Vermont’s Creative Economy

first_imgVERMONT ARTS COUNCIL CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF SUPPORTINGTHE “CREATIVE ECONOMY”Arts Council applauds today’s release of “Advancing Vermont’s CreativeEconomy”by the Vermont Council on Rural DevelopmentMontpelier, Vt. (October 4, 2004) The release today of “AdvancingVermont’s Creative Economy” by the Vermont Council on Rural Development clearly shows that there are social and economic benefits to investing in the arts and culture. According to the report, communities that have thriving cultural centers are more likely to attract business and entrepreneurs than those that do not. The Vermont Arts Council has been working under this premise 1964 and, coincidentally, will begin at year-long celebration of its 40th anniversary this month.”The release of this report couldn’t come at a better time,” said artist, teacher, and Chair of the Arts Council’s board of trustees, Irwin Gelber of Barnet. “Next week, on October 16th at Marlboro College, the Council will kick off the celebration of its 40th Anniversary. It is a great anniversary gift to have this public recognition of what we, who work in the arts, have always known: The arts are central to our quality of life. The arts play a major and often pivotal role in our economy and perhaps most importantly, the arts are a priority in our children’s education.”In addition to providing individual grants and awards to Vermont artists, the Arts Council promotes enduring ways to make the arts a part of all Vermont communities, bringing enjoyment and inspiration to citizens and visitors in all corners of the state. To accomplish this, the Arts Council partners with other public benefit organizations at the local, state and national level, as well as with the private sector in education, human services, and economic development.The Cultural Facilities Grant Program is just one example of how the Arts Council supports a “creative economy.” The Cultural Facilities Grant Program, which is funded by the Legislature and administered by the Vermont Arts Council, provides grants for the improvement of community facilities that provide cultural activities. Recipients of Cultural Facilities Grants include: the Vergennes Opera House, the renovation of which sparked a renewal of the entire downtown area; improvements to the stage lighting at Damon Hall in Hartland; and the addition of accessible restrooms to the Hardwick Town House in the Northeast Kingdom. The “Advancing Vermont’s Creative Economy” report recommends a 400% increase in funding for this grant program from its current $50,000 level to $200,000 annually.”The Cultural Facilities Grant Program is ‘the little engine that could’ of downtown redevelopment and community renaissance,” said Alex Aldrich, Executive Director of the Vermont Arts Council. “Most of the grants we award go toward the improvement of historical buildings in the heart of Vermont’s communities so that a greater variety of cultural activities can be provided to the people of those communities.”Aldrich also sees huge potential in the report’s recommendation #8 that Vermont’s state economists “Track and Report the Impact of the State’s Creative Economy.” “For years, those of us in the arts, humanities, and preservation fields, have seen the impact of our work on community development. Now we have an independent and authoritative voice advocating that this sector deserves public research and investment,” said Aldrich.The Vermont Arts Council was founded in 1964 with a mission to support artists and strengthen the role of the arts in the lives of people and communities. The Council fosters classical, traditional, and emerging forms of artistic expression by functioning as a community partner and a catalyst for artists and organizations. It offers professional development opportunities and technical advice, collects and disseminates arts information, and acts as the state’s foremost arts advocate. For more information about the Vermont Arts Council or its 40th Anniversary Celebration, please call (802) 828-5422 or visit www.vermontartscouncil.org(link is external).Executive SummaryThe creative economy is critical to the future competitiveness of Vermont in the global marketplace. Vermonts heritage, arts and culture are integral strengths. They are an economic sector in Vermont today; they also provide a foundation to the sense of place and creative workforce critical to innovation in other sectors, add value to the Vermont brand, and magnify the attractive power of Vermont as a location to do business. The creative economy is a hidden economic driver, one that deserves understanding, recognition, and investment.The Vermont Council on Culture and Innovation (VCCI) was convened in May 2003 by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. VCCIs charge was to evaluate the role of and challenges to the creative economy in the state and to build a practical and strategic plan for its advancement. This Action Plan is the product of that work. This report makes specific recommendations for how to grow the States creative economy as a vital and complementary part of the states economy as a whole. These recommendations encourage collaboration among Vermonts private sector, cultural organizations, and local, state, and federal government to use Vermonts cultural resources to spark and leverage community and economic development. It documents seventeen recommendations in the four areas listed below that the Governors adminis-tration,Legislature, and public and private partners are encouraged to undertake to expand innovation, enhance community life, attract and encourage entrepreneurs, build Vermonts market identity, and stimulate job growth. Support the Growth of Creative Enterprises by expanding markets, unifying promotion, enhancing the Vermont brand, producing celebratory events, building a Vermont artists and artisans market identity, and providing technical support and access to capital for culturally-based businesses and creative entrepreneurs. Promote and Document the Roles that Creativity, Culture, and Innovation Play in Vermonts Economic Future by tracking and reporting this economic sector, reinforcing arts and heritage education, and instituting a statewide public information campaign.Invest in Communities so They May Build on their Past while Adapting for a Vibrant Future by making culture and heritage priority community investments, supporting historic town and village centers, expanding cultural facilities funding, and encouraging creative entrepreneurial development in vacant industrial space. Develop Vermonts Creative Economy through Community-Based Planning and Improved Statewide Collaboration by facilitating locally designed creative economy projects, building a collaborative umbrella between statewide cultural organizations, and establishing a nonpartisan Governors Commission to provide leadership for the growth of Vermonts creative economy.:Evidence shows that public and private investment in creative enterprises yields favorable economic and social returns,producing jobs and supporting communities.:The development of the creative economy in Vermont is not limited by geography,topography,demographics,or population density.It can play a vital role in every corner of the state.:Just as Vermont was a leader in the manufacturing of things, it is now poised to be a leader in the production of ideas. Like any promising economic sector,the creative economy will need policies and incentives to support its growth.:Strengthening the creative sector will take a long-term and incremental effort.However,pressing needs must be addressed now in order to assure its future competitiveness.:Creative and stimulating communities attract and retain young people.This is a key concern in Vermont,where the loss of its youth to other regions is an historic challenge.:The emerging jobs market places a premium on creative problem solving,yet these skills are not taught consistently throughout Vermont s education system.www.kse50.com/vcci_report.pdf(link is external)last_img read more

