Vermont Humanities

Woman speaking with hand over heart beside statue
Woman speaking with hand over heart beside statue

Vermont Humanities seeks to engage all Vermonters in the world of ideas, foster a culture of thoughtfulness, and inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning.

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Come enjoy 400+ humanities
events held across Vermont.

upcoming events

Watch

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own time.

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Listen

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Upcoming Events

Singer-songwriter Bryan Blanchetter in a white short with a bolo tie, holding a guitar, sitting against a brown background
Live Event

Bryan Blanchette: Words in the Woods

Bryan Blanchette is a singer-songwriter who brings more than ten thousand years of Abenaki tradition to his contemporary compositions. He began powwow drumming more than two decades ago and soon after began writing Abenaki language songs. Bryan also studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Image of sharpshooters taking aim
Live Event

Vermont’s Remarkable Sharpshooters

Vermont sent far more sharpshooters to the Union armies than any other state, on a per capita basis. Sharpshooters from this state played a little-known but major role at Gettysburg. Historian Howard Coffin will discuss his recent research into this little-recognized group and consider the reasons why Vermont may have been so well-represented in this elite group of marksmen.

Two men playing wooden flutes while another man plays a large hand drum
Live Event

Sutras for a Suffering World: The Poetry of David Budbill Set to Music: Panel Discussion

Scrag Mountain Music co-Artistic Directors are joined by musician/composer William Parker, composer Erik Nielsen, David’s wife Lois Eby, and daughter Nadine Budbill for an intimate discussion of David’s poetry and how his words are transformed into musical phrases.

Two men playing wooden flutes while another man plays a large hand drum
Live Event

Sutras for a Suffering World: The Poetry of David Budbill Set to Music

Scrag Mountain Music co-Artistic Directors are joined by musician/composer William Parker, composer Erik Nielsen, David’s wife Lois Eby, and daughter Nadine Budbill for an intimate discussion of David’s poetry and how his words are transformed into musical phrases.

Juneteenth image
Live Event

Southwest Vermont Juneteenth Celebration

Come celebrate and commemorate our country’s newest federal holiday: Juneteenth. This holiday signifies the emancipation of the last enslaved people within the United States. Join multiple southwest Vermont institutions and organizations as we usher in the Juneteenth holiday with a free cookout focused on history, equity, and racial justice.

Image of woman
Live Event

Vermont Women and the Civil War

Vermont’s remarkable Civil War battlefield record is well documented, but little is known of how Vermont women sustained the home front. Historian Howard Coffin explains how women took on farming, worked in factories, served as nurses in the state’s military hospitals, and more.

Live Event

Toussaint St. Negritude: Words in the Woods

Toussaint St. Negritude describes himself as “Black, queer, artist, mountaineer, devout congregant of the wilderness.” He frequently intersperses his words with compositions on his bass clarinet. His work has been published in journals such as The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Savannah Literary Journal, and The San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Image of old boats on Lake Champlain
Live Event

From Skiffs to Sail Ferries: The Story of Vermont’s Small Boat Traditions

The stories of Vermont naval history and commercial shipping have been well documented by generations of historians. However, the traditions of small boat building from throughout our state have remained untold. In this slide presentation, Douglas Brooks shares his research on these traditions, and his work in recreating some of these historic vessels.

Image of Vermont field in winter
Live Event

Vermont, 1800 and Froze to Death: The Cold Year of 1816

1816 has long been known as the year without summer. Vermonters still call it “1800 and Froze to Death,” a year of frosts every month, dark skies, and mysterious lights that caused a widespread belief that a higher power was displeased. In this talk, historian Howard Coffin includes scores of anecdotes on the dark year of failed crops, scarce food, and religious revival.

Black and white cartoon drawing of a farmer in rubber boots with cows in a Vermont barn yard
Live Event

Vermont Reads 2022 Kickoff Discussion

Join three people central to the creation of The Most Costly Journey for a discussion about migration, farming, mental health, cartooning, and the Latinx farmworker experience in Vermont.

Image of garden vegetables
Live Event

Wolf Peaches, Poisoned Peas, and Madame Pompadour’s Underwear: The Surprising History of Common Garden Vegetables

Common garden vegetables have long and fascinating histories. Science and history writer Rebecca Rupp will discuss the stories behind many of our favorites, among them the much-maligned tomato and potato, the (mostly) popular pumpkin, and Vermont’s dynamic duo of kale and Gilfeather turnip.

Bill Mares and friend with beer
Live Event

From Homebrew to the House of Fermentology

Bill Mares began making his own beer 45 years ago, when home brewing was illegal and there were no microbreweries in America. In this presentation, he offers a short history of beer itself and discusses Vermont’s small but significant contribution to the American beer revolution.

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We recently gave a $5000 project grant to the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction to print and distribute a comic to schools and literacy organizations throughout Vermont.

How We Read, A Graphic Guide To Literacy will help kids experience the joy of reading and overcome the stigma of struggling to read.

Learn more about our Project Grants

Image courtesy Center for Cartoon Studies

Cartoon block with a girl reading on colorful grass surrounded by flowers

Our Programs

Vermont Humanities has developed a broad range of programs that serves Vermonters of all ages and backgrounds. In 2021, 31,365 people took part in 562 activities hosted by us or by our community partners.

Learn More about Our Programs

The Anne Commire Fund for Women in the Humanities supports projects that focus on women writers. Anne (at far left) is shown with the cast of her play “Melody Sisters” in 1984.

The fund was created through a legacy gift of $125,000 from Anne’s estate, one of the largest individual gifts ever made to Vermont Humanities.

Learn more about this gift

Support Our Work

By giving to Vermont Humanities, you support education for people of all ages through early literacy programs, Humanities Camps for middle-school children, and programs held in libraries, community centers, schools, and correctional facilities.

Learn More about Supporting Us

Vermont Humanities*** January 13, 2015