Located in Stowe, Vermont, HDAC was established in 1981, growing out of a community project to save a historic building and use it for the benefit of the community. Our mission is to enhance the human experience through the visual arts. We provide year-round visual art exhibitions in our galleries and our annual outdoor sculpture show, Exposed, throughout the town; public programs such as lectures, panels, and film screenings primarily linked to our exhibitions; and progressive and innovative arts education programs for all ages. In recent years, we have evolved our arts education initiatives through an Interpretive Learning Program and Art Lab that create hands-on learning experiences for our audiences to become active participants in building understanding for the artwork we present.
We operate with the conviction that meaningful, formative art experiences be available and accessible to all people regardless of age, class, race, ability, and geography. One of our core goals and impacts is to ensure accessibility to quality arts experiences and educational opportunities for underserved and disadvantaged rural communities.
We offer guided tours and activities for schools, organizations, corporations, and individuals. Our offerings include an understanding of contemporary art and relevant themes that relate to the world around us. We can customize any tour to include an art activity or special feature.
We produce major exhibitions with artists representing diverse identities, geographies, and career stages: presenting internationally- and nationally- recognized artists, highlighting local artists, providing rare opportunities for emerging artists to show with those that are more established, and engaging them in meaningful opportunities to connect with our institution and community. The center is driven by an ambitious curatorial vision shaped by the pursuit of meaning in contemporary art. Our programs consider how the arts can be a platform for activism and cultural dialogue, responding to issues facing artists and audiences today.
Each year, professional artists and art educators teach over 50 classes and workshops, emphasizing progressive art education. From intensive summer art camps to afterschool classes, our education program has a broad reach, engaging 571 children, youth, and adults in a variety of media and activities. Youth classes such as animation, graphic novel illustration, puppet making, digital photography, and claymation are just a few examples of the variety offered. Adults enjoy a wide variety of workshops for the beginner and the seasoned artist including a Sumi ink workshop, introduction to oils, watercolor, stained glass, block printing, and so much more. Scholarships ensure that classes are open to all who wish to participate, and last year the Center provided 41 scholarships totaling $4,685. Our public outreach benefits all with programs such as a multi-school wide student art show, seasonal festivities, and pop-up art events that help make the arts a vital part of our community.