The Spark Connecting Community Program at the Vermont Community Foundation Announces $62,450 in Grants
Roxbury Roots Cooking Crew
The Vermont Community Foundation is pleased to announce that its Spark Connecting Community grant program has awarded $62,450 to 15 organizations across Vermont. Recipients will host local projects that strengthen community connections and bring Vermonters together around music, language, art, gardening, and food. Of the total awarded, nearly $23,000 was made possible by Giving Together, a program at the Community Foundation that shares grant proposals with fundholders and donors to give them an opportunity to co-fund projects.
“This round’s grantees, make up a wonderfully diverse array of activities, classes, events, and programs,” said Holly Morehouse, vice president of Grants and Community Impact at the Vermont Community Foundation. “They range from a ukelele class to gardening programs to youth art projects. It’s encouraging to see all the varied events that will connect people after what was such a challenging summer for so many.”
Spark Connecting Community is a competitive grant program at the Foundation that puts building and nurturing community front and center. The Community Foundation aims to support grassroots work happening throughout the state that builds social capital. These grants–where a small amount can make a big difference–are intended to light the spark that encourages community vitality and keeps Vermonters healthy and happy.
Visit vermontcf.org/spark for more information about the Spark Connecting Community grant program.
Spark Connecting Community 2023 Round Two Grant Recipients
Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) received $5,000 to support the Art in Schools Partnership. BMAC and the River Gallery School will collaborate with four elementary schools in Windham County to promote community building and resilience for students through artmaking aligned with each school’s values. County to be served: Windham
Cabot Arts received $4,000 to support the Cabot Village 12th Night Celebration, an arts and music festival held the first weekend in January and inspired by traditional, rural New Year’s festivals from around the world. The celebration features theater, musical performances, and storytelling from some of the finest performers in New England, along with dancing, a community sing, and arts and crafts for all ages. Caledonia, Washington
Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) received $2,500 to support Growing Together – Connecting Volunteer Gardeners with Older Adults in the Community. Volunteers will teach older adults gardening skills and help them grow healthy produce. Addison, Lamoille, Orange, Washington, Windsor
Come Alive Outside received $5,000 to host Rutland Winterfest, an annual community festival and cherished tradition that fosters a strong sense of togetherness, celebrates the spirit of winter, and promotes nonprofits, community resources, and local businesses. Rutland
Dad Guild received $5,000 to support Toast & Jams: A Winter Family Concert Series. The concerts will give families a monthly opportunity to connect over a variety of musical performances during the most isolating season in Vermont. Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Orange, Washington, Windsor, statewide
Homeward Bound received $1,100 to support Community Pet Clinics: Bringing Veterinary Care to the Pets of People Living on the Streets. The clinics, held in conjunction with the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity and the Charter House Coalition, will provide an opportunity for community pet owners who may be experiencing homelessness to have their pets examined by a veterinarian and receive basic wellness care, including core vaccines, nail trims, ear cleaning, and more. Addison, statewide
HOPE Works received $5,000 to support the Survivors Art Show, an art show centered around the impact of sexual violence and the resiliency of the human spirit. The organization will host an opening event inviting the community to create a collaborative art piece that seeks to create a vision of building a safer community for all Vermonters. Chittenden
John Woodruff Simpson Memorial Library received $5,000 to support Cultivating Common Ground: Expanding Communication and Understanding Through Language Classes. The library will expand access to free language education in rural communities by offering classes and informal conversation groups. Caledonia, Orleans
Roxbury Roots received $5,000 to support a Community Supper Program. A free event open to all, the supper is an opportunity to share a meal, connect with neighbors, meet a farmer, donate surplus, pick up food staples and fresh produce gleaned from local farms, and learn tricks and tips for growing and preparing your own food. Orange, Washington
Rupert Village Trust received $1,350 to host a six-week ukulele class for beginner and intermediate players at the Sheldon Store in Rupert. Bennington, Rutland
Stowe Land Trust received $5,000 to support a Stowe Elementary School Greenhouse Classroom. It will revitalize the school’s capacity for nature-based learning by rebuilding a physical greenhouse and energizing community engagement opportunities surrounding it. Lamoille
Sundog Poetry Center received $5,000 to support Green Mountain Poets: A Vermont Youth Poet Laureate Program, celebrating youth poets who use their artistic voices to inspire change. This yearly program will shine a light on Vermont youth who demonstrate a dual commitment to excellence in poetry and civic engagement. Statewide
Town of Northfield received $5,000 to support the Northfield Community Garden. The town will turn a five-acre FEMA buyout property within walking distance of Northfield's downtown into a publicly accessible community garden. Washington
Vermont Rural Education Collaborative received $3,500 to offer service-learning mini-grants to high schoolers from across the Northeast Kingdom to partake in community service and learning projects. Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans
Windham Southeast Supervisory Union Office of Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice received $5,000 to support the Brattleboro Union High School Community Mural Project: Connecting Our Diverse Histories. The school will partner with Juniper Creative Arts to create art collectively and invigorate the community with belonging and social justice. Windham