...“In Vermont, the creative economy isn’t just about five percent of the economy engaged in culture or crafts such as bookbinding,” said Costello. “In Vermont, the story of the creative economy is really the story of Bellows Falls, Brandon and Vergennes where local community residents have come together and built a project that puts up the flag that this is a town on the move that is doing something creative and innovative.”
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One is an artist and the other a planner and historian. Together they played pivotal roles in the current renaissance of Bellows Falls and both were honored recently for their work by the Vermont Council on Rural Development.
Artist Robert McBride and Rockingham's former development director Richard Ewald were honored with the 2008 Community Leadership Award in front of 400 of their peers at the Vermont State Housing Finance conference in Burlington, according to Paul Costello, executive director of the council.
This compendium of findings highlights priority topic areas that have emerged through VCRD's body of work, and considers challenges identified by communities, some of the accomplishments of VCRD at the community and policy level, and unmet community development needs in Vermont. Click here to read the report (pdf).
“Advancing Creativity and Innovation in Rural America” ~ a national conference hosted by VCRD - 2008
In September 2008, VCRD hosted the annual conference of the National Rural Development Partnership / Partners in Rural America (PRA). Participants from 13 states joined Vermont rural leaders in Montpelier for 4 days of dynamic sessions around “Advancing Creativity and Innovation in Rural America” which kicked‐off at the State House and included a bus tour of innovative businesses and practices in Vermont. Throughout the conference, panels of professionals led discussions pertinent to rural America on:
- Innovative Agricultural Development;
- The Expansion of Renewable Energy and Efficiency;
- Advancing the Creative Economy;
- The Generational Transfer of Rural Wealth; and
At the conference conclusion VCRD Executive Director and President of the PRA, Paul Costello, was honored with the 2008 Ron Shaffer Award which is given annually by the PRA to an individual who embodies the values necessary to build a national and state rural development partnership that meets the diverse needs of rural America.
A final report for the Creative Communities Program was presented back to each of the 12 participating communities. These summarized the public meetings and brainstorming sessions, captured the direction each community pursued, and listed specific resources for their priority projects.
Read an overview of each town's priorities here or read each individual report below:
- 2007 - Manchester Creative Communities Report
- 2007 - Middlebury Creative Communities Report
- 2007 - Richmond Creative Communities Report
- 2007 - Plainfield Area Creative Communities Report
- 2007 - Randolph Area Creative Communities Report
- 2006/2007 - Bellows Falls Creative Communities Report
- 2006 / 2007 - St. Johnsbury Creative Communities Report
- 2006- Islands Creative Communites Report
- 2006 - Hardwick Creative Communities Report
- 2006 - Windsor Creative Communities Report
- 2006 - Rutland Creative Communities Report
- 2006 - St. Albans Creative Communities Report
What will Vermont look like in the next 20, 30 or 40 years?
The Council on the Future of Vermont will be in Brattleboro Thursday night to ask that very question. The Council wants to know how Windham County feel about where the state is now and where it is heading. The Council also wants to know how area residents feel about the trends that will influence what happens in Vermont over the coming decades.
For more than a year, the Council on the Future of Vermont (CFV) has been going around the state listening to Vermonters and striking up a dialogue on where we are, where we are going and the forces that will shape our future.
The Windham County meeting will be held on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden in Brattleboro. Just in time for the Brattleboro session is news of a new survey by CFV, the Vermont Council on Rural Development and the University of Vermont's Center for Rural Studies.
A new poll confirms some long-held assumptions about Vermonters. They cherish the state's working landscape ... its sense of community... and its independence.
But the poll also shows that people worry that the state faces some challenges that could threaten those values.
We Vermonters like our beautiful state, but think it is getting harder to afford to live here.
The Council on the Future of Vermont asked hundreds of Vermonters about their values and concerns and that's what they said. Among values, "I value the working landscape and its heritage" was tops with 97.2 percent of respondents saying they agree with the statement. For concerns, "The increasing costs of living, such as transportation, heating and electricity" came in first with 96.1 percent.