Notes From Outside the Box
April 2018    
Looking Forward

I am closing in on my first month as a part of the Vermont Creative Network. It has been energizing to meet with network team members. Their commitment to moving the sector forward and increasing the cultural and economic vitality of the state is inspiring. I am especially grateful to Zon Eastes for his enthusiasm and vision for this initiative and his generosity of spirit in showing me the ropes.

What an enormously exciting time to join this work! The energy is undeniable. Three task forces formed around key issues identified in the November Creative Network Summit are refining plans in the areas of infrastructure, investment, and identity. A creative economy study and plan for the Northeast Kingdom region is now underway, thanks to support from a USDA Rural Development Grant. Each of the zones is gaining momentum and developing strategies to engage the cultural and creative community members in its region.

I am thrilled to be a part of this movement and look forward to getting to know more of you as we progress. Please don't hesitate to be in touch with me if you have questions, suggestions, or news from your part of the network.

Amy Cunningham
News From the Zones

Southern Vermont Creative Meeting:
Nexus of Art and Economy

Monday, April 9, 2018
9:30 a.m. coffee and networking | 10 a.m. - 12 noon event
Next Stage Arts, 15 Kimball Hill, Putney
register here

This event is an opportunity to come together with other innovators and leaders. Share ideas and illustrate the ways the arts significantly contribute to the health, economy, and vibrancy of the Bennington and Windham County communities. A panel will highlight creative projects from around the state which are addressing housing, accessibility, job creation, education, and attracting young professionals and families to the state; creative economy data will be shared.

Learn about Think Vermont, an initiative of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Visit with representatives from the Local 64, The Putnam Block Redevelopment Project, Green River Watershed Alliance, and the Center for Rural Innovation.

This session is for town managers and planners, creatives, legislators, economic development folks, and arts and community leaders. It is organized by the Rockingham Arts & Museum Project and Vermont Performance Lab in partnership with Next Stage Arts, the Vermont Creative Network, the Vermont Arts Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Southern Vermont Economy Project.

All are welcome! Admission is free.

Next Stage is wheelchair accessible. Please call 802.463.3252 with accessibility questions.
In Other News

Opportunity for Creative Change Makers

The Creative Community Fellows program brings 25 creative change makers across New England together to be part of something bigger, to learn life-changing skills, and to see dreams become reality. Fellows jump-start the program by living and learning together for one week in an incubator-like environment building their skills in strategy, leadership, and design thinking. Over the course of five months, they take monthly online courses in topic areas such as community development, finding capital and support, budgeting, and more. Together, they share updates on their projects and meet with leaders in the field who serve as mentors. Fellows test, adapt, and build on their work, walking away with clarity and a strategy forward. Applications close April 22, 2018.  Learn more here.

Tax Legislation and the Creative Sector
John Killacky with his colleagues at the State House.

Potential legislation that will impact the nonprofit sector of the creative economy is being considered at the state and federal levels. These policy efforts are in response to the federal tax bill enacted in December 2017.

John Killacky - executive director of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts - explained what's at stake in this commentary. H.911 has now passed the House and is in the Senate Committee on Finance. To read the bill and stay up to date on its status, visit the Vermont General Assembly's website.

This issue brief from Americans for the Arts provides context on federal tax policy and charitable giving.
Vermont Creative Network
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.