A smiling woman with blond curly hair
Senior Program Director, Research & Creative Economy
It’s time to start planning the next iteration of NEFA's biennial regional creative economy convening, the Creative Communities Exchange! Prior events have traveled around the region to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire, and we hope it will take place in Connecticut in June of 2017.

To that end, we are looking for the right location and local host; criteria and responsibilities are listed in detail below. Any groups or organizations interested in hosting CCX 2017 should fill out this questionnaire by July 28. You may download the details on Local Host Criteria and Local Host Responsibilities or read them below.  
This is also an opportunity to share NEFA’s Creative Communities Exchange: Learning from New England Creative Economy Initiatives, a summary of learnings from CCX 2015
This paper outlines the structure and goals of the CCX concept, shares survey data from participants, as well as an analysis by Chris Dwyer of RMC Research of the needs and suggestions made by leaders in arts-based community development work in New England. Our hope is that input we have gathered from creative economy leaders can help NEFA and other service providers advance the role that the creative sector plays in building healthy New England communities.
Please contact me with any questions about CCX 2017 or this report on CCX 2015. 

Local Host Criteria & Responsibilities

Local Host Criteria


  • Visible demonstration of creative economy investment and engagement of the creative sector in community planning, revitalization, and growth (a.k.a. creative placemaking) within the specific location
  • Appropriate local creative economy leader willing to be local host (see below)
  • Ease of travel to location (for NEFA and for participants from across New England)
  • Alternate environment from immediately prior CCX (urban/rural)
  • Availability of reasonable housing, parking, and meal options
  • Availability of existing local events/creative activity for event participants
  • Appropriate space(s) for workshops and full group sessions that are:
    • Within 8 minute walking distance from each other
    • Accessible for persons using wheelchairs and group discussion-friendly
    • Capacity: seated lunch for 250; workshop spaces for 75 (4); awards ceremony space - stage with seating for 250
    • Registration/event hub throughout the event
    • Tech: projectors and screens/walls

Local Host Organization or Point Person

  • Strong connection to creative sector of locale (prefer city/town vs. county)
  • Understanding of creative economy/arts-based economic and community development event purpose and New England regional reach (desire to learn from other states)
  • Connections to local venues and other support (logo designer, printing, supply rentals, press, catering, government, VIP’s)
  • Connections to diverse communities (e.g. non-arts, demographic, geographic)
  • Ability to generate the support they need and manage those people independently
  • Capacity to independently assemble local event committee and event volunteers
  • Capacity to meet other local host responsibilities (see separate document)
  • Capacity to prioritize CCX goals and local needs within their organizational constituent expectations and board politics

Local Host Responsibilities (sample)

The Creative Communities Exchange (CCX) is an event in which community leaders share practical information about implementing creative economy projects and learn about actionable tools that can be executed to strengthen their own communities. This is a peer exchange to share successes, challenges, and lessons learned from New England creative economy projects – an event that is by and for its participants.

This list of roles and responsibilities is not comprehensive, and may be added to and amended by joint agreement of NEFA and [the local host]. NEFA and [the local host] are equally responsible for the completion of event planning and tasks within budget and established deadlines.

The local host will:

  • Designate a single point person to communicate with NEFA and be accountable for completion of the local host responsibilities
  • Meet with NEFA during the planning at appropriate intervals to complete the tasks and communicate about the event
  • Identify local vendors for catering, supplies, printing, etc.
  • Identify appropriate event spaces
  • Identify appropriate lodging options
  • Suggest discounts or in-kind donations from vendors
  • Identify a local designer to create the CCX logo for 2017
  • Manage local VIP’s
  • Serve on the CCX Advisory Committee
  • Form and manage a local host committee (as needed)
  • Plan and promote optional local events for CCX participants (in town and one additional location in close proximity to the event) – share details with NEFA
  • Recruit and train volunteers to staff the event – especially the local info table
  • Manage local press outreach
  • Publicize the event with their constituents through newsletters, list serves, social media, etc.
  • Receive credit on all CCX promotional materials
  • Stay within budget for complimentary and discounted registrations
  • Suggest potential event sponsors; coordinate with NEFA on the implementation of fundraising strategies

NEFA will:

  • Approve the event format and content based on prior experience and feedback from other events
  • Manage the budget, including receiving donations, sponsorship revenue, and registrations; and issuing payment to vendors
  • Manage all aspects of the creative economy award, including logistics and funding
  • Recommend local optional events for the local host to manage
  • Form and manage an advisory committee to give input on event activities. This committee will include perspectives from other New England states and help NEFA and [the local host] to promote the event to potential funders, workshop leaders, and participants.
  • Create and host the content for the 2017 CCX webpage
  • Promote the event through all NEFA networks
  • Manage marketing materials (design and production of event logo, web & print materials, event documentation (photography/videography), others as necessary.)
  • Manage event staff and volunteers
  • Manage vendor logistics and contracts
  • Collect event feedback after the CCX
  • Oversee crediting and acknowledgment of sponsors
  • Define CCX sponsorship levels and benefits, identify potential sponsors, create a fundraising plan, and solicit sponsorships and other funding
  • Coordinate with [the local host] on the implementation of fundraising strategies
  • Define the selection criteria for CCX workshop leaders, according to the goals and format of the CCX
  • Create and manage the mechanism by which prospective workshop leaders apply to participate in the CCX
  • Recruit diverse workshop leaders and participants
  • Organize the selection/approval/guidance process for workshop leaders
  • Communicate with chosen workshop leaders and vet their presentations prior to the CCX
  • Serve as primary contact for workshop leader logistics
  • Manage online event registrations and serve as primary contact for general event and registration questions
  • Manage any scholarships or registration discounts given