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As Vermont evolves and the economic climate changes, it seems the need for a broad assessment of the state, along the values of the people living here, crops up periodically.

The Council on the Future of Vermont was created by the Vermont Council on Rural Development in the fall of 2007 to tackle the challenge of compiling data on a wide range of topics, a process that involved numerous public forums, surveys, and interviews with business and organizations.

Artful Dodger

...It was a lot of words, but the message was simple: At a time when public funding for necessities such as roads and schools is imperiled, public arts funding could simply cease to exist. When the recession chopping block comes out, programs that enhance people’s lives in intangible ways — say, by putting paintings and sculptures in public spaces, or funding the artists toiling in every community — tend to be the first to go.

Study: Vt. Tourism Stagnant

Shelburne Museum is one of Vermont's top tourist attractions.

Upwards of 110,000 people visit every year from states across the country. But only half of all visitors to the museum are out of staters.

"And that has shifted in the last 20 years dramatically," said Leslie Wright of the Shelburne Museum. "We used to have our visitor base much more out of state."

And Shelburne Museum isn't alone. Vermont is seeing little growth when it comes to the number of tourists visiting the state.

Agriculture Takes Center Stage in Montpelier

Agriculture took center stage in Montpelier Wednesday.

The Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council told lawmakers about its top issues for the session. They include promoting local food and generating energy on farms.

The council is a partnership between the state, UVM and private groups.

Reporter Kristin Carlson: Are you worried with all the talk of tough economic times that agriculture will get lost this session?

State grant to fund Killington arts center study

Courtesy of a $25,000 Vermont Community Development Planning Grant awarded to the town, a bid will go out to contractors in February to do a preliminary feasibility study of a center, to determine if there's a demand for one in the town and if the town can financially sustain it, according to Killington Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay.

The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development will mail the town a check in January, Ramsay said.

The study will be the precursor to a formal feasibility study, according to Ramsay, and will include "all on the economics."

St. Michael's Research Report: "Vermont in Transition" - 2008

VIT CoverThe Council on the Future of Vermont and St. Michael's Center for Social Science Research are proud to release Vermont in Transition: A Summary of Social, Economic and Environmental Trends. This book covers the major changes in fourteen public policy issues areas in Vermont over the past two decades. St. Michael's College researchers worked in a team with state, federal, non-profit and business data analysts to compile all the data and trendlines available in this book. The book is based on the major topics raised in the CFV public forums, as well as the expertise of St Michael's research team. To write this report, authors spoke with hundreds of data analysts and experts across the state; together they have identified 160 key trends and have included over 300 supporting graphs and charts. This research component is one of the inputs that the Council on the Future of Vermont will take into deliberation as it writes its final products.

This work is available in an easy to use format. You can download the entire book (8.17MB) as well as all of the appendices (2.46MB) or you can choose one chapter at a time to download and view from the table of contents below:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section I: The Vermont Context

Section II: The Vermont Economy

Section III: Infrastructure

Section IV: The Institutions

Pages

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