Big Heavy World Director Receives VT Arts Council Scholarship

MONTPELIER -- The Vermont Arts Council and Marlboro College Graduate School are proud to announce its second group of fellows in the Nonprofit Arts Management Training scholarship program. This partnership between the Council and Marlboro College began in 2012 and supports nonprofit management education for Vermont artists and art managers by awarding up to four $500 scholarships each trimester. Those scholarships are used to subsidize the cost of Marlboro’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management, which assists Vermont artists and the staff of Vermont arts organizations in building the skills needed to run a successful organization. "The biggest mistake people entrusted with running an arts organization make," Vermont Arts Council executive director Alex Aldrich said, "is assuming that their knowledge of the arts is sufficient to carry them through the many challenges they will face as administrators. Marlboro College has done an outstanding job of identifying and cultivating the people who participate in this program, and in a very short time this will have a significant impact on the health of Vermont’s cultural sector. Bravo Marlboro!"

"Marlboro College is delighted to collaborate with the Vermont Arts Council on this initiative," Marlboro College President Ellen McCulloch-Lovell said. "For us, it is a wonderful way to work with an important state partner while advancing two of our passions: building capacity in the nonprofit sector and supporting Vermont’s creative economy."

The four fellows of the Winter 2013 Vermont Arts Council Nonprofit Arts Management Training scholarship are:

Alison Levy is an arts curator with a master’s degree in art history and many years of experience in nonprofit administration. She currently serves as the administrative assistant for the Mahalo Art Center in West Brattleboro, an organization that promotes wholeness and wellness through the arts. Levy is new to Vermont and is excited about expanding the cultural scene in Brattleboro, with a focus on contemporary art and site-specific work.

James Lockridge is the executive director of Big Heavy World in Burlington, an organization that has been archiving and promoting music from Vermont since 1996. "I’ve recognized that our organization could better meet its potential with a Director who is not only fully committed to success, but who has also made the effort to meet their own potential for leadership and management." In the next five years, Lockridge would like Big Heavy World to participate in arts policy-making in Vermont and gain national recognition as a model youth-driven/ volunteer-staffed music office.

James McDonald is the founder and Artistic Director for Brattleboro’s Open Music Collective, a collection of local, regional and national artists who come together to perform, teach and appreciate music. Over the next five years, McDonald aspires to get his master’s degree in music performance while building his school into a thriving community organization. "Teaching classes and building a curriculum comes easy, but the day-to-day of how to build the business as a fully functioning nonprofit has been more by trial and error," James says. "Being able to go through a known process will give me a more thorough approach."

Dominica Plummer, the first-ever executive director of Revels North, a venerable Upper Valley community institution, has a bold vision. "My goal is to lead Revels North towards a bright future that includes a strong fiscal base and a paid professional staff, while maintaining the highest artistic standards." Plummer has a master’s degree in arts administration from City University in London and several years of experience working with British nonprofits, but notes: "I am keenly aware that there is much I don’t know about successfully running a nonprofit organization in Vermont."

The Winter Certificate classes begin in February in Barre and Brattleboro. The fall 2013 trimester begins in September in Bennington and Morrisville. Applications will open later this year. To learn more about Marlboro’s program, contact Kate Jellema, Program Director: or 802-451-7510, or visit their website at For inquiries about the scholarship, contact Rachel Feldman, Communications Manager: or 802-828-5422.