Vermont Arts Council


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.

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.

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