Talk of the Arts
Talk of the Arts
If Vermont is not usually considered among the stomping grounds of serious creativity and artists, little wonder. For most people, Vermont is all about skiing, breath-taking natural beauty and cows.
And isn’t that what the Vermont brand is all about? Well, it’s certainly what we’ve been telling folks for a long, long time. In 1891, Vermont became the first state to promote itself. The Publicity Bureau, established in the Secretary of State’s office, used state funds to promote Vermont as an escape from the city.
“A place of rural beauty, a place where farms produce wholesome food and where mountains, lakes and trails offer vigorous, refreshing outdoor recreation, a place where history is important and relationship to the land still means something. Vermont is a safe place, away from the noise and crime of the cities.”
— promotion of Vermont in 1891, taken from article written by Tom Slayton (2003)
A recent study by the Vermont Tourism & Marketing Department confirmed that people perceive Vermont “as a place offering robust outdoor recreation, unspoiled landscape, whether it’s winter or summer, a place to get away and back to nature. According to Christine Werneke, chief marketing officer for the state of Vermont, people who have never been here say it’s because they didn’t know what there was to do.
If the State is looking for new areas of growth, why doesn’t it capitalize on the creative energy that pulses throughout Vermont. Why don’t we focus on a niche market that is seeking more cultural and artistic things to do?
Vermont has more artists per capita than almost any other state. Marketers would call that our unique selling proposition. Capitalizing on the rich soil that has nourished many artistic endeavors from colonial times to the present could attract a new visitor. Educating potential vacationers on what’s available could have a huge impact on local economies. Friends visiting me, for example, are always surprised at how much there is to do and how much of it is cultural.
We have what people are looking for today—authentic experiences with plenty of local color. Real food and culinary options, the abundance of thriving art galleries, arts, artisans, open studio tours, creative festivals, museum shows and gallery walks. These gatherings and activities bring out the townspeople and tourists alike to bask in the creative energy—this is an image of Vermont that most folks don’t get to see.
SO Vermont Arts & Living puts a window on this scene with features on the personalities behind visual arts, music, cuisine, theater, literature and design. Our extensive calendar of events is packed with artful things to do. There’s so much to experience and enjoy… please help us spread the word.