RAMP provides a model for rural communities, demonstrating the importance of recognizing creatives, and supporting, sharing, and integrating the arts into the sensibility of the community. RAMP’s primary focus is to serve creatives by providing infrastructure to give them a place in the community to live, work and sell their work. Among many collaborations across southern Vermont, RAMP has worked with the Weston Playhouse, the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, and the VT Arts Exchange in Bennington. Statewide work has included coordinating creatives for the Vermont Craft Councils’ open studio weekends. Among RAMP’s ongoing projects is a series on community access television called Everyday People in which Robert McBride speaks with regional creatives.
These efforts attract creative people and businesses to the community who in turn positively affect the community’s long-term cultural and economic health. RAMP’s initiatives have benefited the residents of Bellows Falls and given the artists living here a genuine sense of “place”.
More recently, RAMP has played an active role in the Vermont Arts Council statewide initiative, the Vermont Creative Network, as the Zone 6 coordinator for Bennington and Windham Counties. RAMP has cultivated a list of over 500 creatives that live in this zone and produces a bi-monthly newsletter assuring that we are in direct contact with this constituency. RAMP has also been active in supporting Creative Ground of the New England Foundation for the Arts.