Vermont Arts Council

Supporting the Creative Economy Across Vermont with the AEP6 Survey

As an audience member at arts and cultural events across the state, you may have been one of the hundreds of Vermonters who has completed the Arts and Economic Prosperity Survey (AEP6) since it was rolled out in June of 2022. Going into the fall event season, we at the Vermont Creative Network want to take a moment to thank all of you, and our partners, who have been so generous to host the AEP6 survey this year! The data that we collect will be crucial for advocating in support of the creative economy, but the opportunity to connect with one another after so many years of uncertainty has been indescribable. 

In June nearly two dozen organizations of all sizes and all across Vermont were pitched on why the AEP6 survey is a crucial initiative for the creative sector. From June 2022 until April 2023, hundreds of surveys are being collected to build a picture showing the ripple effect that arts and cultural events – as well as the organizations who host and the communities who support them – have on our local economies. Since June we’ve recruited nearly a dozen more organizations to support the initiative with the hard work of our key partners at Burlington City Arts and the Paramount Theater

Two people smile together in the foreground while behind a festive crowd is gathered in a field.
Johanna de Graffenreid (VCN Manager) and Keith Marks (Executive Director of Next Stage Arts) distribute the AEP6 Survey at the Bandwagon Music Series, a project of Next Stage Arts in Putney, Vermont. Photo: Keith Marks.

“It has long been believed – and rightfully so – that patrons of the arts help feed the economic engines of the region they visit. Through this AEP6 process, quantifiable data will be revealed that is specific to Vermont. This data is critical for arts leaders who depend upon a factual, persuasive narrative when raising monies in support of their respective important missions. Underwriters are energized when educated on the ‘ripple effect’ of their donation; the information to be gleaned from this survey is a tidal wave of applicable and encouraging statistics.”

Eric Mallette, executive director, The Paramount Theatre 

Ultimately these surveys represent the coming together of our communities to support one another, a well-cherished Vermont value. Not only do these surveys measure how much financial support may have gone to local restaurants because you attended an event, but they are also an opportunity to express how crucial these organizations are to the fabric of your town or city. With ongoing local, state and federal support of the creative economy, organizations like the Vermont Arts Council can expand the resources available to your local arts and creative organization. 

We know the data presented to the legislature from the AEP5 study (conducted in 2015-2016 and published in 2017) was crucial for convincing decision makers to support the creative sector with $9 million in ARPA COVID Relief funding. Now these funds are being distributed via our Creative Futures Grant Program. As you attend arts and cultural events over the holidays and into the new year, please continue to support our hard-working local partners in completing the AEP6 survey. Your willingness to complete the survey at every event you attend is what will ensure the creative sector in Vermont will get the support our local organizations deserve. 

See a list of Vermont organizations below who will be administering the AEP6 survey in the coming months. Please join us in showing your gratitude for their support of this important initiative by completing the AEP6 survey at events they host this fall and winter across Vermont: 

  • Big Heavy World 
  • Briggs Opera House 
  • Burlington City Arts 
  • Catamount Center for the Arts 
  • Center for Arts and Learning 
  • Chaffee Art Center 
  • The Chandler Center for the Arts 
  • Come Alive Outside 
  • The Current  
  • Enosburg Opera House 
  • Epsilon Spires 
  • The Flynn 
  • Insight Photography 
  • Lyric Theatre Company 
  • Music-COMP 
  • Next Stage Arts 
  • Northern Stage 
  • Paramount Theater 
  • Sand Glass Theater 
  • SEABA 
  • Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC) 
  • Space on Main 
  • The State Curators Office  
  • Town Hall Theater 
  • Vermont Folklife Center 
  • Vermont Humanities Council 
  • Vermont International Film Festival 
  • Vermont Stage Company, Inc. 
  • Vermont Symphony Orchestra 
  • Vermont Youth Orchestra Association 
  • Very Merry Theater 
  • Weston Theater Company 

If your organization is interested in learning more about conducting the AEP6 Survey at your events, contact us via our online form.