...“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.”
For example, Costello cited the northern Vermont town of Vergennes, where a group of citizens organized to renovate the town’s opera house, turning that section of town into a thriving community center. “They had the renaissance of the entire downtown of this community, which in turn attracts young people, new business and jobs,” he said.
Now, Upper Valley communities such as Randolph, VT have caught on and participate in the Creative Communities Program, which encourages Vermont communities to view development through the lens of the creative economy. Randolph has acted on this goal by outlining priorities such as creating stronger collaborations centered on the creative economy, improving Internet access and promoting environmental initiatives that define Randolph as a green community.