"Nexus" Gathering Packs Next Stage
Entrepreneurs and artists, teachers and legislators, and other community leaders filled the Next Stage Theater in Putney on April 9. As the event's co-organizer and Vermont Creative Network steering team member Robert McBride put it, they were gathered to "out the creative economy."
Zon Eastes, founder of the Vermont Creative Network, and Dee Schneidman, program director of research and creative economy at the New England Foundation for the Arts, presented recent research about the creative sector in Vermont. The sector employs 8.6 percent of all Vermont workers - a full 32 percent above the national average, according to a study commissioned by the Vermont Arts Council in 2016. A showcase of regional success stories included
The Confluence Project
, the formation of the
Next Stage Theater
, and the
Park Street School project
At the same time, several remarked on challenges faced in the sector. This included a comment by Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Karen Mittelman who noted, "Many artists and arts organizations are living right on the edge."