Burklyn Arts Council is organized for the purpose of encouraging the appreciation and development of the arts in the schools and communities of Burke, Concord, East Haven, Gilman, Lunenburg, Lyndon, Newark, Sheffield, Sutton, and Wheelock, VT.
Elizabeth Brouha, a lifetime member of the Council, founded Burklyn in 1971 to focus attention on a local landmark, Burklyn Hall. Burklyn Hall, a 35-room mansion with panoramic views of two sweeping valleys, had been the 1908 creation of New York hotel owner Elmer Darling, who owned and operated a farm on the ridge where his mansion was built and from which he supplied his hotel’s dining rooms with Vermont dairy products.
In the1950s, Mrs. Brouha had discovered a junior conservatory being held during the summer months in one of the Burklyn barns. An artist herself, she understood the value of arts in education and development of young minds, so she dedicated herself to ensuring that the Northeast Kingdom youngsters have at least some of the benefits she had enjoyed growing up in Belgium.
By the 1970s, when she had become a permanent resident of Sutton, Mrs. Brouha found Burklyn Hall in a sad state of repair and falling into the hands of the state; Elmer Darling had no heirs to maintain his masterpiece. It was the fate of the Burklyn Hall that prompted her to incorporate Friends of Burklyn to find a way to save the estate, but this original purpose soon gave way to the goals which Burklyn Arts Council now holds. In the meantime, the building has gone through many changes and now is in private hands. Although Burklyn Arts Council is well-known throughout the communities it serves; it wears two faces which are not universally connected. The most recognizable face is the one the Council shows at its two craft fairs. These fairs have earned a reputation for high quality over the years as a result of the standards maintained by the Council’s crafts jury.
These fairs help the Burklyn Arts Council raise around $30,000 each year as an operating budget to provide arts & music opportunities to children in our local schools and artistic projects in the community. Dedicated volunteers meet monthly to accept grant applications, plan the craft fairs, distribute funds, and implement marketing strategies to expand the Council's reach and budget.