Sept. 10, 2018 Press Release: Vermont Arts Council Grant

Fairlee Community Arts
P.O. Box 242
Fairlee, VT 05045


Contact: Lynne Fitzhugh*


(Launches Campaign to Equip New Auditorium With Sound, Projection, and Lighting Systems)

FAIRLEE, VERMONT, September 10, 2018 —       This August the Vermont Arts Council awarded the Town of Fairlee a Cultural Facilities matching grant of $13,500 for a $27,000 sound system to be installed in the newly restored Town Hall auditorium. Fairlee Community Arts, Inc. (FCA), the private, nonprofit organization formed last year to program the auditorium and other local venues, is spearheading the campaign to raise the required match this fall as well as funds for projection and stage lighting. The proposed state-of-the-art sound system includes assistive listening features for people with hearing difficulties and should provide high-fidelity sound for a wide range of performances and events in the 3,800-square-foot space.

In early September, the Couch Family Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to FCA toward the $12,000 costs of film projection equipment, the second of the three types of production equipment needed to make the auditorium fully program-ready. Once installed, the projection equipment would support a proposed film series of local archival footage, works by our region’s growing film-making community, selected commercial films, and major live-streamed national and international performances and events.

The drive to equip the Town Hall auditorium with equipment necessary for performances and community events caps a decade of major investments by Fairlee residents in renovation of the historic building and the purchase for conservation and public recreational purposes of a large tract of forest on the east side of Lake Morey. Together, these efforts represent an unprecedented commitment to Fairlee by local and regional donors without whom none of these costly projects would have come to fruition. Consequently, a ‘quiet’ campaign for production equipment funds is focused mainly on foundations and individuals specifically interested in film, performing arts, and community events. All contributions are welcome and will be recognized on an etched glass panel twinned with the Town Hall donor panel in the auditorium ( for information).

Although newly incorporated, the all-volunteer Fairlee Community Arts board, with sponsorship contributions from local businesses and individuals, has recently completed a second summer season of free concerts on Fairlee Town Common. These nine weekly concerts attracted a regional audience of up to 275 people per event, which is large for these kinds of events according to participating bands. FCA’s plans for year-round indoor programs include holiday activities and dances this fall and, when the auditorium is fully equipped, film, lecture, and performance series, art exhibits, and children’s programs. Catamount Arts of St. Johnsbury, which is presently serving as FCA’s mentor and fiscal sponsor, will also co-present some of their touring groups with FCA such as the international award-winning Gaelic folk group Daimh which held an open Celtic ceilidh and workshop in the auditorium this past Labor Day.

*NOTE:  Press contact from 9/15 to 10 3 = Liz Wilson (


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