This fall, The Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) will launch the City’s first-ever Creative Economy Census. All working artists, creative businesses, cultural organizations, and contributors to the City’s creative industry are invited to make themselves count by filling out a brief survey which will be available online and in paper format from Friday, October 1 – Friday, November 5. To promote visibility of the Census and to encourage community participation, an informational kick-off event will take place at Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus, 67 Market Street, on Thursday, October 14, from 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Aimed specifically at Lowell’s growing arts community, the Creative Economy Census will collect data that will enable COOL and the City of Lowell to track the impact of creative sector businesses in the local economy. Additionally, key outcomes of the project include increasing visibility of Lowell’s arts and culture sector with regard to economic development and planning, and, generating ideas for workshop and assistance programs that will improve, strengthen, and support local artists and creative entrepreneurs.
“The City of Lowell has experienced a marked growth in its creative and cultural sectors,” said Lowell’s City Manager Bernie Lynch. “The Creative Economy Census will not only help us implement programs to support our arts community, but will also lay the foundation for benchmarking the rise of our creative sector. We’re extremely proud to be launching this groundbreaking effort.”
Another way Census data will benefit the arts community is through the development of a creative industry database which will house contact information for the City’s artists and creative entrepreneurs. By connecting artist-to-artist and artist-to-consumer, the database will help facilitate networking opportunities, inform the creative community of news and opportunities, and connect sellers and service providers with those seeking creative goods or services. An optional “opt in” to the database will be available in both the online and paper-based Census formats.
The Creative Economy Census will be available online starting Friday, October 1, at the project’s website, www.CountMeInLowell.org. Pick-up and drop-off locations for the paper-based censuses will include local art galleries and select city-wide locations. All locations will be listed on the project website.