Photo by Nathan Allen
Front Row: Karen Seward, Beth Diamond,
Sherri Birkheimer Rooker, John Miller, Mary Crowley.
Second Row: Aaron Ashton, Lynne Klamm, Billy
Canfield, Christine Townsend, Jill Blanchard, Mike Coppinger. Third
Row: Phil Fernandez, Tom Donahue.
On Dec. 3 the heARTs of Rutland! street art project presented
a check for $22,000 to the Long Term Recovery Committee of Rutland
County. The room was filled with smiles. The project began when
Mary Crowley and Karen Seward were thinking of a way to show how
much heart the Rutland area has. From record breaking blood drives
to fundraising, Rutland delivers admirably for its size.
After Hurricane Irene and the outpouring of support in its wake,
it was obvious that the time was right for a community art display.
The organizers were constantly reminded of Rutland's heart. Thus,
the heARTs of Rutland came into existence. It became a community
partnership organized under the Home Builders and Remodelers
Association of Southern Vermont (HBRASV) with support from the
Downtown Rutland Partnership, Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce
and Rutland Economic Development Corp. The presenting corporate
sponsor was Omya. The director of the HBRASV, Sherrie Birkheimer
said "this project was all about community and how our community
shows heart in so many ways. We came together to support this
project in ways we never could have hoped for. The artists really
stepped up and spent so many hours of hard work."
Artists painted and embellished 4-foot fiberglass hearts that
were displayed throughout Rutland and the Region from June 2012
until they were auctioned off in November 2012. A recent release
states "100% of this donation will be used to help victims of
Hurricane Irene that are still trying to recover from its
Additionally, the HeARTs of Rutland street project is awarding
10 grants of $200 each to be given out in the month of December for
children's art education programs. Those applying need to be from
Rutland County, and requests must be related to children's art
education. The application deadline is Dec. 15, 2012. Email
firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.