RAMP encourages creative collaboration among artists, businesses, social services, and under-served and under-resourced groups and individuals. Its programming provides portals for the community to connect and gain support with a larger creative community.
Among its many initiatives, RAMP has collaborated on creating public art projects such as a town-wide residency with Bread & Puppet Theater (1999, photos here are from RAMP archives), murals that greet people to Bellows Falls, and helped to restore and manage the Exner Block which provides ten affordable live and work spaces and six retail spaces with a preference given to artists. RAMP has also organized community-wide, quarterly Artists’ Town Meetings which provide an opportunity for individuals to share ideas and a meal, get to know one another and identify as a creative constituency that positively impacts the cultural and economic vitality of the community; maintained a community based RAMP Google Group that shares postings on art events, initiatives and opportunities; and hosted and produced “Everyday People,” as a local cable access show. Since 2015, 81 programs have been produced by RAMP, highlighting the stories of creatives who are making a difference in our community.
A native of California, Robert McBride received his B.A. in Painting from the University of California at Berkeley and then moved to New York City where he received his M.F.A. from Hunter College. He was a founding member in the late 1970’s of Painting Space122, an alternative art space on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He moved to Bellows Falls VT in 1995 and started The Rockingham Arts and Museum Project (RAMP). On Robert and RAMP’s founding, see Vermont Life 54(4) 2000:34f. For a more recent interview with Robert, see Vermont Arts and Living, Fall 2017.
- 2002 Vermont Arts Council Citation of Merit Award
- 2008 Vermont Council on Rural Development Vermont Community Leadership Award
- 2002-2011 National Trust for Historical Preservation Acknowledgment
- 2011 New England Foundation for the Arts Creative Economy Award
- 2012 Bernice R. Murray Award presented by VT Community Development Assn
- 2016 Governor’s Award for Arts in Advocacy – Margaret L. Kannenstine Award