BRATTLEBORO — A $10,000 grant from the Ben & Jerry's Foundation will soon make deeply discounted tickets for events at Epsilon Spires available to those experiencing financial hardship.
Since opening in the fall of 2019, Epsilon Spires has hosted nearly 200 concerts, film screenings, workshops, readings, lectures, pop-up dinners and panel discussions.
While the venue has offered many events for free, the cost of artist honorariums and related expenses has sometimes necessitated charging admission fees of up to $25. Starting this summer, the price to attend any ticketed event at Epsilon Spires will be as low as $5.
“Removing the barrier of cost to our events begins an exciting new chapter of serving our community,” Jamie Mohr, Executive Director of Epsilon Spires, said in a news release. “We have always made an effort to bring programming of the highest possible quality to the Brattleboro area, and that can be expensive for us as an organization.
“But, while the funds for this new initiative last, we will no longer have to pass that cost on to our audience, which will greatly expand our outreach and accessibility.”
Epsilon Spires has previously worked with the Ben & Jerry's Foundation to present a workshop for educators on teaching climate justice to K–12 students, which was funded in part by a grant from the foundation's Community Action Team.
The current Outreach and Accessibility Initiative at Epsilon Spires is funded by an Equity and Justice Grant, which the foundation describes as a competitive grant for “innovative programs that are working toward fundamental change in Vermont, and that approach their work through the lens of social justice and equity.”
The first event at Epsilon Spires that will offer $5 tickets for those who self-identify as experiencing financial hardship will be the Multidisciplinary Artist Salon, which is a series of musical performances, poetry readings, workshops, and artist talks featuring creative professionals of color from throughout the Northeast.
The Salon will take place both at Epsilon Spires and the picturesque Green River Bridge Inn in nearby Guilford, over the weekend of July 29–30.
Tickets for other events at Epsilon Spires up for sale now on their website will remain at current prices, but each future event added to the calendar will have $5 tickets available until funding for the initiative runs out.
“We would love to keep this going as long as possible,” says Mohr, who adds that Epsilon Spires has already applied for another substantial grant from a private foundation in order to be able to continue offering reduced-price tickets.
So far in 2022, Epsilon Spires has received funding from several prominent organizations in the state, including the Vermont Natural Resources Council, the Vermont Community Foundation, and the Vermont Arts Council.
“We want Epsilon Spires to be a creative hub for our community, and to stimulate our local economy by attracting visitors from throughout the region,” says Mohr. “Events that challenge, engage, and inspire should be available to everyone,” she adds.
To purchase tickets for events at Epsilon Spires, including the Multidisciplinary Artist Salon, visit epsilonspires.org. If you would like to support the Outreach and Accessibility Initiative at Epsilon Spires with a donation, contact Jamie Mohr at [email protected].