Spreading the word: Our magazine proudly makes connections among arts, agriculture, business, and potential visitors — for all the right reasons

Talk of the Arts: Spreading the Word

As we move into our sixth year, I wanted to talk about our mission. Recently, I participated in a Newsmakers TV segment sponsored by Comcast. That conversation is a great way to tell readers what SO Vermont Arts & Living is all about.

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Most people don’t realize that Southern Vermont has more artists per capita than almost any other state. People tend to regard Vermont as a ski destination when, in fact, there is so much more to the region. What was your vision for the magazine?

Southern Vermont needs to be marketed, and the magazine was founded to help promote the region for the cultural and contemporary area that it is. When people are enticed to come here and given information about all of the things to do in the area, it is an eye-opening experience — and they love it.

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Why is it important for Southern Vermont (and, more broadly, any region) to market itself?

We need to keep spreading the word about our special place. Vermont and especially Southern Vermont thrives on tourism and agriculture. We are unique. We are also so close to metropolitan areas that there is a huge opportunity to reach people who want to get away.

A friend who came here recently commented how this area is a world of its own, and she was thrilled to discover it. That’s what it’s all about: making connections.

Which is true for any region: it’s all about finding what is special or unique about an area and then using all of the tools of marketing and public relations to promote it.

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What are some of the things that are unique about the area?

Recently the governor of Vermont came to Southern Vermont to present the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts [New and Notable, page 8].

His comments are worth noting:

“They finally figured out in the rest of Vermont that the center of culture, the center of taste, the center of virtue, and the center of creativity is right here in Windham County.

“If you want to be hip, if you want to make it in the arts, you gotta come to Windham County.”

We have the open farmland, the Green Mountains, the beauty, the small villages, the fresh food, the local businesses, the creative energy. You know you can go every 20 or 25 miles and enter a new village that has its own personality.

It’s truly amazing.

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Talk about the importance of having an outlet to get Southern Vermont’s message out.

Our ongoing message is to continue to promote southern Vermont as a great tourist destination and place to live, raise a family, and build a business. It has a vibrant culture and workforce, and it offers great opportunity for entrepreneurs and encore businesses. Tourism is critical to our economy and economic development. Every season is a time to visit.

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Snow or no snow, no matter the season, we focus on the creative, cultural, and entrepreneurial side of Vermont. That’s our Vermont — the passionate entrepreneurs, creative professionals, artists, and artisans who are constantly popping up.

They have great stories to tell — and we want to share them.

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