The Blog

/The Blog

October 2017

New Platform for Those on Stage

Dominic Spillane reached out to the Creative Network this week. He has been working on a promotional platform for the performing arts. Asking for help in testing the beta site, Dominic wrote:

“I’ve been working in theater for the last 15 years as an actor, director, producer, and finally, as administrative staff at a nonprofit theater in Manhattan. Frustrated by the lack of online promotional tools available as an individual artist, and as a producer marketing a show, my family and I moved to Vermont to pursue the construction of TheaterEngine, a crowd-sourcing platform for the performing arts. Think of it as a mix between Fandango, IMDB, and Facebook … but all for theater.

TheaterEngine is a listing site for current or future shows in your area, a database of production history, and a promotional tool for theater professionals and companies. […]

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? […]

February 2017

Never Stop Learning

Nonprofit leaders know the value of a good support system. Resources that offer flexible levels of participation and connect us to a strong professional network can be hard to find. When we do find them, they’re worth holding on to.

The Center for New Leadership (CNL) at the Marlboro College Center for Graduate and Professional Studies is one of those resources. The Marlboro approach embraces systems thinking and collective impact; it applies these methods to teaching and coaching. Consultants, practitioners, and students create a learning community focused on making the social benefit sector tick. […]

The Funding Question Arises

Federal and state government investments form one tributary of the creative sector’s funding stream. With January’s change in the U.S. administration, potential trouble has arisen about this support for arts and cultural institutions.

Complete elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been suggested. While this is unsettling, the longer view advises that these discussions have been hashed through before (some may recall the national conversation of the 1990s, resulting in dramatic budget reductions for some national cultural organizations. This thorough historical review was published in 1998.) […]

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. […]

November 2015

VCN Summit

Many thanks to all who attended the Vermont Creative Network Summit in Montpelier on Vermont College of Fine Art’s lovely campus. We were thrilled with the turnout and are so glad that you could be there to share your energy and input. The weather was just right too!

July 2015


Thursday, July 23
Bennington Museum. About a dozen folks from Bennington and surrounding communities talked together about the bubbling up of a collection of topics for consideration as the Network continues to develop. The Arts Council proposes that six ideas characterize the input heard from about 750 Vermonters. These six ideas will frame the Network’s Action Agenda. […]


Friday, July 17
Ilsley Public Library. About fifteen Vermonters from around Middlebury, and as far away as Stowe. The group’s discussion forwarded these overarching topics for the Network:



GIA, Castleton

Castleton State College, Castleton
Wednesday, July 8
125 students from all four corners of the state, 35 faculty members, 20 community members. Awesome! […]