Art & Artists

Explore Abenaki Artistry: Navigate Your Way

Welcome to the heart of Abenaki creativity. Here, you have the power to choose your artistic journey, exploring the diverse expressions of our talented Abenaki artists. Select your path below and uncover the rich heritage embedded in each masterpiece:

1. Alphabetical Showcase: Embark on a journey through the names of our remarkable artists. This path connects you with the individuals behind the art, inviting you to discover their unique stories and inspirations.

2. Art by Medium: Immerse yourself in the magic of different artistic mediums – quillwork, wampum, paintings, and more. Each medium reflects a distinct facet of Abenaki creativity, transporting you into the heart of our culture.

3. Artist Memorial Pages: Pay homage to the artists who have left a lasting imprint on our community and culture. Through these memorial pages, we remember and celebrate their contributions, ensuring their artistic spirits remain alive in our hearts.

Your choice, your journey. Whichever path you choose, you’re engaging with the living legacy of the Abenaki people, a legacy that bridges the gap between tradition and innovation. Each brushstroke, beadwork, and creation tells a story – a story that becomes richer with every step you take.

Questions? Please contact Elisa by email [email protected] or call (802) 265-0092.

About Us

The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association was a long time in the making. After the state of Vermont recognized the four tribes, we realized there was a need to collaborate so that our artists could be found. Please read Our Story, which follows, and then click on Abenaki History for detailed information about the types of art created by our people in the past and present.

Abenaki Historic Art↗

Learn about the historic Indigenous arts of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Current Shows ↗

Stay updated and see our current exhibitions here.

Our Artists

Artists are organized by media and skill level.

Call to Artists

Image of Call to Artists button with link to more information.

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt all over N’dakinna (our homeland) for over three years. Now we have an opportunity for Native American visual and performing artists to create and share artwork that expresses their response to the pandemic experience. 

We are looking for Abenaki or Native American artists, musicians, and community members who can help to express the impact of this pandemic on ourselves, our families and community, through visual or performing arts, or simply sharing stories of personal experience and perceptions about the the COVID-19 global pandemic, vaccines, disparities, and access.  

We are defining artwork in its broadest form. All artistic mediums are welcome. Paintings, collage, mixed media, carving, sculpture, fiber, weaving, pottery, poetry, photography, music, storytelling, dance, video… 

The stories and artwork will be shared in an online exhibit about our experiences and will be considered for possible inclusion in a museum exhibit and educational materials. 

Eligible Native American artists will submit artwork by December 31, 2022, with an artist statement that explains the artwork, and a brief intake form. 

For more information, email [email protected]

Image of news room button with link to news room page.
Image of memory booth logo and link to Memory Booth Events page..
Image of Storytelling Blog button and link to Storytelling Blog page.
Image of button for About the Abenaki Storytelling Project and link..

Sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health.

Digital Capacity Skills Building

Someone using a laptop computer.
Digital Capacity Skills Building (On-Demand)

This program was designed to bridge the opportunity gap for people who have not had opportunities to learn crucial digital skills necessary to collaborate on projects digitally.

The training is produced through a partnership between the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center. 

It was  supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council, with funds from the state of Vermont. This project was funded by  Vermont Arts Council.

Click on the course you have an interest in

Google for Collaborating Artists

Tablet showing the Google search bar.
Google provides a platform called Google Workspace for text, spreadsheets, and slides.
  • Google Workspace for Organizing Artist Collaborations: Part 1- Introduction to Google Workspace and Creating a Gmail

This is part one of a four-part series designed to give artists an overview of how to collaborate using Google Workspace tools such as Gmail, Docs, Slides, and Sheets including examples of how each tool can be used by artists. Part 1 in this series includes a primer to teach you how to start a Gmail account, how to perform a Google search, and a tour of the Google Workspace. Click on this link to start the video:

  • Collaborating with Google Workspace and Zoom (First part of Part 2)

When you are collaborating in Zoom, a colleague may drop a link into the chat box so the group can edit a Google Doc at the same time. This video shows you how to minimize your windows so you can view the Zoom screen share and Google Doc at the same time. It will also show you how to find your Zoom Window if you lose track of it. This training is produced through a partnership between the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center. Click on this link to start the video

  • Google Workspace for Organizing Artist Collaborations: Part 2: Google Docs

This is part two of a four-part series, designed to give artists an overview of how to collaborate using Google Workspace tools such as Gmail, Docs, Slides, and Sheets with examples of how each tool can be used by artists.

Contact Us

Contact Us artwork.

Let’s Connect: Reach Out to Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. We’re thrilled to hear from you and to engage in meaningful conversations. Whether you have questions or feedback or simply want to learn more about Vermont Abenaki Artists Association contact us to start the conversation.

18th Century Abenaki Couple in clothing of that period painted by Francine Poitras Jones.
18th Century Abenaki Couple

General Inquiries: Have a question about our programs, events, or mission? We’re here to provide you with the answers you’re seeking. Feel free to contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Collaborations and Partnerships: If you’re interested in collaborating with us, exploring partnerships, or contributing to our initiatives, we’re excited to explore the possibilities together. Let’s discuss how we can create a meaningful impact.

Feedback and Suggestions: Your insights matter to us. If you have suggestions, ideas, or feedback that could help enhance our offerings, we’re all ears. We’re committed to continuous improvement, and your input is invaluable.

Stay Connected: Connect with us through the channels below to stay up-to-date with our latest news, events, and initiatives. We look forward to connecting with you and sharing the journey ahead.

