Vermont Arts Council

How We Made It

Planning Process

CreateVT represents three years of work and the ideas and energy of thousands of Vermont individuals, enterprises, and leaders. It incorporates research and artwork, conversation and strategy. The two major stages of the process included an analysis led by Mt. Auburn Associates with Community Roots and strategic action planning led by Community Workshop and Shanta Lee Gander.

Analysis: Assessing Vermont’s Creative Economy Study (2019)
This study included 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.

Strategic Action Planning: CreateVT (2020 – 2021)
This process aimed to develop an action plan that represented the values, priorities, and creativity of the full range of creative sector stakeholders. We included Vermonters from all geographic areas, all demographics, and all types of creative sector workers and enterprises.


The CreateVT planning process brought in previous efforts from the past 20 years. It included two public surveys and several well-attended virtual meetings. A more detailed timeline is available in the action plan.

Now: CreateVT Action!
Creating, connecting, strategizing, experimenting, capacity building, training, listening, researching, designing, celebrating, and much more.

March-Fall 2021: CreateVT Strategy & Plan
The VCN held strategy sessions in early 2021 to refine our shared visions and set specific goals to reach. In May we held a virtual launch party to celebrate the new plan with remarks from special guests including Senator Patrick Leahy. Watch a recording of the launch event.

2020: CreateVT Visioning
Community Workshop designed and led a creative community engagement and action planning process to engage thousands of Vermonters to develop a shared creative vision and identify needs and opportunities for growth. With COVID restrictions in place, we pivoted to offering high-energy digital events and activities.

2019: Assessing Vermont’s Creative Economy
A team led by Mt. Auburn Associates completed Vermont’s first comprehensive statewide creative sector study.

2015-2017: Vermont Creative Network Launched
The VCN’s first statewide summit was held in Montpelier in 2015, where participants helped shape the future of a network. In May 2016, the Vermont Legislature established the VCN as an initiative of the Vermont Arts Council.

2006-2007: Creative Communities Project
From 2006-2007 the Vermont Council on Rural Development supported twelve communities in exploring how to combine culture, community and commerce to grow local economies. A 2008 report summarized learning.

Visioning Sessions

During our planning process, we gathered visions for a thriving Vermont creative sector from hundreds of creative Vermonters. Then we wove them together into one. Here’s a snapshot of all the diverse visions and hopes, in many creative forms.










admin-place July 29, 2021