The CreativeGround platform has evolved from two previous directory/database sites (MatchBook.org and CultureCount). Profiles were migrated to CreativeGround, along with existing user accounts that maintain these profiles. Original profiles came from publicly available sources and databases, including the directories of NEFA, the NEA, the New England state arts agencies, the New England Library Association, and arts/culture nonprofit organizations that file an IRS Form 990 from the National Center for Charitable Statistics.
The profiles on the site are now user-updated and created; profiles on the site give a real-time data snapshot of the creative economy of New England. Anyone who is a creative or affiliated with an organization/business that is creative or creative-related and is based in one of the six New England states, can have a profile. New England is made up of the states now called Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
If you represent a cultural nonprofit or creative business as a staff member, owner, or board member, you are encouraged to add a profile to CreativeGround or update an existing one. Start by clicking Get Listed on the homepage.
See the About CreativeGround page for more information.
NEFA (our parent organization) has another directory for those! CreativeGround is a directory of the enterprises and professional workers of the creative economy - the organizations and individuals who work within the creative sector. However, creative economy initiatives (sometimes called creative place-making/keeping), are projects that leverage local creative assets and cross-sector partnerships for community revitalization and growth. These initiatives are typically not housed within a single cultural organization due to their cross-sector nature, and are often led by local government, planning, or economic development offices.
So, submit those creative economy projects to NEFA's Community Initiatives through this quick webform. If you wish, you can then link to your posted project on your CreativeGround Profile in the Additional Content links of your Media section to have these two sources of information complement each other!
The mailing list for CreativeGround’s monthly eblasts and quarterly newsletters is compiled from CreativeGround user accounts that have opted into receiving our email communications. To sign up, you must create a free user account. Our communications contain technical tips and tricks, community stories, opportunities, and more.
Reminder: Anyone can create a free user account, but only New England-based users can create or manage a public profile. All profile owners will receive an email reminder to update their profile twice a year, even if they don’t receive regular eblasts.
We love spotlighting the amazing creatives of CreativeGround and here’s how you can get a Profile into the queue to be featured:
Check out other creative economy resources from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) including research publications like The Jobs in New England's Creative Economy and Why They Matter (June 2017).
NEFA's blog has a monthly opportunities listings feature that includes jobs, grants, residencies, professional development workshops, and more. If you have such opportunities to offer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or Contact Us at CreativeGround.
Note: NEFA and CreativeGround do not have a calendar to promote events in the region (ex. a showcase or festival), but we do share calls to artists/creatives and partners (organizations and businesses) that are sent to us for events and projects.
CreativeGround is building a community of peer learning and knowledge building. Check out the CreativeGround blog to discover expertise that other regional players in the creative economy want to share, community storytelling on the impact of the arts and culture sector, as well as accessible breakdowns of creative economy terms and data. The blog is where we share where the CreativeGround team is travelling to offer workshops and lend support for your local, on-the-ground workshops and conferences.
We’d love to have CreativeGround used as a centralized creative economy directory by partners across New England. You can use the new CreativeGround API (Application Programming Interface) to integrate any front-facing directory data from CreativeGround into another website's styling and layout.
Your integration would need to cite CreativeGround as the source of the data and send users to the primary CreativeGround.org to sign in, create or update profiles, or contact profiles. CreativeGround staff will work with partners who use the API to understand the parameters of the data sharing, but the technical expertise of the partner’s website developer is required.
For an example of the CreativeGround API in use by a local partner, see the Arts Hub of Western Mass
CreativeGround logos are made available for download on the Promo Toolkit page. Use of the CreativeGround logo itself is sufficient crediting when linking to the site. When referring to all other information derived from CreativeGround, the following notice can be used: “New England Foundation for the Arts/CreativeGround http://www.creativeground.org.”
The data archived by CreativeGround is made available for non-commercial purposes only. Please review our Terms and Conditions for detailed information regarding NEFA's policies on data use. Images contained in this site are not to be downloaded or otherwise reproduced without direct permission of the owner or copyright holder. Permission to reproduce text for commercial use must be obtained from NEFA in writing prior to reproduction. All requests should be directed to email@example.com.
If you are a CreativeGround API Partner, please see your API agreement for specifications on how to cite CreativeGround as your data source.
To update a Profile that you manage, log in to CreativeGround to access your Dashboard. Select “Manage My Public Profiles” from the menu on the left. Then, click “Edit” beside the public profile you wish to update. As you edit, be sure to click the “Update Profile” button in the bottom right to save and publish your changes.
