Political Capital: Jeffersonville, VT

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Political capital is the ability of an individual or group of people to stop something from happening that would have otherwise happened, or to make something happen that would have not otherwise happened. One such group, that has a large amount of political power in the town of Jeffersonville, is the Cambridge Arts Council. This group is a source of political power in the town because many of the members of this group are also involved in other organization around town. An example of this would be Justin Marsh. He is also involved in the Cambridge Historical Society as the president of the group, and works with local businesses, like The Farm Store in Jeffersonville (Justin Marsh)(Cambridge Historical Society). These sort of connections can be leveraged by the group. Many of the members of this group are highly involved around town and are seen as very influential. The group also has grants that they give for arts related projects in town. This is another way the group has a substantial amount of influence over what happens in town.

One of the ways that this group has been able to utilize some of its political power was to write and receive an animating infrastructure grant for $15,000 from the Vermont Arts Council (Vermont Arts Council). Once the group had received this grant it then went through the process of choosing a local artist to complete the project, eventually choosing Sarah Rutherford. While some people loved this project it was not popular among all of the residents. “On Jeffersonville’s Front Porch Forum, several residents have expressed vehement opinions about a plan to turn the silos into cylindrical murals” (Seven Days, 2015). In addition there were other proposed uses for the land, such as tearing down the silos and building a spot for businesses in its place. None the less the group has been able to move foward, and the project is near completion. This showcases the amount of power this group has in the town of Cambridge. 

References:

Cambridge Art Council. Accessed: October 26, 2016. News. Retrieved from http://www.cambridgeartsvt.org/20th-anniversary/

Cambridge Historical Society. Accessed: October 27, 2016. About the Cambridge Historical Society: Our Mission. Retrieved fromhttp:/www.cambridgehistoricalsociety.org/about-us.html

Justin Marsh. Accessed: October 27, 2016. The Farm Store Story. The Farm Store. Retrieved from http://www.thefarmstorevt.com/ourstory

Seven Days. April 1, 2015. Jeffersonville Fiercely Debates Proposed Public Art. Retrieved from http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/jeffersonville-fiercely-debates-proposed-public-art/Content?oid=2546923

Vermont Arts Council. Accessed: September  23, 2016. Recent Grants. Retrieved from http://www.vermontartscouncil.org/grants-and-services/recent-grantees#Animating%20Infrastructure