Notes From Outside the Box
June 2018    
Panel members at the mash-up will be (clockwise from upper left) Nina Jamison, Scott MacDonald, Robyn Priebe, and Sabrina Smith.
A Mash-up of Creatives in East Central Vermont

The Cornerstone Creative Community of Vermont (3CVT), a committee of professionals working within the local creative economy, is hosting its third regional mash-up at The Great Hall at 100 River Street in Springfield on Thursday, June 7, from 9 a.m. to noon. This networking event is for anyone in Orange and Windsor Counties engaged in arts promotion, art making, the culinary arts, publishing, film, IT, or design.

A breakfast social with time for networking begins at 9 a.m. Caitlin Christiana, executive director of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce and Bob Flint, executive director of the Springfield Regional Development Corporation offer opening remarks at 10. A community discussion and presentations by guest panel members follow, lasting until noon. Panel members include local business owner and guitar maker Scott MacDonald of S.B. Custom Instruments, Sabrina Smith and Robyn Priebe of the Steampunk Society of Vermont, and Nina Jamison, the director of exhibitions at The Great Hall and founder of Gallery at the VAULT.

The event is designed to explore the benefits of the creative economy and the opportunities it presents for communities within a region to align and work smarter, not harder. Anni Mackay, owner and director of BigTown Gallery, said, "We're focused on neighbor-to-neighbor, community-to-community, and region-wide connecting the dots to showcase the extraordinary hive of local creative activity for the benefit of visitors and residents alike."

To RSVP, contact Chris Damiani at: .
Photo by Beana Bern.
NEK Seeks Sparkies

More than 40 community members recently convened in the basement of the Greensboro United Church. It was the soft opening for Spark, a creative incubator space (and WonderArts project). Already filled with business-enhancing tools like 3D printers and design software, Spark abounds with possibilities for advancing artists' careers and bringing together creatives in the NEK. Need a place to photograph your hand-forged jewelry or letterpress cards? Check! Need a camera to take the photos with? Spark has it. Oh, and a way to design your business cards? They've got that too.

Members, AKA Sparkies, can access top-of-the-line computers and printers as well as support networks, peer reviews, and meeting spaces. Coffee and a ping pong table are available to help clear a clouded mind. The project is still developing, with an official opening set for the fall. Those who join now can access the great stuff Spark already has and provide input on the shape of things to come. Beta memberships are available through June 20. To connect and find out more, visit Spark's new website .
Rural Innovation is Real

For those who don't live in them, the term "rural areas" may evoke farms, factories, and shops of old - places where traditions reign and creativity is unwelcome. Almost all Vermonters know rurality and know it has no such limitations.

ThinkVermont recently featured
a CityLab article called "The Rise of the Rural Creative Class." The piece explores comparisons made by the Rural Establishment Innovation Survey between the amount of innovation in urban and rural businesses. Two important conclusions stand out: rural areas are almost as innovative as urban areas, and abundant arts opportunities increase the innovation in rural businesses. "The arts in rural places are not just a byproduct of the scenery; they play a key role in spurring the innovativeness that ultimately leads to economic development and rising living standards," posits author Richard Florida. Read about the process and qualifiers of the survey at
Drone's eye view of Route 73 and Otter Creek in Brandon by Caleb Kenna Photography.
Vermont Creative Network Hits the Road

We are spreading the word this summer about the power and potential of Vermont's creative economy. Find us:
  • Friday, June 8 at the Annual Historic Preservation and Downtown Conference in Bristol (sold out). The VCN will host a brown bag lunch to discuss the work of the Network. The Vermont Arts Council and the VCN will staff a booth to share information about the creative economy and upcoming grant opportunities.

    Conference headliner, singer/songwriter/author Dar Williams will also host a free community conversation about placemaking June 9 at Randolph's Chandler Center for the Arts in advance of her evening concert. Preregistration required.
  • Thursday, June 14 at Building a Sense of Place: A Forum for Municipal Officials and Community Development Groups in Killington. The Vermont League of Cities and Towns is hosting this daylong conference for people involved in local community and economic development to explore strategies to enhance their communities. We will staff a booth to share information about the creative economy and upcoming grant opportunities.
  • Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19 at SolarFest - Energy Education Through the Arts at Stratton Mountain. This two-day celebration features over 60 workshops highlighting the latest in clean energy, green building, zero-emission transportation, public policy, and sustainable living. There will also be music and arts. We'll host a workshop about the Creative Network; check the SolarFest website later this summer for the schedule.
If you are planning or know of future events we should attend, please contact Amy Cunningham at . We appreciate opportunities to tell the story of the impact of creativity in Vermont and to share the plans for the Vermont Creative Network.
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.