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About The Civic

The Civic Standard is a non-profit organization dedicated to building community and collaborative good times centered in the town of Hardwick, Vermont.

The Town of Hardwick supports the mission of the Civic Standard. In the recent past, The Town granted their request for ARPA funds knowing they would continue their mission of bringing community together. Their most recent partnership involved staffing and organizing meals for the Emergency Shelter during the July floods.  We believe in their mission and there is no hesitation by The Town that their efforts will benefit the entirety of the Hardwick Community.

– David Upson, Hardwick Town Manager

About The Civic


The Civic Standard is a new name for a project that has been developing for many years. It is a mobile cultural center that exists in various forms and places: as live performance at the local opera house; karaoke night at the Legion; a community-built carnival midway at the town fair; free soup nights run by high school volunteers; open call band practice; and much more. 

Our programming is collaborative: we connect unlikely partners in order to build events that are both common and extraordinary. This is an ongoing project of participation, mutual helpfulness, and construction that is never finished.

Culture is made together, not packaged and delivered.

If you would like to join us, you can. It's that simple.


People want to gather with their neighbors, both the ones they know and the ones they haven’t met. But in an increasingly divided world, we are rarely in rooms with people unlike ourselves, particularly without spending money. Our mission at the Civic Standard is to provide many ways for the people of Hardwick to do just that. We believe that the very best culture is made from the inside-out, and we work with our neighbors to build cultural events that are of interest to us.


Examples of our past events, and events still to come, include Bingo at the Grange Hall with live jazz piano, mystery dinner theater at the Legion, Trivia at the diner, neighborhood bonfires, community meetings, swaps, and old time music jams.


Our mission is to make events where everyone is welcome, and everyone comes. It is a simple idea but a timely one, and we believe the Civic Standard could become a blueprint for like-minded projects far and wide.


Bringing people together


This project was founded by Rose Friedman, Tara Reese, and Erica Heilman. It is supported and sustained by a board of directors and a volunteer base of hundreds of members of our greater community.

Our board of directors is: Erica Heilman, Danielle Livellera, Lauren Antler, Mike Donofrio, Tobin Anderson, Kelly Nottermann, and Natashea Winters.



Founder, Executive Director

Rose Friedman is a theater maker, director, community organizer, and performer. She founded and directs the Civic Standard, and tours original shows to unlikely rural regions as Modern Times Theater. Rose studied at the Moscow Art Theater and New School University, and toured with Bread and Puppet Theater for over a decade. She lives with her family in East Hardwick.

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Administrative Assistant

Helen Sher is a recent graduate of Smith College and a long time lover of Vermont. She is an avid emailer, spreadsheet maker, and organizer of both community events and Google Drives. She is a theater and dance maker and currently lives in Hardwick.



Founder/Community Director

Tara Reese is the co-founder and Community Director for the Civic Standard. She is a cook, artist, event producer, and mutual aid organizer. She creates collaborative and unexpected gatherings in which to share food, experience, and grow a shared understanding. She lives in Walden with her son and a small herd of sheep.



Head of Design

Justin Lander is a comedian, musician and designer. At the Civic he handles graphic design, event creation, set design, and whatever else is needed to make events happen. Outside of the Civic Standard he tours puppet shows with Modern Times Theater, and plays the bass in a variety of musical projects.

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