How can creatives drive a vibrant state economy?

Southern Vermont Zone invites artists, creatives to regional discussion, part of statewide creative sector’s IdeaJam

Pandemic or not - the creative sector matters. In Vermont, it supports 41,000 jobs and contributes $1 billion to the state's economy.

“Creatives account for about 9 percent of the Vermont workforce, and it is important their significant impact is understood amongst themselves as well as recognized by other economic sectors,” Robert McBride, coordinator for the Southern Vermont Zone of the Vermont Creative Network, said in a news release.

The Southern Vermont Zone includes Bennington and Windham counties. Its leadership is calling all creative sector artists, businesses, workers, supporters, and entrepreneurs to join in IdeaJam, a critical statewide conversation on Tuesday, Nov. 17, about how to advance the state'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 it can help grow the state's overall economy.

The Southern Vermont Zone's conversation - one of six similar conversations taking place that day - will identify regional needs and priorities to be included in the first statewide action plan.

The breakout sessions 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

This event is one of several opportunities for creative sector members to contribute to the plan. 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. Closed captioning and other accommodations are available upon request.

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