Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 2 – February 2024

NAVIGATION
PoC in Speculative Fiction

by Jordyn Gibbs-Faust

Picture this: it’s 2002. I’m leaving the movie theater with my father and step-brother, heart still racing from the zombie-filled claustrophobia of ‘Resident Evil’. (It wouldn’t be until later that we would reflect on the faithlessness of the adaptation, or cringe with adult awareness at the tropes that still hold sway in genre fiction today. For now, I’m ten.)

“If this was a horror movie, I would steal a truck. A big one, so we could all live in the back.” That was my answer to the zombie apocalypse. “And everyone could have trucks, and we could drive around—”

“If this was a horror movie we would die first, stupid.” My brother pointed at himself, and then me. He spoke with all the authority a 12 year old boy could muster. “Don’t you know anything?”

“What do you mean?”

“We’re Black. Duh. We die first. Didn’t you notice?”

I didn’t.

“No we don’t.”

“Yeah we do,” he argued. “If there’s even any Black people in there at all.”

Up until that point, I hadn’t noticed. Horror was part of my trifecta of special interests, a refuge from the stress of my real life, encountered primarily (and ironically) at my predominantly white school. Fantasy and sci-fi were my safety, they were my thing. I was quiet the whole train ride home—I was busy running the numbers, tallying up the score. I thought uncomfortably of my mother’s sighed criticism as I pressed rewind on my Harry Potter cassette for the twentieth rewatch of the day.

“So there’s no Black people in this one either, hmm?”

Once it had been identified, it was impossible not to see the pattern of exclusion everywhere, the blank space where we would be outlined in the air next to the main characters; or worse, the comedic relief foil to their sure and confident leadership. I searched for mentions of “tanned skin” or semi-ethnic features in every book I read, hoping to see myself described among even the minor characters. Every character with unruly curls and dark features became a form of possible representation, a “maybe” I could see myself reflected in if I squinted just right.

I forced myself to get excited at every Black best friend, every rejected brown love interest, every Asian side character—because it meant we were there. At least we were there even if the story couldn’t be about us, even if we were magical negroes and Indian shamans, and oriental mystics—at least we existed at all.

But it is not enough to simply exist on the peripherals of genre fiction, nor do I believe that that is all we have ever had. As a child, my ability to find my community was hampered by my locality. Even growing up in New York City, I was subject to limitations I had little control over—the availability of diverse books in my school and local libraries, the distribution of said books by white dominant publishers, their “appropriateness” for my age range, etc. As an adult (and with the advent of the modern internet) many of those barriers are nonexistent—a fact I regard with no small amount of bitter satisfaction. After all, finding community as an adult always seems to feel that way: you are, of course, happy to find your people, but you can’t ignore the acid “what-if” burning at the back of your throat: What if I had found you sooner? Would I have felt so alone?

I am both happy for and jealous of teenagers now, because they get to see what I had to find out at twenty-five: We are here, and we have been here. The effects and contributions of people of color in speculative and genre fiction have been felt for decades, authors like Toni Morrison (Beloved), Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits), Liu Cixin (The Three Body Problem), Octavia Butler (Kindred), Virginia Hamilton (Her Stories, The People Could Fly), Tananarieve Due (The Good House), Yasutaka Tsutsui (Paprika).

This month, as we seek to diversify our spaces both real and fictional, it is imperative to dedicate ourselves to diversifying the media we consume year round, to amplifying the voices of those who have historically and categorically been ignored. Local artists like Robyn Smith—artist of Wash Day Diaries and DC’s Nubia, Walter Moseley, author of Monster and Devil in a Blue Dress, and Julia Alvarez, How the Garcia Girls lost their Accents, are instrumental to discussions of modern literature. You cannot leave us out of the discussion, nor should you only include us during our “designated” months.

Let Black History month extend to every one of your reading lists, to your must watch horror movie lists every October. Acknowledge the ways we have been forcibly divorced from these genres while they have profited off of our stories—golems, zombies, vengeful hungry ghosts—as racism, misogyny, and privilege have denied us the voice to tell these stories ourselves. (And, should you find yourself in search of suggestions, some personal highlights are: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia, Night Eaters by Marjorie Liu, Big Machine by Victor LaValle, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin are good places to start.)

