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:

Explore the web feature here. Coming soon:

  • "Why do Vermonters fly the Confederate flag?" Available July 17.
  • "How can the state, both its government and its people, support Vermonters of color?" Available August 7.

Love our show? Make a gift to VPR of $9/month, and we'll thank you with a limited edition Brave Little State t-shirt. Give here.

Credit Oliver Parini Photography

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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 Cutter

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.

The words "Wash your hands" are painted on a Burlington sidewalk.
Elodie Reed / VPR

These are strange times. As we plan our next episode — and our general approach in the age of COVID-19 — we want to make sure our choices stay people-powered.

A woman watches a child play on a snowbank outside a house.
Elodie Reed / VPR

As Vermont schools prepare to shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus, Brave Little State is working on an episode about best practices for at-home learning. We want to hear your questions  — and your wisdom.

Stacy Keglovitz / Flickr

A question about a certain camel won in one of Brave Little State's recent public voting rounds. Sadly, our reporting did not go as planned.

A camel looking into a camera.
Teena Perkins Betourney / Courtesy

A camel named Oliver, who has delighted travelers along Route 7 in Ferrisburgh for nearly two decades, has died. Do you have a favorite memory? Share it with Brave Little State.

A person puts a piece of paper in a ballot box with "Cornwall" written on it.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

VPR's senior political reporter Bob Kinzel takes on your questions about location of Vermont's capital, the limited functions of our county governments and more.

Six people standing arm in arm.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

In 2018, South Burlington resident Kate Bailey was out getting drinks with her coworkers.

“We were talking about this question, about how we've never sent a woman to Congress in Vermont,” she says.

A view on a college campus with trees and brick buildings.
John Billingsley / VPR

Low enrollment and financial troubles have caused a slew of Vermont’s small, independent colleges to shut their doors. What’s causing the problem — and is there a solution?

A set of red barn buildings.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Tanya Ocker hears this refrain a lot: Vermont is not a business-friendly state. But she wonders about the businesses that emphasize our "brand." Do they help our economy? 

A Dollar General store exterior with a person entering through the doors in an orange hat.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Perhaps you've seen one — or many — on your travels. You've probably noticed the sign first: Big, and yellow, with black letters.