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

Another State of Emergency is Declared in Jamaica’s Capital As Crime Level “Greatly Endangers Public Safety”

first_img Sharing is caring! Share                                        Boundaries of State of Emergency in Jamaica Tweet 144 Views   no discussions (Caribbean360) Another part of Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, is now under a state of emergency (SOE), with the island’s police chief saying the level of crime there is “at a scale and nature that greatly endangers public safety”.The SOE took effect in the Eastern Kingston Police Division on Sunday.Prime Minister Andrew Holness said security personnel from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) were deployed to carry out the enhanced security operation.Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson said the area has been experiencing a high incidence of violent crimes from the latter part of 2019 and since the start of this year.“Eastern Kingston has persistently been one of the country’s crime hot spots with several gangs engaged in deadly inter and intra-gang conflicts or other criminal enterprise. Today, there are currently 32 criminal gangs with over 16 now actively engaged in various violent conflicts in the Division. There are 33 wanted persons and another 34 violence influencers within the Division,” he said.He said that murders in the division increased by 16 per cent in 2019, when compared to the previous year, while shootings increased by 49 per cent. Of those incidents, 67 per cent were related to gang activities.“In 2019, we recovered 36 firearms along with 622 rounds of ammunition in East Kingston alone. Already, since the start of 2020, the Eastern Kingston Division has recorded 11 murders when compared with the three (murders) during the corresponding period last year,” Commissioner Anderson said.Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang noted that the areas extending from Upper Mountain View to Rockfort along the coastline “continue to have a serious increase in…homicides”. And he said the Government was therefore obligated to take strong steps to protect the lives of the law-abiding citizens.“The security forces will take all steps required to apprehend, prosecute, and disrupt the gangs that exist in these areas,” he said.Meantime, Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Rocky Meade reminded that the SOE will give the security forces temporary additional powers of search, arrest and detention and limited suspension of individual rights.“We believe that this is necessary in order to give the security forces the necessary space to carry out the operational tasks that will be required to help bring a sense of normalcy to the communities affected,” he said.He assured citizens that both the JDF and JCF have been properly trained and oriented to give due regard to basic human rights and citizen rights of all the persons within the communities. Share LifestyleNewsRegional Another State of Emergency is Declared in Jamaica’s Capital As Crime Level “Greatly Endangers Public Safety” by: – January 30, 2020 Sharelast_img read more

World Bank: Oil Prices Fall Affects Africa

first_imgThe World Bank forecast has predicted that the fall in prices of oil and other commodities are likely to slow economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa to four percent in 2015 from 4.5 percent in 2014.The bank said in its Africa’s Pulse, a twice-yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects, released in Nairobi that excluding South Africa, the average growth for the rest of Sub-Saharan African countries is forecast to be around 4.7 percent.“As previously forecast, external tailwinds have turned to headwinds for Africa’s development. It is in these challenging times that the region can and must show that it has come of age, and can sustain economic and social progress on its own strength,” said Francisco Ferreira, the bank’s chief economist for Africa.”For starters, recent gains for the poorest Africans must be protected in those countries where fiscal and exchange rate adjustments are needed,” Ferreira added.The 2015 forecast is below the 4.4 percent average annual growth rate of the past two decades, and well short of Africa’s peak growth rates of 6.4 percent from 2002 to 2008.The report says the continent’s huge economic diversity is also mirrored in the impact of commodity price declines, even among oil producers.It notes that although the Nigerian economy will suffer this year, growth is expected to rebound in 2016 and beyond, driven by a relatively diversified economy, and a buoyant services sector.Low oil prices will continue to weigh down on prospects of less diversified oil exporters such as Angola and Equatorial Guinea. In several oil-importing countries, such as Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya and Senegal, growth is expected to remain strong.In Ghana, still high inflation and fiscal consolidation will weigh on growth. In South Africa, growth continues to be curtailed by problems in the electricity sector.World Bank Vice President for Africa Makhtar Diop, who spoke earlier said, despite strong headwinds and new challenges, Sub-Saharan Africa is still experiencing growth. And with challenges come opportunities.“The end of the commodity super-cycle has provided a window of opportunity to push ahead with the next wave of structural reforms and make Africa’s growth more effective at reducing poverty.”According to the report, the fiscal policy stance is expected to remain tight throughout 2015 in most net oil-exporting countries across the region, as countries take measures to rein in spending in light of anticipated lower revenues.While capital expenditures are expected to bear the brunt of expenditure measures, recurrent expenditures, including fuel subsidies, will also be reduced.Despite these adjustments, fiscal deficits are likely to remain high. Fiscal deficits are also expected to remain elevated in net oil-importing countries.“Large fiscal deficits and inefficient government spending remain sources of vulnerability for many countries of the region,” said Punam Chuhan-Pole, World Bank Lead Economist for Africa and co-author of the report.Sub-Saharan Africa is a net exporter of primary commodities. Oil is the most important commodity traded in the region, followed by gold and natural gas.“It is urgent that these countries strengthen their fiscal positions and fortify their resilience against external shocks,” Chuhan-Pole added.New and Old Risks to Africa’s Economic FuturePersistent conflict in a number of areas, and recent violence by extremist groups such as Boko Haram and Al Shabaab pose security risks with the potential to undermine development gains. Also, the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone has highlighted preexisting weaknesses in the health systems of the three most affected countries, as well as others.Although substantial progress has been made against the Ebola epidemic, it remains premature to declare victory until there are zero cases left. A World Bank study released in January estimated that the three hardest-hit countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) will face at least $1.6 billion in forgone economic growth in 2015, and social costs in terms of nutrition, health and education are equally severe. The Bank Group has mobilized about $1 billion in financing to date for the three countries hardest hit by Ebola.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more