Official Name of Public Space

The Stephen Huneck Gallery at Dog Mountain

Site Address

143 Parks Road, St. Johnsbury, Vermont

How will your Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series reflect the essence of the Levitt AMP Grant Awards?

Catamount Arts has led a concerted effort among St. Johnsbury’s cultural and social service institutions to engage all members of the community (and, in this case, their dogs!) to build an arts-based creative economy and rebrand the town. St. Johnsbury is a major cultural hub in an economically challenged, underserved region. A weekly free music festival will, like First Night, amplify community pride and cement our identity as a working class cultural hub every bit as vibrant as wealthier, more populated regions of VT. Our cultural institutions are proud to offer arts programming to everyone in our community, regardless of affordability, and we're delighted to host the region's first dog-friendly music festival. Live music builds bridges across socioeconomic class divides in ways that other forms of civic engagement do not. Many area residents are unable, for financial or geographic reasons, to travel to large cities like Boston or Montreal for concerts. A free local music series would allow residents to become a part of the world beyond their everyday lives and to enjoy programming not otherwise accessible in our small towns. Dog Mountain is separated from St. Johnsbury’s downtown by the Portland St. Bridge and a short stretch of industrial landscape. A music series at Dog Mtn. would expand St. Johnsbury's "cultural corridor" across the Bridge, reanimate an area half-abandoned since the manufacturing decline, and secure Dog Mtn's vital role in an inclusive arts community.

How will your town or city benefit from the Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series?

The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont has been designated as a Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (R.E.A.P.) zone. Economic recovery and growth has been slow and difficult. A Levitt AMP St. Johnsbury Music Series will allow area residents to reap the same cultural and artistic benefits available to more affluent areas, and restore some of the community pride compromised by poverty, unemployment, and geographic isolation. Furthermore, a free concert series will Educate a workforce (MBI interns) Promote local business/agriculture via food vendors and tourism Enhance community pride and brand identity Expose community to various types of music & benefits of live music Gather various segments of the community in one place Promote arts organizations and sponsor/partner organizations/businesses Expand St. Johnsbury's Arts & Culture Corridor to another side of town currently lacking in opportunities Establish St. Johnsbury as New England's premiere dog-friendly, arts-centric small town!

Describe the site where the free concerts will be held. Explain how the Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series will play a role in enlivening the selected public space and surrounding areas.

Although Dog Mountain is known for its breathtaking scenic vistas and wildflower trails, and it’s only three miles from downtown, the immediate vicinity is a bit of a wasteland, a former industrial area that is now characterized by a couple of empty warehouses and the cracked parking lots of closed businesses. Crossing the Portland Street bridge that leads from St. Johnsbury’s vibrant downtown district to the outskirts of town, one drives through this half-abandoned commercial stretch before heading up the tree-canopied hill to Dog Mountain. A music festival on Dog Mountain would expand St. Johnsbury’s arts & culture campus beyond the bridge, remind people that the town has much more to offer on the far side of Portland Street, increase traffic to Dog Mountain (and the remaining nearby businesses) while encouraging people who live on the outskirts of town to participate. There’s plenty of room for parking and for food and craft vendors. The proposed concert venue, Dog Mountain itself, has an open lawn with no fixed seating among gorgeous hiking trails and magnificent mountain views. Best of all, Dog Mountain allows dog owners and their families to enjoy wildflower walks, picnics, community activities, even a bounce house and barbecue truck, without leaving their furry friends at home. A partnership with Dog Mountain allows St. Johnsbury’s vibrant arts scene to include a well-loved but often overlooked demographic: dogs!