Better Places Crowdfunding campaign launched for “SoRo Underpass Art”

12 July 2022

State Media Contacts

Shannon Konvicka, Communications Director
Department of Housing and Community Development

Richard Amore, Better Places program manager
Department of Housing and Community Development 

Local Media Contacts

Victoria Paquin
Town Administrator, Town of Royalton  

Better Places Crowdfunding campaign launched for “SoRo Underpass Art”

$8,000 goal to receive a 2:1 matching grant through DHCD’s Better Places program.

South Royalton - South Royalton residents will soon be able to enjoy a beautiful and modern public art installation in the current Safford Street railroad underpass thanks to a recently launched crowdfunding campaign. The campaign is sponsored by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development’s Better Places program and is led by a group of community members including representatives from the planning commission and selectboard.

This community group has been working to bring art to the underpass since 2019 and last year received a grant from the Vermont Arts Council which funded artists Elizabeth Billings of Tunbridge, Andrea Wasserman of Vershire, and Evie Lovett of Putney to design the artwork and test the materials and techniques. The installation called “Passage” makes connections between the White River, the town, and the surrounding landscape.

“At the heart of placemaking is creating spaces where people want to be, can find inspiration, and thrive,” said DHCD Commissioner Josh Hanford. “Through the Better Places program, the SoRo Underpass Art Project will add vibrancy and vitality inspiring the community and visitors alike through public art.”

If the campaign reaches its $8,000 goal by deadline August 21, 2022 the “SoRo Underpass Art” will receive a matching grant of $16,000 from DHCD’s Better Places program.

Click here for project details and to donate.  The funds raised will be the final amount needed to pay for project materials, the artists, and the installation.

“This site has been long forgotten and ignored and is an eyesore in our beautiful town,” said Nell Gwin, one of the leaders of this project, “With this public art installation we want to bring a new life to the underpass and hopefully inspire and uplift our community.”

Residents, businesses, and neighbors ready to support vibrant public places, community gathering areas, and local opportunities are encouraged to get involved and support these projects. Learn more and donate here.


About Better Places Better Places is a community matching grant program empowering Vermonters to create inclusive and vibrant public places serving Vermont’s designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, or neighborhood development areas. The program is led by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Community Foundation, and Patronicity, our crowdfunding experts. The program supports community-led projects that create, revitalize, or activate community gathering areas that bring people together to build welcoming and thriving places across Vermont.

About the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community DevelopmentThe State Historic Sites Program is administered by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), which has a mission to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. ACCD accomplishes this mission by providing grants, technical assistance, and advocacy through three divisions: The Department of Economic Development, the Department of Tourism and Marketing, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. For more information on ACCD please visit:








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