NORTH BENNINGTON -- In 1992 Matthew Perry co-founded the Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE). Over the past 20 years, VAE has become an integral part of not only the North Bennington Community, but also the community at large.

Through outreach and private contract work, VAE staff and artists work in the studios with mainstream youth as well as youth-at-risk. VAE provides art programs offsite to reach local elders, Vermont Veteran's Home residents, children and their families in housing communities, private schools and Head Start children. Artist residencies in local private and public schools are supported through VAE's ongoing Arts in Education partnerships. Opportunities abound for adult education, art exhibition and performance. In addition, VAE's popular "Basement Series" music events have attracted performing artists and audiences from far and wide.

Throughout those 20 years, the VAE Board of Directors has been comprised of a small group of extremely dedicated individuals, including Bob Howe, Philip Beekman, David Monks and Matthew Perry -- all working to honor VAE's mission of bringing the arts to people of all ages, abilities and income. Their time and efforts have been crucial to VAE's ongoing success.

As VAE continues to grow in scope and size, the existing Board felt it would be timely to expand the Board. With that, VAE is pleased to announce the addition of six new members.

Jeb Gorham, the new Chair of the VAE Board, has been a professor of Business at Southern Vermont College (SVC) for three years. Prior to moving to the area, Jeb spent 10 years in Colorado working in the sports, health and fitness industry during and after the completion of his Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Science -- Sport Administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

Meg Campbell has worked for the Preservation Trust of Vermont for over 10 years, managing PTV's Historic Preservation Easement Program, coordinating fundraising events and doing fieldwork in Bennington County. She recently created five short films for PTV's Storytelling Project, including one on VAE, which can be seen on their website's home page.

Andrew Davis is a visual artist currently working and teaching in the Berkshires and at VAE. He focuses on art education to people of all ages and abilities, while pursuing his own work, which includes painting, drawing, installation, and organizing temporary and "pop-up" art spaces.

Judie Evrard Brower is the Director of US Marketing for Anthony Tesselaar Plants. She's served on the boards of several regional and national direct marketing associations, and also as a volunteer with a variety of local organizations.

Alex Kershaw is the author of several popular books on World War II, including the New York Times best-seller "The Liberator." Alex has spent time in front of the camera as a consulting historian for a program entitled "When Weather Changed History," the documentary film "Salinger," and is featured telling his story of the Bedford Boys for PBS in a show airing June 2014.

Robin Kershaw works as a freelance graphic designer and marketing specialist. She's worked with children's educational software, games and toys in London, California and New York. Her volunteer work with non-profits includes early development stages of Webserves in New York and Kidspace in North Adams, Massachusetts.

The Vermont Arts Exchange is located in North Bennington in the vibrant Sage Street Mill. To learn more about VAE and their programs, please call 802 442-5549 or visit vtartxchange.org.