Life on the VCFA campus gives students a chance to bond, form a tight-knit community of artists, enjoy the cultural and natural life of Vermont, and participate in literary salon-style gatherings. From free film screenings at the Savoy Theater during the MFA in Film residency, to on-campus exhibitions during the MFA in Visual Art and MFA in Graphic Design residencies, to free concerts by world-class musicians during the MFA in Music Composition residency, students need look no further than their own campus to find the best cultural opportunities. The Writing & Publishing program itself offers frequent public readings by visiting writers, faculty, and students, both on and off campus.
Students participate in readings and community enrichment events in downtown Montpelier and in the nearby city of Burlington. Each month, two students are featured readers at the North Branch Cafe in Montpelier, and students have been featured readers at the Hunger Mountain Co-op in town and at the Ruth Stone Foundation in Burlington, as well as hosting creative writing workshops at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Students interested in teaching experience can apply to become creative writing instructors in VCFA’s Community Enrichment Classes, in which graduate students lead writing workshops on specific craft topics for local writers.
Housing awards are available to MFA and Certificate students, and dorm life often feels like living in an artist’s co-op where students gather to hang out, discuss creative writing, and cook together. The dorms also have a small gym for student use, and those in the MFA in Writing & Publishing and Certificate in Publishing programs have 24-hour access to VCFA’s Gary Library.
Montpelier is the hub of cultural and community activities in Central Vermont, including weekend farmer’s markets, skiing and other winter sports, open studios and art walks, and cultural festivals and parades. As the state capital, Montpelier not only hosts the state’s political life (including local fave Bernie Sanders passing through), but also vibrant cultural organizations such as the Vermont Arts Council, ORCA Media, The Bridge newspaper, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, PoemCity, the Savoy Theater, record and music stores, boutiques featuring antiques and imports from around the world, pop-up restaurants featuring Jamaican, Indian, Thai, and Ethiopian food, and great bands and acting troupes passing through town.
In the 2019-20 academic year, international students made up 19% of MFA in Writing & Publishing and Certificate in Publishing. In the past, admitted students have come from Indonesia, India, Australia, Nigeria, Ireland, Israel, Canada, South Africa, and other countries. The student body also is diverse in terms of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, language, culture, and class, as well.
As a residential student at VCFA, you’ll have the chance to sample all the cultural, literary arts, nature, and sports Vermont has to offer!