Vermont Arts Council



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VCN Event Submissions

Submit your event to be considered for co-hosting, co-branding, or partnering with the Vermont Creative Network. Connecting with the VCN means connecting with a rich set of resources, opportunities, and like-minded creatives that can help you and your work.

Who should submit?

  • VCN Zone Agents running events on behalf of the network
  • Any other group interested in partnering with the VCN

Events should be submitted at least one month in advance to ensure time for review and promotion.

Submit your event

Past Events

2022 Advocacy Webinar Series

We will review our local and statewide 2023 VCN Advocacy Agenda, provide key insights into how to best make the case for the creative economy with Vermont decision makers, and share important research to support our advocacy efforts. If you are interested in getting involved with your local VCN Zone’s advocacy efforts, this webinar is for you!

Johanna de Graffenreid, Vermont Creative Network Manager, Vermont Arts Council

*Check out our Advocacy Resources in the Creative Sector Toolbox on the Vermont Arts Council website.

We’ll cover key statewide advocacy priorities for the creative sector, review changes to legislative committees, and discuss how to ensure state representatives and senators understand the importance of the creative economy in Vermont.*

Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, Executive Director, Vermont Humanities Council
Patti Komline, Government and Public Affairs, Downs Rachlin Martin

*Find your State Representative and Senators committee assignments, voting records for the session, and contact information on the Vermont Leislature webpage. 

If your town has already allocated your municipal ARPA funding, learn about municipalities across Vermont who have incorporated the creative sector into their town strategic plans to better access funding opportunities. This discussion will clearly outline possibilities for how local governments can strengthen our cultural and creative fabric, and what you can do to engage in the process.*

Annie McLean, Community and Economic Recovery Specialist, Northeastern VT Development Association (NVDA)
Johanna de Graffenreid, Vermont Creative Network Manager, Vermont Arts Council

*Check out ways to use municipal American Rescue Plan Act funds to empower the creative sector in this flyer from Vermont League of Cities and Towns

2022 Advocacy Webinar Series Presenter Bios (in alphabetical order)

Johanna de Graffenreid, Vermont Creative Network Manager, Vermont Arts Council

Johanna serves as the Vermont Creative Network (VCN) Manager. Her work centers around advancing the goals of the VCN Action Plan and building the capacity of the network. This includes coordinating the VCN steering team and supporting six “creative zone agents” in organizing and network activities across Vermont. Johanna has worked as a community organizer, advocate, lobbyist, campaign director, and popular education trainer for almost 20 years. Her passion is championing rural communities as places of powerful change and opportunity for all. When not meeting with leaders in the creative economy, Johanna can be found exploring the dirt roads of Vermont while listening to country music, throwing herself up and down steep mountains (on foot and ski), or visiting one of the many nanobreweries her favorite state has to offer.

Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, Executive Director, Vermont Humanities Council

Christopher became Vermont Humanities’ third executive director in August 2018. He previously served as a Senior Philanthropic Advisor at the Vermont Community Foundation for 10 years. He has held leadership roles at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Outright Vermont, and Rural Vermont, and was the first Executive Director of the RU12? Community Center (now the Pride Center of Vermont.)  He was a cofounder of both the SafeSpace Anti-Violence program and the Vermont Diversity Health Project.  He holds a AB degree in Dance and Drama from Kenyon College and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.

Patti Komline, Government and Public Affairs, Downs Rachlin Martin

Having interacted with lobbyists during her tenure as a state legislator, Patti Komline understands what resonates and what doesn’t when communicating with lawmakers. Patti believes in the good intentions on all sides of issues, making it easy for her to develop respectful relationships – which has been the foundation for her work. This, paired with her ardent persistence, has led to her clients’ success. Outside of work, she enjoys fostering dogs and searching for the best maple creemees in Vermont.

Annie McLean, Community and Economic Recovery Specialist, Northeastern VT Development Association (NVDA)

Annie McLean is the Community and Economic Recovery Specialist at the Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA). Annie leads NVDA’s Municipal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Assistance and Coordination Program and is responsible for assisting Northeast Kingdom businesses and local governments access COVID-19 recovery resources and other economic development funding. Annie holds a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic University and has over 10 years of community development experience. She previously served as Planning Director for the Town of Lyndon from 2016 through 2020 and has held various municipal planning positions throughout Vermont in addition to getting her professional start working as a disaster recovery consultant both with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and in the private sector. Annie currently serves on the board of the Vermont Community Development Association and the board of Four Seasons of Early Learning, a non-profit early education organization offering nature-based preschool, infant and toddler care in Greensboro Bend.

This presentation included a recap of this year’s momentous legislative session and a preview and discussion of some of the key programs passed that will impact Vermont’s creative sector now and in the future. Read our one-page summary of creative sector legislation that passed in the 2021-2022 session and was signed into law.


Karen Mittelman, executive director, Vermont Arts Council

Reflections on the Legislative Session
Sen. Alison Clarkson and Rep. Stephanie Jerome

Preview of Creative Futures Grants and other programs (download the slide deck)
Amy Cunningham, deputy director, Vermont Arts Council

Preview of VEDA Forgivable Loan Program (download the slide deck)
Cassie Polhemus, CEO, Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA)


Vermont’s Creative Future Advocacy Sessions, Fall 2021

From federal tax policy to state grant programs to local public art commissions, public policies and government investments play a critical role in the wellbeing of Vermont’s artists, makers, creative businesses, and cultural institutions. In fall 2021, we presented three free webinars to empower and inform Vermont’s creative sector advocates. Recordings and downloadable materials from each session are available below. To read about our key priorities and issues and how to be a creative sector advocate, visit our advocacy center.


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. We kicked things off with FutureJam on Oct. 6—a daylong visioning event of one-hour time slots for fast-paced ‘jam sessions” to describe and shape a vision for Vermont’s creative sector. “IdeaJams” continued the conversation throughout the fall in a series of chats about how to strengthen Vermont’s creative zones and disciplines.

On Monday, May 3, 2021 this process culminated in the launch of the draft CreateVT Action Plan. Watch a recording of the launch party. The final plan was launched on August 19, 2021.

Vermont Arts & Culture Disaster and Resilience Network (VACDaRN) first meeting

The launch meeting for VACDaRN was held Sept. 10, 2019. VACDaRN provides resources and training for artists and arts and heritage organizations in how to respond in the event of an emergency to mitigate the impact of disasters and ensure that our communities recover quickly and grow more resilient. VACDaRN is a partnership of the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration, and the Vermont Emergency Management Association.


Summits to connect Vermont creatives took place in November 2015 at Vermont College of Fine Arts and in November 2017 at the Vermont State House.


Convenings to connect the Network’s steering and zone leadership teams were held in November 2016 at Montpelier’s City Hall and in October 2018 at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph.

admin-place June 21, 2019