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Vermont Arts Council, Vermont Community Foundation Partner to Support the State’s Creative Sector

VCF VAC Erika Senft Miller credit Jimmy Tarantino

Grant recipient Erika Senft Miller in a row boat that provided inspiration for her multi-sensory installation, "The Net Works."  photo credit: Jimmy Tarantino

Recognizing the power of the arts to educate and inspire, the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Community Foundation are pleased to announce funding to support the state’s creative sector through a philanthropic partnership established four years ago.

The funding will help artists follow their inspiration and create new work. It will also support arts organizations, municipalities, and schools that strive to provide equal and abundant access to the arts in Vermont.

“Our partnership with the Vermont Community Foundation enables us to make arts and cultural experiences more accessible to people of every age and background, to uplift more voices, and to bring communities together. It also allows us to invest in the creative practices of Vermont artists, helping them in reaching new heights,” said Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Susan Evans McClure.

“Across Vermont communities, there’s an uptick in energy when art gets made and creative events bring people together,” said Dan Smith, president and CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation. “You can just feel it. People feel connected, and local restaurants and other businesses benefit. A sense of possibility emerges in a way that boosts spirits. Partnership is at the heart of our work, and we are grateful to work with the Vermont Arts Council in supporting individual artists and the amazing impact they have on the state.”

Since the partnership was created in 2020, the Vermont Community Foundation has granted $315,000 to the Vermont Arts Council from the Foundation’s Vermont Arts Endowment Fund and Arts Recovery Fund, including $56,000 this year.

In addition to the Arts Endowment partnership, Vermont artists and cultural nonprofits have benefited from the generosity of individual donors who have contributed to the Arts Council through donor advised funds at the Vermont Community Foundation. Over the last four years, these donations have totaled approximately $1,118,000.

The Vermont Arts Council will distribute this year’s partnership funding through two competitive, annual grant programs: Creation Grants and Arts Project Grants.

Creation Grants support artists or artist groups in creating new work and are the most sought-after award for artists. Last year, 22 artists received funding out of a record 225 applications with funding requests totaling over $1 million. The award was increased by $1,000 to $5,000, thanks to additional funding from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Arts Endowment Fund. New work in filmmaking, public art, painting, storytelling, poetry, music, and more, was funded, covering a wide array of themes, including wildlife rehabilitation, women’s mental health, chronic pain, and family ancestry, among others.

“The grant was pivotal in making this project I have been working on for four years come to reality,” said multimedia artist Erika Senft Miller of Colchester. “Not only did it buoy this project financially but also psychologically. Knowing that the Vermont Arts Council deemed this project worthy gave me also a huge emotional and mental lift.”

Senft Miller’s grant supported the creation of multisensory storytelling elements for an immersive experience entitled “Net Works.”

The deadline for fiscal year 2025 Creation Grant applications was April 9. Recipients will be announced in August.

Also funded in part by support from the Community Foundation are Arts Project grants. These grants support nonprofits, municipalities, and schools in their efforts to add vibrancy to Vermont communities through projects that provide equal and abundant access to the arts. Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $4,000.

Under this program in fiscal year 2024, a total of $75,000 in funding was awarded to 25 organizations. Among the funded projects were a permanent mural and cultural event by Abenaki artists in the interior of the Montpelier Transit Center; a public gathering of artists to explore notions of peace at Greensboro United Church of Christ; and a special exhibition of Bread & Puppet’s work at Karma Bird House Gallery in Burlington.

Recipient Manchester Community Library received funding to support the Taconic Chamber Players in a nine-concert series, “International Voices,” designed to enhance cultural awareness. Concert-goers shared heartfelt support for the program.

“It was a truly moving and inspiring event. Thank you for creating it, thank you for inviting us and bringing our community together in such a beautiful way at a time when so many people are hurting. You are an inspiration to us all,” wrote one audience member.

The deadline for fiscal year 2025 Arts Project Grants applications was in April. Grant recipients will be announced in August.

For more information about Creation Grants, visit

For more information about Arts Project Grants, visit