Book an Exhibition: If you’re interested in bringing one of our traveling exhibits to your location, we’re excited to hear from you. Our exhibits offer a unique opportunity to immerse your community in the richness of Abenaki artistry and culture.

We’re here to make meaningful connections and to ensure your experience with us is rewarding and informative. Please contact our Program Coordinator Elisa with any questions or access needs and she will forward your message to the appropriate person.

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Phone: (802) 265-0092



Following is a list of resources to help during this time.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

Assistance is now available for funeral assistance. Click here to review the help that is available.

Federal Resources for U.S. Small Businesses

View relevant federal agency resources, access the latest news, and search for a Small Business advisor near you.  Click here to view the official resource website for U.S. small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Employers

Userful resources for employers to learn how COVID-19 is affecting various aspects of employment law, and how different jurisdictions are addressing the outbreak are on a web page provided by Littler.  Because the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, with new governmental measures each day, employers should consult with counsel for the latest developments and updated guidance on this topic. Featured COVID-19 Resources

  • COVID-19 Labor & Employment Litigation Tracker
  • Bouncing Back:  A List of Statewide Return to Work Protocols
  • Facing Your Face Mask Duties – A List of Statewide Orders
  • Employee Temperature and Health Screenings – A List of Statewide Orders
  • Stay on Top of “Stay At Home” – A List of Statewide Orders
  • Littler COVID-19 Flash Survey Report

Click here to view Resources available.

Safeguard Your Information 

Times like these bring out the best and unfortunately the worst in some people.  Fear and confusion create an ideal climate for scammers.  Be on the alert for fraud, email phishing, and bogus requests for personal information.  

Tips for Catching and Reporting Suspicious Emails 

  • Inspect emails for grammatical or other errors, even those claiming to be from the CDC or WHO.
  • At no time will you ever receive a call from the IRS, Banks, asking you for your login credentials.
  • Before clicking links, hover over them to see the URL (web address).  If you think it is something of interest, copy the web address and search it to make sure it is legitimate before clicking.
  • If you suspect an email is fraudulent, DO NOT REPLY TO THE EMAIL.  Contact the company or person they are impersonating.  Delete it from your inbox.

Click on this link for more information about safeguarding your information.  Tips and info provided by Citizens Bank.


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship  

  The new $900 billion COVID relief package is now law!  Here are some highlights.  Please be sure to reach out to your local Women Business Center (WBC)  for additional information. Click here to view funding fact sheet from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  Please click this link for U.S. Small Business Administration information about Coronavirus Recovery Information in languages other than English.  

Targeted EIDL Advance – COVID-19 Targeted EIDL Advance was signed into law on December 27, 2020, as part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. The Targeted EIDL Advance provides businesses located in low-income communities with additional funds to ensure small business continuity, adaptation, and resiliency.

Advance funds of up to $10,000 will be available to applicants located in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied but received no funds due to lack of available program funding.

Applicants do not need to take any action at this time. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will reach out to those who qualify.  Click on the respective language for more information in English and Spanish.

For more information and updates, visit or 

Do you need assistance with any of these programs?  Reach out to our Women’s Business Centers!  Please click on the appropriate link below to schedule a meeting or find contact information for CWE Women’s Business Centers.:

SBA Debt Relief (Payment Deferment)

The SBA announced that if a business already has an SBA loan through a lender, whether it is a 7A, 504 or microloan, the SBA will pay the lender the principal, interest and fees for six months.  The SBA will also defer payments on new SBA 7A loans made before 9/27/2020.   The SBA also announced changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters.  Deferments through 12/31/2020 will be automatic so borrowers of prior home and business disaster loans do not have to contact the SBA to request deferment.  Please click here to learn more.

COVID-19 Funding Options Portal

As U.S. small businesses continue the hard work of economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to capital is paramount. For some companies and non-profits, they have exhausted their existing funding sources to sustain their operations.  There are many unique funding resources available through Federal, state, and local governments in addition to philanthropy and non-profit organizations.  Unfortunately, it can be difficult for businesses to know where to look or what to look for in finding additional assistance.  Click here to access this mobile-friendly, new resource.

WHAT IT IS: A free, curated list of thousands of funding sources at the national, state, regional, and local levels designed to support small businesses in accessing capital to recover from COVID-19.  The opening page captures programs that are available nationally.  Visitors then only need to enter a ZIP code of interest to see which programs their area may be eligible.  The information is current as of the date of publication, so resource availability may change over time.

Funding providers can submit requested updates, additions, or corrections to the data by emailing the information to [email protected] for evaluation and update.WHAT IT IS NOT: An endorsement by the U.S. Small Business Administration that individuals or small businesses should pursue applications with any of these organizations.  The information is provided for reference only.  Businesses and non-profits are encouraged to independently explore these resources to self-determine if they should pursue further assistance from the programs identified.

Amber Grant for Women – WomensNet

WomensNet founded the Amber Grant Foundation in 1998.  The Foundation was set up with one goal in mind:  to honor the memory of a very special young woman, Amber Wigdahl, who died at just 19 years old – before realizing her business dreams.   Today, WomensNet carries on that tradition, giving away at least $10,000 every month in Amber Grant money.  They have also expanded their grant-giving to include a year-end grant of $25,000.   Applying is simple.  Just take a few minutes to tell them about yourself and your business dream.  No long, complicated forms to fill out.  The $10,000 Amber Grant recipient is announced the first week of every month.  For more information and to apply click here.  

