Grant to help Frost museum to reopen

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SHAFTSBURY — The Robert Frost Stone House Museum at Bennington College plans to re-open this summer thanks to a $5,000 Vermont COVID-19 Cultural Relief Grant from the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Humanities.

"We are so thankful to Vermont Humanities for this critical support of the Frost Stone House," said Erin McKenny, the museum's director.

The museum also received a $1,000 programming grant on May 15 from Vermont Humanities to present a free lecture by David Orr to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Frost's move to Vermont.

Orr is a poetry columnist for the New York Times Book Review and an English professor at Cornell University. His book "The Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong" explorers the importance and meaning of the famous poem and how its continued relevance.

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"We are thrilled to offer this lecture by David Orr as a way of expanding our understanding of Frost, this iconic poem, and poetry in general," McKenny said.

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Frost is a point of pride for many Vermonters as much of his poetry was inspired by the state's landscape. He was named Vermont's poet laureate in 1961, and is buried in Old Bennington. His family home in Shaftsbury, which has now turned into the Stone House Museum, attracts hundreds of visitors and local people every year.

"We get a lot of people that come through. It's amazing to see the land and the atmosphere that influenced so much of his work," said Natalie Redmond, assistant writer for the Communications Department at Bennington College.

"What I love about the Robert Frost Stone House Museum is that it serves as both a place for quiet contemplation and a place for the community to gather. The house and the surrounding landscape are just stunning — I understand why Frost and his family fell in love with the property and this area," McKenny said.

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Frost moved to Vermont from New Hampshire in 1920 "to seek a better place to farm and especially grow apples." While 2020 is the 100th anniversary of Frost's move to Vermont, the celebration has been postponed to the fall of 2021 and will coincide with the Bennington Museum's Frost exhibition "Robert Frost: At Present in Vermont."

"I think that there's a really wonderful and enduring connection with Robert Frost and Bennington College. Having a celebration shows how long his legacy has endured," Redmond said.

The museum is planning to open later this summer. For now, the grounds are open to visitors.


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