If you do not see the profile you wish to update in your Dashboard but a profile exists for the entity you represent (as yourself, a staff person, or a board member), view the profile and click the “Claim this Profile” button. You must claim management before you can make direct updates to the profile. For detailed instructions see: What does it mean to claim a public profile?
If you do not represent the profile but want to provide an update or correction, go to the profile and click the “Suggest an Edit” button. For detailed instructions, see: How and when should I suggest an edit to a CreativeGround profile?
See here for detailed instructions: Updating or Creating a Profile
A Profile Score is a number that is calculated for each public profile indicating how robust the profile is. Generally, the more thoroughly and thoughtfully that the fields are filled out, the higher the profile score will be. The higher the score, the more visible the profile will be in Search results, especially when a user sorts by Profile Score. The numerical profile score is only visible to that profile’s managers, and can be found beside the profile name in the user dashboard.
To live up to our community values of transparency and equity, it is possible for any and every profile to have a high profile score. This means that the diverse and broad spectrum of creative entities in the region can update profiles with the information specific to their work; that specificity is what will make the profile most discoverable to potential collaborators, funders, and resources, etc., and vice versa. Whether you are an individual creative or part of an organization, professionally trained or community taught, your work matters, and CreativeGround endeavors to demonstrate just that.
Treat your profile like a resume or portfolio of the work you or your organization does. There are two places on your CreativeGround profile where you can upload images and videos. If you have other media files you wish to include, such as audio or publication clips, add them to the Additional Content section.
Log into CreativeGround and go to the Manage My Profiles tab in your Dashboard.
Click Edit beside the profile you wish to update. The left sidebar menu should indicate that you are now in a section called "Basic Required Information." Scroll down the left sidebar and select Media.
Images and videos:
A few Pro-Tips for image and video files:
For audio and other media files:
When CreativeGround was launched, most of the profiles from two of NEFA's older sites (MatchBook.org and CultureCount) were migrated to the new platform. All of the profiles on MatchBook.org were user-generated, but CultureCount contained a far wider variety of creative economy data from publicly available sources and databases. This includes the directories of the New England state arts agencies.
Because of this migration, some users, particularly those who work for or are otherwise professionally associated with organizations, may find that there is already an existing profile for the entity on CreativeGround. If so, they should click the "Claim this profile" button on the profile to request access to manage and update the profile. An administrator will review the request form and email the user. Once the profile claim is approved, the user will be able to manage and edit the profile from their Dashboard.
Anyone can submit a suggested edit to any public profile on CreativeGround. We welcome and highly encourage users to suggest edits to profiles as a way to build community-sourced knowledge, and to provide real-time visibility into the New England Creative Economy Network.
When should you suggest an edit? Common examples include telling us if a profile has gone out of business or is no longer active, if the name or address of an organization has changed, or any other inaccurate or outdated information. Once submitted, an administrator will review the suggested edit and update the profile information appropriately.
How do you suggest an edit? Submit your suggestion for an update to a profile by clicking the “Suggest an Edit” button at the top of the profile. If you are affiliated with, work for, or otherwise represent the profile and want to be able to manage and edit the listing directly, do not suggest an edit: instead, please click “Claim this Profile” to make your updates directly.
The definitions of the ever-expanding options are based on original information provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and updated with additional options and feedback from our CreativeGround community that were researched with experts in the New England region.
If you feel like none of the types apply to you or your organization and that you are a part of the creative sector in most or all of your activities, contact CreativeGround to start the conversation around what an accurate Institution/Business type might be for you.
The "Activities and Services" field on your profile allow you to select the activities and services you perform, produce, or otherwise make available. When you include a selection on your profile, you should have real-life examples of how you have provided such a service. We understand creatives wear many hats and may willingly jump into new practices, but this section is to highlight that which you currently do, not what you are capable of doing.
Read more about how the specific options for Activities and Services are defined here.
NOTE: because CreativeGround encompasses a wide range of Institution/Business types, how a particular activity or service might be offered can vary from profile to profile. For example, a higher education institution might offer the service "Residency - School" which will differ significantly in deliverables from a visual artist that offers that same service of "Residency - School." If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact us so that we can ensure that your "Activity and Service" options represent the work you do/offer on your CreativeGround profile.
Air Ventilation System: mechanical system for providing healthy air for breathing by both diluting the pollutants originating in the building and removing the pollutants from it.
