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GoFundMe   "99 STATE"   April 2019 Statement

On February the 8th the Kiwanis Carving Workshop, opened at 99 State Street.  We started by building 20 carving tables.  Here I am with William, a home-schooled 13 year old who is carving his first sculpture  for his 7th grade art project.  In the pic my left hand is guiding the chisel as a way of instructing his hand how to do the movement.

Everyone is welcome to come by and try carving at no cost.  The present schedule is Tuesday and Thursday at 1:15 PM and Saturday at 10 AM. 

Joe Giancola has generously provided the building for a year.  There are still heating, electric, materials and tool costs.  As there are now about 10 students and my tool supply was adequate to start; it is now obvious that there are many more hammers and chisels, rifflers, files, sanding stones and marble, etc. that will be needed.  Recently, I spent $400 on heating oil, another $400 for hammers and chisels,  and $200 for a Harbor Freight order in preparation for warm weather and opening the front doors. 

I used $3,000 for last year's Baxter Street alley project (https://youtu.be/j7GY2IAyR1E). The reason I used the $13,920 figure as my goal was that made my campaign goal $10,000 as of April 1st, which would amount to $1,000 a month for 10 months. This runs through the end of January, or a year when the carving workshop will be due to start paying rent for the space.

The stipends that have been provided by the Kiwanis Club and Kathleen Krevetsky are providential!  They cover some costs.  Now that we have a no-cost space for a year, we need enough funding to pay to hook up the compressor as well as for more refined tools for finishing carvings, to pay artists to teach quality lettering, anatomically correct carving and basic classes like I'm teaching now.

Please consider contributing to this campaign to facilitate more youngsters and adults having an opportunity to discover their Rutland stone heritage.

Nick Santoro

GoFundMe  "Finding The Talent"  November 2018 Statement

Let me recap the trajectory of the last 8 months since the beginning of my “Unearthing The Talent” GoFundMe campaign. In March, I had hoped to raise funding that would pay for a carving workshop location. As it turned out my intention of unearthing the talent at Baxter Street came true; but differently than initially envisioned. Residents showed their existential frustration with destructive anger by breaking in half the 2 kids’ carvings that I had glued in place at the top of Baxter Street.  

As it turned out, it was necessary to use rudimentary dirt to communicate with my neighbors.  By creating a pumpkin patch and growing flowers from seeds and giving plants away, I was able to build a bond and trust with many people in my neighborhood. Residents respected the space with minimal damages to the pumpkins and squash or zinnias, and flowers. Resident passersby were shown how to clip stems and free to take the plants. The colors and quantities were impressive. Your support went to paying a number of men to do landscaping, mortaring and painting and cleaning up. The project that evolved in place of carving engaged residents in fixing up their own neglected space and learning how to appreciate a really nice spot. Here’s a Pegtv video from this summer if you haven’t seen it.  ( https://youtu.be/j7GY2IAyR1E)  Mostly though, the interactions and ensuing relationships I’ve established in the Northwest community have readied me for doing what I had set out to do this summer.

Over the years, 2 or 3 locations for a Rutland City carving location have stood out.  Very recently, the store front at 99 State Street became available.  It is a little more than a block from the alley and close to my home. This storefront is perfect for FINDING THE TALENT. This area is loaded with the kinds of people who have the stored up energy just ready to be translated into creative and productive work.  I’ll share my knowledge and experience and hope the marble will get busted with chisels and hammers instead of angry boots! ,  

Barbara and Joseph Giancola are generously supportive of my intentions for 99 STATE street. As well, I’m  asking for your support to initiate this effort (again) under very different and favorable circumstances.  The $3,070 was used for the Baxter street alley project, that's why I'm campaigning for $9,070, or $6,000  At this time I’d like to plan for 5 months from January 2019 to May 2019.   It would be very encouraging to reach my goal for rent, electricity, heating kerosene (@$2,700-3 tankfuls of it), and a few tools and materials that will be needed.  

Feel free to breeze by 99 STATE or call me if you have any questions. 

Thanks so much,

Nick Santoro

GoFundMe   "Unearthing the Talent"   March 2018 Statement

Marble and stone carving are in the heartbeat of Rutland, Vermont.  I now live in Rutland City and have carved sculptures for 40 years.  Way back in 1990 I spent time carving marble at the Carving Studio on the old Vermont Marble Company site in West Rutland.  I then rented  an abandoned building on the quarry property to use for my studio.  I carved daily while  deriving continued inspiration from the endless odd shaped stones and metal remnants laying around the quarry.  In retrospect, I created a body of work that now amazes me.

