Making the Case for the Creative Economy
Location: Ashfield, MA
NEFA launched its online creative economy database, CultureCount, in April 2008, to increase public understanding of the cultural sector’s critical importance to the region’s economic and civic vitality. With data on more than 28,000 New England artists, cultural organizations, and creative industries, CultureCount is the only comprehensive and consistent data collection resource for this sector in the region, and offers a range of search features and research tools.
Double Edge Theatre and its “Farm” in Ashfield, Massachusetts, is a permanent center of performance, training, research, and cultural exchange. In the summer of 2008, the directors sat down to mine the economic impact data available to them through CultureCount.
What they saw catalyzed a radical shift in their ability to advance their organization. Calling CultureCount and its Impact Calculator data “the foundation to a new credibility -- as not just the unique artistic enterprise from around the corner, but a solid and prominent business…employing people and spilling customers and dollars to other businesses,” Double Edge drew local and national attention to their contributions to the economy of Ashfield. They went on to develop a financial plan, secure new lines of credit with the local community development corporation, and negotiate a mortgage to purchase the Farm.