About the Author

Jordyn Gibbs-Faust is evidence that the weird kids grow up, and they never stop being weird. Raised in Brooklyn, NYC, Jordyn is a transplant; having moved to Vermont in 2019. Despite insistence that she would grow out of her vested interest in genre fiction and ghost stories, it was, in fact, not a phase, mom. When Jordyn is not working on her own spooky stories, she is playing tabletop games. You can reach out to her via her social media, @Jordyn_Macauley on instagram, or via email, Jordynggibbs91@gmail.com.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

Our member spotlight is on Thomas Renner (he/him)! Thomas is the Deputy Mayor of Winooski.

When Thomas wasn’t originally planning to run for Winooski City Council, he explored running for it when he learned about the seat. When he realized he could help his community and neighbors more by serving on Council instead of on Winooski’s Safe, Healthy and Connected People Commission, he decided to run.

In this spotlight, Thomas reflects on his deep ties to Vermont, the significance of BIPOC representation through organizations like VT PoC, his unexpected journey into local politics, and more.

news FROM THE NETWORK

Introducing: VT PoC’s The Things in Between!

Missed out on our past Financial Literacy Series webinars? No worries! We’re shaking things up and bringing the knowledge straight to your screens with our new video format!

Get ready to dive into The Things in Between! ✨ Our hopes for The Things in Between is to provide an accessible way to share information, while also discussing topics beyond financial literacy.

Stay tuned for the first video installment in February!

Camp Outright is looking for campers, staff, and leaders-in-trainings!

Camp Outright is a residential summer camp with a queer twist! It’s a vibrant camp that’s all about queer joy, finding your people, adventure, fun, and community. Apply to volunteer for a stipend, or apply to camp! Camper applications are open from Feb 26 – Mar 13.

No rush needed to apply, they don’t operate on a first come first serve basis. They offer full and partial scholarships and they don’t turn anyone away due to a lack of funds.

2nd Annual Community Impact Social Justice Awards

The triumphs and traumas of social justice are the material of our American tapestry. Beginning with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and continuing through Black History Month we recognize Black leaders who have paved the way to create a world in which all people have the opportunity to thrive.

In their honor, the Dartmouth BIPOC Employee Resource Group wants to recognize all leaders of social justice who continue this legacy today and into the future. We invite you to nominate any individual whose work or service has made an impact.

Nominations close on February 29, 2024!

2024 Vermont Prize Submissions Open Now!

Submissions are due by Mar. 31. This year’s special guest juror is Phong H. Bui, an artist, curator, and co-founder and publisher of The Brooklyn Rail. No fee to apply.

All Vermont-based artists are eligible. Winner receives $5,000 and a party!

Vermont Youth Poet Laureate Submissions Open Now!

If you are a Vermont teen poet, between 13 and 19 years of age, you could be the state’s first Youth Poet Laureate!

Submit a portfolio of your original poetry and a CV that showcases your artistic excellence and community impact. There is a $500 cash prize and multiple chances to share your work and learn from other poets. Submissions are open Feb. 1 through Feb. 28, 2024.

Vermont Screenplay Incubator Casting Notice

The Vermont Screenplay Incubator is a space for Vermont based screenwriters to workshop new screenplays set in Vermont. The staged reading is the culmination of the work of 5 writers presenting selected scenes from four features and one short, from comedy to horror and historic drama. We are seeking actors to bring these new works to life.

CVOEO’s Community Action Network Tax Preparation and Assistance Season

From Thursday, February 1 through Monday, April 15, low-to-moderate income Vermonters can receive no-cost assistance with income tax return preparation through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), as well as help with rent rebates and homestead property declarations.

Please call to schedule an appointment for tax assistance or return preparation.

EVENTS

February 25 – VT PoC x Align Cycling – BIPOC Cycling

Join VT PoC for a FREE cycling class with Align Cycling featuring a live DJ set by King Crouch!

This private event is curated for BIPOC community members and requires no experience.

February 5 – Group Coaching for Vermont Entrepreneurs: Solopreneurs – CWE Verrmont (TBD by group)
In this group coaching program, surround yourself with peers who directly understand your business challenges and successes. You will build friendships, network, gain tools and resources, all while accessing confidential support from a trusted cohort and seasoned facilitator. In addition, you will be trained in coaching techniques that will enable you to better support your colleagues and team. We will meet 2x/month for one hour each. The program runs from February – May. This group is for Solopreneurs (single-owner and no employees). Registration Deadline: 2/5/2024 8:00 AM (EST).

