Vermont Humanities

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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.

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Come enjoy 400+ humanities
events held across Vermont.

upcoming events

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

recorded events

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

discover podcasts

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

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Featured Events

Painting of two girls in 1950s San Francisco in a corner under a streetlamp
Live Event

Vermont Reads: Last Night at the Telegraph Club Discussion

Explore a multi-generational novel of personal stories, difficult issues and historical events set in 1950s San Francisco. Scholar Suzanne Brown leads the discussion. Copies of the novel are available at both the Quechee and Wilder Libraries. The hybrid discussion will be hosted at Quechee Library, with refreshments. Zoom link is available upon request.

Detail of cover of The Most Costly Journey, showing a drawing of a Mexican man holding a paintbrush and a photo of his family
Live Event

Evening Book Group: The Most Costly Journey

For this special edition of Evening Book Group, we’ll discuss VT Reads 2022: The Most Costly Journey (El viaje más caro). Illustrated by New England cartoonists in a variety of styles, each short chapter describes aspects of life as an immigrant farm worker in Vermont: crossing the southern border, struggling with English, adapting to winter, growing gardens, raising children, dealing with health crises, and working long hours.

Image of young man reading a newspaper
Live Event

Sorting the News from the Chaff

Paradoxically, the Internet has made it both easier and harder to find “truth.” Almost everything we could ever want to know is available online, but how can we tell the good sources from the bad ones, discern fact from assumption, and distinguish “fake news” from the real thing? And how can we effectively communicate with others when discussing or debating public issues in the news? Veteran journalist and educator Mark Timney will explore these questions and share strategies for evaluating news sources in the rapidly changing digital information age.

Amazon Workers on strike during the pandemic, with one person in a mask holding a sign that reads UNION
Hybrid Event

An Injury to All: Labor Struggles During and Beyond the Pandemic

During the pandemic, workers fought back against dangerous workplaces, low wages, and polarizing politics. Jamie McCallum examines the long shadow of labor militancy and workplace organizing that began during the pandemic, building on hundreds of interviews with workers and a mountain of other data to look at the pandemic through the eyes of the American working class

Ashley Bryan at home surrounded by some of his collection
Live Event

Panel Discussion: Joyful Remembrances

SVAC’s exhibition features award-winning illustrator and author, Ashley Bryan, who is widely respected for filling a void in children’s literature through centering stories of Black life and African folk tales.

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.

The band Purple plays on a stage lit with purple spotlights in front of a crowd
Live Event

Purple: A Tribute to PRINCE featuring Craig Mitchell

PURPLE is a 7-piece (and often bigger) “booty shakin’, sweaty, stinky, funky good time dance party” led by frontman Craig Mitchell who navigates through Prince’s seemingly endless catalog of music.

orange and blue sunset over a field filled with cows and a blue tractor that says FORD on the front
Live Event

Music from the Land! Farmer Open Mic Night

Music has the tradition of bringing community together, especially in the rural regions of the country. Join us for food and music by and for farmers, farmworkers, and their communities.

Image of box with old photos
Live Event

Norwich Public Library: Family History

The Pulitzer-winning novels in this series examine not only relationships, but the ways difficult chapters of a family’s past are revealed by the passing of time. The next book read will be The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx.

Speakers Bureau presenter Rajnii Eddins
Live Event

The Value of Our Stories

Each one of us has a story that is valuable. Rajnii Eddins utilizes spoken word as a tool for engagement in conversations about race, culture, equity and the richness to be found in each of our stories. In this presentation, Eddins will share his poetry and the historical context in which it was created. He will discuss how our stories can be used to confront racism and other injustices, affirm diversity and equity, and initiate community dialogue. He will conclude with a conversation about how attendees can share their stories as a way to create healing and to grow mutual understanding.

Hybrid Event

The Joy of Lex with the Co-Host of “A Way with Words”

Revel in surprising word histories, regional dialects, ancient linguistic roots, and modern slang with Martha Barnette, co-host of public radio’s popular “A Way with Words.” Barnette, a writer in love with so-called dead languages, co-hosts the radio show which The New Yorker called “Car Talk for Lexiphiles” with Grant Barrett, a linguist and lexicographer.

Joe Citro in brown hat, gray beard, and black shirt with yeti on it poses in front of a black background featuring the event description
Live Event

WRJ’s First Friday with Joe Citro

Joe Citro, Vermont’s most interesting author, comes to the Main Street MUSEUM to offer some insight into Vermont’s wild & bizarre! This is a reading and discussion of ‘Joe’s Choice.’ Mr. Citro is an author, lecturer and expert on Vermont oddities. He is renowned for both his novels and non-fiction books. Joe has appeared on national radio and television. His entertaining lectures and readings are sought after by groups wanting something decidedly out of the ordinary.

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