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At a meeting this morning, I ran into a local colleague who said, “I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the CCX in New London. I’m still thinking about it.” That was the inspiration I needed to finish reading the evaluations and share the learnings, and perfectly timed for us to share these video highlights:
The CCX has become a flagship event for NEFA, and is shaped almost entirely by the participants. It has a specific format, and while the content is focused on arts-based community development and creative placemaking, it has evolved over time in response to your feedback. So, here it is: your assessment of CCX 2017 based on your survey responses (and the lovely comments people have shared by email). Thank you for your continued interest and enthusiasm around gathering as the New England Creative Economy Network. Thank you for sharing your expertise with each other and with NEFA so generously. Our region’s communities wouldn’t be the robust, creative, and appealing places they are without you.
WHO ARE YOU?
Out of the 273 people who registered for the event, 102 of you responded to the online survey. (Yes, we want to hear from no-shows too.)
Registrants: Primary Work Sector
Survey Respondents: Role(s) in the creative economy (multi-select)
What creative economy topics are of particular interest to you and/or your community? (In descending order)
Ninety-seven percent of you said that the CCX met or exceeded your expectations , which is exciting since 73% were new to the CCX experience!
What specifically met your expectations (or didn’t)?
Your favorite elements of the event were the event setting and the event venues. Go New London! (NEFA staff agree – the local venues, vendors and local host were all extra enthusiastic and helpful.) It’s amazing how many comments we hear about CCX venues. Though it might be a logistical challenge, people love hopping around the various venues of a community that exemplify the creative economy and arts-based community development in action. Does this mean that we need to make extra sure that the spaces are welcoming and accessible to all? Yes. Is it worth it? Of course! The CCX must take place in venues that demonstrate the creative community in which they are situated, so it is unlikely to ever be at a convention center or hotel. You can quote me on that.
You also loved the length of the event, the schedule and timing, the variety and format of the workshops, and the interactive keynote. You were split (like/love) on the overall networking time and you liked (but didn’t love) the research session, the networking lunch, and the workshop handouts. You found registration easy, but wanted more info pre-event about the workshops and local event options. That's a lot of love! Maybe that's why you stuck around for the whole event:
Let’s get into the meat of the event – the workshops and the networking, both equally important to you when deciding whether to attend the CCX.
86% of you found the workshops “useful” or “very useful,” with 13% noting they were only “somewhat useful.”
Which Sessions Were Most Useful?
Why? What made them useful? Your most popular descriptions:
Don’t forget, you can download any of the To Do handouts from the workshops from their Community Initiative section on nefa.org.
What about the workshop leaders themselves: Those brave souls who took time out of their busy schedules to put themselves out there and get the discussion going and lead among their peers.
They ranked the elements of being a workshop leader from most favorite to least (but everything was at least OK):
NETWORKING & PARTICIPATION
Ninety-eight percent of you were satisfied with the event networking. You gave special shout outs to meeting people from Waterfire, Expansion Arts Project, the African Burying Ground Memorial, Boston, Portland, Northwest CT, and New Haven. You were happy to meet so many people developing space (a big theme at CCX this year) and implementing economic development projects. You became acquainted with new people and checked in with folks from your own state you don’t see often enough. Many of you mentioned planning trips to communities you learned about at CCX. Keep us posted on those and please share if anything develops!
Overall there was appreciation for the mix of enterprising artists, arts administrators and others that are engaged in creative economy initiatives.
Who should we all be sure to invite to the CCX 2019? (your top suggestions)
Why is networking so important?
|Visibility & Broadening Perspective
Of course we couldn’t produce the CCX without the support of sponsors. And one very important outcome of those sponsorships is that it gives NEFA the ability to pass along that financial support to make the event accessible and affordable for the participants. This year many of NEFA’s state arts agency partners also offered support to get their constituents to the CCX, especially the CT Office of the Arts, who paid for 63 people to attend. We are proud that the CCX is considered a valuable investment in professional development that we hope brings more efficiency and cohesion to the sector across the region. Sixty percent of you who responded to the survey said that you would not have attended the CCX without registration or travel support, so we join you in thanking everyone who made that possible.
Outcomes from prior events
An inevitable challenge for a biennial event is the sustaining of momentum and tracking that longer lasting impact. Here are a few examples you shared of how participation in a prior CCX has helped you post-event. Clearly a tip from your peers would be to not be afraid to reach out to each other when you’re back home and need a hand!
Stay tuned for the date, location, and topic of the NECEN fall meeting (feel free to send me suggestions!).
Join us for the upcoming webinar about The Jobs in New England Creative Economy and Why They Matter report if you need a refresher or want another opportunity to ask questions. And please share the report video and highlight sheets widely! Info here: www.nefa.org/necreativejobsmatter.
And it’s not too soon to start thinking about CCX 2019 in VT! The application for the local host and location will open spring/summer 2018, and the call for workshops will open in October 2018.
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