Loan – Kiva

Kiva lenders provide financial assistance to all by making 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs in the U.S. In today’s difficult circumstances, K9iva would like to make it as easy and impactful as possible for small businesses in the U.S. to have access to affordable capital on the Kiva platform – capital that may be the difference between shutting down and keeping their doors open.  

  • 0% interest
  • Up to $15,000 loan
  • Grace period of up to 6 months

Grants Available from IFund Women

IFundWomen has a wide variety of grants available to their members, from their monthly “pay-it-forward” grant to those from generous partners like Barbara Corcoran, & Systane, Visa, Adidas, Unilever, and more.  Click here for a list of grants.

Coronavirus Tax Relief – Internal Revenue Service

The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. The page will be updated as new information is available. The information contained on this site includes: 

  • Dollar for dollar reimbursement for Coronavirus related sick leave costs
  • Employers will be able to use cash deposited with the IRS to pay sick leave wages
  • Businesses that would not have sufficient taxes to draw from, Treasury will use its regulatory authority to make advance to small businesses to cover such costs

For more information please click here.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance – U.S. Department of Labor

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, authorizes the President to provide benefit assistance to individuals unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster. The U.S. Department of Labor oversees the DUA program and coordinates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to provide the funds to the state UI agencies for payment of DUA benefits and payment of state administration costs under agreements with the Secretary of Labor. Read more.

Work Share Programs – National Conference of State Legislatures

Workshare programs let businesses temporarily reduce the hours of their employees, instead of laying them off during economic downturns.  Technically referred to as short time compensation, the goal of worksharing programs is to reduce unemployment.

Worksharing should not be confused with job sharing, which allows two part-time employees to share one full-time job. Instead, worksharing allows a full-time worker’s hours to be reduced, in lieu of laying off the worker.

Workshare programs benefit businesses, workers and states. Businesses retain their trained workforce, for easy recall to full-time work when economic conditions improve. Workers keep their jobs instead of being laid off, and collect reduced unemployment benefits to partially replace their lost wages. States save money by paying only partial unemployment claims, instead of paying full benefits to laid-off workers.

Under approved workshare programs, employees qualify for a percentage of unemployment benefits, equal to the percentage by which their hours have been reduced. For example, an employee whose hours are cut by 10 percent would qualify for 10 percent of the state’s established weekly unemployment benefit amount. While that does not fully replace the lost wages, the amount supplements a worker’s income until they are recalled to full-time work. Click here for more information or the specific State below.


New Hampshire

Rhode Island


Coronavirus – Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers – Center for Disease Controls (CDC)

The interim guidance is based on what is currently know about the coronovirus diesease 2019 (COVID-19).  The Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) idates the interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.  Click here for information.

Women-Owned Businesses

Covid-19 Resources for Women-Owned Businesses – WBENC

As a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs, WBENC is committed to helping our constituents address and respond to the impacts caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). As we work with national and regional partners, Corporate and Government Members, and other industry leaders, we will continue to update this page with resources, information, webinars and more to address the many questions and uncertainties many business owners and corporations face, as well as to continue to help fuel business opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Click here for more information

Resources from WBENC-Certified WBEs

Veterans – New England

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources – New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce (NEVCC)

If you are a veteran or military business owner in new England, please let the NEVCC know if you need assistance.  Click here for a list of resources and information.

Code of Support PATRIOTlink – US Department of Veterans Affairs

Code of Support’s PATRIOTlink® platform is a free online resource database that includes thousands of programs tailored to the military and Veteran community.

Through PATRIOTlink, users can search vetted, direct, cost-free services specific to their needs. PATRIOTlink was recently redesigned to make it even easier to use. Now, users can complete searches by entering less information and they can view events and job opportunities in their area through a news feed feature.  Click here for more information.

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

Resources & Tools to Elevate Your Business – Effectv and Comcast Business

Recently, small businesses have been dealing with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, social unrest, and environmental events. Black-owned businesses have been some of the hardest hit. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, between February and April 2020, the number of active Black-owned businesses declined by 41%, Latinx-owned businesses declined by 32%, and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 25%, versus just 21% for the general population. Comcast RISE was created to invest in the success of these critical businesses by providing valuable and practical support.

Beginning November 24, 2020, all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) business owners will be eligible to apply for Comcast RISE.

Selected businesses could receive one or more of the following business services through Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast, and Comcast Business, a leading provider of technology for businesses of all sizes:

  • Consulting – Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research, and creative teams to gain insights on how to grow your business.
  • Media – A linear TV media schedule, over a 90-day period.
  • Creative Production – Turnkey production of a 30-second TV commercial, plus a media strategy consultation and 90-day media placement schedule.
  • Technology Makeover – Computer equipment and Internet, voice and cybersecurity services for 12 months, to support business recovery while implementing other Comcast small business initiatives. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for tech makeover services.)
  • Monetary Grant – To be launched November 24, 2020.

For more information please click here.


COVID-19 Suppliers – Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

WBENC has thousands of Women’s Business Enterprises (WBE), and among them, hundreds that have COVID-related supplies and services.  In the face of this pandemic, WBENC want to help support the procurement needs of the greater business community and to fuel business opportunities for women entrepreneurs.  This list will be shared as part of their COVID-29 resources through the end of May.  Please click here to view the list.

State & Region

Please click on the tab below to view the funding and resources available in your State.