February 5 – Group Coaching for Vermont Entrepreneurs: Co-Founder Support Circle – CWE Verrmont (TBD by group)
In this group coaching program, surround yourself with peers who directly understand your business challenges and successes. You will build friendships, network, gain tools and resources, all while accessing confidential support from a trusted cohort and seasoned facilitator. In addition, you will be trained in coaching techniques that will enable you to better support your colleagues and team. This group is for businesses with Co-Founders or 2(+) Key Personnel. We will meet 2x/month for one hour each. The program runs from February – May. Registration Deadline: 2/5/2024 8:00 AM (EST).

February 6, 13, 20, 27 (Every Tuesday) – Vermont Racial Justice Alliance – Chess Club (5:00 PM – 7:00 PM)
Chess Club is a dynamic and inclusive program designed to empower young individuals from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities through the timeless game of chess. Our program offers a safe and welcoming space where youth can explore the world of chess, cultivate essential life skills, and experience a range of valuable benefits.

February 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 (Every Wednesday and Friday) – Vermont Racial Justice Alliance – Free Masks & Test Kits (3:00 PM – 5:00 PM)
Vermont Racial Justice Alliance and The Richard Kemp Center has taken proactive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 by distributing test kits and masks to the community. In addition to these essential supplies, we are also providing Narcan and fentanyl test strips, demonstrating our commitment to addressing the broader community health and wellness and substance abuse. By offering these crucial resources, the center is playing a vital role in safeguarding the well-being of individuals and communities, ultimately contributing to the collective effort to mitigate the impact of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic. Please visit the Richard Kemp Center located: 372 N. Winooski Ave Burlington, VT.

February 7 – The Richard Kemp Center Growing Homes: Homeownership Equity Program (6:30 PM)
Topics include credit & money management, home ownership, land ownership, and rental assistance. In-person only at the Richard Kemp Center in Burlington.

February 7, 14, 21, 28 – ELL Classes: English for Beginners and Intermediate Students (6:30 PM – 8:00 PM)
Beginning English-language learners can practice written and spoken English with a certified TOEFL instructor. Classes are virtual and free. Please register for classes by emailing Barbara Shatara at bshatara@burlingtonvt.gov.

February 8, 15, 22, 29 (every 2nd Thursday for adults, every 1st Thursday for youth) – Black Affinity Space at Richard Kemp Center (6:00 PM – 7:30 PM)
In recognition of the unique experiences, challenges, and strengths of Black individuals, our organization is proud to introduce “Black Space”, an affinity space initiative. This initiative is designed to provide a safe, supportive, and empowering environment where Black individuals can come together to share common experiences, build relationships, foster community, and promote healing.

February 9 – Here Now: Art and Migration Exhibit at the Burlington City Arts Center
Here Now brings together a group of international and regional artists whose work explores concepts of borders, movement, and migration across local urban centers and global geographies. Through their choice of materials and visual languages, these artists challenge conventional notions of borders as fixed. They reimagine borders as sites of historical investigations, social reckoning, and conduits of an emerging aesthetic. Here Now features artists who through their creative practice, define their place in the here-and-now. Confirmed artists include Sajjad Abbas (Baghdad, Iraq), Teresa Baker (Los Angeles, CA), Verónica Gaona (Houston, TX), Matthew Schrader (Middlebury, VT), Edra Soto (Chicago, IL).

February 9 – Free Adult Dental Day (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
Exam, toothbrush cleaning, no drill treatment of some dental decay. No insurance information needed. There will be a brief medical history questionnaire. Blood pressure check if wanted. First floor, Hartford State Office Building, 118 Prospect Street in White River Junction.

February 9, 16, 23 – Tai Chi Fridays at the Brattleboro Museum (9:00 AM – 10:00 AM)
Ongoing Tai Chi Fridays in Brattleboro Museum. Free to the public. Donations are appreciated to the Asian Culture Center of Vermont (ACCVT).

February 9, 23 (Every 2nd and 4th Friday) – The Richard Kemp Center’s Youth Movie Night (6:00 PM – 9:00 PM)
Youth Movie Night is a community-centered initiative aimed at promoting awareness, understanding, and dialogue on racial justice issues through the medium of film. This program creates a safe and inclusive space where youth from 8 to 18 can come together to watch thought-provoking movies with cultural themes, engage in meaningful discussions, and share food in a welcoming and collaborative environment.

