Robert McBride of Bellows Falls receives 2016 Kannenstine Arts Advocacy Award

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BELLOWS FALLS, Vt .– The Vermont Arts Council, in association with the Governor’s office, has announced the recipients of the 2016 Governor’s Arts Awards. These awards began in 1967 and are presented annually to celebrate educators, artists, performers, advocates, administrators, volunteers, and scholars.

Robert McBride of Bellows Falls, Founding Director of the Rockingham Arts and Museum Project (RAMP) is the recipient of The Margaret L. Kannenstein Award for Arts Advocacy. This award was inaugurated in 2015 and Mr. McBride is the second person to receive the award. Last year the award was presented to John Killacky, Executive Director of the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Center in Burlington.

For over 20 years, Mr. McBride has kept the RAMP mission focused: integrating the arts into the long-term sustainability of the community by creating effective partnerships that initiate and support accessibility, affordable housing, artist town meetings, public arts initiatives and policy making.

Each year when the Governor chooses who will receive the Governor’s Award, the Vermont Arts Council then identifies nominees from the same county.  This year, Eric Aho of Saxton’s River was chosen to receive the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts so all five awards went to Windham County artists.

“Windham County has long been considered one of the strongest arts centers in Vermont,” said Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Alex Aldrich. “This year’s Arts Awards honorees have played a vital role in the creative culture for decades. They have enriched the lives of many young people through circus arts, theater, and music, and have advocated strongly for the arts in their communities. Their passion for the arts as an integral part of community life has had a profound and rippling influence not just in Windham County, but the entire state of Vermont.”

The Governor’s Arts Awards celebration will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 15 in the Michael S. Currier Center, The Putney School, Putney, Vt. Governor Shumlin will present the awards.  Tickets for the event will be available October 3, 2016.  There is no charge for the event but there will be an Event Brite seating registration.

The Vermont Arts Council envisions a state where everyone has access to the arts and creativity in their life, education, and community. Through its programs and services, the Council strives to increase public awareness of the positive role artists and arts organizations play in communities and to maximize opportunities for everyone to experience the arts. Since 1965, the Council has been the state’s primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts in Vermont. www.vermontartscouncil.org.

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