Community Forum

VPR's Community Forum is a volunteer group that provides community input to VPR about its programming and public service.

Members of the Forum provide an important link between VPR and their community.  During their two-year term, they learn how VPR works behind the scenes, meet our staff and provide feedback about our programming and public service. They’ll have the opportunity to discuss the goals of public radio with other members of the Forum and serve as an ambassador for VPR.

The group meets bi-annually for half-day workshops at our Colchester headquarters. Community Forum meetings for the 2018-2019 term will be held:

April 24, 2018 | 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
October 2, 2018
April 2, 2019
October 1, 2019

The deadline to apply for VPR's 2018-2019 Community Forum has passed. Thank you to everyone who applied!  

Applications for the 2020-2022 Community Forum will be announced on VPR and available in February 2020. Invitations from the Community Forum Steering Committee to join the Forum are announced prior to the first scheduled meeting in the Spring. 

About The Community Forum

The VPR Community Forum is a volunteer group of 20-40 members that provides community input to VPR about programming and public service. The members of the Community Forum represent different professions, geographic regions, individual needs and interests of the communities VPR serves. We seek to reflect as broadly as possible the demographic, geographic, cultural, economic and social diversity of our listening region.

The VPR Community Forum is an advisory body and is not involved in VPR's daily management or operations. Meeting biannually in half-day sessions, the Community Forum members learn about public radio, meet VPR staff members, and have regular communication with the station about programs and public service. Members also serve as ambassadors to their communities.

The Community Forum is governed by a steering committee, responsible for basic organizational matters. The steering committee is made up of two members of VPR's Board of Directors, two members of VPR’s previous Community Forum and one member of station management.

The 2018-2019 Community Forum Steering Committee is comprised of:

Linda Gabrielson, Member of 2016-2017 Community Forum
Michael Frank, Member of 2016-2017 Community Forum
Steve Swayne, Board Member
Brad Robertson, Board Member

The 2018-2019 Community Forum members are:

Alfonso Villegas - South Burlington, VT
Alicia Malay- Pittsford, VT
Alison Kosakowski Conant - Richmond, VT
Andrea Landsberg - Cornwall, VT
Caroline Aubry -  Burlington, VT
Charles Justin Sheng - Woodstock, VT
Christina Krueger - Poultney, VT
Craig Varley - Canaan, VT
David Schwartz - Williston, VT
Doug Morin - Barnet, VT
Erik Mueller-Harder - Cabot, VT
Jane Conolly - South Burlington, VT
Jeanne Nauheimer - Essex Junction, VT
Jeffrey Thomas - Winooski, VT
Jill Loewer - Waterbury Center, VT
Joan Rose - Plymouth, VT
John Figliozzi - Clifton Park, NY
Jori Jacobeit - Shoreham, VT
Julie Elmore - Colchester, VT
Karen Saudek - Montpelier, VT
Kathleen Maceda - Brattleboro, VT
Lawrence Jones - Bristol, VT
Mark Hardy - Meriden, NH
Myles Tandy - Morristown, VT
Nick Garcia - Burlington, VT
Paul Carnahan - Montpelier, VT
Peter Bradford - Peru, VT
Rachael Cohen - Westminster West, VT
Ruth Farmer - Bristol, VT
Sarah Levine - Putney, VT
Sebastian Araujo - Montgomery, VT
Shane Rogers - Newport, VT
Sharon Ellingwood White - Lemington, VT
Stephen D'Agostino - Reading, VT
Susan Bradford - Peru, VT
Theresa Ipeura - West Glover, VT
Tristen Wade - Burlington, VT
Vanessa Arbour - Burlington, VT


How much influence does the Community Forum have?

As an advisory body, the Community Forum has an important impact on our programming and public service. Members regularly take part in focus groups that help shape our programming, as well as being a part of our strategic planning process that helps steer the future of VPR. Feedback from the Community Forum regularly makes its way into programming changes and additions to our services.

What influence does the Community Forum have with its work?

In addition to meeting in person twice a year, members of the Community Forum are active year-round. In addition to meetings, members receive regular updates about VPR, as well as surveys and requests for feedback.

Why do you make people apply to be a part of the Community Forum?

We typically get a large volume of applicants wishing to be a part of the Community Forum, but its charter allows only 20-40 members per term. We use an application process to help ensure a diverse group of people are included in the Forum - including diversity of  towns, ages, occupations, experiences, and program interests, so we can best reflect the community we serve.

Are Community Forum meetings open to the public?

Yes! Community Forum meetings are open to the public and we welcome your attendance. The dates and locations for the 2018-2020 group are noted above and any changes will be noted on this page.

What other criteria does VPR use to make programming decisions?

We are constantly monitoring our program schedules to make sure we are serving our community with the best programming possible. In addition to the insight we receive from the Community Forum, VPR makes program decisions based on a number of factors: they need to fit our strategic plan and budget, and we take market factors, audience research and listener feedback into consideration. We also keep an eye on what our public radio colleagues around the country are doing, and what is working for them.       

VPR Headquarters in Colchester
Credit Jim Westphalen