Friday, September 23, 2005

Creativity is the key to economic success

[22 September 2005 - Times Argus] Thanks to its creative people and artsy folks, intellectual centers and funky buildings, the Capital City is an attractive place to live and work. If Montpelier can capitalize on these benefits, it can improve its economy and sustainability, according to organizers and panelists at a forum exploring the "creative economy" held at Union Institute & University's Vermont College Wednesday night. Fostering the creative and the unique can enrich the economy and the quality of life, agreed the approximately 70 participants, both audience members and panelists. ... Representatives from many sectors of the city sat on the panel, including Patty Casey, a singer-songwriter, Sonia Rae, manager of Artisans Hand Craft Gallery; Tom Macleay, CEO of National Life and CEO Richard White of the Community National Bank. ... Rae explained how the creative sector is essential to Vermont's economy. "We feel very strongly that our job, not just as a shop, but as a place where people can gather, is to promote creativity within our community but also educating the public about what we do, what the great people around us are doing, what kind of crafts they're producing," she said. "But if we're exhibiting the work of 130 people, and selling the work of 130 people, that means that we're helping to keep 130 people employed in the state of Vermont." Rae added that Artisans Hand, a downtown store which showcases solely Vermont artists, is proud to be a self-sustaining for-profit venture that doesn't rely on grants. More

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