(New London, CT) The New England Foundation for the Arts has opened registration for its 2017 Creative Communities Exchange (CCX 2017), to be held in New London, Connecticut June 8-9, 2017, with local host, the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition.

CCX 2017 will gather New England leaders who are invested or engaged in the creative economy to network, share best practices and ideas, and devise long-range projects to spur economic development through the arts.  The Exchange, a biennial event which rotates among different New England communities, serves as bridge between the creative sector and community development. Previous events have taken place in Providence, RI, North Adams, MA, Portland, ME, and Keene, NH.

“CCX 2017 is an opportunity for the creative sector to gather in New London, CT, a seaport city with a reputation for industry, education, maritime, and artistic endeavors,” said Cathy Edwards, Executive Director of NEFA.  “Our sessions will share specific strategies and success stories of how creative economy initiatives can be a cornerstone of economic development.”

Participants are being urged to register before April 14, in order to receive a discounted registration fee of $100.00.  Registration includes free attendance at all workshops and presentations, breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday, and a Thursday night cocktail reception.

Participants can register at www.CCXNewEngland.org.  

Travel support funding is available for participants and organizations, with priority given to first time participants and organizations with budgets below $250,000.  The deadline to apply for travel support is March 24.

Workshop details will be released in March.  Each workshop includes a 20-minute presentation, followed by 20 minutes of discussion and 20 minutes of networking.  Multiple workshops will run simultaneously during six sessions.  All activities will take place in downtown New London, including the Garde Arts Center, the New London Public Library, and Harris Place.

Sessions are structured as workshops and focus on four general themes:

  • Leadership and Partnerships: building capacity through strong partnerships
  • Heading Downtown: innovative events and projects to draw visitors to downtown areas
  • Policy and Planning: how cultural plans can impact policy and zoning decisions
  • Sector Connector: model projects that use technology, networking and training to enhance the capacity of the creative sector to other sectors

A special session will include findings from Creatives Count: the New England Creative Worker Survey and launch of the New England creative economy employment report, the latest of NEFA’s creative economy research projects. 

The closing session includes NEFA’s Creative Economy award: an unrestricted cash award, one for an organization, the other for a project, in recognition of successful strategies, scope of impact on the creative economy, and viability of being replicated in other communities.

“We are looking forward to working with practitioners who meet community development goals from various sectors,” said Wendy Bury, Executive Director of the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition. “We are excited for the opportunity to showcase New London and Southeastern Connecticut and to learn and share ideas on arts and culture, economic development, urban planning, revitalization, and philanthropy.”

CCX 2017 is made possible with funding from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and with additional support from the Barr Foundation and Quinn & Hary Marketing. Media sponsors include The Day and Art New England.  Ongoing support for NEFA’s creative economy work comes from the National Endowment for the Arts and New England’s six state arts agencies.

About New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)
The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in the arts to enrich communities in New England and beyond.  NEFA accomplishes this by granting fund 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.  For more information, please visit nefa.org.

About Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition
The Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributes to the cultural identity, economy and quality of life of Southeastern Connecticut by advocating and supporting arts, heritage, cultural and business activities and organizations. For more information, please visit http://culturesect.org/.


CONTACT: Ann Wicks | 617.951.0010 x534