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What is Advocacy?

The Vermont Arts Council defines advocacy as a political process in which individuals or groups of people influence public policy and resource allocation decisions at national, state, and local levels.

Government decision makers deserve to be well informed as they craft policy and legislation. It is fundamentally useful to speak about the real value that arts and culture provide in our communities and in Vermont.

make a difference

A single opinion has proven to have considerable strength, especially when expressed collectively. There are a number of avenues for effective advocacy.

2017 Advocacy Agenda

  • Increase the Arts Council appropriation by $500,000. As per regular budget protocol, the Arts Council presented a proposal to the budget office and the outgoing Governor’s office. The Council will also present this budget to the new Governor’s office and the legislature.
  • Insert the arts and creativity into Act 186 (the 2014 act relating to reporting on population-level outcomes and indicators and on program-level performance measures). The Council will define measurable ways in which the arts, culture, and creativity contribute to Vermont’s highest-level outcomes.
  • Ensure the arts are a part of every Vermont student's education. The Council is working with the Department of Education in the context of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Vermont Act 77.
Illustration includes captions. Illustration includes captions. North Bennington VAE; North Bennington Train Depot, education, exhibition, and performance space; Masonic Hall, basement music series; I am the Art Bus our "mission in motion" Rolling out to school events and festivals; Village School of North Bennington, teaching artists run the art program for Pre K through 6th grade! Also a summer art camp site; Left Bank, exhibition and performance space; Bennington College, partners in Fed. work study, internships, exhibition, and performance; Hilton Hall Garden; Head Start, art education for Bennington and Rutland Counties; VT School for Girls, art education and community partner projects for girls who have experienced complex trauma; United Counseling Service, intergenerational classes with Vermont School for Girls.

This drawing from the Vermont Arts Exchange beautifully characterizes the many layers of impact the organization has on the community (detail).

research agenda

  • increased cognizance of the arts, culture, and creativity in Vermont’s identity
  • incentives for small creative businesses
  • expansion of legislative commitments to the arts, drawing from ideas of model states


advocacy update

Sometimes an update, sometimes a call to action. Always information about the Council's position during the legislative session.


economic data