Small Business Grants – Berkshire Bank and Berkshire Bank Foundation

Berkshire Bank has earmarked an incremental $500,000 for small business grants to help businesses that do not have the ability to pay.  They are working with Berkshire Bank Foundation and the Foundation for Business Equity, among others, to deploy these dollars across their banking footprint and to sharing more details about these programs in the short term. Berkshire Bank also understand there will be situations where our customers find themselves or their businesses facing financial difficulties that are unique to them.  In those scenarios where hardship is not relieved by low-interest loans or small business grants, Berkshire Bank is asking their customers to reach out to them to further discuss how they may be of assistance. For more information click here.

Regional & Specific Industries

Emergency Loans – Vermont Farm Fund (VFF)

The VFF seeks to minimize the hurdles to secure a loan and receive funds to begin the recovery process.  The maximium Emergency Loan amount is currently $10,000.  This is a zero percent interest loan, payable over 24 months with a flexible payment schedule.  Click here for more information.

Vermont Rapid Response Artist Relief Fund – The Vermont Arts Council

The Vermont Arts Council has established a Vermont Rapid Response Artist Relief Fund to respond to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on artists across the state.  There is information and resources for artists and organizations as well as a guide for creating virtual art experiences during this time of social distancing. Click here for more information.


Restart Vermont Technical Assistance (ReVTA) – Vermont Economic Development

The Vermont Legislature allocated $2.5 million of federal CARES Act funding for small business technical support in Act 137. On September 18, 2020, Governor Scott and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development announced that the RDCs of Vermont would be tasked with deploying $1,400,000 in technical assistance funding for small businesses across the state under the Restart Vermont Technical Assistance Program (ReVTA).

The funding for the ReVTA program is aimed at assisting Vermont businesses and non-profits who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. To be eligible you must be a Vermont entity conducting activities in Vermont. You may be asked to demonstrate that you operate out of a Vermont property, pay employees who conduct work with Vermont, or have sales and customers in Vermont.

The Regional Development Corporations of Vermont have created Recovery Navigator positions in each region of the state. The Navigators will engage one-on-one with businesses impacted by the pandemic to discern a recovery solution and identify an appropriate technical assistance provider from a network of for-profit and non-profit service providers. Once a recovery path has been determined, the regional Navigator will help connect the business with an appropriate TA provider and together they will develop a Scope of Work.

Once the work is completed, the technical assistance provider will be paid by the grant program. All activities within the Scope of Work must be completed by December 4, 2020. Average TA award is expected to be $3,000.

What is Technical Assistance?

ReVTA allows for a collaborative approach between the business and their Navigator in order to determine what technical assistance project will provide enduring value helping a business to overcome negative impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Technical assistance (TA) is the process of providing targeted support to an organization with a development need or problem.  It is commonly referred to as consulting. TA is one of the most effective methods for building the capacity of an organization for example; sharing information and expertise, instructions, skills, training, transmission of knowledge, and technical expertise.

What could constitute TA Per Section 6 (b) (2) of H. 966 of the 2020 Vermont Legislative Session includes assistance and education with:

  • Business operations, financial management, and grant writing;
  • Digital strategies;
  • Architecture and Physical Space Design; 
  • Reconfiguring manufacturing equipment and processes and incorporating safety measures; 
  • Technology and Software Consulting; and 
  • Legal and Other Professional Services.   

What would not constitute TA is:  

  • Construction and/or Renovation Projects 
  • Working Capital Needs and/or payment for Equipment, Materials or Supplies 
  • Advertising such as print, voice, digital, etc.

The TA provided under this program will allow a business to make significant changes to their business to overcome the impacts of COVID-19.  As an example, a proposal might include free online retail platforms for businesses to expand their ability to sell goods during a stay home order, consulting services to a restaurant on how to redesign a kitchen or dining area for safe operations or increase the profitability of take-out service, marketing assistance to reach new customers, or new product development work to broaden a company’s viability during the crisis.

What businesses are eligible to receive technical assistance?

The funding for the ReVTA program is aimed at assisting Vermont businesses and non-profits.  To be eligible you must be a Vermont entity conducting activities in Vermont.  You may be asked to demonstrate that you operate out of a Vermont property, pay employees who conduct work with Vermont, or have sales and customers in Vermont. Any Vermont-domiciled business impacted by COVID-19, with a recovery path that can be advanced through professional technical assistance, is eligible. Non-profit employers may apply under this program with requirements similar to for-profit applicants.

How does a business participate in the program?
Any for-profit or non-profit business seeking a technical assistance solution to COVID-19 impacts may find more detail on this website. Completed registrations are shared to regional Navigators who will follow up with the business.

How do technical assistance providers participate in the program?
Technical assistance providers must register as vendors. Any for-profit or non-profit technical assistance provider seeking to participate may find more detail and register on this website. A complete vendor registry will be maintained and made available through this web site.

For more information and how to participate please click here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Businesses – State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Click here for the latest guidance available for Vermont businesses.

COVID-19: Information for Employees and Employers – State of Vermont Department of Labor

  • Click here for resources for Employers and other information.
  • Click here for resources for Employees and other information..


COVID-19 and Business Income Insurance – State of Vermont Department of Financial Regulation

The Department of Financial Regulation had developed a guidance document to address numerous questions from the business community as it relates to the Coronavirus and Business Income Insurance.  Please click here for more information.

