Vermont performance venues make use of federal funding

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 11:37 PM EDT
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SHELBURNE, Vt. (WCAX) - One of Vermont’s favorite artists took the stage Friday night as part of the Ben and Jerry’s Concerts on the Green at the Shelburne Museum. Rockstar and Waitsfield native, Grace Potter was introduced to a nearly sold out crowd by Representative Peter Welch.

Welch sponsored a bill called Save Our Stages also known as SOS. The bill funds billions of dollars to performance venues across the country. Higher Ground, a partner of the museum’s concert series, was one of those recipients.

Welch said he was there to emphasize how important the arts are and what better way than to introduce Vermont’s own.

Museum director, Tom Denenberg, was thrilled with the series return after COVID-19 put music on pause. “The Shelburne Museum has partnered with Higher Ground to put on concerts at the museum for 20 years now. Of that 20 years, we had to skip last year, we came back in a big way in 2021, but that Shuttered Venue Grant was really key to making sure we could get music here in Vermont.

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant is part of the SOS act, which was sponsored by Vermont Representative Peter Welch.

“The theory here was our performance spaces were really crucial. They were the first to shut down and the last to reopen,” Welch said.

According to Welch, of the $16 billion that went into the program, more than $20 million were given to Vermont performance venues.

“The arts are especially important as we try to claw our way out of COVID. There’s nothing better than live music to boost our spirits.”

Denenberg said federal aid received during the pandemic was crucial to keeping so many museums and venues open. “One of the things we take so seriously at the museum is music and art education,” he explained. “We know this is so important to the health of the community and how children learn, so we are so pleased to have music back here.”

Grace Potter will be back at the Shelburne Museum on September 11th. However, that show is sold out. The next artist coming up is Dr. Dog on September 21st.

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