Notes From Outside the Box
October 2018    
Muumuus Not Required: VCN Convening

If your excitement for the Convening of the Vermont Creative Network October 18 in Randolph has become too much to contain, here's a little something to hold you over. Check out this Vermont Arts Council interview with plenary speaker Leo Vazquez (and find out what muumuus have to do with art and economic development).

Everyone is welcome for the morning session, which includes a reading by poet and Council board member Major Jackson, a presentation on the initial findings of the NEK Creative Economy Study, and an exploration of art and creative placemaking with Leo Vazquez. Lunch and afternoon sessions are intended for those currently engaged in the work of the VCN or for those interested in getting involved. The day's activities - all held at the Chandler Center for the Arts - are free, but you must sign up in advance. Plan to attend, and register today !
Innovators in Technology Meet Innovators in Art

Artists, technologists, and entrepreneurs are all invited to a Sector Mash at the Generator Makerspace in Burlington on Monday, October 15. In this evening of networking, talks, and demonstrations, artists are introduced to new technologies and creative outlets, organizations supporting innovation are highlighted, and networking amidst live music makes the evening buzz.

Technology Demonstrations for the Creative Community 
4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Virtual reality, among others, curated by Sector Mash participants. Light fare/ hors d'oeuvres served.
Community of Opportunity: lightning talks from resources for innovators
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Presenters from BTV Ignite, Code for BTV, FreshTracks' Road Pitch, the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Vermont, the Vermont Creative Network, and more. Cash bar (ID required).

Meetup of Meetups and Live Music
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Cash bar (ID required).

Aaron Larget-Caplan presenting at last year's music "miniswap."
New England Ideas Abound

For creatives from nonprofit cultural organizations and touring artists meeting up in Worcester, Massachusetts this October, sharing is the watchword.  The New England Foundation for the Arts' (NEFA) Annual Idea Swap is a networking-rich event in its 17th year. Participants share ideas at all stages in five-minute presentations.

Descriptions for a few of the currently slated presentations are: "'Last Ward' follows one man's journey towards death in a hospital," "'The Use of Farce' is set in an alternate future that parallels our present, where over one thousand people are killed by the police every year," and "How often do we play 'The Fool?'"

There is still time to submit an idea and garner the early-bird registration discount. More on the NEFA site .
Photo courtesy Studio Olafur Eliasson.
Moving People to Action

Worldwide problems feel large and untouchable in this era. Solutions to the big ones - global warming, mental illness, and systemic racism - seem entirely out of reach. Why even try?

Socially conscious artist Olafur Eliasson, in an article published on the World Economic Forum's website, posits an antidote to complacency. "Art can mitigate the numbing effect created by the glut of information we are faced with today, and motivate people to turn thinking into doing." Artists have a responsibility, he writes, to make people feel something. When people feel something, they are said to be "moved." Movement is the antithesis of inaction.

Olafur also discusses the come-together quality of arts and culture. "The important thing is not that we agree about the experience that we share, but that we consider it worthwhile sharing an experience at all." He sees a community created by this shared experience, in which "disagreement is accepted and embraced as an essential ingredient." Politicians, activists, and leaders take note: dialogue makes change.

For more on the importance of art and the collective experience, read " Why Art has the Power to Change the World."
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.