Vermont Performance Lab receives National Endowment for the Arts grant to support VPL’s Lab Residency Program

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Grant one of 817 NEA Art Works grants totaling $26.3 million in funding nationwide

Guilford, VT — National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced on April 23, 2013 that Vermont Performance Lab is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Vermont Performance Lab is recommended for a $30,000 grant to support the presentation of new works and/or works in progress by six nationally known artists: Ain Gordon, Beth Gill, Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar/Big Dance Theater, Victoria Marks, Carmelita Tropicana and Pavel Zustiak.

Ain Gordon  Forrest Holzapfel at Marlboro Meeting House

Photo: Ain Gordon and Forrest Holzapfel in front of the Marlboro Meeting House. Their project "Not What Happened" is the first project to be funded by this NEA Grant. Learn more about Ain Gordon's residency.

Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) has strategically addressed the unique limitations and opportunities inherent in the rural Southern Vermont region by taking artists beyond the studio and performance hall and situating their creative R&D processes squarely in the mainstream of community life through extended artist residencies. VPL's Lab Residency Program is where artists have the opportunity to engage directly with residents of the small communities in the region to not only develop their work, but also to form meaningful and lasting connections.

Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts."

"We were thrilled and honored to be recommended for funding at this level," said VPL Board President Robert McBride. "We see everyday the extraordinary ways our artists touch lives and enliven the Vermont communities they work in. This grant will help sustain that work, and it gives national prominence to the artistic excellence and innovative thinking that are hallmarks of VPL's approach."

In August 2012, the NEA received 1,547 eligible applications for Art Works grants requesting more than $80 million in funding. Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The 817 recommended NEA grants total $26.3 million and span 13 artistic disciplines and fields. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at

Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) is a laboratory for creative research and community engagement. Over the last five years, VPL has brought artists of regional, national and international stature to the grange halls, studios and classrooms of rural Vermont through its innovative artist residency program. Last year VPL's community and education programs served more than 1,500 students, families and seniors in Windham County through workshops, informal performances and art-making experiences. VPL often partners with local organizations to host such residencies and create meaningful connections between artists and communities.