The Sisters Country Vision Implementation Team (VIT) is a collaborative group of community members, representing a variety of local organizations, who are working together to bring the 2018 Sisters Country Vision to life.

Over the past year, the team members have begun work on all 20 Vision Strategies. Now starting their second year together, the team members are excited to launch a new progress dashboard at www.sistersvision.org and welcome a new staff person, Emme Shoup from the RARE Americorps program. The VIT is also announcing the launch of a small grant program designed to help catalyze community-led action on Vision strategies.

Interested in learning more, or getting involved with this powerhouse local team? There are three openings for new team members this year!

The City of Sisters successfully applied to host a new AmeriCorps position this year, from the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) program. Emme Shoup starts her post on September 14, and will be with the City for the next 11 months. During that time, she will primarily support the Sisters Country Vision and the City’s Comprehensive Plan Update. Along with those major projects, Emme will serve as Community Engagement Coordinator. Emme grew up in Vancouver, Washington and attended Portland State University where she earned a degree in Community Development. In 2019, she studied abroad in Llupa, Peru, earning a certification in Permaculture Design. Along with her interest in food systems and nutrition, Emme has a passion for urban planning and design, and lifelong love for the arts.

“I spent most of middle and high school at an art school, which really encouraged interdisciplinary work, crossing art with academics. I love to draw and find artsy ways to be creative, like sewing. A big part of Sisters is incorporating art into community. It’s nice to be with people who have that artistic mindset,” says Shoup.

The Vision Team is also excited to announce the launch of a local small grant program this year. The VIT seeks funding requests from organizations, businesses, or individuals in Sisters Country who are actively working toward completion of a Vision Strategy, or who would like to start work on a Vision Strategy this year. Applicants can apply for up to $1,500 to support their efforts. Visit the vision website at www.sistersvision.org to find the application link. While there, be sure to check out the brand new progress dashboard and annual Vision Progress Update from the VIT.

With such great momentum for the Sisters Country Vision in 2020, the team is seeking to add a few new members this year. The newly created Arts and Culture seat will help the team stay connected to the arts community and progress happening on the many Vision Strategies connected to public art. The team is looking for someone currently representing a local art organization or non-profit. The Youth Member represents the younger voices of Sisters Country, and will work with Emme to engage more students and young residents in the Vision.

Last year, this seat was filled by local SHS student Olivia Bertagna, and this year the team has decided to create a formal internship through the Youth Career Connect program. The internship is open to any Sisters Country resident under the age of 30. Finally, the team seeks to add one more community member at-large to their ranks. This seat doesn’t require any affiliations or special skills, just a passion for community-building, time to serve, and a desire to roll up your sleeves and get involved in the future of Sisters Country! Links to the application for all three positions can also be found at www.sistersvision.org.

The team will be accepting new member applications through October 31.