November 19, 2019
ECCF To Invest in Capacity Building for the Creative Sector

Starting in early 2020, Essex County Community Foundation will offer a series of capacity-building workshops to help artists, arts and culture organizations, and creative entrepreneurs compete in our creative economy.

The workshop series – an investment in the development and sustainability of the creative sector – will kick off the next phase of Essex County Community Foundation’s Creative County Initiative (CCI), a partnership with the Barr Foundation to build a strong arts ecosystem across our region.

“Small and volunteer-led organizations often don’t have the budget for professional development or capacity building,” said Karen Ristuben, program director for CCI. “This can impede their ability to grow and explore new opportunities that can have a real impact on their organizations and, ultimately, the people they serve. We want to make sure they have access to these opportunities.”

On. Sept. 27, ECCF announced the complete details of its plan to invest an additional $1.3 million in arts and culture across Essex County through 2022.

The capacity-building trainings, which will begin in January and last throughout the spring, will focus on critical areas such as financial management; partnership development; diversity, equity, inclusion and access; marketing and audience development. ECCF will partner with local and national experts from arts and culture organizations on the cutting edge in their fields.

“We’re really excited about our incredible lineup of presenters,” said Ristuben. “The workshops are carefully designed to be engaging, relevant and really dig into topics that will help our local arts and culture organizations elevate their work and stay connected with their communities.”

Throughout the capacity-building workshop series, ECCF will partner with MassCreative, Arts MidWest, Grantmakers in the Arts and David Howse, executive director from ArtsEmerson, a keynote speaker from ECCF’s Sept. 27 Arts & Culture Summit.

“People really responded to David’s presentation at the Summit,” said Ristuben. “His thoughtful discussion about what it means to be equitable and inclusive resonated with the audience and so we knew we wanted to have him back.”

To learn more about ECCF’s Creative County Initiative capacity building workshop series, please sign up for our mailing list and visit for updates.



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