About the Friends
Friends of the Vermont State House welcome you to our State Capitol in Montpelier, a building of historic significance and first importance to Vermonters.
The Friends is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, begun in 1980, to advocate for and help to fund the restoration and conservation of the building with its collection of art, furniture, and memorabilia, all expressing the history of Vermont itself. Integral to the Friends’ mission is the interpretation of the building for the public. The organization supports the training of volunteers who serve nearly 150,000 visitors each year through specifically designed tours. Friends volunteers also organize and manage the unique Under the Dome Gifts, a gift shop featuring Vermont products and talent that operates through the summer, fall, and on an abbreviated basis during the winter’s legislative season.
All of our activities are developed to cultivate public accessibility and awareness. We work closely with the State Curator's office, the Legislature, and government officials to ensure that the historical and symbolic dignity of the building enhances its vital contemporary function. Our Vermont State House is unique in continuing to host legislators in chambers that are once again substantially identical to their original design.
The Friends' work is never finished! The challenges and opportunities presented by this mid-19th century building, an important museum as well as the busy seat of state government, are always compellingly present. The organization is an extraordinary example of a public/private partnership—in this case, a partnership devoted to our beautiful building.
Come join us!!
Board members of the Friends of the State House design and carry out a variety of special events to inform and engage Vermonters in the history, present, and future of the Vermont State House.
Farmers Night programs have been widely popular; each year we welcome near-capacity audiences in the venerable Representatives Hall. These programs, mixing substantial scholarship in historical topics with live musical performance and audience participation, receive rave reviews.
Using the same formula of mixing fun with learning, the Friends sponsor field trips to other historic places in Vermont for the growing numbers of volunteers working in the State House. An appreciation luncheon is hosted each year by the Friends to thank volunteers who guide school groups and other visitors through the building, those who manage and staff the Under the Dome Gift Shop, and those who serve on the Friends Board of Trustees.
These events, as well as the organization’s annual meeting and commemorative receptions, tap the expertise and speaking talent of some of Vermont’s noted historians, writers, architects, humanities scholars, and museum professionals. All events are open to the public and fulfill an essential part of the Friends’ organizational mission for promoting appreciation of Vermont's building of first importance.
Partnership with 251 Club
We are very proud to be associated with the 251 Club whose members are dedicated to visiting all 251 Vermont cities and towns and learning more about the history, beauty, and cultural of our amazing state.