Over $48K awarded in ‘Spark’ grants

MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Community Foundation recently announced that its Spark Connecting Community grant program has awarded $48,080 to 17 nonprofit organizations for projects focusing on creative placemaking in communities across the state.

The grants are made in partnership with several generous fundholders who contributed through Giving Together, a program at the Community Foundation that shares grant proposals with fundholders and donors to provide an opportunity to co-fund projects. Two of the grants will be serving folks in Addison County and Brandon.

The local recipients of Spark Connecting Community grants are:

Five Town Friends of the Arts received $3,000 to support Five Town Art Spark: Igniting the Arts and Culture in Bristol and Surrounding Towns (5TAS). 5TAS will provide artistic and cultural events, including free concerts, poetry and art-making workshops, and historical presentations in Bristol during the winter months, providing social opportunities and exposure to the arts.

Otter Valley Unified Union School District received $3,000 to support the OV-Explores Afterschool Program, which will provide students a chance to explore their creativity through a variety of activities, including marital arts, maker time, broadcast club, robotics, and more.

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 the work happening throughout Vermont’s 251 towns that builds social capital. These grants — where a small amount can make a big difference — are intended to light the spark that keeps Vermonters healthy and happy.

“COVID-19’s impact on museums, art centers, downtown associations, and local gathering spaces has been severe, yet organizations have demonstrated remarkable creativity and resiliency,” said Sarah Waring, vice president for grants and community investments at the Vermont Community Foundation. “We’re thrilled to show our support by dedicating this round of Spark to projects that use arts, design, and cultural activities to strengthen community identity. Enormous thanks to our fundholders who helped grow the number of grants to support hundreds of individuals from around the state.”

The Spark Connecting Community program will reopen in 2022. Visit for more information.

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