River Gallery School of Art receives support for inclusive artmaking

BRATTLEBORO — River Gallery School of Art (RGS) recently announced it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive a Challenge America award of $10,000, and a Creative Futures Grant of $45,000 from the Vermont Arts Council.

These grants will support community building and inclusive arts programming.

The NEA grant is one of 262 Challenge America awards, totaling $2.62 million that were announced by the NEA as part of its first round of fiscal year 2023 grants.

The Creative Futures grant is one of 49 awards made to creative sector organizations and businesses made by the Vermont Arts Council in its first round of funding. This program is supported by $9 million from Vermont’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Art engages us, opens our eyes to new ways of seeing, brings joy, and creates community,” RGS Chief Ingenuity Officer Mary Lou Forward said in a news release. “We are thrilled to be receiving financial support from the NEA and Vermont Arts Council that will allow us to continue to offer our inclusive, high-quality programming to all who want to participate.”

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. “Projects such as this one with River Gallery School of Art strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”

River Gallery School of Art says its mission is “to foster an inclusive art-making community where people are able to realize their creative capabilities and express themselves fully.” They offer art making in their studios on Main Street, online, and in partnership with local organizations and schools. For more information, visit

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