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Vermont's Year of the Arts 2015

[Web Development, Community, UI/UX Design]
Have you heard the news….2015 is the Year of Arts in Vermont! While we need little excuseVermont Arts 2015 to celebrate the arts more than we already do, this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the State’s commitment to building and supporting artistic endeavors through the leadership of the Vermont Arts Council. The legislature formed the Vermont Arts Council soon after the National Endowment for the Arts was established in 1965. With their stewardship, the arts have become part of what makes Vermont, well, Vermont. If you doubt this, think about the smallest town you've visited. Did you see a gallery, studio, performance space (theater, school stage, grange hall), kids’ art camp, or a flyer for poetry reading at a coffee shop? Maybe all of the above? As solid as the granite and sweet as the Maple syrup, Vermont’s thriving arts communities define our sense of place.
In 1965 the legislature designated the Arts Council as Vermont’s official state arts agency. From that year to now funding has come from the National Endowment for the Arts, matched by the State, to the Council to serve artists, arts organizations, schools, and communities. The effect of this support is a mature arts sector that is an integral part of Vermont’s landscape. Neither gift of gold nor fancy party is adequate to pay tribute to the catalytic impact that public funding for the arts has had on the character and culture of Vermont. ~ Alex Aldrich, Executive Director, Vermont Arts Council
This year, and every year really, VDW encourages you to jump into the arts. This isn't just because the Arts Council is one of our clients (see below for the story about their new website). It's because the arts make our state and our people special....and with the wide array of ways to participate, you don't have any excuse not to.

Resources to Explore the Arts in Vermont

The Vermont Arts Council has resources to help Vermonters step into the arts for the first time, return after a long absence, or add to the festivities that you already enjoy such as:

Vermont Arts Council's New Website

Over the past year, Vermont Design Works developed a partnership with the Vermont Arts Council to rebuild their website from the ground up with a new, responsive/mobile-friendly design. We are proud to work together to create custom featuresVT Arts Council Homepage and site architecture that speak to their multiple audiences: artists, schools, and art lovers. This includes:
  • Central calendar for arts organizations to add events as well as for residents and visitors to find opportunities
  • Provide educators and artists with resources to expand programs and apply for funding
  • Responsive design that breaks out of the 12-block grid by using angles and shapes to bring more artistic life to the pages.
VDW deployed the Symfony framework and our ContentWorks Content Management System in this project. This allows us to enhance and/or add new features to meet the needs of the Council and allows them to make their own updates to the site over time. What you don't see are the advanced features to make the site more accessible to people with disabilities. The Council is deeply committed to accessibility so VDW diligently worked to meet ADA compliance standards. Part of the new website was a dedicated Vermont Arts 2015 section, set up specifically to highlight this year's events. The Boston Globe recently even mentioned the new site in their Travel section:


Hungry for some art? Savor a smorgasbord of concerts, festivals, and exhibitions during Vermont Arts 2015, a celebration of all-things-creative taking place across the Green Mountain State. Marking the Vermont Arts Council’s 50th anniversary, and the Legislature’s designation of 2015 as “The Year of the Arts,” the yearlong festivities offer visitors a way to engage in arts and activities in traditional as well as unconventional locales. An easy-to navigate website lists upcoming events and locations, including links to participating organizations and ticket prices. 802-828-3291, www.vermont
(Thanks for the compliment on the easy to use navigation, BG - we're always here if you need us for any web services, *wink*)

We invite you to explore the Vermont Arts Council website -- perhaps even bookmark it as a resource to plan your next adventure through the Green Mountains -- and EXPLORE the hidden artistic gems nestled in our cities and towns.