February 9, 10 – Vermont Comedy Club Presents: Josh Johnson (7:00 PM, 9:00 PM)
Josh Johnson is an Emmy-nominated writer, stand-up, actor, and NAACP award-winner from Louisiana by way of Chicago. He is currently a writer on The Daily Show, and is a former writer and performer on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he made his late-night debut in 2017. In addition, Johnson is Comedy Central’s ‘most watched comedian ever’ with 40M+ views to date across their platforms.

February 10, 17, 24 – Dance/Rink Skate Drop-In Sessions with Joy Riders (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
Come skate with us in the new year on Fridays at the Integrated Arts Gymnasium on 6 Archibald Street! Save the dates and show up when you can, or RSVP for one, a few, or all of them. $10/session or $75 for all 8, but if cost is a barrier please reach out. Need to borrow skates or safety gear? DM or email us in advance and we got you covered! Helmets required. RSVP to joyridersvt@gmail.com.

February 10, 17 – CVOEO and Champlain Housing Trust: Homebuyer Education Workshop in Swahili (8:30 AM – 1:30 PM)
The Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) in partnership with CVOEO’s Office Racial Equity and Community Inclusion are organizing a Homebuyer’s Education Workshop in Swahili Language. This workshop will be provided to the community for free. The workshop is scheduled to take place on two days: Feb 10 & 17 from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm at the CHT office in Burlington. Click the link to pre-register.

February 10 – Asian Cultural Center of Vermont’s Lunar New Year Festival in Brattleboro (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
The celebration starts with a potluck (bring a dish to share). Then join us for traditional Chinese Dance with Li Fei Osborne, group Taiji and Qigong with Cai Xi, the Korean rope-tug and traditional New Year songs and crafts.

February 10 – UVM Asian Student Union’s Lunar New Year (7:00 PM – 10:00 PM)
Lunar New Year is a holiday celebrated in many Asian countries which marks the start of the new year based on the lunar calendar. To honor this holiday, the Asian Student Union hosts an annual celebration which includes food made by members of the club, various dance and music acts that highlight Asian artistry, and, of course, celebrating community!

February 10 – BIPOC Community Ski Day at Craftsbury (by appointment: 10 AM, 1 PM)
Limited spots! Trail pass and gear rentals are complimentary. BIPOC instructors will provide free lessons and support. Snow shoeing is also an option. A gear pack list and other instructions will be emailed to registrants before the event. Feel free to bring your own gear. There will be another BIPOC Ski Day on March 9. Click to register!

February 11 – Vermont Chinese School Lunar New Year (12:00 PM – 3:30 PM)
The Vermont Chinese School will be hosting its 30th annual Lunar New Year Celebration to celebrate the year of the dragon. It’ll be held at the cafeteria of Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School in South Burlington on February 11th, 2024. The celebration includes a New Year luncheon and traditional stage performances. Tickets are on a first come, first served basis, with no reservation. All tickets must be prepaid in advance. In-person ticket purchase, with cash or checks, is available on Fridays 1/5, 1/12, 1/26, and 2/2 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at South Burlington High School’s lobby.

February 11 – Addison County BIPOC+ and Town Hall Theater Present First Annual Lunar New Year Celebration (12:30 PM – 6:30 PM)
Lunar New Year is a celebration of family, feasting, and good fortune observed by millions of people around the world, particularly in East and Southeast Asia and in diasporic communities. On Sunday, February 11, Addison County BIPOC+, in partnership with Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater, present their first annual Lunar New Year celebration for the whole community. This free event showcases dance, art, and crafts from different Asian traditions, and culminates with a talk with E. Tammy Kim, contributing writer for The New Yorker and founding co-host of the podcast “Time to Say Goodbye.” Moderators are Serena Kim of Swift House Inn and Rachael Joo, American studies professor at Middlebury College. Food and beverage will be available for purchase from vendors such as Stone Leaf Tea House and Sabai Sabai.

February 11 – Chandler Center for the Arts Presents: CelloGayageum (4:00 PM)
Where classical music meets Korean tradition, CelloGayageum’s goal and passion is to not only perform music to a broad audience, but also serve as cultural ambassadors presenting the traditional music culture of South Korea to the whole world.

February 12 – Crown Care! FREE Gender-Affirming Haircuts for +Trans/Queer BIPOC (3:00 PM – 5:30 PM)
Thrive x Kut Masterz Barbershop is excited to invite y’all to the 2nd wave of Crown Care! FREE gender-affirming haircuts — for our +Trans/Queer BIPOC community. Click to sign up!

