Vermont Performance Lab receives NEA grant

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$50,000 grant supporting VPL's LAB Program brings acclaimed national artists to Vermont for residencies in theater, dance, film and music.

Guilford, Vermont – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced today that Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) is one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. VPL is pleased to announce that we have been recommended for a $50,000 grant to support our LAB Program.

This grant will support six artist residencies that engage the public in the artists' processes as they develop new work, giving the local community the opportunity to interact from the earliest stages of conceptual creation to near-completion or production in preparation for touring. Public engagement will take the form of participatory workshops, lectures, conversations, artists' participation in community events, gathering of generative materials, work-in-progress showings, interviews, and presentation of completed work.

"In addition to supporting the creation of new performance work, this project will deepen the understanding and involvement of our existing audience, connect us with new cohorts in the towns we serve, and position artists as vital and inspiring presences in community life. Ideally, this leads to lifelong connection and participation in the arts," said Sara Coffey, VPL's Director.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, "I'm pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works including the award to Vermont Performance Lab. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives."

Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 are recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at Follow the conversation about this and other NEA‐funded projects on Twitter at #NEAFall2014.

VPL's mission is to support the development of new performance works and to connect creation and presentation of contemporary performance with residents of the communities we serve in rural southeastern Vermont. Find us online at

Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) is a laboratory for creative research and community engagement. Over the last seven 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 1,700 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.
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