A year of rebuilding the creative sector through the Creative County Initiative

Jan 1, 2023Arts & Culture

Greetings, Creative County artists, organizers, partners, and supporters – it’s been an incredible year of connecting with you and your work!

Coming out of COVID, there was an obvious need to support new works, ideas, and programs, which led us, in 2022, to increase the funding on the CCI Special Project grants to support some of your new festivals and many local public art programs and projects. Below you will find just some of the projects we supported in 2022. This grant opportunity is still open and is processed on a rolling basis.

The inaugural Lynn Summer Arts Festival

Lawrence Festival of the Arts

Culture House activation series in Salem

Lynn Hip Hop Wall of Fame

Sound healing for Seniors and Hospice with Steve Lacey

CCI ChangeMakers 2022 brought together twelve arts & culture leaders from across the county – for powerful connections and cohort-based shared learning. Learn more about the 2022 cohort here.

Our 2020-22 CCI Partnership grantees made tremendous progress on an exciting range of cross-sector public art and place-based initiatives. There will be much more news about our existing and new Partnership grantees in the coming months.

In 2022 we also hosted a dozen Creative County Initiative Meetups. These digital meetups were a safe space and environment for 100’s of creators, organizers, and leaders to share information and resources with each other and create connections and relationships with their fellow Essex County creators.

Our Creative County/Experience, our initiative to grow the systems and sustainability behind our digital platforms, supported many events by your local groups and creative producers/presenters. Our CreativeCounty.org site welcomed profiles of over 250 artists and organizations, and the new Creative County Vimeo platform provides free housing for dozens of your videos.

Unforgettably, the 2022 Essex County Arts & Culture Summit energized hundreds of you in true Cabot style, with a rapid-fire informative and inspiring program, live art, and amazing performances by some of Essex County’s best artists.

The whole team at ECCF has been thoughtfully tracking the impacts of all this work. Our CCI Six-Year Evaluation Report will be published soon and will serve as the basis for a CCI Strategic Sustainability Plan to be developed in 2023 to guide our way forward.

The team at ECCF’s Creative County Initiative does its best work by creating better conditions for you to make, promote, and sustain your creative work in all genres. We are grateful for your partnership on this amazing journey. We wish you peace, safety, and good health during these final days of 2022, and we can’t wait to see what’s ahead in 2023!

Karen Ristuben

Program Director – ECCF Creative County Initiative