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Notes From Outside the Box
January 2020      
Marketing Vermont's Creativity
Jody Fried, executive director of Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury and chair of the Network steering team, represents the creative sector on the Governor's Travel and Recreation Council.
Members of the tourism sector filled the State House on Wednesday to advocate for an increased focus on marketing the state.
Among stories shared that day was one from the creative sector. Whitney Ramage, artist and co-founder of 77ART, noted that "77ART brings as many as forty-five early-career artists per year to Rutland. These professionals are working at the cutting edge of culture production and now they have the chance to enjoy the beauty, hospitality, and resources that are unavailable to them in the urban centers they call home. I believe that art is the secret sauce when it comes to economic and cultural development and Rutland has given me the chance to put this notion to the test. "
Arts and cultural experiences drive tourism. Vermont's arts and culture industry leveraged $44 million in event-related spending in 2015 (that's not including the cost of admission; according to this data). When people attend a cultural event they also eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and stay overnight.
You can show support for increasing tourism promotion funding. Sign this online petition, contact your local legislators and the governor's office, or use the additional resources available in the toolkit on the campaign landing page.
Creating Places We Love
Community change agents are invited to a free daylong workshop April 9 in Middlebury with AARP VT, the Vermont Arts Council, and other partners. Take the day to explore creative placemaking at its finest and to garner tips and tools for implementing projects of this kind--from pop-up theaters to activity trails. 
Discover new recipes suitable for practical application in Vermont small towns from the recently completed DIY Community CookbookAmanda O'Rourke from 8 80 Cities in Toronto will share her experiences in developing this type of work in the winter. Future grant funding is available through AARP, the Vermont Arts Council, and Yestermorrow.
Inside the Creative Economy
Image by Liza Voll Photography.
Vermont's creative sector just got a little bit stronger when eight Burlington-area business owners shored up their skills by way of professional development. Hat making, bladesmithing, sound production, and stained glass fabrication are the work of these makers.
The solopreneurs participated in JumpStart--a business training program co-organized by Burlington's Generator and LaunchVT and sponsored by the Arts Council. Mentoring, technical training, and free membership at Generator support new entrepreneurs in rolling out creative businesses.
The last ten-week session culminated in a shopping event dubbed
Holiday Humbug.
Experience 2020 Vision
2020 Vision. Seeing the world through technology. A project of the Vermont Curators Group.
2020 Vision: Seeing the World Through Technology is the theme of a statewide series of exhibitions launched this year by the Vermont Curators Group. With representation from every one of the Vermont Creative Zones, displays at thirty-six museums and galleries invite you to explore the ways technology is changing how we see the world.
The project encourages exploration of Vermont's creative sector by posing the question "What will you see with 2020 Vision?" Each month, Notes From Outside the Box will feature a few highlights; you can view the full calendar and learn more about a passport program (with prizes!) at
opening February 1
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
St. Johnsbury
opening January 16 (today)
Helen Day Art Center
currently on view
Montshire Museum of Science
The Vermont Creative Network is an initiative of the Vermont Arts Council.
The Vermont Arts Council is funded, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which requires a 1:1 match from the Vermont State Legislature. Council grants, programs, and statewide arts promotion would not be possible without the critical funding provided by these government agencies.

Past Editions


January 2020 creative sector advocates for tourism funding | AARP VT placemaking conference | entrepreneurs and JumpStart | 2020 vision launched


December 2019 action plan moves forward | sector represented at rural economy hearing | Arts Council teaching artist roster opens for applications | meet the McBride Company

November 2019  professional development opportunities | surveying music sector | creative economy in Barre

October 2019 creative landscape survey | upcoming NEK zone mixer | Monica Callan is zone agent | Vermont Violins featured 

August 2019 Co.Starters in Northern Vermont | Disaster and Resilience Network to launch | Colin Bright joins steering team | VCN updates site

July 2019 77Art hosts two Rutland County events | Vermont Community Leadership Summit and Disaster and Resilience Network Launch approaching | Jason Boughton joins steering team | PBS series: American Creators

June 2019 CCX has strong showing in Montpelier | Rutland County Zone to hold first VCN event | Citizen's Institute on Rural Design applications open  | input on creative careers sought

May 2019 Chittenden County first mash-up held | marketing plans to emerge via 3CVT event | Bellows Falls held as example | why writers and poets love Vermont | where artists cluster

April 2019 national study features Network | April events | Creative Community Fellow applications Open | Forbes loves art

March 2019 New Steering Team Member | Feds Support Creatives | Zones Mashing Up | CCX Registration Open

February 2019 Building on a Legacy of Creativity full study and summary available | Beth Miller to serve on steering team | Vermont Public Radio highlights Broad Brook Grange | artists and scientists to explore partnering at Leahy Center Environmental Summit

January 2019 Action Plan complete | NEA grants open | success in small business | Welding Art to Life


December 2018 call for presenters at Leahy Center Environmental Summit (April) | Kimberly Gilbert now zone agent for 3CVT | call for presenters at CCX (June) | Matt Larock’s auto and art work

November 2018 call for CCX presenters | Convening recap and next steps | health care for small businesses | community space in Worcester, Mass.

October 2018 Convening agenda | sector mashup in Burlington | NEFA Idea Swap | change the world with art

September 2018 Network Convening October | “Crash”-inspired event | Radically Rural preview | Animating Infrastructure

August 2018 SolarFest includes VCN workshop | Crash to Creativity set for August 23 | The Top 40 Most Vibrant Arts Communities in America (2018) published | leadership conference October 1

July 2018 NEK Creative Economy Project launch | ACE director shares experience | creativity at Kohler Company

June 2018 3CVT mash-up | Spark incubator space | rural innovation | Creative Network Hits the Road

May 2018 preservation and downtown conference | New Hampshire’s creative economy | Putney event recap | artisan cheeses

April 2018 First Month Overview | Art and Economy Gathering | Legislative Issues

February 2018 Cunningham joins Council staff | NEK Collaborative | Robert McBride hosts interview show | attracting young workers

January 2018 Steering Team redux | leadership announced | Newark, NJ inspires | 3CVT in action


December 2017 task force work set | Creative Ground | VCN Leader Sought | Aesthetic Perspectives

November 2017 Summit recap | networking champion | Eastes to depart | Culture Track study

October 2017 two weeks to Summit | video game as art? | Rooted in Vermont feature

September/October 2017 Summit speakers | AEP5 enumerates creative economy | on “Tales of Two Americas” | TheaterEngine

August 2017 the Summit and policy development | jobs in New England’s creative economy | call for Our Town | investment resources

July 2017 Network First Report | Town Plan Study 2016 | Arts and Economic Prosperity data | “The Urban Crisis” review

June 2017 The Vermont Rural Innovation Hub | next Summit dates November 8 and 9 | USDA grant to Creative Network | AFTA’s pARTnership movement | tax credits to maker and coworking spaces

May 2017 all Zone Teams established | summit in November | town plan study conducted

April 2017 creative community conferences | zone updates | social investing

February 2017 defining the creative sector | climate change and creative solutions | virtual reality in art | professional development

January 2017 researching town plans | funders gathering in March | strategic planning begins | results, process, and relationships at play | review creative zone meeting | the arts in community | national arts funding questions