Let the seller beware

first_imgThe sales landscape is experiencing a seismic shift, and credit unions are ideally suited to navigate this new terrain.Traditionally, salespeople had a huge information advantage over buyers and, therefore, the upper hand. Thus the adage, “Let the buyer beware.”But this has changed due to a shift in the “information asymmetry” that defines the sales relationship, says Daniel Pink, author of “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” and other best-selling business books.“In just about every market for everything, we’re in a world approaching information parity,” he says. “Add to that the huge number of choices buyers have, along with their power to talk back, and we’re now in a world of ‘seller beware.’ Now, it’s the sellers who are on notice. It’s harder to take the low road, which means sellers are forced to the high road—and that requires some fundamentally human capabilities.” continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Program series teaches students about mental health

first_imgAlexandra Ting | Daily TrojanA series of fortunate events · Students work out the “mind-body connection” at a Mental Health Awareness Month event on Oct. 3.A series of events this month will focus on making students more aware of how prevalent mental illnesses are on college campuses and providing guidance to students in need of mental health support.Mental Health Awareness Month, hosted by the USC Academic Culture Assembly throughout the month of October, started last year and has returned in 2016 after generating positive feedback from the student body. “The theme for this year is self-care and community care, because we are trying to advocate our students to take care of themselves and to take care of the community as well,” said Luis Vidalon-Suzuki, executive director of the Academic Culture Assembly.Vidalon-Suzuki said that Mental Health Awareness Month intends to spark conversations among students through a series of seminars and student workshops. The Academic Culture Assembly  plans to host a mental health resource fair on Halloween, and has created a mental health resource guide for students to utilize when considering the issue on campus.“Before this, there was not a centralized location where students could go to for mental health resources,” Vidalon-Suzuki said. “This guide informs students who are in need of help. We [also] passed a resolution through the USG Senate to require those mental health resources to be on all course syllabi.”While the Academic Culture Assembly is the main host of the program, it is collaborating with other organizations and assemblies to provide more diverse events to students. For example, the Asian Pacific American Student Services and International Student Assembly are teaming up to provide a workshop in which students can make their own personal stress balls. Furthermore, the Health Sciences Education Program is hosting an event, “Slam Down the Stigmas,” in which students do slam poetry regarding mental health issues and the stigma surrounding them.“We find that students have a very high rate of depression and other forms of mental health illnesses,” Vidalon-Suzuki said. “The fact that we don’t talk about them or the resources are underfunded is a problem. We want to tackle these issues with different perspectives, which is why we collaborated with other assemblies and program boards.”Vidalon-Suzuki said he hoped that by bringing these taboo subjects into a public forum for discussion, students would actively be involved in conversations about how to combat mental illnesses. To start off these conversations, the Academic Culture Assembly invited acclaimed poet Rupi Kaur to campus for a live reading and book signing on Sept. 29. Kaur’s poetry tackles difficult topics including destruction and healing, and her empowering message parallels the lessons that the Academic Culture Assembly hopes to teach students this month. Students, however, expressed both positive responses and concerns. Alex Luu, a junior majoring in animation and digital arts, said that he agreed with the concept of the programming series but did not think Rupi Kaur was a good choice as a program opener. “Kaur did bring light to some issues that aren’t normally talked about,” Luu said. “However, I feel her poetry … fails to address the ‘bigger picture,’ the ‘why’ she is doing her work.”Nash Iyer, a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering, said that he liked the more creative format of the programs offered this month, and hoped that other students would take something away from these events that they can use in their everyday lives. “This program is a good step in the right direction, because a lot of times words that describe mental illnesses are used as derogatory terms to mean bad or stupid,” Iyer said. “But we definitely need more ways to spread awareness, because most people aren’t super motivated to come to talks.”last_img read more

