creative county initiative

connections & convenings

When all parts of the creative system come together, it is possible to identify root causes of challenges and find innovative solutions. Working collaboratively, we can address common issues like barriers to funding, creative workforce support, affordable artist space and professional leadership development.

our commitment

Through 2022 ECCF will invest $200,000 to engage and connect hundreds of people across the creative sector.

our goals for creative county connections & convenings
  • Create stronger connections across sectors to enable arts and creativity to thrive.
  • Inspire co-funders to invest in long-term projects that address critical challenges.
  • Pilot and scale innovative systems solutions to support a healthy creative sector.

current convenings

  • Monthly Creative County Meet Ups, virtual opportunities for creatives to connect around timely topics. Sign up.
  • The 2022 Arts & Culture Summit providing education, inspiration, and networking opportunities.
    • September 30, 2022
    • The Cabot, Beverly
  • Creative sector Think Labs, bringing people together to incubate ideas in emerging areas affecting the creative sector. Dates TBD.

    arts & culture summit

    ECCF’s biennial Arts & Culture Summit connects, inspires and educates hundreds of attendees from arts, business, social services, and government, often creating new partnerships to strengthen the arts ecosystem. Learn more.

    The 2022 Arts & Culture date is September 30, 2022. Sign up for Creative County news from ECCF and be the first to know when registration is open.

    Cultural parade right in front of the Cabot in Beverly

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

    arts and culture


    ECCF Announces Next Cohort of Creative County ChangeMakers

    Danvers, MA --- Essex County Community Foundation is excited to announce the second cohort of creative leaders who will participate in the foundation’s Creative County ChangeMakers program, set to begin March 28. Twelve artists, nonprofit and municipal heads will...

    New placemaking project helps grow food and community

    Creative County supports agriCulture, a new gathering spot in Gloucester By Michelle Xiarhos Curran Nonprofit Backyard Growers built the community garden at Willowood, a Gloucester Housing Authority development, in 2017, and they have managed it ever since. In the...

    get in touch

    Karen Ristuben headshot

    Karen Ristuben

    Program Director
    Creative County Initiative

    Clock tower photo

    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.”

    – MAYOR DAN RIVERA, CITY OF LAWRENCE, on the power of cross-sector collaboration and effective teamwork

    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