Planning Guides

Disaster Recovery Guide for Business – Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC)

The VtSBDC Disaster Recovery Guide for Business contains all the steps small business owners need to take, and all the information one would need to gather post-disaster.  Click here for the Disaster Recovery Guide


Legal and Benefits Updates for Vermonters  – Vermont’s Legal Help Website
The outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus has created changes in the way Vermont courts are operating, changes to public benefits, new financial help, and more. Here we will keep a list of important changes to help Vermonters and community partners.

Click here to be taken to Vermont’s Legal Help Website


When we hear of grant opportunities, they will be listed on this page. Please check back often, as grants will be added as they are identified.

Teaching Artist Roster

Arts Partnership

Creative Futures Grants

Opens Dec. 2022

Opens spring 2023

Round 1 – opens Sept. 15, 2022
Round 1 – Nov. 1, 2022

People’s Choice Creation Grant Award for Artists in Vermont

The People’s Choice Creation Grant Award is a unique opportunity for artists—and the broader Vermont community—to participate in the highly competitive Creation Grant program, discover new artists across a wide range of artistic disciplines, and vote on which amazing proposal to fund (it will be a challenge)!

Image of Vermont's Art Council The People's Choice Creation Grant logo.

Donor Name: Vermont Arts Council

State: Vermont

County: All Counties

Type of Grant: Award

Deadline: 04/03/2023

Size of the Grant: up to $5,000


Creation Grant applicants choose on their application whether they would like their proposal to also be considered for the People’s Choice. It’s not mandatory! But by choosing to participate in the People’s Choice, you might:

  • Increase your chances of receiving Creation Grant award funding
  • Receive additional exposure of your work
  • Increase your potential for additional support by listing your social payment service or crowdfunding platform for direct donations from the broader community.

How It Works

  • Indicate on your Creation Grant application whether you would like your proposal to be considered for a People’s Choice Award, in addition to the independent panel review.
  • After the independent panel review has concluded, proposals that have been selected to receive a Creation Grant award, along with proposals that have self-selected not to participate in the People’s Choice Award, will be notified. These proposals will not be considered for a People’s Choice Award.
  • If you elect to have your proposal considered for a People’s Choice Award, the information you provide in the special People’s Choice Award section of the application will be the only information featured in the Council’s online Spotlight Gallery for the public to view.
  • Vermont residents, curators, artists, presenters, publishers, and other arts professionals will be invited to view participating proposals on the website and use some of the same grant criteria to cast one vote for their selection of the People’s Choice Award. Participants must be 18 years old or older and be a Vermont resident in order to vote.
  • Once the deadline for voting has passed, votes will be tallied. The proposal with the most votes will receive the Creation Grant People’s Choice Award for the amount requested in the proposal budget (up to the maximum $5,000).

Voters will be asked to use some of the same grant criteria used by the independent review panel, to make their selection in casting their vote, including:

  • Strong technical skill and craft in the execution of the relevant work is demonstrated
  • A combination of aesthetics, technical skill, and delivery is potentially engaging emotionally, intellectually, and/or spiritually
  • Personal voice, vision, and authenticity shows in the proposed work
  • The creative work demonstrates integrity and ethical use of material with specific cultural origins and content
  • The proposed work will potentially reveal something about the world by communicating unique perspective(s) or by inviting the viewer, reader, or audience to question, discover, and/or explore new ideas
  • There is strong potential for public presentation

For more information, visit People’s Choice Creation Grant Award.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to join the VAAA? Traditional and Contemporary Abenaki Artists must be enrolled in one of the four State Recognized Abenaki Tribes – Elnu, Koasek, Missisquoi, or Nulhegan.

Call to Artists button with link to more information.What are the benefits to belonging to VAAA? VAAA is the official artist registry for Vermont’s recognized Abenaki Tribes. It is a tool that we can use to promote our visual and performing artists. Members of the Association will be listed on the artist registry, have a personal webpage page, and can submit events and shows to our calendar.

Are there any restrictions for VAAA membership?

  • You must create your own finished product. No craft kits. 
  • No mass produced products. Approved crafts people and artists will be added as they are approved.
  • Although artists may make multiples of an item such as ornaments or earrings, each item must be handcrafted individually.
  • If you are turned down, you can reapply.
  • ALL items for sale by must be tagged in compliance with the INDIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS LAW. No exceptions.
  • Artists must abide by VAAA membership terms and conditions.

How to request a VAAA membership application? Email [email protected] to request a membership form. Please provide your name, contact information, Abenaki Tribal affiliation, and Tribal ID number. After your status as a citizen in a state recognized Abenaki tribe is confirmed, we will send you a membership application packet with more details and directions.

Please prepare to have good quality photos of your craft/art, an artist statement, and biographical information about you as an artist, such as how you learned what you do and where you may have exhibited your artwork.

Who is responsible for jurying new VAAA artists? The VAAA jury is comprised of fours artists, one from each recognized Abenaki Tribe. Two have degrees in fine art, and two are traditional artists. Master Artists and Consultants are also called upon to help jury art within their area of expertise. When a VAAA committee member applies to be juried or is nominated for an award, they must recuse themselves from voting, and a consultant is appointed in their place.

How can I apply to be rejuried into a new category or artistry group? Submit a letter describing your request with 3 to 5 high resolution images of your work and am updated artist statement. Email your request to [email protected]


People holding hands and doing the Round Dance.

Support the Heart of our Culture: Your Generous Donation Makes a Difference.

Join us in preserving and celebrating the Abenaki culture through your contribution, enabling us to continue our impactful programs, cultural events, educational initiatives, and the creation of new exhibitions. Every donation is a vital investment in the legacy we cherish.

