Notes From Outside the Box
July 2019     
Addison/Rutland County zone agent Beth Miller and 77Arts co-founder Whitney Ramage in front of works by artist in residence Ella Whittemore-Hill.
77Art Hosts Rutland's First VCN Event

There were two reasons to celebrate in downtown Rutland last Saturday night. The Network held its first-ever Rutland event as a part of the closing reception for the first-ever round of 2019 artists in residency at 77Arts. VCN Addison/Rutland zone agent Beth Miller coordinated the occasion and moderated a discussion about the creative economy. Amy Cunningham represented the Network in the conversation with Tyler Richardson, executive director of the Rutland Economic Development Corporation and Whitney Ramage, the co-founder of 77Art.

Rutland Herald writer Gordon Dritschilo covered the panel talk in this article.
Two Statewide Conferences Coming to Randolph
Creative leaders are invited to participate in two events, each focused on building a stronger Vermont.
Save the Date_ Second Annual Vemront Community Leadership Summit.
Vermont Community Leadership Summit
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) hosts their second annual Leadership Summit on August 12 at the Vermont Technical College. The theme for the day is "Vision, Strategy, and Skills for the Future" stemming from the idea that "In democracy, all citizens are called upon to lead--where leaders step up, communities achieve great things."

Registration will open soon. For more information visit the VCRD website or the Facebook Event Page. You can also contact someone at VCRD by sending an email to or by calling 802.223.6091.
Disaster and Resilience Network Launch  
The newly formed Vermont Arts and Culture Disaster and Resilience Network will hold its first meeting at the Chandler Center for the Arts on
September 10. , the Vermont Arts Council has partnered with the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration to develop this nexus with support from the Performing Arts Readiness Project. The work is to help the arts and culture sector to mitigate the impact of disasters, ensuring that our communities recover quickly and grow more resilient.

The September meeting will feature a discussion about the role of the network and a variety of trainings and resources on risk assessment, emergency planning, funding for recovery, and more. If you are an artist, or are involved with an arts organization, theater, gallery, museum, historical society, library, creative business or municipality, this is for you! Registration will open in early August.  Send Rachel Onuf an email or call her at 802.828.2204 with questions.
New Steering Team Member

Jason Boughton became a member of the Network's steering team when he was appointed state librarian earlier this year. Broad knowledge follows him; he has been assistant state librarian in Vermont and previously a workforce development trainer and outreach coordinator at the South Carolina State Library. He has also been director of library support services, assistant director of public service, and interim librarian at the Live Oaks Public Library in Savannah, Georgia. Prior to that, he spent over a decade as an educator.

Jason knows that "Libraries provide resources and information for Vermonters to empower people to develop, create, express, and explore ideas." He sees an important role for these institutions, explaining that "As governments shift into various economic-based development agendas, Vermont has a chance to recognize its cultural and creative sectors as engines of economic development. Libraries can be a useful resource as 'space,' 'place,' and community connector to start creative research and conversations."

Welcome, Jason!
Photo from American Creators site.
In the Heart of America   
A former coal miner is a budding luthier in Hindman, Kentucky. Art is celebrated with farming and "all things fermented" in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. A blues festival sparks initiative for opening a pancake house in Clarksville, Mississippi.

Art introduces diverse voices and reaches across divides. Creative work invites connection and conversation; revitalization and economic development can follow. These and other ideas are explored in a PBS series called American Creators: The Arts and Culture of Rural America. Read or listen here.

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.