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AARP Awards Grant to Next Stage Arts

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Next Stage Arts in Putney is receiving $4,000 in grant funds from AARP Vermont, one of six grants awarded to Vermont communities to initiate or enhance winter placemaking demonstration projects. The projects focus on creating or reinventing public spaces to improve safety, accessibility, and overall appeal on a temporary or permanent basis.

Proposals from Burlington, Rutland, White River Junction, Mendon, Putney, and Swanton were selected from dozens of applications for the initiative. This is the sixth year of AARP Vermont’s Placemaking Grant Program, which aims to spearhead demonstration project efforts that will help build momentum for long-term livability improvements with an emphasis on the needs of adults aged 50 and over.

The Winter Placemaking Grant Program

 Vermont’s cold and dark winter months pose several challenges for residents across the state, one of which is social isolation. The Winter Placemaking Grant Program focuses on helping communities embrace the winter months by reinventing public spaces to encourage outdoor activities and social engagement. The grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages.

“This is an opportunity for six Vermont communities to take quick actions that can lead to a critical spark for longer-term progress,” explained Kelly Stoddard Poor of AARP Vermont.  “We know that simple modifications can powerfully alter the health, economic, social, and ecological value of a community,” she said, and “when community members and local officials can see or experience a new or revitalized space, they are better able to understand what is possible and how it can improve their community. Projects like these have led to exciting new improvements in communities across the state and country.” 

Putney Forest Trails

Next Stage Arts will create an engaging outdoor art exhibition for the 50+ community on the maintained Putney Forest trails. The group will also hold walks and/or snowshoes of the exhibit. A warming shelter with hot drinks and snacks will be available for participants. 

In support of these projects, AARP Vermont will provide technical assistance and publicity strategy, and assist project leaders in engaging with other local, regional, or state partner organizations that can contribute to their success.

Next Stage Arts

Next Stage serves southeastern Vermont as a regional cultural hub, arts producer, and instigator of meaningful cultural experiences. Founded in 2010 as a nonprofit organization, Next Stage Arts is a transformative, community-centered project dedicated to revitalizing Putney’s cultural and economic village center through excellence in arts programming valuing diversity as a springboard for nurturing community.

AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability, and personal fulfillment.

AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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