Questions? Please contact Elisa by email [email protected] or call (802) 265-0092.


Vermont Department of Health logo.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Vermont Folklife logo.
Vermont Arts Council logo.
Vermont Humanities logo.
New England Foundation for the Arts logo
Abenaki Arts and Education Association logo with dark blue background and a white design with double curves and florets and words that say Sharing Abenaki Educational Resources with Classrooms Across N'dakinna.

Artists by Media

***For a list of artists in alphabetical order Click Here***

Image of gourd with dreamcatcher.
Gourd with dreamcatcher and deer antlers made by Jeanne Morningstar Kent

Traditional arts are listed on the left of the page and contemporary artforms are listed on the right side. They are listed by media.

Artists are organized by media and skill level*.

See definitions of skill levels below.

Click on the artist’s name to view their profiles, images of their art, artist bios, and artist statements.


MCB = Master Culture Bearers have a superior skill level, mentor emerging artists, exhibit their artwork internationally, and have received awards for their artwork or work with and for the community.

M = Master Artists have practiced their craft for at least 10 years are familiar with the history of their art form.  They have exhibited their work, offer workshops and lectures.

J = Journey Person have practiced and sold their craft for at least 5 years.

Crafts-person (C) = Craftspeople are can either be self-taught or had some lessons but they are not doing an apprenticeship with a Master Artist. They do not have the technical expertise to be considered for the Journeyman or Master Artist categories.

A = Apprentices are in the process of learning their craft.

Artisan Levels

When artists join VAAA their work is juried and they are classified into one of the following four categories. Artists may also request their artwork be reevaluated annually or after receiving appropriate awards.

Master Culture Bearer (MCB)

Birchbark Moose Call made by Aaron York.
Birchbark Moose Caller made by Aaron York

Master Culture Bearers are few and far between because this distinction requires superior skill level, mentoring Abenaki apprentices, and emerging artists using traditional Abenaki epistemology. They have exhibited their artwork internationally, and have earned awards for their artwork or work with/for the Abenaki community. They have a long-standing record of service to their community, VAAA, and the arts and humanities organizations. Some may also have academic credentials that support their traditional knowledge. Anyone applying for this level must provide a resume of their achievements, photo samples of their work and original pieces to be examined if requested. By this time in their career, they should be well known throughout the region. (Please note that this is a new category.)

Master Artists (M)
Most Master Artists are culture bearers that are bringing traditional arts to the next generation. They must be knowledgeable about the history of their chosen art form, how to harvest and prepare the necessary materials. They have their own style, create original pieces, not replicas. Their work is increasingly original, and they may be increasingly pushing the boundaries of their chosen medium, and they have designed and taught classes and workshops about their medium. Their art is sought after by museums, galleries, and collectors. Master Artists must also be available as a jurist for new artists coming into the category of their art form. Anyone applying for this level must provide a resume of their achievements, photo samples of their work and original pieces to be examined if requested. By this time in their career, they should be well known throughout the region. A journeyman who has been selling their pieces professionally may apply to be juried after ten years. Application does not guarantee designation of a title.

Journeyman (J)

Silver cuffs by Paul Rene Tamburro..
Sterling silver cuffs made by Paul-Rene Tamburro

The minimum requirements to being a Journeyman are to have practiced a craft for at least five years. They have achieved technical proficiency but are still developing their style, and they make professional looking pieces that are of high quality to sell.  Some Journeymen may be beginning to exhibit their works and be thinking about teaching workshops. Apprentices are eligible to apply for this level after three to five year period as an apprentice, but they must show significant growth in their skill and creativity before they apply to be re-juried for this designation or title.

Craftsperson (C)

Craftspeople are can either be self-taught or had some lessons but they are not doing an apprenticeship with a Master Artist. They do not have the technical expertise to be considered for the Journeyman or Master Artist categories.

Apprentice (A)

Four turtle shell rattles with fur on handles made by Michael Descoteaux.
Four turtle shell rattles with fur on handles made by Michael Descoteaux.

Apprentices are taking their first step on their journey as an artist. They are in the process of learning about the tools and techniques of their craft. During this stage, their work may appear primitive or inconsistent in quality. Through practice, they are developing proficiency. Some apprentices are studying with VAAA Master Artists while others are learning from other culture bearers. Apprentices can also be self-taught through research, trial, and error. Although apprenticeship typically lasts a few years, they will not automatically move on to the next level. They must request that the VAAA committee required them. If successful they will move on to be a Journeyman and if not they may remain Apprentices for a longer period. Kits may never be used during the jurying process.

Application & Rejurying

Applying to Become a VAAA Juried Artist

Examples of parfleche by Nathan Johnson.
Examples of parfleche

Thank you for your interest in applying to be a juried artisan with the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA). Our mission is to promote Vermont’s Indigenous arts and artists, to provide an organized central place to share creative ideas; professional development; and a have a method for the public to find and engage Abenaki artists.

How to request a VAAA application? Email [email protected] to request an application form. Please provide your name, contact information, Abenaki Tribal affiliation, and Tribal ID number. After your status as a citizen in a state-recognized Abenaki tribe is confirmed, we will send you an application packet with more details and directions.

Please prepare to have good-quality photos of your craft/art, an artist statement, and biographical information about yourself as an artist, such as how you learned what you do and where you may have exhibited it.

