Vermont Humanities

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

Using the humanities, we connect with people across Vermont to create just, vibrant, and resilient communities and to inspire a lifelong love of learning.

Attend

Come enjoy 400+ humanities
events held across Vermont.

upcoming events

Watch

Miss an event or discussion? Watch a recording on your
own time.

recorded events

Listen

Dive into our two humanities podcasts to engage and learn about new perspectives.

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Book

Bring a speaker or event to your library, community, or school.

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Featured Events

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 Vermont forest in winter
Live Event

Murder in the Vermont Woods: A Story About Race, Class, and Gender in the 19th Century

Historian Jill Mudgett tells the story of an Indigenous man from southern New England who came to central Vermont during the late 19th century and was the victim of a murder. Recreating community connections in a rural Vermont hill town, this story is about poverty, racism, disability, and gendered violence against women, but is also an account of Indigenous movement and choice despite great obstacles.

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.

Image of old postcard of the Connecticut River
Live Event

400 Miles Down the Connecticut River

New England’s longest river, the Connecticut, is rich in history. Michael Tougias, author of fourteen books about New England, offers a narrated slide presentation that takes the viewer down the entire 410 miles of the river, discussing history from the days of loggers, Indian Wars, steamships, and canals.

Image of beekeeper with hive
Live Event

Bees Besieged: A History of Beekeeping

Bill Mares, writer, and a beekeeper for 45 years, will tell of the origins and evolution of beekeeping, sometimes referred to as “farming for intellectuals,” with a particular emphasis on his new book, with Ross Conrad, and others, “The Land of Milk and Honey, a History of Beekeeping in Vermont.”

Image from Way Down East film
Live Event

Vermont vs. Hollywood: 100 Years of Vermont in Film

Vermont has been a featured location in Hollywood movies for nearly a century. It has represented many different ideals during that time, and its portrayal reflects both Vermont’s own history as well as American history. Examining those films provides interesting and fun insights into the hold Vermont has had on imagination in the media age.

Carol Potter, with short gray hair and dark tortoiseshell glasses
Live Event

Carol Potter: Words in the Woods

Carol Potter is a teacher, editor, and author of five books of poetry. Some Slow Bees won the Field Poetry Prize from Oberlin College Press in 2014. Her poems have been published in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Green Mountains Review, The Kenyon Review, among others.

Image of old postcard of the Connecticut River
Live Event

400 Miles Down the Connecticut River

New England’s longest river, the Connecticut, is rich in history. Michael Tougias, author of fourteen books about New England, offers a narrated slide presentation that takes the viewer down the entire 410 miles of the river, discussing history from the days of loggers, Indian Wars, steamships, and canals.

See All Upcoming Events

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