August 2017

Rooting for Rural

Dr. Joshua Kim, director of digital learning initiatives at the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL), recently reviewed Richard Florida’s newest book, “The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class — and What We Can Do About It.” Some readers may find Florida’s assertions almost contradict his previous views. In a new blog post on “Inside Higher Ed,” Kim takes the position that we are simply not doing enough.

He points out, “…the book may convince (young professionals) that they need to pay attention to the needs of everyone in the city – and not just other people they work with in their technology/design/medical/legal/publishing companies.” […]

June 2017

Digging Deeper

A year ago, the Vermont Arts Council published the results of the 2016 Vermonter Poll. The study made clear that art matters to us in our public life, schools, and homes. A full 85% of Vermonters agreed with the statement, “I value the arts as an important element of life in my community.”

We shared this data with Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development since 2000. He said, “This statistic doesn’t surprise me. It mirrors what we hear from Vermonters all around the state. In all the years I’ve been involved in work with Vermont communities, the arts turn up time and time again as key local assets, as a driver for the local brand, and as one of the crucial points of attraction for entrepreneurs, youth and new residents.”

How do words become action? How do we continue to make arts and culture a part of community life? […]

December 2016

A Community Center for South Burlington?

Since early 2016, a group of passionate arts professionals — in cooperation with the City of South Burlington — have been exploring the possibility of developing a creative arts complex in South Burlington’s new central downtown district. Now incorporated as a Vermont nonprofit, the South Burlington City Center for the Arts, has conducted focus group interviews, hosted a City Council meeting, and had several meetings with potential stakeholders. […]

July 2016

Community: Swanton on the Move

The arts are alive and growing in this small Franklin County town.

In the first two months of 2015, the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) had the privilege of working with the Swanton community through the Community Visit Program. In an initial public forum, facilitated by Alex Aldrich of the Vermont Arts Council, it became clear that there was a strong desire to grow an arts presence in the town. The conversation led to the idea of creating an arts council. The founding members of the Swanton Arts Council took it from there.