Burlington City Arts

AUGUST 21, 2014

Burlington City Arts Receives Major Gift And Grant Totaling 200K - Our Town Grant From The National Endowment For The Arts And Matching Challenge Gift From The Stiller Family

August 21, 2014

Burlington City Arts Receives Major Gift And Grant Totaling $200,000: Our Town Grant From The National Endowment For The Arts And Matching Challenge Gift From The Stiller Family

Burlington, VT: It is with great gratitude and excitement that Burlington City Arts (BCA) announces the receipt of two $100,000 contributions: an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and a matching gift from Christine and Bob Stiller of Charlotte, Vermont. 


BCA received a $100,000 Our Town grant from the NEA to infuse the arts into the master plan and engagement process for planBTV South End. NEA Chairman Jane Chu announced plans to award 66 Our Town grants, totaling $5.073 million and reaching 38 states, in the Our Town program's fourth year of funding.   

This year’s Our Town projects demonstrate again that excellent art is as fundamental to a community’s success as land use, transportation, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety, helping build stronger communities that are diverse in geography and character. Since Our Town’s inception in 2011 and including these projects, the NEA will have awarded 256 Our Town grants, totaling more than $21 million in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

The rapid development of the South End’s commercial corridor, coupled with imminent transportation changes and pressure to expand retail and housing, necessitate a plan that thoughtfully directs growth. 

“I congratulate BCA for receiving this prestigious award,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “The Our Town grant will allow BCA, in partnership with the Department of Planning and Zoning, to ensure that the arts are fully incorporated into the visioning process for Burlington’s South End so that dynamic and changing part of the City will continue to be a neighborhood in which the arts thrive.”

With the Our Town grant, BCA will implement the following: 
•    Traditional public engagement methods and arts-based visioning events to inform the planBTV South End master plan;
•    Community workshops and artist residences that facilitate or create temporary public art projects inspired by the history of the South End and hopes for the future;
•    A streetscape design for the Pine Street corridor that maps locations for new and existing public and art spaces, landscaping, public infrastructure, etc.; and
•    Shifting Ground, an exhibition that presents information from housing and transportation studies using a variety of visual arts strategies for multi-modal consumption.  
“A national conversation is taking place around how to do community development in a way that is authentic, equitable, and builds on existing assets,” said Chairman Chu. “Through Our Town funding, our participation with other Federal agencies in efforts such as the White House Council on Strong Cities and Strong Communities, and other projects developed by partners like ArtPlace America, artists and arts organizations will continue to mature, refine, and amaze with their work to make America a better place.”
“We are thankful for the Our Town grant awarded at a crucial time for Burlington. Artists and community members will have a voice in shaping the future and quality of the built environment in the South End,” said Doreen Kraft, Executive Director of BCA. “The South End is a major contributor to Burlington’s creative economy, a veritable beehive of arts and industrial innovation. This grant will help ensure the sustainability of this vibrant area.”


As long-time supporters of BCA, the Stillers have helped foster Burlington’s community of artists, students, teachers, and Makers, which in turn has built a strong creative economy. 

As the demand for arts education and community space grows, BCA is looking for ways to meet that need. The matching gift from the Stiller family will allow BCA to embark on a feasibility process and plan for the development of a new BCA education complex.  For the Stiller challenge, every dollar from an individual or business is matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000.

“Through the Stillers’ past generosity, BCA has successfully created a truly genuine, responsive, and nimble organization. BCA has served over 10,000 people through our accessible art education programs, nurtured Burlington’s Maker movement and assisted in opening Generator, completed a master plan for the redesign of City Hall Park, opened Vermont Metro Gallery, and offered professional development for artists,” explained Kraft. “This matching gift ensures the longevity of BCA and helps to advance the creative economy here in Burlington.” 

Bob Stiller, founder of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and his wife, Christine Stiller, lead the Stiller Family Foundation with their children, Jules, David, and Christian. The foundation believes in helping people help themselves. In 2013 the Stiller Family Foundation was awarded Outstanding Foundation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for their decades of philanthropic work. 

The NEA Our Town grant and the matching gift from the Stiller family are important contributions that allow BCA to support and promote excellence, experimentation, and education in all forms of contemporary art. For more information about gallery exhibitions, special events, classes and workshops, please call 802.865.7166 or visit