Creative Communities Exchange (CCX)
June 2-3, 2015 | Keene, NH

Local host: Arts Alive

The CCX is a peer-to-peer exchange of the strategies used in successful creative economy initiatives around New England. CCX professional development workshops are for New England leaders who are engaged in creative economy and creative placemaking projects that leverage their local creative sector for the revitalization and growth of their broader community. Read more about the CCX and watch a highlight reel from the 2013 CCX.

CCX 2015 will take place in Keene, New Hampshire, a community that demonstrates strong cross-sector partnerships between the arts and local business, local government, the local colleges, the broader Monadnock region, and Arts Alive, this year’s local host. The event will take place in various locations, including Keene State College and downtown Keene.

Who Should Attend

Creative sector leader? Engage in creative place-making? Research or support the creative economy?

The CCX is shaped by participant's experiences. Participants are creative economy practitioners - or catalysts - from various sectors and types of organizations:

  • cultural nonprofits & creative businesses
  • economic development
  • city planning & government
  • philanthropy
  • research & more

Register & Ways to save


$80 if registered by 4.15.15/ $100 after
Online Registration closes on May 31; walk-up registration available if space allows.

Workshop Leader Registration: workshop leaders will receive a registration code via email.

Registration includes:

  • Attendance at all workshops & presentations
  • Tuesday and Wednesday breakfast 
  • Tuesday and Wednesday lunch


1. Bring a Buddy program: receive a 20% discount on your own registration for recruiting community "buddies" who do not work at arts organizations

  1. Sign up for the CCX Bring a Buddy program via the button below
  2. Invite your local economic developer, planner, or other non-arts partners and colleagues
  3. Your non-arts buddy registers and names you on their registration
  4. You then register after receiving  your discount code via email!

Note: the “bring a buddy” discount cannot be combined with the workshop leader discount.

Bring a Buddy Program Sign Up

2. Travel & Registration Support

  • Deadline to apply for support was March 23, 2015
  • Priority will be given to first-time participants and organizations with budgets below $250,000

All event meeting spaces and hotels are accessible for individuals using wheelchairs.  Please contact Daniela Jacobson (617.951.0010 x528) by March 23 if other accommodations are needed.

ccx workshops

Workshops focus on a single initiative, are strictly timed, and have a specific format: 20 minutes of how-to PowerPoint presentation, 20 minutes of Q&A discussion, and 20 minutes of networking time. Workshop leaders provide an instructional handout outlining their initiative.



CCX workshops allow peers to exchange and discuss the specific strategies and steps taken by community creative economy initiatives that focus on various elements of the creative economy, such as: downtown revitalization, artists and civic engagement, impact data collection, planning, zoning, space development, and marketing. Browse NEFA's creative economy initiatives directory to find current projects from around the region, including 2011 and 2013 Creative Communities Exchange (CCX) workshops. The submission deadline for CCX 2015 workshops has passed, but new projects can be shared at any time.

CCX workshop projects generally fall within these four themes:

  1. LEADERSHIP & PARTNERSHIPS: Organizational leaders building capacity within their organizations and communities through strong partnerships with local stakeholders.
  2. HEADING DOWNTOWN: Innovative events and projects that catalyze the creative community and draw visitors and life to the economic centers.
  3. POLICY & PLANNING: Programs that use information and cultural plans to implement policy and zoning decisions that affect all citizens of their local community.
  4. SECTOR CONNECTOR: Model projects that use technology, networking, and training to enhance the capacity of the creative sector’s connections to other sectors.


  • Workshops are chosen according to their:
    • Clarity (specific strategies; well-articulated process; clear outcomes)
    • Innovation (original ideas; unusual partnerships; unique use of local assets)
    • Transferability (replicable aspects for other communities; shareable with peers; valuable lessons learned.)
  • Workshops must focus on the step-by-step process of a single creative economy initiative – not the work of entire organization.
  • Workshops are strictly timed and have a specific format: 20 minutes of how-to PowerPoint presentation, 20 minutes of Q&A discussion, and 20 minutes of networking time.
  • Workshop leaders create a how-to PowerPoint and a To Do checklist outlining the steps they would take to replicate the initiative in their own community. These are reviewed with a mentor in advance of the CCX.
  • Multiple peers (maximum 3) may present in one workshop, but they must collectively present one initiative in the allotted time.
  • Workshop leaders are also participants in the event and are expected to attend the entire 1.5-day event.
  • Workshop leaders receive discounted registration to the event.
  • View the Timeline for CCX Workshop Leaders
  • Selected workshops are eligible to receive a NEFA Creative Economy Award


Workshop Format 20/20/20: presentation (20 minutes), discussion (20 minutes), networking (20 minutes). Four workshops will run simultaneously during six sessions.

   View the Workshop Schedule   Download the CCX 2015 Program Book

Tuesday, June 2: locations on & around Keene State College campus

9:30AM Registration & breakfast at Keene State College Student Center
10:00AM-11:00AM Opening Session: Welcome & Partnership Discussion with special guests Dr. Anne Huot, President of Keene State College, and the Honorable Kendall W. Lane, Mayor of Keene, NH.
11:00AM-12:00PM Session 1 Workshops
12:00PM-1:00PM Session 2 Workshops
1:00PM-2:00PM Lunch with networking activity
2:00PM-3:00PM Session 3 Workshops
3:00PM-4:15PM Closing Session: funder perspectives on how to measure & communicate success with Jamie Hand, Director of Research Strategies, Artplace; and Meri Jenkins, Adams Arts Program Manager, Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Evening Options Register for optional receptions and activities in villages surrounding Keene.

Wednesday, JUNE 3:  locations in downtown Keene around the Keene Public Library

8:15AM-9:00AM Breakfast & Networking at Keene Public Library/Heberton Hall
9:00AM-10:00AM Session 4 Workshops
10:00AM-11:00AM Session 5 Workshops
11:00AM-12:00PM Session 6 Workshops
12:00PM-1:00PM Closing Session & Creative Economy Awards with special guest, National Endowment for the Arts Chair Jane Chu
1:00PM-2:00PM Lunch
Post-Event Options

Keene Art Walk & Scavenger Hunt

 Visit for ideas on what to do in the area before and after the CCX. 

directions, Carpool & hotel


  • CXX 2015 kicks off at the Keene State College Young Student Center on Appian Way at Blake Street, Keene, NH. 
  • Day 1: Locations on and around Keene State College. Park at the Student Center parking lot. View a Campus Map.
  • Day 2: Locations in downtown Keene in and around the Keene Public Library. These are five minutes walking distance from the downtown hotels listed.
  • Go green & carpool: find a ride share or share yours. Be sure to select your state at the bottom of the spreadsheet!


1. Courtyard Keene Downtown |75 Railroad Street, Keene, NH 03431

2. Fairfield Inn & Suites | 30 Main Street, Keene, NH 03431

  • Reserve by calling 603.357.7070. Reference "NEFA corporate rate" for an 11% percent discount off the best available rate. Book early for the best price!

Additional hotels located in Keene include the Holiday Inn Express, Best Western Plus, and the Days Inn. However please note that parking at all CCX venues is limited, and these option are not within walking distance. The Inn at East Hill Farm, which is 15-20 minutes outside of Keene has offered a discount for CCX participants. Additional lodging options outside of town include the Hancock Inn and the Jack Daniels Inn.

Creative Economy Award

Two creative economy initiatives are recognized at each CCX with NEFA's Creative Economy Award. This year, the ceremony will take place during the closing session at the Colonial Theater.



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