Cultural centers

Vermont arts and culture organizations benefit from digital support

MONTPELIER, VT — The digital programming space — supercharged by the pandemic — is here to stay as audiences have grown accustomed to being entertained, informed and enlightened via the screen. But arts and culture organizations are more or less ready to deliver this content.

The Vermont Arts Council has launched a new grants program to bridge the digital divide, with $1.15 million in funding approved by the Vermont Legislature last year to help build the virtual capacity of cultural organizations in Vermont. .

The Council is now accepting applications for its new Digital Capacity Grant program, which aims to support Vermont arts and culture organizations in their transition to digital by providing skills, equipment and expertise to serve their audience and community.

Two types of grants are available: Organizing Grants and Collaborating Grants.

Host grants of $5,000 to $30,000 are available to support the creation, distribution and marketing of digital content to the public. A wide range of activities are supported, such as improving an organization’s website, establishing a social media marketing strategy, purchasing equipment for digital content, payment for streaming platforms, staff training, etc.

A limited number of larger collaborative grants will be funded. These multi-year grants of $60,000 to $150,000 will support collaborative efforts aimed at increasing the digital capacity of a cultural community in a particular region or focused on a particular area or type of cultural organizations, for example, a group of museums joining together on a virtual exhibition initiative network.

The grant program is open to Vermont-based 501(c)(3) cultural organizations whose missions center on arts and culture, including museums, historical societies, arts centers, and theaters and galleries in non-profit.

The application deadline is April 20, 2022.

In addition to the grant program, the Council offers a variety of free workshops on topics such as inclusive and accessible digital programming, production and editing, website analytics and e-commerce, and marketing of social media in partnership with Inclusive Arts Vermont, the Media Factory and the Vermont Small Business Center. The Council has also invested funds in nonprofit organizations that provide services and support to artists across the state to provide digital training that meets the specific needs of artists in their networks.

“The online engagement of Vermont’s museums, theaters and arts centers has been a lifeline for so many during the pandemic. These funds are an investment to ensure our state’s vital cultural organizations can continue to grow their audiences and increase their impact,” said Vermont Arts Council Deputy Director Amy Cunningham.

Information about the Arts Council’s digital capacity programming can be found at https://www.vermontartscouncil.org/programs/digital-capacity

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