Vermont Humanities

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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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Attend

Come enjoy 400+ humanities
events held across Vermont.

upcoming events

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Watch

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

recorded events

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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

Image of 1893 bicycle club
Live Event

Of Wheelmen, The New Woman, and Good Roads: Bicycling in Vermont, 1880-1920

During the 1890s, enthusiasm exploded statewide as bicycles became safer, women took to the wheel, roads improved, and retailers developed novel advertising techniques to draw in buyers. By 1920, popular interest in bicycles had waned, but it had not just been a fad: the bicycle was tied to important changes in industrial production, consumerism, new road policies and regulations, gender relations, and new cultural ideas about auto-mobility and effortless speed.

Live Event

Vermont Reads: Make Paper Lanterns with Radiate Art Space

Richmond Free Library and Radiate Art Space are excited to offer a special craft featuring this year’s Vermont Reads book, Last Night at the Telegraph Club.
Join us to create your own paper lantern like Lily and her family would have lit at the Lantern Festival concluding their Lunar New Year celebration.

Marquee with "The World is Temporarily Closed" written on it
Live Event

Pandemics, Surreal and the Real

The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for all of us, as we grieve, struggle with separation, and combat the loneliness we collectively feel. This series created by the Quechee Library confronts this difficult time by looking at it through fiction. The series is comprised of two novellas and a collection of 23 short stories.

Computers taped off to enforce social distancing during the SARS-Coronavirus-2 pandemic at the small local public library, that is located in the Groninger city of Winschoten, Oldambt.
Hybrid Event

Every Problem Is Now a Technology Problem

The Covid Era created new challenges (and opportunities!) for technology education work. Every problem turned into a technology problem, and issues of access and the digital divide became very imposing, very rapidly. What made a difference? Library technologist and author Jessamyn West talks about the Vermont public library response.

Image of woman at lathe
Live Event

Rosie’s Mom: Forgotten Women of the First World War

One hundred years ago, a full generation before Rosie the Riveter, women rolled up their sleeves and entered war industries where they had never been welcome before. They ran powerful machinery, learned new skills, and faced the sullen hostility of the men in the shops.

In this illustrated lecture, historian Carrie Brown reveals their courage and their hard work, and explores how these women helped shape the work that their more famous daughters would do in the next World War.

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.

Image of a mountain scene
Live Event

The Hills of Home: Mountains and Identity in Vermont History

Vermonters have strong ideas about the importance of their mountain topography. Where did our pride in Vermont’s landscape come from, and why is it that we see our shared identity as rooted in the land? This lecture by historian Jill Mudgett is timely and relevant in its relationship to current interdisciplinary scholarship, and offers us tools to understand the origins and meaning of our own strongly-held attachments to the Vermont landscape.

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.

black and white image of Mary Martin running with children in the Sound of Music
Hybrid Event

My Day in the Hills: The Story, Songs, and Soul of The Sound of Music

Why do Vermonters feel such a strong attachment to the story of the von Trapp family and, subsequently, to The Sound of Music? Educator and conductor Stefanie Weigand explores why this story draws us in and holds our attention, even though the events that formed the basis of the show and film took place decades ago and thousands of miles away.

Live Event

Vermont Book Awards: A Celebration of Vermont Writers

Please join us on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at 7:00pm at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier for this year’s Vermont Book Award celebration! The Vermont Book Awards are hosted by the Vermont College of Fine Arts, the Vermont Department of Libraries, and Vermont Humanities.

Statue of Phillis Wheatley
Live Event

Lucy Terry Prince: Witness, Voice, and Poetics within the American Tradition

Beginning with Vermonter Lucy Terry Prince, the first known African American poet in the U.S., poet Shanta Lee Gander explores creative lineage within poetics. Surveying the work of Phillis Wheatley, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Rita Dove, and slam poet Dominique Christina, Gander considers the poetic arc from the past to the modern moment.

young girl blowing a large bubble
Hybrid Event

The Play Instinct: Have You Lost Yours?

Playfulness is the foundation for strengthening relationships and building resilient communities. In order to understanding this, we must know the intrinsic value of play and its potential for deepening our connection to self and others. In this session, Lisa Guerrero invites participants to reconnect to their natural play instinct and puts forth a passionate invitation to prioritize play.

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Our 2023 Project Grants supported The Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s Jukebox quartet partnership with Haitian/Vermont painter Julio Desmont for three concerts exploring migration and the intersection of art, geography, and history.

Learn more about our Project Grants

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Our Programs

Vermont Humanities has developed a broad range of programs that serves Vermonters of all ages and backgrounds. In 2022, 38,188 people took part in our programs, and we held 677 activities, either 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