With so much of the nation focused on recovery, jobs, and new paths to economic development, Rutland’s example of innovative community initiatives, spirit and drive is both timely and needed. We feel this positive story of real substance must be shared with a recession-battered America hungry for good news. The best news is that Rutland’s inspiration and models for revitalization are transferable – community-building can be transplanted to thousands of struggling small towns and cities across America.

Through a range of community-based screenings and forums in Rutland, throughout Vermont and across the U.S., we are building greater awareness of local revitalization efforts and engaging more citizens in community-building projects.

If you have any thoughts,  suggestions or are interested in helping us with fundraising and/or making the connections that will help fuel this outreach program, please contact Art Jones at ajones@great-jones.com.



In January, we traveled across Vermont, meeting with community groups and leaders to begin a dialogue about potential partnerships, distribution channels and deeper discussion.

Meetings included:

  1. The staff of Senators Patrick Leahy & Bernie Sanders

  2. The staff of Congressman Peter Welch

  3. The staff of Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin

  4. Paul Costello, Vermont Council on Rural Development

  5. Andrea Cohen, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

  6. Alex Aldrich, Vermont Arts Council

  7. Stu Comstock-Gay, Vermont Community Foundation

  8. Jen Peterson, Vermont Community Foundation

"The Blood in this Town” kicked off its first community-building forum to promote revitalization in Vermont’s hard-hit towns, engaging community advocates and concerned citizens on Saturday, March 26, 2011 in the state’s capital, Montpelier.

Paul Costello of the Vermont Council on Rural Development moderated the panel and Q&A, which featured the film’s director, Art Jones, Tara Kelly of the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link, Paul Gallo, Head of the Rutland Creative Economy, and Steve Costello, Director of Public Affairs at Central Vermont Public Service and a driving force behind Rutland’s Gift-of-Life Marathon Blood Drive.

Steve Costello of CVPS and Jim Sabataso of Sustainable Rutland answered questions after the screening of the film for Rutland area residents.

  1. David Wolk, President, Castleton State College

  2. Dennis Proulx, Dean of Students, Castleton State College

  3. Chrispin White, Castleton State College

  4. Melinda Moulton, CEO of Main Street Landing in Burlington

  5. Joan Gamble, VP, Central Vermont Public Service

  6. Paul Gallo, Rutland Creative Economy

  7. Tara Kelly, Rutland Area Farm & Food Link

  8. Jim Sabataso, Sustainable Rutland

  9. Representative Peg Andrews

  10. Vermont Youth Tomorrow, a local AmeriCorps group

  11. Shana Duval, VELCO

  12. Bruce Bouchard, Executive Director, The Paramount Theatre


Screening & Q&A Discussion about community service for Rutland High School junior students. The panel involved Director Art Jones, Steve Costello & Chuck Piotrowski of CVPS and Michael Smith of Pine Hill Park.


Vermont:   Vermont Regional Planning Commissions Screenings & Forums - A traveling series of community building forums in counties throughout Vermont.

Vermont: Proposed Events: [Rutland] Grace Congregational Church, Boys & Girls Club; [Statewide]  Bellow Falls, St. Albans,   Newport, West Rutland, St. Johnsbury, Middlebury.

Wyoming: Screening & Forum in the city of Cheyenne, Wyoming

Virginia: Screening & Forum in the town of Martinsville, Virginia

New York: Columbia University, School of Urban Planning – Screening & Forum

New York: Baruch College, School of Pubic Policy – Screening & Forum

Check back soon for additional information about screenings and events throughout the summer and fall!

Rutland High School Screening & Q&A

Rutland, VT

Rutland Free Library Screening & Q&A

Rutland, VT

“Rutland: The Drive for Economic Revival” – a panel featuring the Rutland-focused documentary, "The Blood in this Town" and a team of Rutland grassroots leaders - shared revitalization know-how at VBSR’s 2011 Spring Conference.

The event took place at the University of Vermont Davis Center in Burlington, VT on Thursday, May 12, 2011. VBSR’s Spring Conference is one of the largest annual gatherings of socially responsible businesses in the country.

VBSR Spring Conference, Burlington, VT

Revitalization & Community-Building Forum,

Green Mountain

Film Festival,

Montpelier, VT

Screening & Q&A Discussion about community service for employees of the Rutland Regional Medical Center. The panel involved Steve Costello of CVPS, Randal Smathers of The Rutland Herald, Paul Gallo of the Rutland Creative Economy and Michael Smith of Pine Hill Park.