February 12 – Am I Doing This Right? Business Basics Drop-In Sessions – CWE Vermont – Virtual (5:00 PM – 6:30 PM)
You aren’t alone! Join CWEVT trusted experts in a relaxed, welcoming drop-in session to get your questions answered and connect with other clients! This is a ‘business basics’ session where you can check your thinking and get some insight into next steps if you’re feeling stuck. This is a great option for you if: You are registering your business or trying to name your business, you are exploring building your team of advisors and vendors, you are experimenting in sales and with your desired customer market, and/or you are otherwise in the early stages of business.

February 14 – Valentine’s Day with Cafe Mamajuana (5:30 PM)
Doing a lil’ thing at The Monkey House for Valentine’s Day. Super casual bar vibes. Absolutely delicious food and drinks! Come by with your sweetheart, or shit, alone. Whatever is clever. I’ll bring the sabor. Pull up!

February 15 – The Flynn Presents: Bored Teachers – We Can’t Make This Stuff Up! Comedy Tour (7:30 PM)
Bored Teachers Studios, the #1 teacher-entertainment platform, presents the funniest teacher-comedians in the world all on one stage. Their hilarious skits have amassed hundreds of millions of views on the internet, and they’re all joining comic forces on stage for a night of laughter you do not want to miss. Put that red pen down, call your teacher besties, and come burn off some of that stress from the school year!

February 15 – Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s FREE Homebuying Seminar (6:00 PM – 7:00 PM)
Would you LOVE to learn more about the homebuying process and how to navigate a challenging market? We will offer another FREE webinar later this month to help you achieve your dream of homeownership! 🥰 🏠

February 16 – Adult Game Night at the Richard Kemp Center (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
Every third Friday of the month at 6 pm, the Richard Kemp Center hosts adult game night. With a focus on promoting community wellness and providing a welcoming space for the black and brown communities, we offer engaging activities: spades, pool, table tennis, air hockey, arcade games, a variety of board and card games. RKC will provide complimentary food and drinks. We aim to create a safe atmosphere of warmth and inclusivity as people come together to enjoy friendly competition and build meaningful connections.

February 16, 17, 18 – The Field Center Presents: Vermont Dance + Performance Exchange – Taught by Mina Nishimura
Specifically geared toward contemporary dance and performance artists living and working throughout Vermont, this is a weekend for artists, producers and teachers focused on new, contemporary and experimental work to gather, dance and share their experiences working within the Vermont dance ecology. Co-produced alongside VT based artist Sam Kann and others, this event will feature classes from teachers in VT colleges as well opportunities for members of the community at large to share and spend time together. All meals provided. Overnight options limited to 25 people.

February 19 – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue at Higher Ground (8:00 PM)
If anybody knows their way around a festival, it’s Trombone Shorty. Born Troy Andrews, he got his start (and nickname) earlier than most: at four, he made his first appearance at Jazz Fest performing with Bo Diddley; at six, he was leading his own brass band; and by his teenage years, he was hired by Lenny Kravitz to join the band he assembled for his Electric Church World Tour. Shorty’s proven he’s more than just a horn player, though. Catch a gig, open the pages of the New York Times or Vanity Fair, flip on any late-night TV show and you’ll see an undeniable star with utterly magnetic charisma, a natural born showman who can command an audience with the best of them.

February 21 – Cantonese Club Meeting at Hana Japanese Restaurant (6:00 PM)
We welcome people who wish to practice speaking Cantonese! You should have some prior knowledge of Cantonese language and culture. Contact jeny.carmen.lai@gmail.com with updates and meeting locations.

February 22 – Literary Intersections Here Now: Art and Migration (6:00 PM – 7:30 PM)
Reflect on the kaleidoscopic relevance of our current BCA exhibition, Here Now: Art and Migration, with an interdisciplinary evening. Literary Intersections is a new series presenting topical writing with textual – and sometimes visual – affinities with art on view at BCA Center. Featured writers include Vermont poet Sarah Audsley, author of Landlock X (2023), and Leslie Sainz, author of Have You Been Long Enough at Table (2023).

February 21 – Dance Theatre of Harlem at the Flynn Center (7:30 PM)
Dance Theatre of Harlem is a leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim, encompassing a professional touring company, a leading studio school, and a national and international education and community outreach program. Each component of Dance Theatre of Harlem carries a solid commitment towards enriching the lives of young people and adults around the world through the arts. Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, Dance Theatre of Harlem is considered “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings” (New York Times).