Who is responsible for jurying new VAAA artists? The VAAA jury is comprised of four artists, one from each recognized Abenaki Tribe. Two have degrees in fine art, and two are traditional artists. Master Artists and Consultants are also called upon to help jury art within their area of expertise. When a VAAA artist applies to be juried or is nominated for an award, they must recuse themselves from voting, and a consultant is appointed in their place.

How can I apply to be rejuried into a new category or artistry group? Submit a letter describing your request with 3 to 5 high-resolution images of your work and an updated artist statement. Email your request to [email protected]


Lifetime Achievement Award (LAW)

The LAW award is only available after a thirty-year track record of success as an artist who willingly gives back to the community and has been a mentor to many others. This award is only available by nomination and nomination does not guarantee an award. To date, only one has been presented. The first LAW was awarded in 2014.

Past Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Dr. Fred Wiseman – 2014

Fred Wiseman receiving the VAAA Lifetime Achievement Award with Jessee Lawyer and Melody Mackin on stage with him.At the first Vermont Abenaki Artists Association Awards ceremony at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Professor Fred Wiseman was surprised during his filming of the event by being asked to come to the stage from behind the camera. Dr. Wiseman, of Swanton, Vermont, who is retiring from Johnson State College at the end of July, was surprised with a certificate of Lifetime Achievement and the VAAA T-shirt that he had been trying to buy for two days, but with no success.

The Award was presented by his mentoree and VAAA board member Jessee Lawyer of Burlington, VT, with other board members Vera Longtoe Sheehan, of Westminster, VT and Jeanne Kent of Winstead, CT, looking on. The award was not specifically for his achievement in promoting the decorative and performing arts, such as fashion design, wampum (shell bead) art, Indigenous song, dance and oratory, but in his advocacy for recognition by the state of Vermont that its indigenous peoples and their artistic heritage has always been here and needed to be recognized by the state. It was this recognition that permitted Abenaki artists, for the first time to legally sell their creations as Indian art under the Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

The Board members and Dr. Wiseman shared some memories of working together as long ago as the mid-1990’s, and their continuing endeavors to assure that Vermont’s Indigenous arts heritage will never disappear. Koasek Abenaki Tribe citizen Cheryl O’Neil, who was at the ceremony, said “it was an amazing event to see Dr Wiseman with some of his oldest friends and former students sharing their joy in the fruits of his more than thirty year of supporting Abenaki culture and history. It was a well-deserved treat for all of us at the Maritime Museum.”

Artist of the Year

Beginning in 2020, as a fan-determined contest to celebrate VAAA artists and promote economic development during the holiday season, the Artist of the Year Award was started. It is also used to publicly thank artists who participated in exhibits during that calendar year. The nominees must be juried members of VAAA for at least one year. Groups are not eligible.

Past Artists of the Year

2020 Amy Hook-Therrien

Image of Amy Hook-Therrien
Amy Hook-Therrien

Amy is a native Vermonter, originally from Chelsea, she grew up nestled on top of a hill overlooking the valleys below. She was surrounded by nature and beauty. She graduated from Randolph Union High School with a passion for art. She went on to college at the University of Maine in Orono majoring in fine art with a focus in sculpture and painting. After graduating with a BFA from UMaine she moved back to Vermont and she and her husband bought a house in Windsor. When she is not creating art Amy loves to travel, hike, garden, and spend time with her family.

Artist Tutorials

The following links for a variety of tutorials are provided to aid our artists in writing important documents such as an Artist’s Statement and an Artist’s Biography. You can also get good information on how to write a resume.

Click on the link:

Artist Statement and Bios. Maryland Institute College of Art

Writing an Effective Artist’s Statement: Some Practical Tips – Claremont Graduate University

Write Your Resume. Illinois Community College: The Career Center

Building Confidence: using your bio & artist statement to talk about your artwork

Artist Information

This page provides links to information about joining the VAAA, such as how to apply, how VAAA artists are juried, our various levels, our awards, and professional development information.

Applying to become a VAAA Artisan or to be rejuried to a higher artisan level

Artisan Levels


Frequently Asked Questions

Juried Artist Benefits

Programs for Professional Development


If you have questions that are not addressed in these pages, please feel free to Contact Us.

Artists in Alphabetical Order

Click on the artist’s name to visit their webpage.


Vermont Folklife logo.

Traditional Arts Spotlight by Vermont Folklife – Abenaki Basket Making and Fiber Art

Sherry Gould (Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation) and Vera Sheehan (Elnu Abenaki Tribe), are both lifelong artists and ...
Abenaki Heritage Weekend poster

Abenaki Heritage Weekend 2023

June 17-18 at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum On June 17-18, 2023, citizens of the New England Abenaki community will gather ...
Newspaper with News headline

Our Turn: Sharing Community, Rutland Herald. May 4, 2023

Is Vermont being lobbied for Nuremberg Laws? Race-based attacks and harmful stereotypes are putting Vermont’s Abenaki communities in jeopardy, and ...
This is an article.

Abenaki Alliance: Is Vermont being Lobbied for Nuremberg Law? Brattleboro Reformer. May 2, 2023

Race-based attacks and harmful stereotypes are putting Vermont’s Abenaki communities in jeopardy and it needs to stop. This week is ...
Newspaper with News headline

Stop Hate Toward Abenaki. Mountain Times. May 3, 2023

Dear Editor Race-based attacks and harmful stereotypes are putting Vermont’s Abenaki communities in jeopardy and it needs to stop. This ...
Newspaper with Press Release as header.

