Notes From Outside the Box
September 2016 
Montpelier City Hall
Vermont Creative Network Convening: November 10

The Vermont Creative Network will convene for its first face-to-face gathering on Thursday, November 10, at City Hall in Montpelier.

Strong networks spend time together to build connections and trust, to develop common language and vision, and to learn about resources and assets. November's Network convening will provide just this opportunity. Attendees will learn best practices for collective impact work and receive training in Results-Based Accountability, the planning and evaluation rubric used by the State of Vermont.

Speakers for the Convening include Marguerite Dibble, founder of Game Theory in Burlington, Ellen Kahler, director of Vermont's Farm to Plate Network as well as Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in Montpelier, and Hilary Orsini, director of the Center for New Leadership in Brattleboro.

Following last year's spirited inaugural Summit last November, and the legislative establishment of the Network in May, the three tiers of the Network have been secured:
  • The Network Steering Team is empowered, has met, and has a schedule of quarterly meetings.
  • Plans call for the Six Creative Zones to be up and running by the end of October.
  • The role of Network Facilitator - the Vermont Arts Council - has been further clarified.
We look forward to a second gathering, like last November's Summit, for everyone engaged in or attracted to Vermont's creative sector. Stay posted for further announcements.
Langdon Street, Montpelier
Four-County Leadership Team Up and Running

Creative sector leaders from four northern Vermont counties just met for the inaugural meeting of their Leadership Team. Similar to teams at work in other parts of Vermont, the Four-County Leadership Team is empowered to advance the creative sector in Northwestern Vermont. Each zone team will develop an annual plan to advance creative sector issues; together, the six regional plans will aggregate into a statewide course of action. This team will be supported by Vermont Arts Council (Network facilitator) and the Network Steering Team (Network oversight group). 

Each zone's work plan will be informed by the Network's Action Roadmap: Communication, Education, Funding, Leadership, Technical Resources, and Visibility.

Initial members of the Four-county Leadership Team:
Gary Clark, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson
Tricia Follert, Town of Morristown, Morrisville
Catherine Dimitruk, Northwest Regional Planning Commission, St. Albans
Nicole Gadouas, Swanton Arts Council, Swanton
MaryPat Larrabee, Director, St. Albans Public Library
Karen Nevin, Waterbury Works, Waterbury
Lance Olson, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Stowe
Samantha Sheehan, Valley Works, Waitsfield
Katie Trautz, Central Vermont Performing Arts Alliance, Montpelier
Michael Zebrowski, Johnson State College, Johnson
Once up and running, this Team will begin the planning process, determine the optimum team size, and select a zone Agent to work with the Vermont Arts Council, backbone organization for the Network. The Network building cycle calls for two final Leadership Teams to be developed in the fall, one for the Addison-Rutland area and one in Chittenden County.
Study Confirms Vermont's Strong Arts Participation

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently released new research that confirms what we know: When it comes to arts participation, Vermont is a very active state. For the first time, the NEA offers a state-by-state perspective on how American adults participate in the arts. Read the entire article.

The study focuses on the arts, and reveals that Vermont is above the national average in five out of seven of the measures included. The State ranks #1 as a percent of U.S. adults in reading literature, #2 in performing or creating artworks, and #2 in attending art exhibits.

The study also examines the relationship between arts participation and education, poverty, and access to arts organizations. The accompanying report states, "Among Vermont's adults, who rank highly in attendance at live music, theater, and dance performances, 44.8 percent hold college degrees, and Vermont's poverty rate is below average - 12.2 percent."
Creatives: Be Counted

Vermont's Creative workers add to our state's vibrancy. But, statistically speaking, creative sector workers are often under counted, and thereby sometimes under served. Where do Vermont's creatives work and what's the nature of their practice? New England for the Arts (NEFA) has carefully developed a survey to find answers to these questions.

Take 20 to30 minutes to complete this ground-breaking survey which is designed to capture the complexity of creative work. Your participation will assist advocates, service providers, and other stakeholders to ensure that creative workers are represented well by employment analysis, program planning, and advocacy strategies.

Count yourself in... and encourage creatives in your networks to do the same
You can take part in the survey until November 18. A final report of the collected data will be released in spring 2017.
Burlington Celebrates Innovation Week

Technology is big in October. In the same vein as other week-long celebrations - Vermont Beer Week, Open Farm Week, and American Craft Week - the City of Burlington is designating the third week in October as "Innovation Week." Panel discussions, technology demonstrations, and computer programming competitions held October 15-22 will highlight Vermont's creative technology and tech economy plus increase awareness and encourage collaboration in the tech industry. The week will be preceded and followed by two annual technology-centered events: HackVT and Tech Jam, respectively. Read the whole story in" Burlington announces 'Innovation Week' coming in October."
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Vermont Creative Network
Vermont Arts Council