Our Statewide Advocacy Priorities
We’re gearing up for the next session of the Vermont legislative biennium, which begins in January. Our legislative priorities for 2024 align around the key vision of the Vermont Creation Network—that arts, culture, and creativity are essential infrastructure that help to solve existing, significant issues in Vermont.
First, the creative sector is key to economic development. In 2021, arts and culture contributed nearly $1.1 billion to the Vermont economy, ranking a close third behind retail and construction (US Bureau of Economic Analysis). Strengthening Vermont’s creative economy will strengthen Vermont’s overall economy (The Arts and Culture Sector’s Contributions to Economic Recovery and Resiliency in the United States, NASAA, 2021). Read more about Vermont’s creative economy.
Second, the creative sector is tied closely to workforce development: All of Vermont’s “most promising jobs” (Vermont’s Most Promising Jobs, McClure Foundation) require creative, innovative thinking skills. Developing the creative sector’s workforce will create more creative sector jobs that keep more Vermonters employed and living in the state.
And finally, the creative sector builds our communities. The creative sector is a crucial piece of Vermont’s unique and desirable identity. It’s what makes our communities strong; it’s what attracts tourists and new residents and keeps people here; and it’s what makes our state unique. Arts, culture, and creativity are essential to Vermont’s recovery and resilience (Creative Economies and Economic Recovery, NASAA, 2021).
We are prioritizing supporting and expanding state programs that benefit the creative sector. We will be working with our partners at the Agency of Commerce and Community Development on two specific programs: Better Places and the State Designation Programs (Downtowns, Village Centers, New Town Centers, Growth Centers, and Neighborhood Development Areas).
The Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Creative Network are committed to having the voices of the arts, culture and the broader creative sector be heard at the local, state, and federal level.
Be a Creative Sector Advocate
We need everyone to be advocating at every level to ensure that we are building the diverse, equitable, connected, and collaborative environment we need for the creative sector to thrive.
- Sign up for news and updates
- Sign up for Legislative Action Alerts
- Connect with your zone
- Check out the toolbox for more advocacy resources
- Join us for our advocacy events
Visit our Action Center to find state and federal advocacy campaigns that need your support. You can also sign up to receive Legislate Action Alerts.
Climate Adaptation and Resilience
Coming out of this summer’s devastating flooding, we’ll be working to increase state investments in climate adaptation and resilience for the creative sector, in collaboration with investments in Vermont’s downtowns.
As plans firm up for flood and climate change adaptation and resilience, we will be advocating to include valuable programs like:
- New funding for emergency preparedness for cultural organizations.
- Increased funding for the Vermont Art Council’s Animating Infrastructure grants to support public art projects that are responsive to flood impact on communities.
- Increased funding for Vermont Art Council’s Cultural Facilities grants to be responsive to climate adaptation projects.
Film and Creative Media Workforce Development Initiative
Coming out of last year’s Vermont Film and Media Industry Task Force report, the Vermont Creative Network is advocating for a new Film and Creative Media Workforce Development Initiative with the goal of expanding the film and creative media industry in Vermont.
We are requesting a targeted, thoughtful approach to supporting film and creative media that focuses on building the basic infrastructure that we know will make it easier to do this work in Vermont.
Specifically, we are partnering with Vermont Production Collective to:
- Create and maintain a centralized database of film and creative media professionals, equipment, venues, locations, and other resources
- Create and maintain a database of employment and internship opportunities in the film and creative media industry to retain Vermont’s highly skilled film and creative media graduates (managed by Vermont Production Collaborative)
We’ll also examine a long-term, sustainable proposal for production incentives that will support existing Vermont-based film production and bring production projects to Vermont.
For more details on our legislative priorities, view the recording of our Creative Sector Advocacy Priorities webinar.
News & Updates
- Our 2023 Advocacy Webinar series covered “The State of Vermont’s Creative Economy” on Nov. 9 and “Vermont’s Creative Sector Advocacy Priorities” on Nov. 16. Read more and view the recordings.
- The 2023 legislative session gaveled to a close on May 12, 2023. Read our legislative recap for the ways that the VAC and VCN (along with its many partners) successfully advocated for arts, culture and the broader creative sector during the 2023 legislative session.
- A historic level of investment in Vermont’s creative sector was made during the 2021-2022 legislative session to support the continued recovery and revitalization of Vermont’s creative industries. Read our one-pager to learn more about the historic creative sector investments from the 2022 Vermont Legislative session.