Grange-film project receives Vermont grants

MIDDLEBURY— Historic New England received a $2,500 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation’s “Small and Inspiring” grant program and a $1,000 grant from the Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement program for its latest Vermont “Everyone’s History” project. The Williston branch of Yankee Farm Credit also provided $100 toward the project.
Historic New England will partner with two local granges — Middle Branch Grange in East Bethel and Riverside Grange in West Topsham — to create a thirty-minute film celebrating the role of granges in Vermont’s agricultural heritage and their continuing relevance. The film will include oral histories from grange members, combined with archival images and footage of present-day grange events. It will screen in grange communities around the state and air on local cable access stations.
The National Grange celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017, making now an ideal time to draw attention to its role as an organization that has offered political, economic and social support to rural communities since 1867. Historic New England and its Vermont grange partners hope the film will create opportunities for new connections and other collaborations between granges, local communities and statewide agricultural organizations.
“Granges continue to provide a sense of belonging for rural residents. Many still practice century-old traditions while exploring innovative ways to respond to contemporary community needs. We are thrilled to receive these grants to support a film that we hope attracts new grange members, as well as generates creative exploration of ways the grange can remain a vital institution in rural Vermont,” says Charlotte Barrett, Community Preservation Manager for Historic New England.

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