Vermont towns can share their legends and lore with grant program
Does your city have a legend you’ve been dying to tell more people about? The Vermont Folklife Center and a philanthropic foundation may want to hear from you.
The Middlebury-based Vermont Folklife Center has partnered with the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, an organization in Syracuse, New York, which has created a grant program called “Legends & Lore.” The program, according to a press release from the foundation, “helps communities commemorate their folklore and local legends and promote cultural tourism with roadside markers.”
The foundation seeks candidates for new markers in the 11 states where it partners with a local organization, as it does with the Vermont Folklife Center. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 2.
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Vermont has a handful of “Legends & Lore” markers throughout the state, according to a map on the foundation’s website. One in Marlboro commemorates Margaret MacArthur, who “collected and performed traditional Vermont music,” according to the roadside marker.
The only marker displayed on the Pomeroy Foundation website in Chittenden County honors School District #5 in Underhill, which in 2018 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 140 markers can be found in several states across the country, according to the foundation.
Markers can address serious moments in history, but can also be whimsical. In an email to the Burlington Free Press, a spokesperson for the Pomeroy Foundation cited “unique place-name traditions” such as Goose Street near Cooperstown, New York and Lick Skillet in Alabama, as well as legendary stories such as that of John Henry in West Virginia.
Possible categories listed on the foundation’s website include myths; captions; lies; folk tales; anecdotes about place names; folk songs and ballads; superstitions; feasts, feasts, parades and rituals; and certain dances, music, architecture, gastronomy, arts and crafts. Subjects that do not pass, according to the site, include historical events lacking a folkloric aspect, purely literary creations, and personal or family folklore that does not extend to the greater community.
Grants will be awarded in July. Details of the application process are available at www.wgpfoundation.org/history/legends-lore/.
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Contact Brent Hallenbeck at [email protected] Follow Brent on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrentHallenbeck.