Preserving The Arts in Vermont

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VERMONT - The arts and humanities around Vermont have taken quite a bit of a hit within this COVID world. Shows, and showings continue to be canceled this summer for theaters and cinemas. An online webinar brought nine Vermont Arts members, and owners together to discuss the future of keeping the Arts alive in Vermont. 

Arts workers from as north as St. Johnbsury, to as south as Bennington joined together Tuesday night to have an open dicsuss about their own struggles within COVID, and to answer questions from the over 90 people who tuned into their discussion.

"Our greatest struggle and challenge is what we can't do. We can't gather people, and we've had to lay off people from this unfortunately," said Steve MacQueen, an Arts director for a theater in the Burlington area.

Many theaters and cinemas are looking into creative means to folllow social distancing protcols this summer, and into fall too.

"We do screen in movies at our theater, and it is a predictable icome strain. We are having to look at doing this more frequently, as well as other things we can do," said Alithia Wilson, a director from a theater in Woodstock, Vermont.

 The Northeast Kingdom is another important arts area in Vermont. Broadband will be taken into consideration too, as Catamount Arts moves to more virtual programs this ssummer, and fall.

"With the Northeast Kingdom, with its limited internet broadband.  How to do we keep equity issues in Vermont. And, how do we keep them alive in Vermont will be important, going forward," said Jody Fried, Director of Operations at Catamount Arts. 

The Vermont Arts Council has allocated some funding to Vermont Arts Organizations. Also, the Scott Adminstration is looking to alloacte federal funds from The Care Act towards Vermont's theaters, and cinemas. Until that funding comes however, more online discussions will take place on the state of The Arts in the state. More info can be found about these discussions at- www.communityengagmentlabs.org