NEFA's Creative Economy team and partners are passionate about data, because we're passionate about our region's arts and culture. And we hope CreativeGround makes our excitement contagious. NEFA’s creative economy vision for our region is a sustainable, inclusive, and connected New England Creative Economy Network that is valued by all New England communities. This means that creative people and places are recognized, supported, well-informed, and connected to each other and the broader ecosystem.
In pursuit of that vision, we work to strengthen the creative community by supporting its visibility, networking, and knowledge building - both internally among creatives as well as externally with the broader community.
CreativeGround is NEFA's primary creative economy tool for doing this. A unique combination of database and directory, the user-generated and maintained profiles on CreativeGround provide a real-time picture of the broad spectrum of creative people and places at work in the six New England states and the important connections between them.
NEFA learns from the data that users add to profiles in the directory, using it to improve how its coded for research. NEFA or our partners analyze the database and its contents, when commissioning studies that quantify the impact of the regional creative economy. This analysis informs state and regional decisions about how to support and strengthen those doing creative work.
We also prioritize data transparency; while data about some entities were originally added to the database from public records, we expose these public data through the directory, so that it can be updated directly by users, serving our vision for a self-sustainable Network. Feedback from users who search the site and get listed also gets integrated back into the search categories and the profile form. NEFA maintains the infrastructure so that creatives and community leaders are free to create, post, learn, connect, and build their own capacity to strengthen the region’s creative community. Because of our responsibility in managing data, we also utilize proprietary agreements with our Partners to appropriately manage their access to and usage of the data we provide to them.