Notes From Outside the Box
August 2016 
Network News

The structure of the Vermont Creative Network is designed to work at three levels.
  • Oversight and guardianship by the Steering Team
  • Grassroots planning and activity among six Creative Zones
  • Network facilitation by a Backbone, the Vermont Arts Council.
The Steering Team meets quarterly while continuing its expansion to just under 20 members. This month, the Team welcomes four new members.

(L to R) Eric Bunge, Marguerite Dibble, Sierra Dickey, Greg Paus

Eric Bunge
joins as the agent from the East Central Vermont Creative Zone. Eric is Managing Director of  Northern Stage in White River Junction. He was founder and managing director of Commonweal Theatre Company of Lanesboro, MN, a prime tourist attraction in southern Minnesota developed under Eric's leadership.

Marguerite Dibble, originally from Peru, VT, owns and operates award-winning Game Theory, an entertainment game development firm in Burlington. Marguerite was a student at Champlain College when Game Theory was established; the company now has a national clientele.

Sierra Dickey came to Vermont via Cape Cod and Walla Walla, WA where she graduated from Whitman College with a degree in environmental humanities. Sierra is a senior copywriter at Mondo Mediaworks in Brattleboro.

Greg Paus, an architect and owner of Silver Ridge Design in Hyde Park, serves as liaison from the Vermont Arts Council board of trustees. He has chaired the Hyde Park Planning Commission and has been a member of the Lamoille Regional Planning Commission as well as the Stowe Charities.

The Creative Steering Team includes:

Eric Bunge, Northern Stage (East Central Vermont Creative Zone agent)
Paul Costello, Vermont Council on Rural Development
Lauren-Glenn Davitian, Common Good Vermont (Partner)
Ann DeMarle, Champlain College Emergent Media Center (Partner)
Marquerite Dibble, Game Theory
Sierra Dickey, Mondo Media Works
Zon Eastes, Vermont Arts Council, ex -officio
Jody Fried, Catamount Arts (Northeast Kingdom Creative Zone)
Peter Gregory, Two Rivers/Ottauquechee Planning Commission
Bob Haynes, ACCD/Regional Development Corporations (Partner)
Gary Holloway, ACCD/Downtown Program (Partner)
Greg Paus, Vermont Arts Council
Martha Reid, Vermont Department of Libraries (Partner)
Steve Stettler, Weston Playhouse (Southern Creative Zone agent)
Lars Hasselblad Torres, The Generator
Welcome Emily Titterton!

The Vermont Agency of Education recently hired Emily Titterton as Arts Content Specialist for its Proficiency-Based Learning Team. Previously unfunded for nearly five years, the position replacement follows the Agency's March 2016 adoption of the National Core Arts Standards, which are voluntary national guidelines to assist states in providing high-quality arts education to all students. Just over a month into her new position, Emily answered a few questions for the Vermont Creative Network (VCN). This interview has been edited for length.

VCN: What interested you in the position?
ET: As a native Vermonter, I am thrilled to return to my home state and start contributing to our arts landscape. I was interested in the Art Content Specialist position because it puts me in a unique position to be able to advocate for the Arts in Vermont schools at the state level. I have always seen the arts as a vital part of an education, one that I benefited from despite the very limited access I was granted during my school experience.

VCN: What will your role be, and what will be your first priorities on the job?
ET: One of my first priorities will be supporting art teachers as they transition to and implement the new National Core Arts Standards. Another goal is to facilitate stronger lines of communication between the AOE and art educators and amongst art teachers across the state. I am also on the Proficiency-Based Learning Team and I believe art teachers have a wealth of knowledge to share with other educators on best practice within the PBL model.

VCN: What are you most excited about?
ET: With all of the new changes in policy that are coming down the chute in education, it's easy to get overwhelmed, however, I believe these changes act to bring arts back to the center of a well-rounded education. There is a lot of potential for the arts to be integrated and to be looked to as a leader for other content areas.
Photo courtesy Champlain College.
Spotlight: Creative Thinkers Find Solutions

Ann DeMarle is a member of the Creative Network Steering Team. She also heads the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College in Burlington. As professor and mentor, Ann encourages students to develop creative skills and technologies not only for responding to specific situational or academic challenges, but for advancing through business and corporate leadership as well.

Earlier this month, Ann contributed an article to Market Watch, a website providing the latest stock market, financial, and business news. "Leaders will continue to emerge from many areas of study. But after decades of being second-class citizens, at least in the corporate world, it is big news that artists are developing skills and knowledge that will qualify them for the corner office." Read Ann's article, which offers descriptions of several student-powered innovations.
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. 
Leadership: Conference Expands Sector Conversation
The inaugural New England Maker Spaces and Creative Places Conference (the Maker Places Conference) was held August 8 and 9 in Burlington. More than 40 people attended, from as near as Waterbury and as far as Sydney, Australia. This new conference represents one of many ways the Maker Movement has been expanding in Vermont since the first Champlain Maker Faire in 2012.
Speakers representing universities, manufacturing companies, and maker spaces shared on culture shift, community engagement, and inspiring young makers. Many discussions made the case for integrating arts, nature, and technology into the movement.
The conference included tours of some of Vermont's maker spaces including  Champlain College MakerLabUVM FabLabBurlington Generator Makerspace, and the Green Mountain Power Inspire Space.
-- Doug Webster is an engineer, innovative thinker, and artist. He produces the Champlain Maker Faire and founded CMF Inc., a nonprofit that supports maker events, fosters innovation networks, and promotes entrepreneurship educational programing.
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