SOMERVILLE – Help the Somerville Arts Council better understand the economic assets of the creative community in Somerville by participating in a quick community survey, launched with the UMass Center for Policy Analysis. .

The survey can be found at, is open to all residents and will be available through December 6. It takes only 12 questions and five minutes to complete.

“Much of our success at the Somerville Arts Council relies on us listening to the creative community in Somerville,” said Mayor Joe Curtatone. “This survey, the data we will gain and the completed report will help the Council and the City understand how much the creative community contributes to Somerville’s economic vitality. We’ve always known we have a wealth of creative people in our City and now we will be able to quantify that information.”

“Our programming seeks to reflect the rich cultural diversity of the City and the artists, designers, and performers who have made it home. Similarly the policies we push at the City level attempt to be responsive to the needs of local artists,” said Gregory Jenkins, Director of the Somerville Arts Council.

As Somerville approaches a crossroads regarding the type of change and development it expects, surveys and reports will help City officials and directors understand the needs of the creative community and identify points of leverage for policy intervention. Toward that goal, the City is launching this asset survey and analysis with the UMass Center for Policy Analysis.

Although there is no rigid definition of the creative economy, it essentially encompasses those businesses, organizations and individuals who produce and distribute cultural goods, services and intellectual property—from art, film, photography and music to architecture, advertising and jewelry design.

“Somerville is well-known for attracting and supporting artists, but we are always looking for new and innovative ways to expand our programs and policies,” Jenkins said. “While economic impacts are an inherently crude measure of artistic expression, they are an important part of the larger narrative of how creative activity increases cultural and economic well-being. This report will provide more clarity about the depth and breadth of the cultural communities economic assets, which can be leveraged to support not only their community but also the City at-large.”

The survey is available at


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