Brave Little State

What if you could decide what stories Vermont Public Radio should be covering, before they're even assigned?

That's the idea behind Brave Little State, a podcast where you ask the questions, you decide what VPR investigates, and then you work with us to find the answers.

So tell us: What question do you have about Vermont, our region or its people that you want us to explore? Submit it below, or leave us a short voicemail at 802-552-4880.

Our latest episode:

Want to listen, but don't have great internet? Tune in on Wednesday, November 25 at noon and 7 p.m. You can also view a transcript of the episode here. 

Coming soon:

  • "What effect has the border with Canada being closed had on Vermont and its citizens?" — Gabrielle Coburn | Available December 3
  • "Flatlanders vs. woodchucks: What's the history of these terms, and what do they evoke today?" — Ryan McLiverty | Available December 17

Subscribe for free, and never miss an episode:


Brave Little State is made possible by the VPR Innovation Fund, and powered by Hearken. Our theme music is by Ty Gibbons. All questions asked make it to the question archive unless they don’t meet our guidelines for decorum, fairness or obvious conflicts of interest.




Explore an interactive map of our on-the-ground reporting:

Map credit: Elodie Reed & Noah Villamarin-Cutter

A man in a hard hat in a bucket truck next to a white barn with a tree and mountain in the background
Elodie Reed / VPR

The pandemic has shifted even more of our lives online. So what's being done to address Vermont's internet inequities?

That's what Maggie Eppstein of Hinesburg asked Brave Little State, VPR's people-powered journalism project.

Two people in masks stand outside a yellow house
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Is our population growing because of the pandemic? And what impact are COVID transplants having on their new communities?

A handpainted Trump sign on a piece of plywood
Elodie Reed / VPR

With mail-in voting already underway and a president who has COVID-19 — and who has not pledged to accept the results if he loses — we check in with some of his supporters. 

An alley with a church at the end of it.
Elodie Reed / VPR

What is the state of religion in Vermont? How do Vermonters characterize their beliefs?

A dirt road with lots of trees along the edges
Lydia Brown / VPR

Every summer, we drive all over Green Mountain creation to find the origins of the strange road names you’re wondering about.

gloved hands holding a syringe
Hans Pennink / Associated Press

When a vaccine becomes available for COVID-19, who gets it first?

A composite of numerous photos of people of color.
Images courtesy of individuals, Owen Leavey Photography, Jesse Dawson, Bruce Mount and Bryant Denton/VPR

How can a state that is 94% white do better? Vermonters of color weigh in to answer this listener question.

A Confederate flag flying from a poll on a building roof along a winding road.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Earlier this summer, Jason Broughton noticed a Confederate flag hanging outside a home in his neighborhood in Barre. It happened to be Juneteenth, a day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Broughton wondered, was this on purpose? 

An illustration of three people talking and thinking.
Benjavisa /

Brave Little State listeners want to know — add your voice and help us answer this listener question.

A couple lean together in a grassy yard
Angela Evancie / VPR

Michael and Stacy Lee have had a really tough year. So why do they feel so positive?

A sign reading early Black settlers
Elodie Reed / VPR

A few years ago, Berlin resident Gale Harris was doing some research for a class she was taking at her local senior center. She wanted to find out if Black Americans were in Vermont in the 1800s. 

A couple standing in front of trees.

Everyone loves to grouse about our cost of living. Bruce Post wonders: How bad is it really?

A white ribbon on post against grass.
Elodie Reed / VPR

If people — particularly elderly people — don't want doctors to take extreme measures to potentially save their lives, does that increase Vermont's COVID-19 death rate?

A person in a face mask hands creemee cones to a woman in a car, with a goldendoodle dog looking out the backseat window.
Elodie Reed / VPR

In this season filled with fear, grief and bitter disappointment, there is one sweet solace for Vermonters: It's still possible to obtain a maple creemee.

Two people in cloth masks handing a tray of plants between each other from the ground and into a truck bed.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Jamie McKenzie of Waterbury originally asked this question in the context of climate change. But the food supply issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have given it new urgency.

Two portraits of Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Matt Rourke and Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

With so much pandemic all the time, it can be easy to forget that we’ve got a presidential election coming up. But it is worth remembering that our current president, and his presumptive opponent, are vulnerable to the coronavirus. 

Two people wearing masks and blue gloves, filling clear bottles from larger jugs.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Parole officers doling out hand sanitizer. Inmates cooking for those in quarantine. At the Vermont Department of Corrections, it's all hands on deck.

Black and white photo of a child in boots, jacket and hat frolicks in a field.
Corey Hendrickson / For VPR

With the world turned upside down, Brave Little State has been collecting audio diaries from Vermonters, about what — and how — you're doing.

Two girls on a couch.
Hollie Friot/courtesy

With Vermont schools now closed, many parents are facing a daunting reality. In this installment of Brave Little State, a veteran home-schooling parent and remote worker shares her wisdom.

A sign outside a home says "Keep Calm and Drink Milk: It does a body good."
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Because everything is different right now, Brave Little State's work is going to be different, too. As Vermont responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to hear from you.