Bookstock Literary Festival

Applicant Name

Peter Rousmaniere

Applicant Organization

Bookstock Inc.

Email Address

Phone Number

802-291-3843

Mailing Address

53 Wayside Rd

Woodstock

Vermont

05091

Organization Website

Grant Request Summary

Bookstock is coming back with a vision for the Town of Woodstock to be a cultural magnet in Vermont and Northern New England. We presented increasingly rich annual literary festivals 2009-2019, then went into pandemic-related hibernation in 2020-2021. It is reopening live on June 24-26, 2022. Previously Bookstock was entirely volunteer-run and informal in organization. It has completely re-organized as a formal entity, tax exempt status pending, and is strengthening its quality of programming and marketing. It seeks to become a leading go-to event for persons in and out of state and to brand Woodstock as a cultural hub. It is engaging one or two part time staff December 2021 – July 2022 to manage the festival, and is upgrading its internet presence throughout the United States. It will step up its private sector fund raising.

We have spent much of 2021 exploring how to put on such an ambitious event in such a small town. We are seeking funding for the staff, of $20,000, and an additional $5,000 for building internet capability, all to be spent January – July 2022. To some extent, these are one-time capacity-building investments. Coverage of expenses in the future we hope to cover by increased private contributions; however, we may come to the EDC for some funding to meet new needs in the next few years. We plan for COVID contingencies to ensure there will be a live and highly visible weekend in 2022 regardless.

Project Budget

$25,000+

Desired Grant Amount

$20,000 - $24,999

Other Funding Sources

Based on past experience and commitments to date, we expect to receive about $20,000 from institutional and individual grants, a special $15,000 commitment from Pentangle, and about $6,000 from revenues collected on the Green. We plan to invest in increasing giving in the first half of 2022. Some collaborating organizations expend funds within their own budgets.

Project Timeframe

January 2022 through June 2022

How will this project benefit the economic and community development of Woodstock?

Since its founding, Bookstock has sought to increase visitors and to expand the Town’s cultural brand. The date of the festival was changed from late July to late June to make the festival more of an economic gain for the Town. Participation in the weekend festival (roughly 1,000 persons) is limited by venue capacity; we anticipate pandemic-related constraints. We promote the Town-Bookstock on the internet. We may host online events year-round. We continue to provide a platform for non-profit organizations and local businesses to deliver their programs and services on the weekend (inns, retail stores, restaurants, other cultural organizations, for instance).

Which EDC Working Grouop Objectives does your project best support?

Marketing (Marketing Woodstock to attract more visitors and permanent residents), Events (Supporting the growth of events for visitors and the community)

Other Objectives

Project Collaborations

The festival is a collaborative undertaking among many organizations. These organizations suggest and deliver programs, provide venues, contribute volunteers, make in-kind contributions and promote the festival. They also provide vital advice on festival design. For 2022 the following organizations have already indicated that they expect to participate: ArtisTree, The History Center, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller, Masonic Lodge, NWPL, Pentangle, the North Chapel, Ottauquchee Health Foundation and the Vermont Standard. In addition, we expect inns and local businesses, notably Yankee Book Shop, will participate. Typically, about 20 organizations are involved.

Additional Comments

Here is our mission statement. (We expect to further augment and enhance it based on our and the Town’s experience with the live 2022 festival.) “Bookstock supports the cultural richness and diversity of Vermont and New England. Our region is home to many talented writers representing diverse genres, from national Poet Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners to emerging young writers and those who have found their compelling voice at midlife. Bookstock encourages appreciation for good writing and other artistic endeavors by introducing residents and visitors of all ages to writers, musicians and artists in an intimate setting.”