What is the March Arts Marathon?

Central Vermont Refugee Action Network (CVRAN) invites painters, writers, poets, musicians, fabric and multimedia artists, sculptors, and photographers to join our annual March Arts Marathon, a fundraiser for the many asylum seekers and Afghan refugees we are supporting in Central Vermont.

Registration is open January through the end of February on this website.

All artists participating in the March Arts Marathon invite friends, family, and neighbors to sponsor their artwork via each artist’s individual fundraising page on the CVRAN website.

“I’m so proud to have been a part of the March Arts Marathon. It does so many valuable things all in one package — raising greatly-needed funds to help support refugees in our community AND bringing together artists with people who want to know about what they do and how they do it! That’s brilliant and magical, and for me it’s been fun and exhausting. I’m looking forward to it again.”  Janet Van Fleet, artist.

Six days each week in the month of March the artists produce creative work and send their sponsors copies of what they’ve created through e-mail, Instagram or in a blog. During the marathon we hold a mid-marathon and end of marathon exhibit. Some of the artists’ work for the past marathons can be seen in our marathon gallery.

The March Arts Marathon is the major CVRAN fundraiser, and all money raised helps CVRAN assist with housing, living expenses, and legal fees for the asylum seekers and refugees in our local communities.

 

The Marathon also is rewarding for the participating artists. Here’s what they tell us:

 

Deborah Sigel: Waterfall. Ink, art marker, watercolor, and gouache.

“My family were refugees in the US not that long ago, and this is my chance to give back to refugees today.  The Marathon also gives me unique motivation to improve my illustration skills through daily drawing and painting.” Deb Sigel, artist and inventor.

“CVRAN gives me a chance as an artist to help — through the commitment of friends and family — heal the world.”  Susan Sandman, artist and musician.

The March Arts Marathon has changed my life, opened a door I didn’t know existed . . ., didn’t know I had kept locked.”  Lynn Wild, writer and photographer.

“I love the March Arts Marathon because it encourages my creativity and gets me to practice painting every day. I am inspired by the work of the other artists in the Marathon.” Pam Walker, artist.

Caroline Tavelli-Abar: There is a Koi fish / in my swimming pool!

“In 2021 I began my first March Arts Marathon.  I have looked forward to this fundraising event ever since, for not only has my creativity soared, but thanks to the efforts of CVRAN it has been pure joy connecting to our joint humanity. Thank you all.” Caroline Tavelli-Abar, visual artist.

“Last year’s experience was great. I got wonderful feedback and felt I was making a difference doing something I’m able to do.”   Suzanne Rexford-Winston, artist and educator.

“The prospect of revealing my inner, creative self to whatever little slice of the world might be interested in what I have to say caused me considerable discomfort. However, when I put it out there, I was startled and tremendously pleased by what came back to me — connections! Lovely connections!” Jan Waterman, writer and aspiring hermit.

“My experience with March Arts Marathon has been: more self-awareness, anti-procrastination (my word), creativity, lovely sharing with friends and family, surprising myself that I can run this race with the help of many, and trusting my creativity is enough. If you are thinking of joining, you can do it!  After all, this is about helping others.  You will be rewarded with creative self-esteem and soul touching work.”  Angie Grace, artist, singer, and writer.

Susan Sawyer: Black Ash Seeds, Two Clusters. Watercolor on paper.

“The 2023 March Arts Marathon came along at a very opportune time for me. I’d heard of it, but had doubts about being able to come up with daily offerings. But then I broke my femur.  When last March came I was recently out of rehab, barely getting around by hopping with a walker, sleeping a lot, and unable to do much of anything. The Home Health OT and my daughter cleared out the path into the studio, got me a chair without wheels, and I got to work again. Getting to draw and think and write about what I was doing was a huge help to my spirits, and got me connected with an effort I support with all my heart.”  Susan Sawyer, artist and naturalist.

“As an artist participant I like finding sponsors from my friend groups all over the U.S.A. and beyond our borders. The Marathon draws attention to the care given to helping our refugees and asylum seekers in Central Vermont. It’s unique in that these sponsors get art in their email box as a thank you. And the art making practice is very satisfying. Further, I have enjoyed sponsoring some of the artists and getting a gift of their art sent to me each day!” Orah Moore, photographer