Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has awarded Peoples, Places and History of Words in Brattleboro a $150,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) matching grant. This was one of three highly competitive NEH grants received in Vermont. The two other recipients were the University of Vermont and the Vermont Farmers’ Market Education Center.

According to project director Lissa Weinmann, landing the grant gives her project a leg up in securing additional resources “to illuminate and share the greater Brattleboro area’s rich but little-known history of words—in story, literature, publishing, and printing—to instill a greater pride of place for those who live, work, and raise families here, as well as to inform and inspire those who visit.”

The project is a collaboration of four local groups: Marlboro College, the Brattleboro Literary Festival, the Brattleboro Historical Society, and Write Action.

Jerry Carbone, former director of Brooks Memorial Library and a member of the Brattleboro Literary Festival Authors’ Committee, says the Brattleboro area “has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to its history of book publishing, printing, literature and the like, but few people who live here, much less outsiders, appreciate this history.”

He said the project will bring these facts to the fore in an entertaining and creative way that aims to involve the whole community.

To participate in a place-based “research pod,” or to join monthly project meetings, write