Vermont’s Creative Sector Launches Bold CreateVT Action Plan
MONTPELIER—The Vermont Creative Network today released the CreateVT Action Plan, an ambitious new vision and plan for the future of Vermont’s creative sector.
Developed over three years with input from thousands of Vermonters, the plan makes the case that creativity is essential to the cultural and economic vitality of the state and provides a roadmap for critical investment in Vermont creative entrepreneurs, artists, businesses and facilities at the state and local levels. It envisions a Vermont that thrives through creativity, inclusivity, and innovation, and outlines the goals, strategies, and action steps that can be taken by individuals, organizations, and communities to achieve the plan’s vision.
The plan was unveiled at an online launch party attended by nearly 200 participants including individual creatives and leaders in Vermont government, business, and cultural organizations. Among the speakers were Congressman Peter Welch, Vermont Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing Heather Pelham, Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, Sen. Kesha Ram, and Rep. Sara Coffey.
Today’s launch is timely as the United Nations has designated 2021 the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.
“The U.N. designation affirms something that we already know well in Vermont: that art and creativity are vital to community health and well-being, and that the creative sector has enormous potential to foster innovation and jobs, promote racial and gender equity, and help our communities recover from a year of crisis,” said Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Karen Mittelman.
From the innovation of technology start-ups to the surge in artisan foods and the vitality of bustling community arts centers and libraries, creativity is embedded in Vermont’s character.
Creative enterprises – publishers, galleries, theaters, museums, design firms, film studios, artisan cheese shops, and more – provide more than 9.3% of Vermont jobs, a higher proportion than in other state, and the creative sector contributes $1 billion annually to the state’s economy.
Further, a growing body of research demonstrates the power of the creative economy as a catalyst for growth and change, particularly in rural places and in times of crisis and recovery.
“Today represents an exciting milestone. For the past decade, rural communities across the State have been reinventing themselves in the face of challenging new economic realities. In doing so, they have deemed arts, culture and creativity essential ingredients for their future prosperity. I am hopeful the CreateVT Strategic Plan will be adopted by Vermont's public and private leadership as a roadmap to unify these efforts and procure the needed resources and investment to spark a rural renaissance across Vermont,” said Vermont Creative Network’s Steering Team Chair Jody Fried.
Following the Plan’s launch, the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Creative Network will oversee a network approach to implementation with coalitions and teams working together to help communities prosper throughout Vermont.
The CreateVT Action Plan is made possible by major grants from Jane’s Trust and the Windham Foundation, and support from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the National Life Group Foundation, and the Ruth and Peter Metz Family Foundation.
About the Vermont Creative Network
The Vermont Creative Network is a broad collective of organizations, businesses, and individuals working to advance Vermont’s creative sector. Authorized by the Vermont Legislature in 2016, the VCN is an initiative of the Vermont Arts Council. Learn more at vermontcreativenetwork.org
The Vermont Arts Council envisions a Vermont where all people have access to the arts and creativity in their lives, education, and communities. Engagement with the arts transforms individuals, connects us more deeply to each other, energizes the economy, and sustains the vibrant cultural landscape that makes Vermont a great place to live. Since 1965, the Council has been the state's primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts in Vermont. Learn more at vermontartscouncil.org