Just 10 Days until the VCN Summit in Montpelier –  Are you registered?


For two days, the Vermont College for Fine Arts will be our campus of creativity. Come explore ideas, issues, trends, and concepts that are informing the creation of this new initiative, which is open to all members of Vermont’s creative sector and economy, such as yourself.Celebrate creativity and opportunity in Vermont with over 50 presenters participating in 15 panels and workshops. Lunchtime plenaries will feature VPT’s Holly Groschner, Seven Day’s Pamela Polston, VPR’s Robin Turnau, VT Tourism Director Megan Smith and Partnership for Change’s Hal Colston.  

Read all about these creative leaders and more on our Summit landing page here.
If you haven’t already, Register Now – click here

From the Desk of Zon Eastes:

The Vermont Creative Network, as a functioning entitity, is coming into clearer and clearer focus. Based upon input from hundreds of Vermonters as well as a review of best practice models, the general structure of the Network is moving toward a strategic framework described in the following draft plan.


At the outset, it must be repeated: The Vermont Creative Network will succeed as a collective of energies and solutions. Because the central tenant of the Network is to advance the creative sector, ideas laid out here will likely be adjusted to suit changing inputs.


Based on the principles of Results Based Accountability, the draft seeks to support the advancement of the creative sector, through a series of statewide and regional actions.


At the highest level, the Network’s guiding statement (population goal) will be: A healthy, vibrant creative sector will embed creativity into the state’s DNA by advancing positive quality of life and economic outcomes at the state level and among Vermont regions and communities.


We will know that the work of Vermont’s creative sector is being accomplished through these four indicators.
  1. Vermont’s creative sector will thrive as a significant element of the state’s general and economic well-being.
  2. The story of the Vermont’ s creative riches will be told.
  3. Collective energies for community based planning and development will advance the state’s overall well-being.
  4. In the creative sector, common points of interest will be identified, advocated and promoted.


Initially, each of these state-level indicators will become part of the plan as a set of clear actions in support of the creative sector. Among the many initial strategies to be clarified, these will likely be included (along with others) in the first year of work:
  • The reestablishment of the Office of Creative Economy.
  • The strengthening of the sector through investments at the state, regional, and local levels.
  • The employment of an arts content specialist at the Agency of Education.
  • Regional collaborations will be enhanced through the establishment of six Creativity Zones / Action Roadmaps.
  • Vermont’s creative and cultural resources will move more toward the center of the Vermont brand.


At the regional level, Vermont will be partitioned into six Creative Zones*. Each Zone will be free to construct its own creative sector strategy around an Action Roadmap, developed from 14 community forums (the Network will not be a top-down structure).
  • Community
  • Education
  • Funding
  • Leadership
  • Resources (tech, space, and professional)
  • Visibility


Based on hundreds of ideas presented, here is a brief list of the types of regional projects that a CZAR might undertake in support of the creative sector. Any activities could potentially advance the sector while providing stories and data for a statewide report.


  • Convene monthly meetups
  • Enhance communications among creative sector types
  • Set up a mentor program
  • Research and report on current in-school arts education
  • Identify potential partners outside the creative sector
  • Draft ‘How To’ manuals to be shared across the Network
  • Create social media pacts among multiple partners
  • Develop regional strategies for story telling, engage area media channels
  • Cultivate working relationships with are lawyers, accountants, other professionals in support of creative sector work


Vermont’s creative sector buzzes with energy and an increasing sense of agency. The work of the Vermont Creative Network, at every level, will demonstrate increasing value for the well-being of the state. Join the process!


–Zon Eastes


Creativity Zones / Action Roadmaps (CZARs). Given that no division serves every model perfectly, these six were built considering potential opportunities, populations and demographics, geography, and other traditional divisions. From the south upwards
  • Bennington/Windham counties
  • Addison/Rutland counties
  • Orange/Windsor counties
  • Chittenden county
  • Franklin/Grand Isle/Lamoille/Washington counties
  • Caledonia/Essex/Orleans counties


Recently, VCN attended the Vermont Collective Impact Conference – Moving Beyond Collaboration to Transform Our Communities. At this statewide, one-day conference, community partners, business leaders, nonprofits, policy makers, government at all levels, funders, advocates and other stakeholders convened to explore how to build our communities through Collective Impact. Participants left with a better understanding of essential concepts and factors of success, and tools to use to assess the readiness of your community to engage in a Collective Impact approach.
​This event was hosted by United Way of Chittenden County, The University of Vermont Medical Center, The Vermont Community Foundation and Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, and was made possible in part by sponsorship from SerVermont and a generous grant from the Stiller Family Foundation.
 Read more about it here.

Thanks to Vermont Digger for writing about the Vermont Creative Network.  Read the article here.