February 24 – nuwave, the Flynn, and the City of Burlington present: The Black Experience 2024 at the Flynn Center (5:00 PM)
The Black Experience 2024 (BX24) is a free holistic celebration of Vermont’s Black lived experience, and a staple of Burlington’s observation of Black History Month. This year’s edition features a headlining performance from Talib Kweli, one of hip-hop’s most accomplished artists, as well as special presentations by Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock and keynote speaker Dr. Robert Livingston, an author, social psychologist, and leading expert on the science underlying bias and racism.

February 25 – The Flynn and The Black Experience Present: Sweet Honey In The Rock at the Flynn Center (1:00 PM)
Grammy-nominated gospel and blues group @sweethoneyrock is marking their 50th anniversary this year, bringing their celebratory tour to the Flynn on February 25. Tickets are on sale, priced $20-$45. Described as, “one of the most dynamic, versatile and still relevant musical collectives today,” the Grammy-nominated African American vocal ensemble, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK® marked its’ 50TH ANNIVERSARY in November 2023!

February 28 – Fletcher Free Library Presents: Tibetan Dancing (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
Dive into the enchanting world of Tibetan culture at Fletcher Free Library’s captivating night of Tibetan dancing! Join us for an evening filled with vibrant performances, rhythmic beats, and the rich tapestry of traditional Tibetan dance, all set against the backdrop of community warmth. Experience the beauty of diversity right here in Burlington as we come together to celebrate the artistry and spirit of Tibet!

February 29, March 1, March 2 – Vermont Comedy Club Presents: Rob Funches (7:00 PM, 9:00 PM)
Ron Funches is a national treasure. He is an accomplished stand-up comedian, actor and writer. Ron has had many memorable television roles including The Goldbergs, Blackish, Transparent, Single Drunk Female, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Powerless and Undateable. You can currently catch him on Loot on Apple TV+.

FUNDING & GRANTS

BIPOC Relief Fund Reopening Soon for BIPOC Small Businesses and Community Members

The BIPOC Relief Fund is currently closed for review and will reopen soon with limited funding available to BIPOC small business owners and community members. Stay tuned on our social media as we prepare for the reopening of the fund!

Vermont Arts Council – Creation Grants
The Vermont Arts Council is now accepting applications for its annual Creation Grant, which supports artists or artist groups in creating new work. Grant funds may be used to compensate artists for time spent creating new work, to purchase materials, or to rent equipment or space for the process. This highly competitive program is reviewed by an independent panel of practicing artists and arts professionals. Both established and emerging artists are encouraged to apply. Application Deadline: April 9, 2024.

The BIPOC Artist Exchange and Activation Initiative
The BIPOC Artist Exchange and Activation Initiative is designed to showcase the contributions of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists to the New England art community. This program empowers BIPOC artists in New Hampshire and New England, inspiring local BIPOC artists by introducing them to artists from outside our community.

NEWS

Applications for the University of Vermont’s Vermont Pitch Challenge are NOW OPEN through February 15th!
The University of Vermont is excited to announce the inaugural Vermont Pitch Challenge, offering 10th through 12th grade high school students from across the globe the opportunity to pitch innovative business ideas for a chance to win a full tuition scholarship to the University of Vermont and cash prizes! What is even better is that there is no entry fee – participating in the Vermont Pitch Challenge is completely free!

Green Mountain Transit delays charging bus fares until March
Rides on the agency’s local and commuter routes serving Chittenden County will cost $2, with a half-off rate for many. Riders will also benefit from new daily and monthly caps and get new options for how to pay.

Goddard College will move entirely online for the near future
The Plainfield school has seen declining interest in in-person education, according to its leaders.

Construction to begin on Main Street in Burlington in early February
The $30 million dollar construction project will involve a complete makeover of part of Burlington’s Main Street, including better stormwater management infrastructure, a tree belt, and a protected bike lane, among other changes.

Small farmers hit by extreme weather could get assistance from proposed insurance program
The legislation, called the Withstanding Extreme Agricultural Threats by Harvesting Economic Resilience or WEATHER act, directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to research the possibility of developing an index-based insurance program in which payouts would be based on agricultural income.

Vermont wants to resettle more refugees, but may not have enough housing
Organizations in Vermont plan to increase the number of refugees they take in this year, to roughly 600. But the state’s housing crisis could get in the way.

5 tips for viewing the 2024 solar eclipse in Vermont
There will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view a total solar eclipse on April 8, but clouds and crowds are expected, too.

Share this post: