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Around the Ground: Connecticut

Posted 11/15/2022

We are traveling “Around the Ground” to see how all of our state and local partners are using CreativeGround. And the first stop is…Connecticut! 

Here, our state partner is the Connecticut Office of The Arts (COA), a state office within the Department of Economic and Community Development. 


Connecticut Office of the Arts Logo

Fun Facts

Connecticut has a total of 4,174 profiles in CreativeGround, 275 of which identify as Teaching Artists. The most common discipline? Music!

Discover CreativeGround: Connecticut

COA shared at our Public Launch Kickoff event that they are using CreativeGround in two key ways.

First, as a Connecticut Artists Directory. Our efforts to rebuild and upgrade CreativeGround do not stop with us, as a project for the whole of New England in its entirety only. Instead, the directory can zero in on any specific subset or smaller community within the New England region through the power of an Application Programming Interface, or API. COA has been working with in-house IT personnel on this relatively inexpensive tech solution to fulfill needs expressed during a recent strategic planning process. What will eventually be visible on the COA site will be the Connecticut artist entries only.

Someone browses on a yellow laptop

What COA is doing here can work for any agency in New England that needs a directory. It’s really an economical way to proceed, because you’re building upon what already exists within our regional arts infrastructure instead of starting from scratch (and paying a for-profit company!) Your website can interface with ours through an API that can set any number of parameters to customize the dataset and the user experience. It also lowers the burden on artists and organizations who can create and update profiles in one place and get more visibility for that effort. 

CT Presenting at the CreativeGround virtual kickoff event

“We are currently working with our IT team to tap into the CreativeGround directory and pull out the relevant data points. We will then be able to utilize a Connecticut artist registry that will live and breathe within our own Connecticut Office of the Arts website.”

- Tamara Dimitri, Connecticut Office of the Arts

You've got a parent and child kind of relationship between the directories. Theirs will be licensed for use by the Connecticut Office of Arts and branded to look like their other assets, with brief credit to NEFA for creating and maintaining CreativeGround. 

Dee Schneidman presents at the virtual CreativeGround Kickoff event

“We love to see everyone doing their own thing but still ‘pulling back to the mothership’ as Tamara amusingly put it at our kickoff. It’s really exciting that Connecticut - and other partners - can tap into this new technical resource, which was a major part of our recent upgrade."

- Dee Schneidman, Senior Program Director of NEFA’s Creative Economy program

The other use of CreativeGround that COA has found is to gather a list of nonprofits for research analysis.  As we reported in our September eblast, Arts and Economic Prosperity (AEP6) is a national study being carried out in 2022-23 by the Americans for the Arts (AFTA). Relying on our database gives partners a head start in preparing to participate. In New England, the starter list of eligible organizations that AFTA provides to its partners came directly from CreativeGround. This provided a comprehensive starting point for this creative economy research in our region, reducing the administrative burden on partner organizations and increasing the validity of the data analysis for New England in the national study.

“It is one of the biggest and best sort of asset mapping projects where states like Connecticut are able to tap into data points and really get to know the impact of the arts sector and the creative economy. So utilizing CreativeGround is a great resource to be able to get to know more of the arts organizations, the culture entities, and everything else that might be happening in the creative economy across Connecticut.”

- Tamara Dimitri, Connecticut Office of the Arts

CreativeGround is a free, public-facing service of the New England Foundation for the Arts, tended by the region’s creative ecosystem and maintained by NEFA’s Creative Economy Team. It is used as a centralized creative economy directory by partners across New England, with expertise from website developers at this and other partnering agencies. To learn more, see our FAQs

For more information about how we approach and maintain data integrity for CreativeGround, see About the Data. If you learned something from this blogpost, or want to contribute to the ideas expressed here, please send us a ‘Gram.

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