Robert Frost Stone House Museum Receives Two Grants Totaling More Than $24,000
New funding supports historic preservation and cultural programs.
The Robert Frost Stone House Museum at Bennington College, located in Shaftsbury, VT, has received a total of $24,250 in grants from the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s Historic Preservation Barn Grant program. Both grants will help restore the property’s distinctive New England barns and make greater use of these spaces for programs and events.
“The barns on this property are part of the landscape that inspired Robert Frost’s poetry and supported his life as a farmer,” said Erin McKenny, the director of the Robert Frost Stone House Museum at Bennington College. “These funds are tremendously useful in our efforts to restore these beautiful and historic agricultural spaces and to welcome the public to experience their continued significance and enduring charm.”
The Historic Preservation Barn Grant of $5,500, which must be matched by the College, will be used to replace the metal roof on the largest of the property’s outbuildings. With the roof repaired, the museum will expand the use of the barn for readings, concerts, art installations, workshops, and their annual Holiday Makers’ Market.
The Vermont Arts Council’s grant of $18,750 will support the installation of electricity and plumbing to the historic barn. The grant was a part of more than $300,000 in Cultural Facilities Grants to 19 Vermont arts and community organizations. The funds provide organizations with resources to enhance, create, or expand the capacity of existing buildings that offer cultural activities for the public.
“Investing in Vermont’s cultural infrastructure helps to ensure buildings are safe and welcoming, enables more programming to reach more people, and adds vibrancy to our downtowns and village centers,” Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Susan Evans McClure in the organization’s press release about the grants. “We are proud to partner with the state to support these critical projects.”
The Museum was founded in 2002 by the Friends of Robert Frost in order to celebrate the poet and his time spent in Shaftsbury. In 2017, Bennington College took over the management of the Museum and has continued highlighting the creative spirit of the property through lectures, workshops, free poetry readings, and public events and opening it as a gathering place for the southwestern Vermont Community. Both grants will further expand the museum’s capacity.
Known historically as the Peleg Cole Farm or Half Stone House, the historic property was home to poet Robert Frost between 1920 and 1928. The Frosts grew apples, vegetables, and flowers, planted red pine, and raised farm animals and honeybees on the farm that features a late English Bank Barn. The property is open to the public through October.
Those who would like to support the Robert Frost Stone House Museum with a donation to the barn project or other gift and those who would like to become members can visit the museum's donation page here.
About the Historic Preservation Barn Grants
Established in 1992, the State-funded Barn Preservation Grant program helps individuals, municipalities, and non-profit organizations to rehabilitate the historic agricultural buildings that are a symbol of Vermont’s rural landscape. This is the oldest state-funded agricultural-based grant program in the United States. Since its inception, the program has provided over $3 million towards the preservation of over 360 historic barns and agricultural buildings around the state. Preservation of these buildings not only protects Vermont's agricultural and architectural legacies, but it also generates jobs, supports independent businesses, increases civic participation, and bolsters a community's sense of place while enhancing the experience of visitors. Additional information can be found on this website.
About the Vermont Arts Council
The Vermont Arts Council envisions a Vermont where all people have access to the arts and creativity in their lives, education, and communities. Engagement with the arts transforms individuals, connects us more deeply to each other, energizes the economy, and sustains the vibrant cultural landscape that makes Vermont a great place to live. Since 1965, the Council has been the state's primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts in Vermont. Learn more on the Vermont Arts Council website.