Awards to arts organizations to fund cultural infrastructure

Four Windham County arts and community organizations have received Cultural Facilities Grants from the Vermont Arts Council.

The organization recently awarded more than $300,000 to 17 such institutions around Vermont, calling the act “a critical investment in the state's aging cultural infrastructure.”

According to a news release, the program supports capital improvements to town halls, theaters, library buildings, museums, community centers, and other public spaces where Vermonters gather for arts and cultural activities.

The Vermont Legislature has also allocated an additional $100,000 in funding for this program in the current capital budget.

Local recipients included:

• Broad Brook Community Center in Guilford, which received $30,000 toward efforts to insulate the building.

• Main Street Arts in Saxtons River, which received $26,700 to support renovations to its education room.

• Town of Rockingham, which received $21,222 to support LED theater lighting, winched piping, and a light board in the Bellows Falls Opera House.

• Wardsboro Public Library, which received $3,606 for audio/visual equipment and an assistive listening system.

This grant program is part of the Building Communities Grant Programs, established by the Legislature to help communities preserve important historic buildings and enhance their facilities.

The Council says it partners with the Vermont Historical Society and the state Division for Historic Preservation to administer the program. A panel of experts in historic preservation, architecture, and other building and accessibility expertise determines award recipients.

The arts council has awarded $3.4 million over the past 20 years, enabling more than 200 arts and cultural institutions across the state to make essential improvements to their buildings.

These funds also support local contractors, such as electricians, plumbers, and construction crews, who are typically hired to complete the projects. According the art council, since 2014, more than three-quarters of contractors hired were from Vermont, with their pay injecting more than $3.7 million to the state's economy.

For more information about the program, visit

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