Notes From Outside the Box
July 2017  
The Network Expands. First Report June 2017

Creative Network: First Report

The Vermont Creative Network had a remarkable first year. Since being established by the Vermont state legislature in May 2016, the Network has framed a working structure, convened for networking and training, and commissioned research meaningful to the creative sector. The Network's First Report, published late last month, looks back at past creative economy efforts, recaps the run-up to the current Network, revisits the year's activities, and looks ahead to the next term.

Consider the report required reading for the upcoming Vermont Creative Summit - November 8 and 9 in Montpelier. We'll explore key policy issues for Vermont's creative sector. Watch for details.

You can view the report online. If you'd like a hard copy (or a few to distribute), send us your mailing address. Tell us how many copies to send.
Town Plans and ...
Creativity is informed by whimsy and inspiration; planning by strategy and purposeful inclusion. Where do the two meet? Sometimes, inside of town plans.
How many of Vermont's town plans reference creativity? In April 2017, the Network commissioned a researcher to find out. Claire Wheeler looked for all 251 plans, then looked for four key words: arts, culture, creativity, and innovation. The Town Plans Study 2016 explores the many ways these words appear.
Prosperity, Indeed

Americans for the Arts conducts a major study on the effects of the arts on the American economy once every five years. Vermont (one among 20 participating states) and Chittenden County were two of the 341 national partners for this fifth iteration of research, identified as AEP5. Two aspects of the arts economy were measured: 1) the economic footprint of arts organizations and 2) the economic effects created by local and non-local event attenders.

This research focuses on the arts, and the data are strong for this part of the creative sector. This study analyzed and reports data on only the information collected. Vermont had 84 partnering organizations. (More data from more partners would increase the numbers.) A few highlights for Vermont for 2016 for arts and cultural organizations and arts and cultural audiences:

expenditures for the Vermont arts industry

arts and cultural activity returns to state government
Context: The state's annual investment in the arts is around $1.1M for the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Symphony, and two line-item arts programs.

average audience spending per event (dinner, parking, t-shirt, excluding cost of tickets):
a local: $23.25
a non-local: $46.35 (anyone from outside the county)
Context: Research reveals that, on average, a tourist will put twice as much money into the local economy as a local for the same event.

You can find all the data on from the Americans for the Arts website, which includes connections to individual state and regional reports are available, as well as the national perspective.
Vermont Creative Network Action Roadmap 
Community | Education | Funding 
Leadership | Technical Resources | Visibility
The work of the Vermont Creative Network comprises six aspects. 
The following article, submitted by a guest, 
addresses an aspect of the roadmap.  
Rooting for Rural

Dr. Joshua Kim, director of digital learning initiatives at the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL), recently reviewed Richard Florida's newest book, "The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class - and What We Can Do About It." Some readers may find Florida's assertions almost contradict his previous views. In a new blog post on "Inside Higher Ed," Kim takes the  position that we are simply not doing enough.

He points out, "...the book may convince (young professionals) that they need to pay attention to the needs of everyone in the city - and not just other people they work with in their technology/design/medical/legal/publishing companies." The same can be said for rural areas. Kim draws comparisons between the big cities discussed in "The New Urban Crisis," and small rural or college-centered towns, like Hanover, New Hampshire. Finally, he poses a series of questions to readers, asking if there are ruralists writing in the same vein as the urbanist Florida. Read, ponder, and add your thoughts.
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.

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