creative county initiative


our commitment

Through 2022, ECCF will invest over $400,000 in new collaborative placemaking and public art projects encouraging partnerships between the arts, municipal, business, and philanthropic sectors.

our goals for creative county grants
  • Deepen engagement and investment in the creative sector
  • Enhance the visibility, reputation and new funding avenues for the arts
  • Inspire collaborative placemaking and public art projects by providing tools, templates, and best practices
  • Increase capacity for cross-sector work and leadership development

meet the past creative county grantees

In 2018 ECCF invested more than $300,000 in the 12 collaborative art and culture projects below. Learn more.

Creative County Initiative Phase 1 grantees laid out

ECCF’s Creative County work is powered by the contributions of our generous community.

arts and culture


A collaborative focus on hard-hit restaurants signals better days ahead

Arturo Acosta always dreamed of opening his own restaurant. The Dominican-born chef, who spent much of his career in Chile, made that dream a reality in July of 2018 when he opened Japú in Lawrence. It was a risk, he says, introducing the concept of Nikkei – a fusion of Peruvian ingredients and Japanese culinary techniques – to the local food scene.

Essex County Creative Economy to Get Boost from State Grant

ECCF-led virtual platform will distribute and promote region’s digital creative content Essex County’s cultural organizations and artists will soon have a powerful tool to aid in their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a $230,000 grant from the...

Arts in Crisis: Huge Losses Signal Need for Collaboration to Recover

Published in North of Boston Business March 24, 2021
They were the first to close and will be among the last to fully reopen. Theaters, performance venues, live music spots, museums and galleries: they make our communities more vibrant, they help drive the local economy, and they serve as epicenters of creative expression, cultural representation and togetherness.

Lights, History, Agriculture! ECCF Funds Six New Public Art Projects

Merrimack Valley photographers, writers and people seeking calm have probably found themselves at some point on the edge of the Spicket River in Methuen, where Essex County’s only natural waterfall – which once powered 19th century textile mills – drops 100 feet and tumbles over a bed of rocks on its way to the Merrimack in Lawrence.

get in touch

Karen Ristuben headshot

Karen Ristuben

Program Director
Creative County Initiative

Attendees at the Illumincion event

community voices

“The work of ECCF’s Creative County Initiative to illuminate the Ayer Mill Clock Tower, provide funding for the Lawrence Public Library mural project, and support Iluminaçion Lawrence overall is a powerful catalyst to celebrate the city’s spirit of resilience and incredible sense of community.”


how can we help?

We would love to hear from you.

ECCF Logo in White Overlay


  1. 175 Andover Street, Suite 101
    Danvers, Massachusetts 01923