Montpelier VT, Cultural Capital

Montpelier Vermont is 94.9 percent white. The city contains only 11,916 people according the the 2010 census (American FactFinder, 2010). Given these two figures it is easy to imagine Montpelier as fairly one dimensional and sheltering of it’s occupants. With a very small school system and a tight knit community it is hard to imagine how others live in environments where they don’t know every person on their street, or have “walking school busses” that traverse the half mile to school for kids too young to walk alone. The community rallies around one another, with star high school athletes having their names thrown around by everyone in town. While the city can feel very small and behind on the times there are organizations that work to constantly revitalize the life of the city through events and gatherings meant to expose people to new things and bring everyone together.

Since 1999, the non-profit corporation Montpelier Alive has been working to bring creative ideas to the city, promoting different cultural events and installations throughout the city (Montpelier Alive, 2016). In the past few years the organization has increased it’s reach and made many physically visible developments throughout the downtown area, creating embodied capital. The goal of Montpelier Alive is to develop downtown Montpelier as a center of culture both for people who live in the town and those visiting. Last summer Montpelier Alive funded art installations down all of Langdon Street, a main street for retail shopping and apartments in town. The art ranged from 10 foot black and white photos of different people in the town plastered to the brick buildings, to sculpted benches with plants and tables. The street was colorfully painted and on the opening day there was band and gathering on the street.


Montpelier Alive is made up of different committees that all work toward the cultural development of downtown. Some of the largest are for the July Third festivities, the Art Walk, and Art Fest. Montpelier Alive works year round to instill life in the downtown community. Not only do these efforts add an astounding amount of culture to the community but they also work to attract more young people to the area. The city is infused with artwork and music from all around the world, and changes in each can be seen on each trip downtown.



Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). (n.d.). American FactFinder – Results. Retrieved September 27, 2016, from

Montpelier Alive, VT | Official Website. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2016, from