Next Stage Arts - HAH!

Next Stage Arts Project, Inc.

Funding Received: 2014
Putney, VT
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months

Founded in 2010 as a nonprofit organization, Next Stage Arts Project (NSAP) is a transformative, community-centered project dedicated to revitalizing Putney’s cultural and economic village center through excellence in arts programming and the operation of Next Stage. NSAP presents a wide range of performing arts, both in partnership and independently, including many genres of music; classical, folk, jazz, blues, world, and rock, a theater company-in-residence, spoken word and films. Artists include national, international as well as local talent. 

Located in the landmark 1841 former church on Kimball Hill, Next Stage is a performing arts and community center that is already becoming the new anchor for Putney’s re-emerging downtown. Putney, VT (population 2,600) had been hollowed out by Hurricane Irene and two major fires, and NSAP was conceived as a way to rebuild the community. ArtPlace America's grant is supporting both the renovation of the facility, as well as for programming both during and after the construction work.

Next Stage Arts Project, in collaboration with the Putney Historical Society, has begun to transform the former United Church of Putney on Kimball Hill into a fully accessible, modern performing arts and community center to serve Putney and the region. The church was built by Putney residents in 1841 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Capital improvements will include a full accessibility upgrade including an elevator, restoration of the building’s historic ceiling, roof and exterior, major upgrades to the performance space including seating, air handling, lighting and sound, the addition of a green room, creation of storage and viewing areas for historic archives, and renovated space for community events including a community kitchen. The goal is to transform this historic building by honoring the integrity of its frame, changing its use and still preserving its traditional role as a gathering place in the center of the village.  

While a good deal of work has been accomplished, electrical wiring, belfy restoration, and efficiency improvements, the major interior renovations are set to get underway June 1. 

The ArtPlace America grant also supports a major programming initiative with two complementary elements, also now well underway. 
These are:
1) Expansion of our successful collaboration with Putney’s own internationally-renowned Sandglass Theater to facilitate three National Performance Network week long visiting artist residencies in Putney, including performances and student/public workshops with our lead educational partner, Putney Central School. The first of these, April 27-May 3, is:

  • Race Peace, a collaboration among the artists of Mondo Bizarro (New Orleans), Junebug Productions (New Orleans) , Roadside Theater (Virginia), and M.U.G.A.B.E.E. (Mississippi) Race Peace is a dialogue and performance project that creates communities of anti-racist practice.  It was born out of the struggle of a group of artists confronting the brutality of racism in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  At the core of the work are the difficult questions about the roles racism plays in our personal and professional relationships, and in the cultural, political, and social structures that give these relationships context.  This week-long residency includes performances by the artists, as well as a two-day workshop that links the artistic process with group visioning and evaluation, and a workshop with local law enforcement.  The residency also includes outreach to local schools.

2) Creation of a multi-disciplinary (image, documentary and written word) special project to bring our large 'at risk' school age population together with elders to examine/uncover shared issues in the community. Nationally-renowned photographer Christopher Irion is engaged for this project, entitled The Photobooth Project. This project is carried out as part of the student's community service curriculum and will culminate in two deliverables: a large scale public installation embedding photography and written reflection, and a public event at Next Stage where participants will present the images and essays in an interactive, community setting. 

The programs will occur from spring 2015 through early 2016.




See below for recent updates, press, and events from this project

Oct 31, 2018
Next Stage Arts presents a panel on Resistance as part of its ongoing literary series, Next Stage Speaks, on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.,... Read More
Jul 16, 2018
“Artists and arts organizations are changing the use of public space, knitting social fabric across difference, contributing to community resiliency, and improving the economies of... Read More
May 20, 2016
Next Stage Arts Project is pleased to present Putney Vaudeville, back by popular demand, for a family matinee on Sunday, June 12 at 4 p.m... Read More
Apr 22, 2016
THEY SAT IN small groups called Story Circles. They told tales of their own wounding behavior and revealed moments of humiliation, admitting the pain of... Read More
Mar 30, 2016
Next Stage Arts Project is delighted to present Peter Aguero, host of NPR's Moth Radio Hour, and Ophira Eisenberg on Friday, April 15 and Saturday,... Read More
Jan 27, 2016
Next Stage Arts Project is pleased to present ON SCREEN, a series of themed films, hosted and curated by filmmaker Vanessa Vadim and writer/producer Paul... Read More
Dec 9, 2015
A total transformation of the Next Stage, Arts Project theater will be complete in time for its reopening event Friday. As of last Saturday, paint... Read More
Dec 2, 2015
Winner of the 2014 ArtPlace America Grant, Next Stage Arts Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing Putney's cultural and economic village center through... Read More
Aug 12, 2015
Sandglass Theater is presenting its 9th international Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival: Walking to the Borders from September 11th to 20th, 2015, with a... Read More