(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts announces the re-launch of CreativeGround, a directory that celebrates and reflects the vital work of artists, creatives, culture bearers, creative organizations and businesses across New England.

Originally launched in 2014, CreativeGround is NEFA’s primary tool for creative economy network and knowledge building. Both a database and directory, the user-generated and maintained profiles on CreativeGround provide a real-time picture of the creative people and places at work in the six New England states. The platform enables the people of the creative community to share who they are, what they do, and what they contribute. The site remains the only searchable creative economy research database/asset map in the U.S. that is updated directly by the community.

“This project was more than an important technical update,” said Dee Schneidman, senior program director, research & creative economy. “The CreativeGround community of users and partners has been essential to this site launch, sharing ideas, needs, and feedback along the way to facilitate connections with others. Though we began this project before the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was known, this re-launch is a crucial opportunity to empower the creative community with additional tools and partnerships. When creative communities are supported, all communities thrive.”

The six New England state arts agencies use CreativeGround as their official cultural and artist roster directories, and with a new Application Programming Interface (API), site partners have the option to integrate front-facing directory data from CreativeGround into another website.

Noted the directors of the six New England state arts agencies:

  • “Here in Connecticut, we use CreativeGround as the one and only statewide, online database of artists and arts organizations,” said Elizabeth Shapiro, Director of Arts, Preservation and Museums, Office of the Arts, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.  “We are loving this new iteration of the platform and are doubling down to ensure that all members of Connecticut’s creative economy create an/or update their profiles today!”
  • “We’re all stronger when we collaborate and share ideas and resources. The CreativeGround relaunch enhances what is already a remarkable tool for connection,” said David Greenham, Executive Director, Maine Arts Commission. “Maine’s creative workers, organizations, and venues know that CreativeGround is a valuable north star that helps them navigate their way to greater success.”
  • “Creatives and the culture sector already have a tough time surviving and thriving.  Resources are always needed, now more than ever.  CreativeGround will help so many creatives do what they do best – make the world a better place,” shared Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council
  • “We are thrilled with the relaunch of NEFA's CreativeGround platform and know it will help New Hampshire's artists and creative businesses – and the robust economy they create – grow and thrive,” said Ginnie Lupi, Director, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.
  • “On behalf of the State of Rhode Island, we want to thank and congratulate NEFA for updating this wonderful resource that is an integral tool for R.I.’s artists, arts organizations, and arts educators," said R.I.'s State Council on the Arts Executive Director Lynne McCormack. "Because of NEFA's investment in CreativeGround and other key programs, we are able to ensure that artists continue their essential work of enriching the arts and cultural lives of Rhode Islanders."
  • “The inspiration and spark that artists and creative businesses provide have helped Vermont communities to survive the pandemic and proven that arts and culture are an essential community resource. The role of art and creativity in building community resilience and recovery has never been clearer. CreativeGround gives artists a vital platform for connecting and sharing resources and makes the power of the arts visible,” said Karen S. Mittelman, Executive Director, Vermont Arts Council

Several of NEFA’s regional grantmaking programs are entwined with CreativeGround, providing an additional boost to applicants and the sector.

“CreativeGround is a celebration of the region’s robust creative assets. The site helps the region’s creatives to connect with each other and with those who invest in their work directly and improves the national and regional data used for advocacy and service to the field. We couldn’t be more excited about its relaunch and look forward to seeing how this useful tool will help the sector grow,” said Michael Orlove, Director of State, Regional & Local Partnerships, National Endowment for the Arts.

We couldn’t be more excited about its relaunch and look forward to seeing how this useful tool will help the sector grow

Michael Orlove, Director of State, Regional & Local Partnerships, National Endowment for the Arts

The site is part of a comprehensive Creative Economy program at NEFA, which began with research publications that date back to the late 1970s. More recently it has included regional peer learning events, research on the economic impact of the sector, creative sector data and creative placemaking/keeping project sharing and hosting an informal network of community leaders invested in the regional creative community.

CreativeGround is supported through ongoing partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and the six New England State Arts Agencies (Connecticut Office of the Arts, Maine Arts Commission, Massachusetts Cultural Council, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and Vermont Arts Council), with additional funding from the Barr Foundation.

About NEFA

The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation.  NEFA accomplishes this by granting funds to artists and cultural organizations; connecting them to each other and their audiences; and analyzing their economic contributions. NEFA serves as a regional partner for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England’s state arts agencies, and private foundations. Learn more at www.nefa.org.

Contact: Ann Wicks | 617-423-1390

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