Notes From Outside the Box - December 2019
The Creative Sector Leaps Forward 
Action Plan Progressing

In September, the Council announced the launch of an action plan for the creative economy.

Focus groups, interviews, and an online survey enabled hundreds of constituents to provide information this fall about the opportunities and challenges in the creative sector. Blending this data with economic analysis from census and tax sources paints a clear picture of the creative landscape.  
Key findings--including numbers on Vermont jobs in creative industries, self-employment and freelancing, and the pace of sector growth--inform priorities and a vision for the future.

Spotlight on Rural Economics 

The State House cafeteria was buzzing last Wednesday. Vermonters who care deeply about the economic vitality of rural Vermont gathered to testify in a public hearing convened by the Vermont House of Representatives' Rural Economic Development Working Group (REDWnG). Varying issues were discussed: composting, workers' comp, wastewater treatment, and Act 250.

VCN Coordinator Amy Cunningham spoke on behalf of the Creative Network, sharing recent research and the priorities it informs. VCN steering team members Monica Callan and Bob Haynes also offered testimony. Taken together, their testimony demonstrated the critical importance of creative enterprises to the economic future of rural places like Vermont.

The wisdom of Vermonters and the interconnection of education, environment, agriculture, culture, and tourism shone that evening. No one sector, issue, or initiative holds all the answers; working together will be the key.

Read the full testimony submitted on behalf of the Vermont Creative Network.
Opportunity Knocks   
Makers at School? Yes Please! 

If you're a creative with experience in K-12 classrooms and/or makerspaces, the Council wants to hear from you. The Vermont Arts Council is accepting applications to its Teaching Artist Roster.

Everyone on the roster has a passion for artistry. They also have the ability to activate creativity in others--in both arts and nonarts classrooms. The Artist in Schools Grant program supports school residencies throughout Vermont; the artists employed must be on the roster.

Learning through the arts awakens young minds in ways other modalities might not, whether making videos, graphics, ceramics, crankies, or puppets. One school administrator reported, "We value risk taking as an attribute and this residency encouraged our students to put themselves out there." Teachers have also noted they value experimental learning, critical thinking, and creativity because "These attributes represent a broad range of what we strive to become as citizens." This is meaningful work.

Interested? Find out how to apply.
Inside the Creative Economy 
Big and Bold in Manchester, and Beyond  

What do Margaritaville, the Outpost at Great Wolf Lodge, and Zoo Miami have in common? Well-conceived branding and eye-catching graphics, to start. Hotels and resorts, retail shops, and entertainment venues everywhere benefit from compelling concept and design. In other words: the world needs creatives.

The McBride Company, based in a refurbished brick building in Manchester, has twenty employees. Theirs is a team made of (according to their website) "world-class designers, art directors, and project managers." Architects, illustrators, sound and graphic designers are all working to add to the enjoyment of guest experiences for a client list that includes Hard Rock, Disney, Smithsonian Institution, and the Basketball Hall of Fame. 
The power of imagination benefits any enterprise. Browse the McBride Company's coolness on Instagram or Facebook to see how they contribute.

802.828.5423 | 
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.