Profile managers can select the option ‘I am a NEFA Grant Recipient’ under ‘Affiliations and Accomplishments’ when creating or editing their profile. Once this designation has been approved by NEFA program staff, it appears on the profile. Anyone who has been supported through a grant within the last four years is considered a NEFA Grant Recipient in CreativeGround and can have that status displayed on their profile. For a full historical list of NEFA grant recipients, please visit the grant recipient database on nefa.org.
The NEST (New England States Touring) program at NEFA funds presentations of New England-based performing artists by New England nonprofit presenters from a different New England state. CreativeGround is the directory of all artists who may be chosen by these nonprofit presenters for funding.
Therefore, all artists who wish to qualify for NEST funding must maintain an artist profile on CreativeGround. For more information about how to become NEST eligible, please click here to go to the NEFA website. Artists can also watch this video tutorial for instructions on how to complete all required fields in their artist profile before requesting NEST eligibility.
While our goal is to protect the work of the artists and its legitimacy, we acknowledge that this is a limited and seriously flawed system that prioritizes people who are enrolled within a U.S. federal or state tribal community, and who are visual and craft artists. This is, to date, the system that organizers of markets and shows of Native American Art are using. Until there is a Native-led system that replaces it, we are required to use the guidelines to vet artists’ work in a way that protects them with the IACB and their regulations.
We encourage you to learn more about the IACB and the power that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) holds to recognize tribes. Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t have a way to recognize artists with a special designation who are within the U.S. and not validated by the BIA, or artists from outside of the U.S. tribe enrollment system, but we encourage artists to describe their identities and their work however they choose in the “Description of Work and Background” section of their profile.
Touring artists are professional artists that perform for live audiences in various communities and/or are hired for a live performance. Touring artists are typically artists that work in performance disciplines such as music, theater, dance, storytelling, puppetry, or multidisciplinary forms.
New England-based touring artists are able to participate in NEFA’s New England States Touring (NEST) grant program, which subsidizes up to 50% of artists’ touring fees. CreativeGround houses the directory of all artists who may be chosen by nonprofit presenters for NEST funding.
All artists who wish to qualify for NEST funding must maintain an artist profile on CreativeGround. For more information about how to become NEST eligible, please the NEFA website here. Artists can also watch this video for instructions on how to complete all required fields on their artist profile before requesting NEST eligibility.
CreativeGround is the official arts and culture directory for the six state arts agencies (SAAs) of New England. Several of these arts agencies have rosters of artists that they vet and approve according to their own state guidelines. Artists who are on a state arts agency roster can indicate that special designation on their CreativeGround profile. CreativeGround/NEFA staff do not vet artists for joining the rosters; connect with your State Arts Agency to learn more about joining a roster.
Arts Presenters of Northern New England (APNNE) and New England Presenters (NEP) are the two membership consortia that support professionals in New England who program performing arts events by providing professional development, block booking discussions, and networking. Go to nepresenters.org for more information.
You should indicate your membership in these organizations on your CreativeGround profile by checking the appropriate box under “Special Designations” in the "Affiliations and Accomplishments” section when editing your profile.
The Creative Communities Exchange (CCX) is a biennial NEFA creative economy event that gathers creative and cultural community leaders for networking and practical creative economy workshops prepared by their peers. CCX highlights a wide range of successful initiatives from around New England that focus on various elements of the creative economy (e.g. downtown revitalization, artist and small business professional development, impact data collection, planning, zoning, space development, and marketing). Workshop presenters are chosen through a competitive application process, and two are recognized with a NEFA creative economy award. For more information about the creative economy projects that were shared by these CCX presenters, see NEFA's directory of Creative Economy Community Initiatives.
Designated Arts Communities are specified arts or cultural districts, geographic creative zones, or other creative communities that have been identified by CreativeGround partners.
If your profile is part of a Designated Arts Community, be sure to indicate that on your profile by selecting them under “Special Designations” in the Affiliations and Accomplishments section when editing your profile.
Keyword Search: Keywords are words, phrases, and terms that you can enter to narrow the results to only profiles containing those words, including profile name. Some tips for digging through CreativeGround by searching for profiles using specific keywords:
Basic keyword searches using one or multiple keywords without quotation marks will result in profiles sorted by Best Match, prioritizing profiles with that keyword or keyword phrase:
Learn more about Search in this video tutorial:
Find potential collaborators and resources in the New England Creative Economy Network by browsing over 30,000 Profiles, using our filters to locate the creative entities you are hoping to connect with.
Not sure where to begin with our Search filters?