During the “Making Films/ Making Change” workshop, director Art Jones led students in a discussion about how the power of filmmaking can drive social action and community-building. 

Using clips and case studies from both his film and other acclaimed documentaries, the workshop included a focus on Rutland, its current drive-to-revitalize, and the role of cinematic storytelling in helping to define and drive the city’s renewal – all within the context of a larger national and global worldview.

Guest speakers included Tara Kelly of the Rutland Area Farm & Food Link, Bruce Bouchard of The Paramount Theatre, Shana Duval of VELCO, Chuck Piotrowski of CVPS and Mary Anne Levins. 

Rutland High School Y.E.S Plan Workshop, Rutland, VT

Rutland Regional Medical Center’s Screening & Q&A, Rutland, VT

Lake Placid Film Forum Screening and Revitalization Forum

“The Blood in This Town” appeared as an Official Selection of the Lake Placid Film Forum on Sunday, June 19 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

The screening was followed by a Revitalization Forum with activists and business leaders from Rutland and Lake Placid, led by Art Jones, the film’s director. The forum – part of the film’s larger Outreach Program - featured Rutland grassroots leaders Paul Gallo (Rutland Creative Economy), Michael Smith (Pine Hill Park), Tara Kelly (Rutland Area Farm & Food Link), Steve Costello (Central Vermont Public Service & Coach for the Gift-of-Life Marathon), director Art Jones - and local advocates Kate Fish (Lake Placid Green Team & Executive Director, Adirondack North Country Association) and Gail Brill (Saranac Lake Community Store) providing insight on sustainability and revitalization in the Lake Placid community.

Steve Costello of Central Vermont Public Service, speaks of how the Gift-of-Life Marathon brought Rutland together & awakened the city to what it's capable of accomplishing. (Photo courtesy of Olivia Pepe, Intern, Adirondack Enterprise)

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Art Jones, director of "The Blood in this Town" brings the film's Outreach Program to Rutland High School students in a 2-day workshop, "Making Films / Making Change" to motivate & activate young people in local community initiatives / revitalization.

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Bennington, VT - Bennington County Regional Commission - Screening

and Community-Building Forum

The Blood in This Town” screened for citizens in Bennington at the UU Meetinghouse to spur the exchange of ideas & know-how on small town revitalization. The film was followed by a community-building forum of activists and business people from Bennington and Rutland. Hosted by the Bennington County Regional Commission and its executive director, Jim Sullivan, the event worked to engage the public in a larger conversation about new paths to local revitalization, building on successes from both communities. The discussion, covered by public access TV for area-wide broadcast, encouraged greater participation in Bennington’s efforts to build a vibrant, sustainable future.

Moderated by Bennington’s own Alicia Romac, a videographer and community leader, the panel included: Lindy Lynch, a business owner and President of the Bennington Chamber of Commerce; Michael Keane, a financial services expert and member of the Better Bennington Corporation; Rutland’s Tara Kelly, Executive Director of the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link; Michael Smith of the Pine Hill Partnership; and Steve Costello, Director of Public Affairs at Central Vermont Public Service and a driving force behind Rutland’s Gift-of-Life Marathon Blood Drive.


Outreach Expands Beyond VT Borders to Communities from PENNSYLVANIA and INDIANA to NEW YORK CItY, MICHIGAN, CALIFORNIA and on CAPITOL HILL in DC.



September 17: Williamsburg, PA - Outreach Program visits Williamsburg, PA - a town of 1200 outside of Altoona hoping to begin a revitalization process - for a screening & community-wide forum hosted by Borough Council President Carlee Ranalli at the Farm Show Building at 6:30pm.

October 6: Killington, VT - Vermont League of Cities & Towns Annual Town Fair - “Rutland Revitalization” Panel & Workshop, Killington Grand Resort at 10:30am.    

October 13: Washington, D.C. - Screening & “Reviving Older Cities” Panel at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Hosted by the Northeast-Midwest Institute in cooperation with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch’s office, the Rockefeller Foundation, Great Jones Productions and the German-Marshall Fund. 6:00 - 9:00pm.

October 16: Poultney, VT - Green Mountain College Screening & Panel. The Gorge in Withey Hall, 7:00 - 9:30pm.

October 19 & 20: Indianapolis, Indiana - The Heartland Film Festival.

October 21: New York City - Screening & Revitalization Panel hosted by Pratt Institute’s Center for Planning and the Environment. 144 W. 14th St., Pratt / Manhattan. 7:00 - 9:30pm.

BUY THE DVD $20 & help support outreach