Nonprofit news and notes


Vermont Arts Council awards grant to Main Street Arts

Main Street Arts recently received an Arts Partnership Grant from the Vermont Arts Council and is collaborating with the recipient of another.

In the three-year partnership, the Council and MSA will work toward a common outcome: that all people in Vermont have access to the arts and creativity in their lives, education, and community.

To that end, MSA will engage with the Council and other arts partners in planning and advocacy; participate in activities that support fellow arts organizations by sharing information, strategies, and resources; measure and report the impact of their work; receive an annual operating grant of $5,000 to $7,000; and receive small stipends for attending required meetings, conferences, and networking events.

In another coup for MSA, actor and board member Cass Morgan has received a Creation Grant from the VAC for the creation of a musical based on the life of artist Charles W. Henry, who painted most of the scenic curtains in the MSA collection at the turn of the 20th century.

Titled Charles Henry's Final Curtain, it will be an original vaudeville show tucked inside a musical play, bringing to life itinerant painter and theater artist Henry and his family of performers.

Morgan, who calls Rockingham home, has had a 34-year Broadway career and was a co-writer of the musical "Pump Boys and Dinettes." She will be working with Sarah Knapp and Steven Alper on the show, which she hopes to premier at MSA in the fall of 2018.

Further information about MSA is available at or on Facebook.


Veterinarian awarded PATH International Regional Award

The Southern Vermont Therapeutic Riding Center of Wilmington recently announced that Dr. Jerilyn Jacobs is this year's Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Region 1 Veterinarian of the Year.

Jacobs works as a Small Animal and Equine Practitioner at the VT-NH Veterinary Clinic in Dummerston. She has served as a board member for SVTRC for a number of years, providing expert advice and support to its Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies program. She works tirelessly as an advocate for the center, and for its equine partners, guaranteeing their optimal care so that they can perform their jobs with comfort and ease.

Jacobs, and other region award winners will be recognized, and the 2017 PATH International equine, certified professional, veterinarian and volunteer of the year will be announced at the 2017 PATH International Conference and Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon in San Antonio, Texas, Friday, Nov. 10.

For more information about SVTRC, visit


Volunteers needed for playground upgrade in Bellows Falls

Volunteers are needed to bring a new vision to reality for strengthening the community connections in Bellows Falls.

The vision is coming together through the renovation of the existing playground across from the Central Elementary School and Parks Place Community Resource Center. This project is the culmination of nearly two years of work on the Promise Communities Grant. The Bellows Falls Promise Community received a $200,000 grant from the Vermont Department of Children and Families to be used to renovate the playground. The scope of the project will include new playground equipment, shaded seating, a walking path, and resurfacing.

The idea behind the playground renovation is to take the concept of a community center and create a center without walls where connections can be made. Families can, The Promise Community will support families who are connecting to the available programs and services that best meet their needs. This investment in a well-used community resource will help families by providing a place for play; a place to make connections and be a part of the community; and a level field prioritizing equity over equality so that everyone has access.

Volunteers can assist in a variety of ways. On Oct. 2 and 3, help will be needed with unpacking equipment and excavation work. The preparation of the playground equipment will happen on Oct. 6, along with pouring concrete. The equipment will be installed on Oct. 7 and 8. The installation of the rubber path will be on Oct. 9.

Help with preparing food and with child care will also be needed on these days. If you are able to help out on any of these days, please contact Deb Witkus at 802-463-9927, ext. 213, or, Christine Bullard at or 802-463-9927, ext. 104, or, Sam Maskell at 802-463-4270 or, or Molly Oglesby at

Information on volunteering can also be found on the "Bellows Falls Promise Community" page on Facebook.

The Promise Community Initiative was created to provide support to help communities work across sectors - including health, education, human services and community planning - to do "whatever it takes" to improve the educational and developmental outcomes for children in their communities. In 2015 Bellows Falls was selected to be one of seven first Promise Communities in Vermont.


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