Vermont Arts Council

Research

Data supports our stories. Research drawn from outside Vermont provides context from model programs, while well-designed research conducted inside Vermont reveals information upon which understandings and strategy are built.

2024 The Clemmons Family Farm’s How Are We Doing? report is a three-part series documenting an innovative research project designed to find out what it takes for Black artists to thrive in Vermont. This action-oriented study shares insights and recommendations for cross-cultural collaborations among nonprofits and others working in the arts and public health sectors to support healthy communities and the wellbeing of Black artists. Download and read the report series:

2024 According to the annual US Bureau of Economic Analysis study, arts and culture contributed nearly $1.2 billion to the Vermont economy in 2022, a 10% increase from 2021. Arts and culture rank a close third behind retail and construction. Read the summary. And get the nationwide and statewide economic facts from the 2024 “Why the Arts Matter in Vermont” Fact Sheet from Americans for the Arts.

2024 In the 2024 Vermonter Poll, an annual statistically representative, statewide survey of Vermont residents, 93% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that opportunities to view and participate in arts and culture are an important part of thriving and healthy communities. 87% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that arts and culture are an important part of K-12 education in Vermont. In thinking about what defines Vermont, 84% said arts and culture are very important or somewhat important to the identity of our state. Learn more.

2024 According to the first ever Arts Vibrancy State Rankings from SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, Vermont has the 13th highest “Arts Vibrancy” of any state in the country – and is the most rural high-ranking state. Burlington ranks ninth in the nation in arts vibrancy amongst “mid-sized cities,” and Bennington ranks fourth in the nation in arts vibrancy amongst “small communities.” 

2024 The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies’ report, “Arts and Creativity Drive Economy and Build Resilience: 2024 Key Findings,” builds on past research by using 2001-2021 data, which reflect post-pandemic shutdown economic trends and a subsequent period of recovery. This research shows that arts and cultural production not only strengthens economic resiliency but drives economic growth.

2023 The Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study—the sixth national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the United States—provided state level results for Vermont. In Vermont, the sector generated $158.6 million in economic activity during 2022—$103.2 million in spending by arts and culture organizations and an additional $55.4 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences. That economic activity supported 2,712 jobs, provided $112.8 million in personal income to residents, and generated $34.8 million in tax revenue to local, state, and federal governments. Learn more.

2023 Get the nationwide and statewide economic facts from the 2023 “Why the Arts Matter in Vermont” Fact Sheet from Americans for the Arts.

2022 The 2022 CreateVT Action Plan Progress Report reflected upon and celebrated progress made in amplifying Vermont’s creative sector since the Plan’s launch in 2021.

2021 According to the annual US Bureau of Economic Analysis, arts and culture contributed nearly $1.1 billion to Vermont’s economy in 2021. Specifically, arts and culture are 3% of the state’s Gross State Product (GSP) and contribute more to the state’s economy than education services ($874,400), utilities ($726,400), transportation ($593,000), agriculture and forestry ($410,100) and more.

2020 In fall 2020, the Vermont Creative Network along with hundreds of Vermont creatives participated in a comprehensive visioning planning process resulting in our first statewide creative sector action plan. The CreateVT Action Plan was recognized as the Plan of the Year by Vermont Planners Association and by the American Planners Association Northern New England Chapter.

2020  Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on America’s Creative Economy. The impact of the pandemic on the creative sector has been enormous, and the data bears this out. According to this Brookings Institution study from August, Vermont’s creative sector lost 8,090 jobs and $216M in sales from April to July 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

2019 Statewide research on Vermont’s creative sector was launched in July 2019 to help inform the creation of a comprehensive, research-based action plan for moving the state’s creative economy forward. The resulting study, Assessing Vermont’s Creative Economy, was authored by Mt. Auburn Associations. It includes an analysis of federal economic and employment data, as well as additional stakeholder outreach to further develop and refine an understanding of Vermont’s creative enterprises and individuals, their challenges, and statewide priorities.

2019 Building on a Legacy of Creativity: Understanding and Expanding the Creative Economy of the Northeast Kingdom, released in 2019, was commissioned by the Vermont Arts Council on behalf of the Vermont Creative Network. This report includes detailed research on the scope of the creative sector in the region, and detailed goals and recommendations for how to improve and expand it. The project was carried out by a team including Melissa Levy of Community Roots, Michael Kane, Stuart Rosenfeld, Stephen Michon of Futureworks, and Julia Dixon. The work was supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Vermont Community Foundation and was informed by the participation of more than one hundred artists and community leaders. Executive Summary.

2019 Rural Prosperity Through the Arts and Creative Sector: A Rural Action Guide for Governors and States synthesizes a growing body of research showing how economic development based in the arts can help communities thrive. A collaborative initiative between the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies was a springboard for the guide.

2019 The Bennington County Cultural Plan articulates a vision for Bennington County’s cultural future and establishes goals and strategies based on data from dozens of regional nonprofit cultural organizations and for-profit creative businesses.

2017 The AEP5 study conducted by Americans for the Arts calculated the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in 341 communities and regions representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Four measures were considered: full-time equivalent jobs, household income, and local and state government revenue. Localized models allowed the uniqueness of each discrete economy to be reflected in the findings. Americans for the Arts partnered with 250 local, regional, and statewide organizations including the Vermont Arts Council to complete this customized analysis for the State of Vermont, further summarized here.

2017 In April 2017, the Network commissioned a researcher to find out how many town plans refer to creativity. Claire Wheeler looked for all 251 documents, then looked for four key words: arts, culture, creativity, and innovation. The Town Plans Study 2016 explores the many ways these words appear.

2016 This study of the Creative Economy of East Central Vermont prepared for the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission and the East Central Vermont Economic Development District defines and depicts a portion of Vermont’s growing Creative Economy. Executive Summary.

2016 The Vermonter Poll conducted by the University of Vermont’s Center for Rural Studies has been used by researchers, policy makers, social advocates, and citizens since 1990 to gauge Vermonter’s opinions about contemporary issues. In 2016, three questions about the arts were included. Read the results.

2016 A study by Stephen Michon of FutureWorks used codes employed by the North American Industry Classification and the Standard Occupational Classification to count jobs in industries related to each of seven sub-sectors. The resulting number includes creative and non-creative jobs found inside the creative sector (e.g., a graphics design professional working in an architecture firm, or finance officer in a regional theater company) as well as creative jobs found outside the creative sector (e.g., a graphics design professional working in a hospital). According to the study, in 2015, the creative sector accounted for 37,132 Vermont jobs. See the full FutureWorks report.

2014 Results of an economic impact analysis conducted on behalf of Main Street Landing in 2010, using 2009 data, estimated that Vermont’s creative industry generated over $443 million in total output (sales), 6,361 jobs, and nearly $200 million in compensation (including benefits), while contributing over $19 million in taxes to the state and local governments. At the request of the Vermont Arts Council, the Center for Policy Analysis conducted an update of the
2010 report using a similar methodology.

The Economic Footprint of the Arts in Vermont, updated July, 2014

The Economic Footprint of the Arts in Vermont, November, 2010

2009 The Vermont Council on Rural Development operated the Creative Communities Project from 2004-2009. During that time, twelve communities explored the role of arts and culture as proactive tools for community development. Read about these explorations and see other reports on statewide initiatives here.

admin-place June 13, 2019