Once you’ve done that, use filters to:
Learn more about Search in this video tutorial:
Find potential collaborators and resources in the New England Creative Economy Network by browsing over 28,000 Profiles, using our Location filters to locate the creative entities you are hoping to connect with. There are four ways to search by Location.
Use the Sort By drop down menu on Search to quickly re-order the results you’re looking for. You can sort results by:
CreativeGround is a strictly regional database representing the creative people, places, and organizations in the six New England states. A project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), CreativeGround is brought to you through ongoing partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Maine Arts Commission, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Vermont Arts Council.
While CreativeGround is unique, there are many other efforts underway aimed at capturing the breadth and impact of the creative economy across the nation. To learn more about these efforts, we suggest contacting the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), your regional arts organization (RAO), state arts agency (SAA), or other jurisdictional/local arts agency, committee, commission, or body.
The Presenting and Touring program area at NEFA provides communities with access to performing arts as part of a thriving arts ecosystem. The program area includes multiple grant opportunities and services that support nonprofit organizations that hire touring artists. One of the grants that facilitates the regional touring of New England artists is New England States Touring (NEST).
CreativeGround’s Touring Artist designation provides extra visibility for the profiles of artists that tour so that presenters of performing arts can easily find and hire them: Search for Touring Artists
If those presenters want to apply to NEFA for funds to help pay for the artist's fee, they can easily search for touring artists who are eligible for a NEST grant: Search for NEST Eligible Artists . You can find more info here: What does NEST Eligible Artist mean?
Artists and organizations who do public art can display ‘Public Art Projects’ as an activity on their CreativeGround profile by selecting it from the list of ‘Activities and Services.’ Likewise, CreativeGround users can search for artists and organizations that do public art by selecting the filter for ‘Public Art Projects’ from ‘Activities and Services’.
Public art is as varied and diverse as the artists who create it and the communities that engage with it. It is often a site-specific experience that is accessible to the public and created by professional artist(s) in collaboration with a community. Public art can be permanent or temporary. It can be in a rural neighborhood or on an urban university campus. It can be a performance or installation. Public art can be a historic memorial or a contemporary mosaic. It can make music or a political statement.
Learn more about NEFA's Public Art grant programs.
Recognizing the intersectionality of artists’ identities, we acknowledge that artists may also identify as cultural practitioners, activists, and community-rooted collaborators, and may be self/community-taught, institutionally trained, or a combination of both.
Creative Activism*: The making and dissemination of creative work that addresses, depicts, or reflects a particular social problem or issue.
Social Change*: A qualitative shift in a society’s attitudes, policies, and laws with regard to particular values (equality, justice, diversity, tolerance) and issues (immigration, climate change, gun violence, racial or economic justice).
Practitioners of Creative Activism can select ‘Arts for Social Change/Creative Activism’ as an activity on their CreativeGround profile by selecting it from the list of ‘Activities and Services.’ CreativeGround Searches can be filtered for profiles that have selected ‘Creative Activism’ from ‘Activities and Services’.
*Definitions from Making Waves: A Guide to Cultural Strategy by The Culture Group
While NEFA no longer has a dedicated program to support Native American Arts, we are still fueled by a commitment to increase the visibility, self-determination, and sustainability of Native artists and art forms. See our Land page for more details on our commitment.
NEFA supports Native artists and organizations through grants, technical assistance, and network development. CreativeGround is the New England Native Arts directory, managed in partnership with the Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance.
Learn more about the meaning of the Native American Artist designation on CreativeGround here.
Your CreativeGround username is the email address you used on the prior CreativeGround site. If you're not sure if your email is already in use, try to create a new account with your email address and the system will tell you if it's already registered and prompt you to reset your password. If AOL is your email provider, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before resetting your password for further instructions.
If you are an existing user, you can update your email address, change your password, edit your personal information, or opt in or out of CreativeGround communications.
To do so, log into your account . From your Dashboard page, click 'Account Settings’ in the menu on the left. Make your changes and save them by clicking 'Submit’ at the bottom of the page.
Please note: This is the process to edit your individual user account information. To edit any public CreativeGround profile(s) associated with your user account, go to ‘Manage my Public Profiles’ in your Dashboard and click ‘Edit’ to the right of the name of the profile you would like to update.
Click on the "Forgot Password?" link on the Login page. Enter the email address you used to created your account and CreativeGround will send a message with a link to reset your password. If you do not receive the email or no longer have access to that email account, contact us for further instructions.