VAC Awards First Multi-Year Grants Since 1996

Local Arts Partnership Grants for Community Development are largest grants given and will support local not-for-profit arts organizations. September 15, 2003

For the first time since 1996 - when Congress made drastic cuts to public funding for the arts - the Vermont Arts Council has awarded multi-year grants to five community organizations around the state. The Local Arts Partnership Grants for Community Development are currently the largest grants given by the Council. Grant amounts range from $7000 to $10,000.

Recipients of these grants are River Arts of Morrisville; Onion River Arts Council of Montpelier/Barre; Grassroots Arts and Community Effort (GRACE) in Hardwick; Rockingham Art and Museum Project (RAMP) in Bellows Falls and the Vermont Arts Exchange of North Bennington. This grant category has been developed in an effort to give these important community organizations more predictable funding, to help stabilize programs, and support extensive community partnerships serving a wide range of community needs through the arts in collaboration with social service agencies, municipalities, Regional Marketing Organizations, senior centers, colleges, police, and hospitals, among others.

These grant recipients were chosen from a competitive field of 10 applicants. These five organizations, with a broad range of community involvement, represent some of the best work done in this area. However, a number of other community arts organizations serve their communities in these and other ways, but present limitations in available funds restrict the number of grants that can be awarded. Each organization will celebrate receipt of this coveted award in a ceremony in their home communities. Representatives of the Vermont Arts Council staff and Board of Trustees will attend along with community leaders:

  • River Arts of Morrisville's award will be given on September 25, at the opening of a new exhibit at the Tegu Gallery in Morrisville at 5:00 pm.
  • GRACE will celebrate their receipt of the award at their recently renovated facility at the Old Firehouse, 13 Mill St. Rt. 15 in Hardwick during their weekly community art classes at 3:30 pm.
  • Rockingham Arts and Museum Project of Bellows Falls will celebrate their award during their monthly community Galley Walk on October 17 at the recently renovated Exner Block at 5:30 pm.
  • Onion River Arts Council's award will be presented at their 30th Anniversary party, October 18 in Montpelier's City Hall Auditorium Art Center at approximately 9:00 pm.
  • The date and time for North Bennington's Vermont Arts Exchange has not yet been determined.


  • River Arts of Morrisville's grant was given to support year one of a two-year project to strengthen partnerships with the Town of Morrisville, local schools, the Lamoille County Planning Commission, the Copley Trust Elder Arts Program, and emerging social service partners, such as Lamoille County Family Center, Laraway School, and Lamoille county Mental Health.
  • The award to Onion River Arts Council in Montpelier is to support community partnerships in arts presentation, education, community development, and advocacy with the Cities of Barre and Montpelier, the Barre Opera House, Washington County Youth Service Bureau, Montpelier Downtown Community Association, Barre Housing Authority, Head Start and numerous PTOs and parent groups.
  • Grass Roots Arts and Community Effort (GRACE) of Hardwick's grant is to support year one of a two year project to sustain and develop established and new partnerships with Northeast Kingdom Human Services, Howard Community Services, Heartbeat Lifesharing, and community artists.
  • Rockingham Arts and Museum Project's award is to support ongoing partnerships with the Town of Rockingham, Housing Vermont, the Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance, Flying Under Radar series, and the Great Falls Regional Chamber of commerce, as well as two local social service agencies, Our Place and Park Place, and the Bellows Falls Middle School.
  • North Bennington's Vermont Arts Exchange received its award to sustain, arts partnerships focused on the Bennington County community that include the Vermont Veterans' Home, Better Bennington Corporation, Applegate Housing, the Town of Bennington, Bennington Police Department, Bennington community Built Park Coalition, and others. Since 1964, the Vermont Arts Council has been pursuing its mission to support artists and strengthen the role of the arts in the lives of people and communities.
The Vermont Arts Council is the only designated State Arts Agency in the U.S. that is also an independent, not-for-profit, membership organization. Further information is available at:

Rockingham Arts & Museum Project
7 Canal Street, Bellows Falls, Vermont 05101
tel/fax: (802) 463-3252, e-mail:,