Burlington City Arts announced Monday that it will distribute $35,000 to 14 artists and organizations to address community needs through the arts. The recipients include projects to, among other things, engage middle schoolers and senior citizens through writing and storytelling, document the stories of Burlington residents, explore new technologies, and support the annual Old North End Ramble.
Many of the recipients are new, but the ONE Ramble also received a BCA grant in 2018. The free annual festival returns for its 16th year on Saturday, July 27, with a full day of art, music and food. The event, which celebrates Vermont’s most racially and economically diverse neighborhood, received $2,500 in support from the BCA in 2018 and $3,000 this year.
Among the grantees this year are several education programs for Burlington’s youth. Girls Rock Vermont, a music nonprofit that provides a summer camp and after-school sessions for girls and gender-nonconforming youth to encourage self-expression, received $3,000.
The Bhutanese Nepali Cultural Heritage Dance Group of VT, which teaches Nepali dance to the young members of the Bhutanese and Nepali refugee community and works to raise awareness of their cultural heritage, received $3,000. BCA also awarded $2,400 to Mindy Wong to support the continuation of writing workshops for high school students through the Young Writers Project; and $3,000 to Alyssa Faber for a program to create public art with middle school students.
Not all the grantees are focused on the young, however. One project, led by Michael Kellogg and awarded $1,500, will record and present stories from elders at the Champlain Senior Center.
Grant funds will also be used to explore new technologies. The Illumination Collective, an artist group that created an interactive lighting exhibit during the 2018 Highlight Festival, will invite the community to help create an illuminated artwork to be displayed at the Generator maker space.
Yet another project will explore the history of some of Burlington’s most controversial art. Matthew Kelly was awarded $3,000 to make a documentary about the “Everyone Loves a Parade!” mural, which protestors have called “white supremacist,” and which the Burlington City Council voted to remove by 2022. The mural was vandalized and partially covered by a tarp in November 2018.
"Everyone Loves a Parade!" mural in downtown Burlington