Notes From Outside the Box 
June 2016  
Our Newsletter Has a New Name!
Thanks to all who suggested names for the Network's monthly communication. With many clever submissions to choose from we selected Notes From Outside the Box. John Hadden of Londonderry offered the winning title and will receive a gift certificate to his favorite coffee establishment, J.J. Hapgood Store in Peru, Vermont. Thanks, John!
Steering Team to Oversee Network Development

The Vermont Creative Network is designed for action and response at more than one level. The Network Steering Team will oversee the developing structure from the 30,000-foot view.

The Steering Team, including Network partners, Creative Zone agents, and key Vermont voices, met for its inaugural meeting on June 15 in Montpelier.
The Team reviewed network structure, perused a draft report on creative sector employment numbers, and discussed short-term and longer-term goals. Meeting quarterly, the Team will guide overall Network planning, mastermind network convenings, and assist with statewide advocacy.
Current members include: 
  • Paul Costello, Vermont Council on Rural Development 
  • Lauren-Glenn Davitian, Common Good Vermont 
  • Ann DeMarle, Champlain College Emergent Media Center
  • Jody Fried, Catamount Arts and NEK Creative Zone 
  • Peter Gregory, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission 
  • Bob Haynes, Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Regional Development Corporations 
  • Gary Holloway, Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Downtown Program 
  • Martha Reid, Vermont Department of Libraries 
  • Steve Stettler, Weston Playhouse and Southern Vermont Creative Zone 
  • Lars Torres, Burlington Generator
As remaining Creative Zones frame up, four more Zone representatives will join the Steering Team. Plans include the addition of younger people (25 and under) and other key creative sector voices. 
Summer Reading List

Looking to dive deeper into sustainable network development? How about collective impact approaches?

Check out these resources:

The Art of Leading Collectively by Petra Kuenkel

Connecting to Change the World by Peter Plastrik, Madeleine Taylor, and John Cleveland

The Social Profit Handbook by David Grant

Systems Thinking for Social Change by David Peter Stroh

We'd like to hear about what you are reading these days. Send us an email with your recommendations.
Spotlight: Collective Impact Models Inspire VCN Structure
One model the Network will use to effectively configure Vermont's creative sector is Collective Impact. Introduced in 2011 by the "Stanford Social Innovation Review," Collective Impact is a disciplined, cross-sector approach to solving social and environmental problems on a large scale.

In a 2014 blog post the Review discussed the central conditions for collective impact:   

1. Common agenda

2. Shared measurement

3. Mutually reinforcing activities

4. Continuous communication

5. Backbone support


Read the entire blog post, Essential Mindset Shifts for Collective Impact.

Vermont Creative Network Action Roadmap 
Community | Education | Funding 
Leadership | Technical Resources | Visibility

The work of the Vermont Creative Network comprises six aspects.
The following article, submitted by a guest, 
addresses an aspect of the roadmap.

Network Resources:  
Vermont's Public Libraries, Part of a National Trend 

The following article, excerpted from the Aspen Institute report"Rising to the Challenge - Re-Envisioning Public Libraries," addresses the Action Roadmap. Thanks to Martha Reid, Vermont State Librarian, for suggesting the article.
Libraries across our state are more vital than ever - incubating new modalities of learning, accelerating creativity and collaboration. They are part information repository, part maker space, part community center
and gathering place, 100% creative.

The time has come for a new vision of public libraries in the United States. Communities need public libraries. More people are visiting them and using their services, materials, and programs than ever before, but communities' needs continue to change.

While the public library was conceived in an age of information scarcity, today's networked world is one of information abundance and mobility. The spread of powerful digital information and communication technologies has touched every aspect of daily life, creating new opportunities. The internet has become the critical gateway for accessing information, job opportunities, education, financial and government services, healthcare resources, and civic participation. Moreover, these technologies present new opportunities for local and regional entrepreneurs and communities to compete, including at national and international levels - economies of small thriving alongside economies of scale.

But this new world of "information plenty" creates new, essential skills, such as the ability to gain value from information and produce new knowledge. Access to digital networks and digital literacy skills are essential for full participation in modern society. Economic, educational, civic, and social opportunities are tied to a whole new set of knowledge and skills that barely existed a generation ago, and people without these skills or access to this information abundance are quickly left behind. 
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