Flying Eagles to Play Ghana, Benin in WAFU Tourney

first_imgNigeria’s Under-20 boys, Flying Eagles, will sweat it out with their counterparts from Ghana, Niger Republic and Benin Republic in Group B of the WAFU U20 Cup Tournament holding in Lome, capital of Togo between December 6th and 16th.Organisers have put the competition together as a major preparatory programme for the sub-region’s five teams that have qualified to participate at the 2019 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations finals holding in Tanzania between February 2nd and 17th next year.Seven-time champions Nigeria, alongside Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger Republic will take part in the 11-day tourney in Lome. The five countries will be joined in Tanzania by Burundi, Angola and the host nation. The Flying Eagles come up against the Young Squirrels of Benin in their first match of the tournament on 7th December, before matches against Junior Mena of Niger Republic (9th December) and Ghana’s Black Satellites (12th December).The eight-nation tournament will see hosts Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Senegal contending in Group A. Matches have been scheduled for the Stade Municipal and the Stade JCA, both in Lome.Togo and Cote d’Ivoire will battle it out in the opening match on 6th December, hours before Senegal confront Burkina Faso. Both matches will come up at the Stade Municipal, which is also venue for the final match on 16th December.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Super Eagles last_img read more

Finance Minister Audley Shaw racks up $64,869 cellular phone bill

first_imgFinance Minister, Audley Shaw phone bill a whopping JMD$8 MillionFollowing public outcry after it was revealed that Jamaica’s finance minister Audley Shaw racked up a J$8.3 million cell phone bill, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that all Cabinet ministers will take responsibility for their telephone bills.Following an emergency meeting of the island’s cabinet at Gordon House in Kingston on Tuesday, Holness said the situation is unacceptable and must be addressed immediately.During the meeting Holness ordered an audit of all cell phone bills of Ministers and State Ministers to confirm the accuracy of information in the public domain.Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew HolnessHolness admitted that there was no standard, clear and consistent policy being applied across government regarding the treatment of communication expenses for Ministers.Read More: Jamaican Government reduces property tax ratesThe Prime Minister has directed the Ministry of Finance to review the respective policies for the provision of communication services including cell phones, operating in the various Ministries. This is to allow Cabinet to make a comprehensive decision on how communication services and expenses for Ministers are treated. Below is a copy of Audley Shaw’s phone bill from April 2016 to March 2017.A copy of Audley Shaw phone bill from April 2016 to March 2017Should phone bills be capped?In the interim, he instructed that cellular phone expenses be capped. The Ministry of Finance has been tasked to advise the Prime Minister, within a week on the appropriate amount for the cap. Any amount exceeding the cap should, therefore, be the responsibility of the respective Ministers unless otherwise approved by the Permanent Secretary.The Cabinet members have agreed that public concerns about the level of some bills are valid.Read More: Income Tax threshold increase for JamaicansIn furtherance of their Ministerial responsibility to be frugal with the public purse, notwithstanding that most of the costs incurred would have been in pursuit of the Government’s business, they have committed to reimburse the Government retroactively the difference between actual bill and the capped amount to be determined and imposed.In the meantime, the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology is being mandated to enter into discussions with telecommunications providers to devise standard cell phone and data packages for Government Ministers.last_img read more