Big Heavy World Thanks AARP Vermont; Is Named A Community Action Sponsorship Winner

Words by Big Heavy World. Press Release by AARP Vermont. Photo by James Lockridge.

Big Heavy World sends a heartfelt 'Thank you!' to AARP Vermont for their support of our mission. An AARP Community Action Sponsorship will help us achieve multigenerational inclusion in our work to preserve and promote Vermont-made music, and bring a few generations of Burlington residents together, too!

Big Heavy World will be launching 'Band House' in December, an opportunity for teens to have free access to a full backline of instruments, PA system, and recording studio at the Big Heavy World office, to play, jam, practice, experiment with, or even pick up for the very first time. The AARP Vermont support will help us connect local seniors with the program as mentors and peer musicians. We'll also be making a special effort to reach out to our local seniors with the invitation to host a show on 105.9FM, our community radio station, where every creative interest has a platform to be shared. The work of Big Heavy World to archive and promote Vermont-made music is unending, and the chance to connect with volunteers from the senior community is an especially happy thought.

The photo: Vermont Commons School students tour Big Heavy World and are interviewed by PJ Braine on 105.9FM The Radiator.

Here's the press release provided by AARP Vermont:


CONTACT David Reville, Communications Director AARP Vermont 802-951-1303

AARP Vermont Announces Community Action Sponsorship Winners

BURLINGTON, VT – AARP Vermont has selected four small organizations with big plans to receive Community Action Sponsorships in support of their efforts to make Burlington a more livable city. This year’s awards totaling some $7500 focused on efforts to enhance the community and promote livability. AARP Vermont launched the Community Action Sponsorship Program in 2010 as a way to provide modest grant funds and technical support to community groups whose missions were consistent with those of Livable BTV, an AARP Vermont initiative aimed at preparing Burlington for the rapidly aging demographic shift. The grant program has a particular focus in the areas of housing, mobility and community engagement.

After a thorough review process, the following projects were selected:

Heineberg Senior Center, $1500 — The grant will help the center offer transportation to local seniors once a week to the center for stress-free visits, nutritious meals and socialization. It will also help with group outings and day trips throughout the year.

Living Well, $2,000 –This program will help establish a winter Garden Enrichment Program offering horticultural therapy, movement therapy, and field trips to local greenhouses, garden centers, and museums during the winter-spring months – a time when residents need a variety of opportunities to keep their spirits high and mental sharpness honed.

Burlington Open Lands Conservation and Trails Initiative, $2,000 – This grant will support a summit this winter to fully launch a citywide effort to improve stewardship of the extensive natural areas within the City of Burlington. The goal is to create a better connected, well signed, and guided access to these trails and natural places for people of all ages and abilities.

Big Heavy World, $2,000 – This initiative supports cultural programming to reach older mentors to join in as volunteers and provide skills-building and intergenerational friendships to aspiring musicians. Big Heavy World will reach out to older adult musicians in Burlington with an invitation to host radio programs on their licensed community radio station and welcome them to help in the office with a current expansion of their music archive catalog. Big Heavy World is a safe space in the arts district on Pine Street focused on connecting generations who love music and the arts.

The Community Action Sponsorships are one-time funding for a 12-month period and awardees will receive technical assistance and training from AARP staff. The program is directed at grassroots groups within Burlington as a way to encourage and support grassroots action to make Burlington more livable.

“Supporting these projects is a way to foster local community development initiatives at the grassroots level,” said Kelly Stoddard-Poor community outreach director at AARP Vermont. “We received an impressive range of proposals to consider this year and it was a very difficult selection process,” she said. “These sponsorships are intended to inspire and support grassroots groups that have a vision for their neighborhood or the city and how it can be improved.”

AARP Vermont is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization with 130,000 members in Vermont and 40 million members nationally. Through a wide array of special benefits, services, and information resources, we help our members make important choices, reach their goals and dreams, and make the most of life after 50.