Burlington City Arts

BCA Updates Concerning Covid-19

As Burlington City Arts begins to reopen, we are doing so with the utmost precaution and regard for the wellbeing of our entire community, informed by thorough research and by recommendations from the Vermont Department of Health. We have sincerely missed engaging with our audience in-person, and are delighted to begin returning to our regular programming, slowly. Our Home Studio platforms will stay updated with artist studio tours, artist spotlights, and art activities regularly, though scaling from a weekly to a monthly schedule.

The BCA Center

Beginning in July 22, the gallery will feature two new exhibitions, JoAnne Carson: A Sense of Wonder, and Stay Home/Stay Safe. We regret that due to previous commitments in our first and second floor galleries, we will be unable to re-open Apocalypse Diet: What Will We Eat? or Brigitta Varadi: Exploring the Invisible. We are pleased to extend Estefania Puerta: Sore Mouth Swore in our lower level gallery. Please visit our BCA Home Studio website for virtual tours and interpretive brochures for all these shows.  

Several changes have been made in order to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, staff, and community:

  • One-way entry and exit, with directional wayfinding throughout the gallery space
  • Hand sanitizing stations at the entrance and exit
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols throughout the building
  • Limit of up to 25 visitors at a time
  • Reduced hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 12-5 pm

Please see a full list of guidelines and protocols for protecting our community while visiting the BCA Center.


BCA Studios at 405 Pine St.

  • Summer Camps: After listening to expert advice and becoming familiar with the Vermont Department of Health’s summer camp health and safety requirements, we are so pleased to be able to offer a redesigned camp experience. Our new camp structure will be full days only (8 am-3 pm), and will differ from the previous camp descriptions, as studio locations and instructors have shifted. Previously registered campers have been or will be contacted with these descriptions, as well as with other information and instructions. Unfortunately, we cannot accept any additional campers right now. If you would like to be added to the full day camp waitlist, please email Kiersten Williams, Community Programs Coordinator, at
  • Studio Access and Adult Classes: Please check back for updates on studio hours and a revised adult class schedule.

Summer Artist Market

Burlington City Arts is taking precautions in-step with the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 safety guidelines to keep all 2020 Summer Artist Market shoppers, vendors, and the broader community healthy. These precautions include:

  • Requiring vendors to wear face masks and gloves, and encouraging shoppers to do the same
  • Directing shoppers in one direction, with only one entrance and one exit
  • Limiting 10-15 shoppers in the market at one time, and relying on extra staff to regulate these numbers
  • Establishing hand sanitizing stations at booths as well as at the market’s entrance and exit
  • Limiting the number of vendors to 20, each week, with booths spaced at least six feet apart
  • Encouraging vendors to lay merchandise out in a way that limits touch
  • Limiting two people per booth at a time
  • Offering contactless payment (Venmo or cash)

Summer Concert Series

Burlington City Arts' is bringing music back to Church Street – safely – with our annual Summer Concert Series. All are welcome to enjoy these free concerts by Vermont musicians on lower Church Street, near City Hall. The series takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12:30 pm, beginning July 8 and running through August 21. For many of the musicians featured in this summer's series, these concerts will mark their first gig in many months, so go cheer them on!

Art from the Heart

Until further notice, Art from the Heart visits from volunteers are on hold. In the meantime, please visit the AFTH blog for ideas on how the arts can help us feel better, with posts that offer research-backed, creative responses to connect community, wellness, humor, and culture.


If you or someone you know is hospitalized at the medical center, you can request an art kit with project ideas and supplies for the patient and family members, making the hospital a more creative place. Email Rebecca Schwarz at with the patient’s room number, which floor they are on, and which kit is requested. Choose from Watercolors, Write to Heal, Coloring for Adults, Coloring for Kids, Oil Pastels, Drawing and Mandalas, Pattern Doodling, Card Making, or Mini Journals.


Festival of Fools

The Festival of Fools has always been about bringing people together. Through accessible art on the street, hundreds of thousands of people have come to Burlington to experience the Festival over the past 13 years.

Unfortunately, physical distancing protocols don't work so well when the whole point is to draw a large crowd. We saw that one coming. And with the recent announcement from the State of Vermont that no large festivals are to be held in Vermont this summer, we know it’s time to officially cancel this year's Festival of Fools.

We’re already looking forward to summer 2021, when we can again bring the community together in laughter and amazement. We thank the artists and performers who were scheduled to join us this year, the fans who were hoping to have fun on Church Street, and our sponsors who are always there for us and help make Fools possible.

Artist Resources:

As of June 30, the BCA Foundation's Artist Relief Fund is closed, with BCA refocusing grant efforts on the BCA Community Grant Fund. These Community Grants provide a maximum of $3,000 to Burlington artists and arts organizations.

We are fortunate that strong community support enabled us to quickly launch the Artist Relief Fund in April. Through the Artist Relief Fund, 80 artists received grants of up to $500 each, totaling just under $40,000.


BCA has created a list of local, state, and national grants, funding opportunities, and other resources for artists.