Creative Economy

Artistry. History. Community.

Vermont’s creative economy is an interconnected tapestry of artisans, innovators, makers, educators, performers, designers, writers, preservationists, and more, working together and individually to enhance the cultural and intellectual landscape of the state.

BACK TO SECTORSREGIONAL PROFILES
9.3%

employment in vermont creative firms

3.2%

of Vermont’s GDP

85%

OF VERMONTERS SAY ART IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF COMMUNITY

$79 million

creative economy employment earnings

Creatives have been a part of Vermont’s image and economy since its earliest days

Vermont has produced some of our country’s most iconic artistry—from Norman Rockwell’s instantly recognizable illustrations to the masterful carvings of Barre granite sculptors that grace the magnificent government buildings in our nation’s capital.

Today, Vermont’s creative economy is an interconnected tapestry of artisans, innovators, makers, educators, performers, designers, writers, preservationists, and more, working together and individually to enhance the cultural and intellectual landscape of the state. The creative economy they form, as defined by the New England Foundation for the Arts, “is a subset of the overall economy that only includes those industry sectors and occupations with a categorical focus on the ‘production and distribution of cultural goods, services and intellectual property’.”

Vermont’s vibrant creative economy sector is a significant employer: over 40,000 Vermonters work in creative industries and occupations statewide, or 9.3% of total state employment. 6.7% of all Vermont businesses are creative enterprises, and there are over 500 creative nonprofit organizations statewide.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts, in Vermont the arts added $1B in value to the state economy—3.2% of state GDP—in 2017.

This collective economic activity represents the enormous variety of creative opportunity in Vermont—historic preservation and visits to museums, art galleries, and sculpture parks; film and television production; textile and fiber work; gaming software development and metalwork—these smaller industry segments together make a strong economic impact.

And the creative economy isn’t just about business: Vermonters are extremely supportive of the arts, not just as employees and consumers but also as part of civic life. A recent poll showed that 85% of Vermonters say art is an important part of community, and 94% value the arts in education. The sense of place afforded by a vibrant creative culture is an essential part of what makes our communities special—this is reflected in the fact that over 40% of Vermont municipalities incorporate cultural industry, cultural environments, or creative economy in their town plans.

Vermont Creative Network

The Vermont Creative Network is a broad collective of organizations, businesses, and individuals working to advance Vermont’s creative sector. The Network supports leadership teams in Creative Zones located throughout the state, each working to promote the vitality and growth of creative enterprises.

Take in the Arts

The Vermont Arts Council supports Vermont arts and artists through funding, advocacy, and programs designed to increase public awareness. You can search thousands of Vermont artists, performers, and arts organizations via Creative Ground, a New England directory of creative enterprises and artists.

Interested in the creative economy industry but don’t know where to start?

Visit our jobs board to search for job openings in Vermont:

Creative Economy in Vermont

Vermont is Fertile Ground

Creatives of all kinds call Vermont home and produce a vast wealth of artistic work, from fine arts to performing arts to industrial arts. You can live the arts here.

  • Video 1: The Vermont Arts Council promotes the arts and creatives statewide.
  • Video 2: Forevergreen Extra: Twiddle
    Watch an additional performance from Twiddle’s Forevergreen set. Check out Twiddle’s full set in Episode 1 and find all episodes and performances at www.forevergreenvt.com.
  • Video 3: Forevergreen Extra: Kat Wright
    See an additional performance from Kat Wright’s Forevergreen set. Check out Kat Wright’s full set in Episode 1 and find all episodes and performances at www.forevergreenvt.com.
  • Video 4: Vermont Comedy Club’s Vermontr Dating App
    Laugh about the comic reality of Vermont. Performed by Mike Thomas and Sam Kurnit. Written by Brian DeLaBruere. Directed by Nathan Hartswick. Filmed and edited by Michael Fisher.