It’s so hard to believe that it’s been a year since the public launch of the new CreativeGround! We’re taking advantage of this milestone to reflect on the goals we reached and all of the robust activity and feedback (ours and yours). Of course a major factor in any success is always our partners. We’re once again going Around the ‘Ground to spotlight our partnerships a few at a time. We did a little Q&A with our friends at the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the Vermont Arts Council:
CreativeGround: What's one situation or setting where you shared CreativeGround with a constituent?
NH: When are we not sharing CreativeGround?! The NH State Council on the Arts invited NEFA to lead a conversation about CreativeGround with the NH Arts Commission Peer Exchange. This network connects our municipal arts commissions via active sharing of strategies and resources—an open exchange that supports and elevates everyone’s work. As local connectors, arts commissions are in an ideal position to promote CreativeGround. Encouraging robust participation generates data that supports the work they do to inform local arts planning and policy, create opportunities for arts engagement, grow the economy, and advocate for local support of the arts.
VT: At the Vermont Arts Council, we’ve added a question and link to CreativeGround on our individual artist applications.
CG: Do you use CreativeGround in your own work? If so, how?
NH: CreativeGround is one of my go-to resources when I’m preparing for a meeting about local arts planning. Running a quick search helps me understand the level of arts participation and engagement within a municipality—content that informs the conversation and provides strategic direction. CreativeGround data can become a launching point for creative asset mapping, evaluating arts impact, and other arts planning activities.
VT: Grant managers find CG helpful in creating curated lists of artists, by region, by discipline – and have passed along this tool to those who have inquired looking for artists. Community organizations, teaching artists, and schools appreciate the resource. We also encourage individual artists to create a CG profile – we share CG with artists it in three specific ways – on notification letters, as a resource in our website library, and on the application.
CG: What's your favorite feature of the new site?
NH: I love the enhanced filtering! The ability to develop specific and detailed searches helps me to better understand our creative sector and provide targeted information to our constituents.
VT: General feedback from staff indicated they felt strongly that the new site is cleaner – that the profiles pop out more in a good way. My personal favorite is the ability to suggest an edit – in my own community especially, I like to filter a search by my town. As I know what galleries or arts groups are no longer in business, I think it’s important to do my part to help keep the directory as up-to-date as possible.
CG: NEFA frequently gets requests from people outside of New England for a searchable directory like CreativeGround. Why do you think it's important for us to have this unique resource in our region?
NH: New England is a geographically compact region—making it easier to connect artists and arts organizations across states. CreativeGround increases opportunities for NH artists to regionally expand their work and allows NH residents to enjoy arts activities and performances led by artists from across New England.
VT: Artists and arts organizations always need more exposure—it’s important to get their information out to the world in an easy way!
Thank you to all our partners for your continued support, and stay tuned for the next stop Around the 'Ground - Round II!