Who We Are
River Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community arts organization based in Morrisville, Vermont with a mission to enrich the community through the arts.
Our vision is to build and support an arts community that provides opportunities for artistic expression and creativity; that inspires community members, professional artists, local businesses, and visitors to our region; and to thrive as a dynamic and inclusive cultural center serving residents of Lamoille County and the surrounding region.
What We Do
Our core operating value is Arts for Everyone, and we are committed to providing multi-disciplinary arts opportunities and making the arts accessible for everyone no matter their ability, age, or financial means. From visual media, writing and poetry, dance, culinary arts, ceramics, and metalworking to 3D, music and fiber arts, River Arts offers a wide range of programs throughout the year for all ages and abilities. We’re also a gathering place in our community for many private events: from artisanal markets and fish fries to family celebrations.
A Brief History
River Arts formed in 1999 as the result of a community-planning forum that envisioned an intergenerational community arts center. Prior to the founding of River Arts, there were no arts programs available to most residents of Lamoille County.
River Arts began operating from a donated space in downtown Morrisville and offering outreach arts programs for residents in 2001, after receiving our 501(c)(3) status. In 2005, with the help of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, River Arts purchased the former Lamoille County Grange #233 building, which was also the original “Poor People’s Academy,” a high school founded in 1847 to educate the children of local farmers. In 2006, River Arts launched a capital campaign to raise funds to create the River Arts Center in the historic space, and to seed an endowment. Renovation of the new River Arts Center was completed in 2008, and in 2010, we met our capital campaign goal of raising $988,000 through community and private foundation support.
Today, the River Arts Center’s original vision is alive and well, serving over 5,000 visitors a year in the Lamoille Valley. We are proud to make Arts for Everyone a reality, and to build on a rich heritage and create new community traditions for generations to come. To learn more about the history of the historic River Arts Center click here (links to pdf of history of RA Center).