County artists awarded funds from Arts Council program

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Art Council recently announced the 22 recipients of its most sought-after award, the Creation Grant, which supports Vermont artists in creating new work. Two recipients were People's Choice Creation grantees, a new process involving the public's vote.

Four Windham County artists were among the recipients. They are:

• Sean Kirby, of East Dover, to support the creation of a feature screenplay based on the real life of Vermont dairy farmer Romaine Tenney, entitled "I Am My Domain."

• Shanta Lee, of Guilford, to support the creation of an immersive digital installation inspired by "Black Metamorphoses."

• Willow O'Feral, of Guilford, to support the creation of a short documentary about Fred Homer, an 85-year-old wildlife rehabilitator and artist.

• Jessica Sticklor, of South Newfane, to support the creation of a novel exploring women's mental health.

A record 225 applications were received for this highly competitive award, with a total of more than $1 million requested in funding. The Council typically has funding to support approximately 12–15% of requests for the annual grant.

Grants are awarded to Vermont artists or artist groups in amounts up to $5,000 - an increase of $1,000 from last year, thanks to support from the Vermont Community Foundation's Arts Endowment Fund.

Funding can be used for time spent developing new work, to purchase materials, or to rent equipment or space for the process. The award is only available to artists who have not received a Creation Grant within the last five years.

Criteria for selection are artistic excellence (60%), project management (25%), and impact (15%). Recipients were selected by independent panels comprising 38 practicing Vermont artists and arts professionals. Applicants could submit audio or video files for their proposals in place of written applications.

The Creation Grant program has supported more than 200 Vermont artists since the program began in 2009. The Council's grant programs are made possible by support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the state of Vermont, and private donors. For more information about the Creation Grant program, visit

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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