Next Stage Arts Receives National Endowment for The Arts Award

Putney, Vermont - Next Stage Arts Project has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as one of 89 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) "Our Town" projects selected nationwide from some 274 eligible applications. NEA Chairman Jane Chu announced the 89 awards totaling $6.89 million supporting projects across the nation through the NEA’s Our Town program.

PRESS RELEASE * Photos Courtesy of Next Stage Arts

Next Stage Arts Project is one of the recommended organizations for a grant of $50,000, representing the NEA’s arts-based community development investment for Putney, Vermont. “We are thrilled and honored to receive this prestigious award.” said Maria Basescu, Executive Director. “It is powerful validation of our project as a cultural hub for this community, and will be instrumental in our efforts to broaden and deepen our community engagement.”

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as Next Stage Arts Project, to cultivate vitality in their communities through the arts.”

The grant is designated to support a collaborative project between Next Stage and the Town of Putney entitled LegacyPutney; A Collaborative Celebration of Putney’s Art,s History and Culture. Key partners include the Putney Historical Society, the Putney Library and area schools.

The project has also received a $40,000 grant from the Fresh Sound Foundation. Next Stage will seek an additional $10,000 in matching funds from the community. LegacyPutney will encompass a yearlong engagement process of eliciting, crafting and harnessing stories from Putney area residents and presenting them in a range of performance genres that are a hallmark of Next Stage; literary, film, music, theater, movement, and visual.

Presentations will be shared throughout the year, culminating in a 2-week festival in May of 2018, that will feature Putney stories, and works by and about cultural figures and groups in our local and state history through the present, that have shaped the Putney of today.

Next Stage recently completed a $1.7 million renovation project, in partnership with the Putney Historical Society, of the 1841 historic building at 15 Kimball Hill, resulting in a state of the art, fully accessible 200-seat performance space, community rooms, art gallery and commercial kitchen.

The project was funded in part by a major grant from ArtPlace America, among many other foundations and individual donations. Next Stage Arts Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing Putney’s cultural and economic village center through the programming, development and operation of Next Stage.

For more information contact or call (802) 387-0102., one of 89 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) "Our Town" projects selected nationwide out of 274 eligible applications.