Governor Recognized Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week. Saint Alban’s Messenger. May 4, 2023

SWANTON — For the fifth consecutive year, Gov. Phil Scott has recognized May 1-7 as Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week ...
Newspaper with Press Release as header.

First Week in May being designated Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week. NBC Channel 5

First week in May designated Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week "We owe the Abenaki people of Vermont and indigenous tribes ...
Newspaper with Press Release as header.

Vermont Delegation Statement Commemorating Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week. Bernie Sanders/ April 28, 2023

“It is with great honor and respect that we come together to celebrate Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week, the centuries-old ...

Abenaki Fulbright Scholar Returns to Homeland for Dissertation Research

Newspaper with News headline

Inline imageJoin us in congratulating Vermont Abenaki Artists Association educator and artist, Lina Longtoe Schulmeisters on the successful completion of her J. William Fulbright grant! Last year, Lina was selected to join the 2018-2019 US-UK Fulbright Commission Postgraduate Cohort and used the grant to fund her studies at the University of Reading where she is currently an MSc Environment and Development candidate. Lina notes that her academic interests and goals exist,

Abenaki clothing wears a rich history

By Melanie Plenda, Union Leader, September 22. 2017 5:47PM

Vera_ Tolba Jacket_lowres
Vera Longtoe Sheehan, co-curator of the exhibit Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage, with her painted tolba (turtle) jacket. (Courtesy of Diane Stevens Photography)

WARNER – Next time you see a person wearing a denim jacket or beaded earrings or bracelet, you might do well to take a closer look.

“This is sort of everyday wear that Native people would wear now, and it includes some kinds of things that non-Native people would wear too, but there’s just something about it that shows their native identity,” said Nancy Jo Chabot, curator of the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner.

The new exhibit at the museum, “Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage”, documents the way in which garments and accessories that reflect Abenaki heritage have been – and still are – made and used to express Native identity, according to museum officials.

“You start to see that in little elements in modern clothing,” she said of the portion of the exhibit depicting the current era, “things that wouldn’t look out of place for any modern person walking down the road, but for a Native person have these very distinctively heavy Northeast design elements.

“That’s a crucial, important part of anything we do here at the museum: (showing) that Abenaki people are here, are living, and creating wonderful things. And this exhibit in particular is to show that the Abenaki people that were here, where we are on this land right now, are still here.”

Vera Longtoe Sheehan, an Abenaki teaching artist, activist and director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, curated the exhibit with Eloise Beil of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. This exhibit was unique, Sheehan said, in that it is the first traveling exhibit about Abenaki culture co-curated by an Abenaki person and that has been accepted in mainstream galleries such as the Amy Tarrant Gallery at the Flynn Performing Arts Center in Burlington, Vt., in addition to museums.

Among other things, the exhibit aims to answer the questions of what it means to be an Abenaki person in the modern world. The exhibit, which is composed of artifact clothing as well as clothing representative of an early time made by contemporary local artists,is the product of a decade-long collaboration among Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and Vermont’s Abenaki artists, community members and tribal leaders.

Like all native tribes, Chabot said, the challenges of understanding their tradition and culture and then making that work in the modern world are huge.

“For Abenaki in particular,” she said, “because there was a time in the early part of the 20th century that being identified as Abenaki Indian was dangerous. Speaking your language was dangerous. So families made conscientious efforts to hide that identity.”

A 17th-century style buckskin dress by Melody Walker Brook, part of the new exhibit of Abenaki clothing traditions at the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum. (Courtesy of Diane Stevens Photography)

What she’s talking about is the time period from 1931 to 1963, when the Abenaki among others were targets of a government-sanctioned sterilization program in New Hampshire and Vermont. Some Abenaki fled. The ones that stayed, hid in plain sight, requiringd them to abandon openly practicing traditions that could identify them as Abenaki. To this day, many tribal elders refuse to admit publically they are Abenaki. As a result, some people believe the Abenaki no longer exist and it is one of the reason the Abenaki – while recognized in Maine and Vermont – are not recognized federally or in New Hampshire. According to government documents the Abenaki can’t prove they’ve consistently existed as a tribe.

“Now we’re in a generation, two generations after that,” Chabot said. “And a lot of people know they have an Indian heritage that are from New Hampshire and Vermont and are in that very challenging place where they want to learn more and are starting to understand some things that their parents or grandparents would do that they wouldn’t have explained years ago.

“So people go about that in many different ways. This is sort of reclaiming their culture. This particular exhibit does that through clothing. . Finding ways to find those cultural threads is very important.”

“In addition to relaying the message that we are still here, the exhibit should show people that we know our history and still practice our culture,” said Longtoe Sheeham. “However, artists don’t need to choose between being a traditional or contemporary artist. Many of us practice both. For instance, I made the Tolba (turtle) Jean Jacket that was designed with traditional designs but I also made the twined woven dress that connects my family tradition to thousands of years of our history.”
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The Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum, Education and Cultural Center, 18 Highlawn Road, is open daily May 1 – Oct. 31, Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday noon – 5 p.m. In November, the museum is open on weekends from noon to 5 p.m.

The exhibit will be on view in Warner until Oct. 29 and then it will be moving to The Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn.

For more information, visit the museum’s Facebook page, visit, call 456-2600 or [email protected].

Read the full story on the Union Leader website

Champlain College Student Develops App for Abenaki Artists

Dustin - Low res

Burlington, VT., August 30, 2017 – The Google Play store has released a new Android app called Vermont Abenaki Artists Association which was designed by Dustin Lapierre, a senior at Champlain College.

It all began two months ago when Lapierre

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