The Samara Fund Awards $35,556 in Grants and Scholarships to Support Vermont’s LGBTQ Community

The Samara Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, awarded $35,556 in grants and scholarships in its seventh annual competitive grant round at the Foundation. Fourteen nonprofit organizations received grants totaling $32,056, and seven high school seniors each received a $500 scholarship.

Funding priorities for this year are: youth, rural, and transgender Vermonters. Grants this year include those that support programs for HIV/AIDS service organizations, theater productions and community events, and operating expenses for small nonprofits doing vital outreach.

The Samara Fund’s vision is to be Vermont’s leading source of permanent support dedicated to nurturing the vitality, success, and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities through dynamic and sustained philanthropy. Visit for more information about the Samara Fund.


Brighton Community Forum received $1,500 to support the Northeast Kingdom Bear Weekend, an event designed to educate, facilitate social interactions, and provide an enjoyable experience for all attendees. 

Chandler Center for the Arts received $3,000 to support Vermont Pride Theater’s 8th Annual Festival, which showcased full productions of three plays new to Vermont. Proceeds from the Festival support Chandler’s programs for area youth.

Circus Smirkus received $1,000 to support hiring a consultant in the fields of LGBTQ rights and sexual abuse/misconduct, with a focus on transgender youth. This person will work with year-round and seasonal staff to create a culture and place that is free from harm, bullying, and sexual misconduct.

Common Ground Center received $3,000 to support the eighth summer of Camp Outright. This week-long residential program for LGBTQ youth (ages 13-17) creates an environment of healthy affirmation for all participants and for some campers, is the first or only opportunity they’ve had to be their true selves while in community.

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts received $2,000 to support various events: a performance by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Trocks), the all-male ballet company founded in 1974; an intergenerational movement workshop with the Trocks; the ‘trockumentary’ titled “Rebels on Pointe”; and the performance “Songs of Resistance” by MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize Finalist Taylor Mac.

Green Mountain Crossroads received $3,000 for general operating support. This grant will support the meetings, lectures, and other outreach to rural LGBTQ Vermonters provided/sponsored by the organization.

Hartland Public Library received $500 for its Summer Pride and Beyond project. The funds will be used to purchase LGBTQ materials (books, movies, audio books) for the library’s adult and young adult collections.

HIV/HCV Resource Center received $2,500 for general operating support. The grant will help the Center continue to offer HIV and HCV testing and prevention education, case management, syringe exchange, and individual counseling in Orange and Windsor Counties.

Howard Center received $556 to purchase hormone syringes for clients who are using non-prescribed hormones. The goal of this pilot project is to reduce harm to the transgender clients who require this specific type of syringe.         

Outright Vermont received $3,000 to support its Friday Night Group (FNG)—a program that promotes connectedness for LGBTQ youth—in Brattleboro, Burlington, Morrisville, and Montpelier. FNG offers these youth the support and social connections they need not only to survive, but to thrive.

Pride Center of Vermont received $3,000 to support its annual Pride Parade and Festival. In 2017, the event attracted 800 marchers, more than 2,000 attendees, and 36 vendors.

Pride Center of Vermont received $3,500 to support a Transgender Program Coordinator position that will oversee all trans-related issues for the organization, including taking calls for the SafeSpace program.

Twin States Network received $1,500 in operating support. The grant will be used to provide resources for the new assistant director position at the Network.

Vermont Stage Company received $2,000 to support its April 2019 production of “The Legend of Georgia McBride” by Matthew Lopez. The production uses artistry and style to embody a political movement and invites the audience into a world that shows what it means to be both fabulous and fierce.

Weston Playhouse Theatre Company received $2,000 to support its summer 2018 production of “Fun Home.” It was the inaugural professional union production in its new studio theater, Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm.


·       Burr & Burton Academy

·       Montpelier High School

·       North Country Union High School

·       Peoples Academy

·       South Burlington High School (two students)

·       Woodstock Union High School


The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community. Visit  or call 802-388-3355 for more information.