This area has declined like many American localities over the last 20-30 years. Many artisans and many more laborers came to this area as immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th Century to work in the marble industry. Many of their children remained in the Rutland area.  Over those years as manufacturing jobs were exported to low wage areas around the globe, many of the local working class descendants of the people who had worked with the marble have been unemployed, underemployed, homeless, and for more than a few residents, eventually opiate use replaced meaningful employment.

It is my contention that there is a vast reservoir of talent waiting to be unearthed here. The stone is everywhere, the stories of stone are still in the families; but the old people who worked the quarries and labored in its mills, and carved the stone, are not going to be around much longer. I would like to facilitate stone carving for local people to access their roots.   It was the grandfathers of local residents who carved the national monuments in Washington, DC. 

I am seeking funding in order to get kids and adults here in Rutland to know and use their heritage which is literally underfoot.  By virtue of its inordinate presence everywhere, it is my hope that learning to carve will generate confidence and self-respect for local people, and down the road, promote the development of cooperatively owned cottage industries dedicated to stone work.

The first item on my agenda is to rent a store front in NW Rutland, VT.  The intention would be to provide a downtown location for kids and adults to get familiar with stone carving.  Group lessons will be offered without cost to participants.  Where viable, donations will be accepted and bartering will be encouraged. 

At this juncture with Spring approaching and this fund inadequate so far to rent a store, I've decided to use the Baxter Street Alley location to do the carving.  Late last autumn I taught a 10 and 11 year old girl and boy, from the Boy's and Girl's Club involved in the TAG Project with Shannon Kennelly's direction, how to use bush hammers to shape the stone.  Their two rudimentary carvings with light peeping through the holes which they hammered out, are at the top of the path.  One of my recent updates explains and shows pics of the area.  Great outdoor spot with a magnificent marble wall.

When I first struck a piece of Indiana limestone with a point chisel at Corcoran Art School in 1976, I smelled the odor of the tiny fossils locked within it for 300 million years. I was hooked. I'd like to share that love affair I've had with stone.

To provide students with their own tools, I'll encourage residents in Rutland County to donate the innumerable hammers and chisels rusting away in dank basements and old barns, so that the tools can be used again.

Imagine how it would feel to learn how to shape something you never knew anything about, it's around you all the time...and then, realize you're gifted at it, and have the means to pursue it.  I believe that could be the situation here in Rutland and I would like to try to make that experience available.

Thank you,

Nick Santoro
March 24, 2018

KARVING WORKSHOP  Mission Statement

Rutland is distinguished by its long marble history. The intention of the Karving Workshop is to introduce Rutland children and adults to its marble carving heritage. Many people living in Rutland are descendants of immigrants who worked in the marble quarries, marble mills, carving sheds and railroads. The Karving Workshop will be an effort to provide interested persons a safe direct tactile carving experience with basic stone carving hand tools. We will make this experience available to children and adults for no charge, voluntary-pay-what you can or by bartering. A local workshop for kids and adults will provide direct access to a shared heritage and an opportunity for some great carvers to discover themselves!

 With the emigration of manufacturing jobs overseas and the existing problem of drug abuse/dependence,  unemployment and poverty, many kids and families in our area live uncertain lives. Without factory jobs people have been deprived of income and paid manual labor using a worker's natural intelligence. By carving a piece of marble children and adults will be taught how to use their natural hand/eye/body skills to carve a stone. The focus and tangible progress is very beneficial for self-respect and confidence and empowerment. The marble experience still has memory in Rutland families. The omnipresence of marble is in everyone's consciousness, and the talent only need to be unearthed. It will certainly be carved once individuals know how to use carving  tools. Participants will be able to give tangible expression to their talents. Shaping an object from stone provides some individuals a kind of purpose as well as an opportunity to create in solitude.  Very healing!

 It is my hope that learning to use hand carving tools will provide an avenue for some Rutland area residents to give expression to their stone carving roots. We will work toward creating a commercial outlet for resident's stone carvings and we will place carvings of local kids and adults around the Baxter Street alley, Pine Hill Park and eventually all over town. New monumental carvings celebrating Vermont’s history are appearing all over downtown, and there are more to come. It would be genuinely homegrown to have Rutland become a destination point to see the well executed professional stone sculptures downtown, as well as a resurgence of stone carving by the industry's descendants and local residents. The Karving Workshop will encourage visiting The Carving Studio at the historical Vermont Marble Company site in West Rutland where sculptors from around the world come to carve stone at the quarry property.

Nick Santoro
May 1, 2017


  • B Amore
    • $20 
    • 5 yrs


Nick Santoro
Rutland, VT

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