Woman outside smiles in front of autumnal trees
Community Engagement Coordinator, Creative Economy

Our 2020 vision is so bright, we’ve got to wear shades. What’s lighting up our world? The most recent round of CreativeGround featured profiles on the Home and About pages! 

Keep warm with these red-hot profiles! Get cozy with these summaries and, when you’re persuaded to drink the cocoa, click on the respective links to view their CreativeGround profiles and kindle a new creative economy crush.

Want more? Search by keyword and Explore your locale on CreativeGround to find the resources you can harvest from your community: the creative businesses, cultural nonprofits, and artists.

Psst. How are you envisioning your own robust, feature-worthy profile? Follow these steps to make it happen.

Photo courtesy of Erica Moody

Erica Moody | Fine Metal Work (Waldoboro, ME)

Erica has been working professionally as a metal craftsman since 1994 and, in 2001, founded her business Magma Metalworks, Inc., (now operating under her own name) which provides a range of custom metalwork commissions to architects and designers, such as furniture and hardware. In 2016, she started a line of personal work, in small metal serving utensils, which has quickly attracted attention from publications such as Bon Appetite, New York Times Style Magazine, and Esquire to name a few. She balances the studio work with private and guest instruction at colleges and workshops at craft, furniture, and boat building schools. View CreativeGround Profile >

Photo courtesy of FirstWorks

FirstWorks (Providence, RI)

FirstWorks, a nonprofit arts organization based in Providence, Rhode Island, builds the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of the community by engaging audiences through world-class performing arts and education programs. Launched in 2004 as a turnaround of First Night Providence, FirstWorks’ programming provides “firsts” to the community—artists’ first appearances in Rhode Island, children’s first experiences in arts learning, first theatre experiences for under-resourced audiences and new work presented for the first time. Engaging Rhode Islanders with some of the most significant creative forces of our time, FirstWorks places public performances at the center of weeks and months of interaction with artists such as Paul Taylor Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Rosanne Cash, Phillip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma and Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center. View CreativeGround Profile >

Photo courtesy of The Jazz Unit

The Jazz Unit (South Windsor, CT)

The Jazz Unit offers high-quality acoustic modern jazz music. Whether performing originals or standard jazz masterpieces, this spirited ensemble is dedicated to the future of this important and illustrious American art form. Band leader, trumpeter and vocalist Ricky Alfonso has a style steeped in swing, blues, and modern jazz. With a trumpet voice reminiscent of Miles, Freddie Hubbard, and Lee Morgan, he has long since developed a very personal musicality on the trumpet and vocals. A composer, arranger, and educator, he has earned degrees in music education and has taught in his studio and in the classroom for many years. Ricky’s current group, The Jazz Unit, performs modern jazz standards and original compositions as he carries on the tradition of high quality swing and modern jazz improvisation. Always looking forward to future performing and recording projects, Ricky can be found performing in many of New England’s best jazz venues. View CreativeGround Profile >


Photo courtesy of Mural Envy, "Migration" mural in in Danbury, CT

Mural Envy (Sandy Hook, CT)

Mural Envy's mission is to transform overlooked spaces into areas of interest, inspiration, and beauty. Artist and owner, Toni Miraldi is motivated by the belief that since we are subtly influenced by our environs, we should surround ourselves and our communities with small positive messages–through art, nature, architecture, or kind words–to help combat feelings of suspicion, fear, and despair. Mural Envy’s bespoke mural service transforms and energizes spaces – both public and private – with bold shapes, simplified lines, and strong colors to create wall art that grabs your attention from across the room. View CreativeGround Profile >

Photo courtesy of New England Center for Circus Arts

New England Center for Circus Arts (Brattleboro, VT)

New England Center for Circus Arts is an internationally recognized circus school known for outstanding physical and creative programming, innovative teaching, coaches at the top of their field, a welcoming and inclusive community, and dedication to providing training that’s catered to the individual. NECCA devises outreach programming for the community, offers 60+ community classes a week for anyone who wants to try, as well as training for the professional. For touring, the New England Center for Circus Arts presents the Circus Capstone Project, a culminating performance of aspiring circus professionals at the forefront of American Circus. For aspiring performers, NECCA’s three year ProTrack provides elite acrobatic and aerial training alongside movement and physical theater, instigating a deeper capacity for creativity within circus arts. In their final year, a small group of these accomplished students devise a show for touring, embracing innovation and daring at the intersection of circus, theater, and dance. View CreativeGround Profile>

Photo courtesy of The Record Co.

The Record Company (Boston, MA)

Founded in 2010 by Berklee College of Music graduate Matt McArthur, The Record Co. (TRC) is on a mission to remove the technical and social barriers between Greater Boston music makers and their creative visions through affordable music workspace and equitable professional development programs. As a non-profit community music workspace designed to serve all Bostonians, TRC’s facility offers all music makers the opportunity to produce high-quality creative materials on their own terms. TRC’s longest-running and most recognizable service is offering subsidized, affordable access to two, commercial-grade recording studios. TRC provides workspace with equipment and infrastructure only, and invites music makers to employ their own creative and technical staff. After continuously operating at maximum capacity, hosting more than 1,400 recording sessions for over 3,750 unique community users annually, TRC is opening a new facility in 2020. In addition to checking out TRC’s CreativeGround profile, learn more about their creative community initiative for workspace expansion that they shared at the Creative Communities Exchange on NEFA’s website. View CreativeGround Profile >

Photo courtesy of Brett Walker

Theo Martey (Manchester, NH)

Theophilus (Theo) Nii Martey is a songwriter, recording artist, choreographer, performer, and teacher originally from Accra Ghana, West Africa. He is a master of West African drumming and dance, a heritage that has many subtle variations in rhythmic patterns, dance styles, and colorful costumes all specific to a wide diversity of tribal groups from the region. Theo started his drumming and dancing studies at a young age, performing with various ensembles, including the Dance Factory Company at the National Theater of Ghana, one of the most sought-after performance ensembles in Ghana. View CreativeGround Profile>