Big Heavy World Receives Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation to Produce Documentary About Historic Teen Center
Big Heavy World has received a $2,500 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Small and Inspiring grant program. The grant will support production of a documentary video about 242 Main, a legendary teen center in Burlington and the nation’s longest-running all-ages punk rock venue. The film is a collaboration between Big Heavy World, Vermont Community Access Media (VCAM), and Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department.
242 Main was founded in the mid-1980’s as a project of the City’s youth office. It was an adult-supervised venue that offered programming conceived by Burlington’s teens, in an environment that they helped design and build. The teens wanted a place to host live music, so the empty office that became 242 Main also became an all-ages concert venue for more than thirty years and seized a place in the country’s history because of it.
The Small & Inspiring Grant will help Big Heavy World and filmmaker Bill Simmon of VCAM capture and share the story of 242 Main with high production values. As of January 10, more than 50 interviews have been filmed; more than 200 posters of concert posters from throughout 242 Main’s 30+ year history have been collected; and animation effects have been produced.
“This story of 242 Main will give Vermont a respectful view onto the value of teen-led programs, safe spaces, and the sense of conscience and community that makes the people of Vermont special. 242 Main was an epicenter of culture for youth on the ‘outside,’ and a model for other communities who value their young people,” said James Lockridge, Executive Director of Big Heavy World.
Through its Small and Inspiring grants program, the Community Foundation hopes to help foster the spark and hope that keeps Vermonters healthy and happy by finding and supporting projects where a small grant can make a big difference.
About Big Heavy World: Big Heavy World is an independent nonprofit music development office working to archive and promote the original music of Vermont. With a crew of mostly high school and college-aged volunteers, it publishes information about Vermont’s music industry, loans a tour van to bands, archives thousands of Vermont-made recordings and photographs, and operates 105.9FM, a radio station highlighting the region’s creative community. bigheavyworld.com
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. www.vermontcf.org, 802-388-3355.
Photo: A collage of bands performing on the 242 Main stage and some of the 50+ people interviewed for the documentary, from every era of 242 Main’s 30+ year history. All images are by James Lockridge except the crowd surfing photo by Tim Snow.