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The Southern VT Zone is calling all creative sector artists, businesses, workers, supporters and entrepreneurs to join in a critical statewide conversation — or IdeaJam — on Tuesday, Nov. 17, about how to advance Vermont’s creative sector, how the creative sector can contribute to a vibrant Vermont, and to identify regional needs.

The Vermont Creative Network is creating an action plan to identify ways to support, market, and grow the creative sector and help ensure that the creative sector can help grow Vermont’s overall economy. Southern VT Zone will host a breakout conversation for the region, to identify regional needs and priorities to be included in Vermont’s first statewide action plan.

The event will bring together people who work in and support Vermont’s “creative sector,” which includes everything from visual and performing arts to specialty foods, design, film and media, culture and heritage and literary arts. The free event will run from noon to 1 p.m., with an optional “speed networking session” at 11:30 a.m. for participants to meet other creative peers from around the state. Registration is open at createvt.org/events.

“Creatives account for about 9% of the Vermont workforce and it is important their significant impact is understood amongst themselves as well as recognized by other economic sectors,” stated Robert McBride, coordinator for the Southern VT Zone which includes Bennington and Windham Counties.

In Vermont, the creative sector supports 41,000 jobs and contributes $1 billion to the state’s economy.

This event is one of several opportunities for creative sector members to contribute to the plan. Anyone can learn more about the process and share ideas online at createvt.org. There will be another statewide IdeaJam on Tuesday, Dec. 1, focused on statewide strategies. And on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the process will conclude with a “Jamboree” – a day of celebration, sharing and action ideas. All events are held on Zoom and are free and open to the public. Closed captioning and accommodations are available upon request.

The Vermont Creative Network is a collective of organizations, businesses and individuals working to advance Vermont’s creative sector. Authorized by the Vermont Legislature in 2016, it is a program of the Vermont Arts Council. The Southern VT Zone is a regional network charged with connecting and supporting the creative sector in this area. Learn more about the Vermont Creative Network at vermontartscouncil.org/Vermont-creative-network, and the action planning process at createvt.org.


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