 to support We Are Montpelier, a program to bring together students in the Montpelier Public Schools with community members to collaborate on creative projects that express the distinct character of Montpelier through original songs, writing, and digital portfolios.

Community Harvest of Central Vermont received $2,000 to organize a gleaning project with volunteers who will gather fresh surplus produce from local farms to provide to community members who have otherwise limited access to fresh, healthy, local food. 

Cutler Memorial Library received $950 to support its “Writing for Change” program, which offers Plainfield-area youth the opportunity to explore social themes through creative writing with instruction from a local writer and the opportunity to participate in 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a worldwide poetry event.

Mad River Valley Television received $2,000 to support Young Filmmaker Internships. Students will work with the public, members of the Mad River Path, and Friends of the Mad River to produce It’s Our River, and Yours, a film honoring the history of responsible river management and sustained stewardship in the future.

Millstone Trails Association received $2,400 to support the Millstone Hill Sculpture Park, a project inviting sculptors to create new installations in Barre’s historic granite quarries for the public to enjoy.

Volunteers for Peace received $1,526 to create a sustainable living educational center with LyfeCycling in East Montpelier.


Marlboro Alliance received $2,500 to develop a community hub that will include a meeting venue, a food coop, emergency relief headquarters, and public space for artists and community members to meet and share ideas.


Chelsea “Get Thee to the Funnery” Shakespeare Program received $1,500 to grow youth theater opportunities with an expanded summer program and free school workshops during the academic year.

Hartford Historical Society received $2,500 to support their annual Abenaki and Indigenous Peoples Welcome Day during which the entire community is invited to gather to learn about and share in Abenaki and Indigenous culture, food, history, language, and arts.

Upper Valley Arts received $2,000 to support 16 screenings and community discussions of Freedom & Unity: The Vermont Movie, a new six-part documentary produced by several Vermont-based filmmakers, at public libraries in ten Vermont counties.

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