Looking Ahead ...
As the Vermont Creative Network heads into 2017, we look ahead to the coming months and outline probable next steps.
The Steering Team - the statewide guardian of the Network - will hold its next quarterly meeting in mid-January. The team will focus on identifying key creative sector issues, exploring sustainability, and planning next steps, including the Network's next gathering. The recent
introduced the model of collective impact, now the Steering Team will investigate key issues that a collective impact model might address.
A task force formed by the team will develop a strategic planning template. The group is meeting with consultants and expects to submit its report by early summer.
Five of the six proposed Creative Zones' leadership teams are up and running; a sixth will represent Addison and Rutland counties. As each zone team meets to develop an understanding of regional capacities, assets, and needs, each is also developing a plan based on the Network's action road map: community, education, funding, leadership, technical resources, and visibility. Initial meetings reveal a broad potential scope for activities and working practices. Creative Zone agents are in touch with one another monthly.
As it develops its role as Network backbone, the Vermont Arts Council is also in strategic planning mode. The capacity of the Council to support the Network's development is a key consideration for the Council's 2018-20 plan, to be released in early summer.
Two pieces of research will be undertaken, pending approval of the Steering Team.
1. Town plan language: Vermont requires that each town approve a renewable town plan. Cursory and anecdotal research suggests that few Vermont towns contain language about creativity, the arts, or culture. Which do? Research will identify those town plans that reference the arts, culture, and creativity. This baseline study will assist Creative Zone teams as they plan.
2. Creative sector system: In Vermont, each of us likely has some sense of what the creative sector comprises. Do we understand how it works? Is there a creative sector system? Vermont's food/agriculture system has been charted, as has the renewable energy system. This research will shed light on interplay in Vermont's creative sector.