By: Matt Chasansky, Manager of the Office of Arts & Culture
Client Spotlight is the newest blog series that focuses on current users of CVSuite and how they are implementing the tool to move their organization forward. The CVSuite team contacted these organizations to find more about their organization, long-term goals, and what part of the CVSuite tool was most compelling for their work. Matt Chasansky, manager of the Office of Arts & Culture and liaison to the Boulder Arts Commission, explains how CVSuite was the perfect data tool to improve his work.
Q: What does the Boulder Arts Commission offer?
Matt Chasansky, Manager, Office of Arts & Culture BOULDER — The Office of Arts and Culture is a cultural affairs team for the City of Boulder. We are working on public art, grants, and support for cultural organizations. We offer programs for artists in the creative workforce, civic dialog, neighborhood programs, research projects, and more. Our mission is to facilitate an alignment in the community around the vision found in our city’s Community Cultural Plan.When it comes to our organization, we do a whole lot! The Commission’s grants program focuses on the sustainable future of Boulder’s arts nonprofits through operating support, equity and inclusion, and venue support. In public art, the Commission’s signature program, Experiments in Public Art, was designed to create a city-wide laboratory for artists. We also have a great scholarship program for artists to attend workshops and business training. In northern Boulder, we provide support for artists in the NoBo Art District to incorporate community development in their work, with a focus on economic vitality and social cohesion.
Q: Why did your organization choose the Creative Vitality Suite?
With a lot going on at the Boulder Arts Commission, licensing CVSuite has been very exciting for the organization. Colorado has state and local programs that are getting a lot of attention, and Boulder has been considered a creative hub and arts destination for decades. Very often we witness the “best of” lists in articles that pop up in random research with a lot of anecdotes and not a lot of substance. Having CVSuite aligns us with verifiable information. Great data means we can have a more reliable path to good policy and programs.
We plan to advance our economic development and advocacy by using the data to measure the progress of the Cultural Plan. This starts with tracking outcomes, as well as civic engagement. For instance, the better we understand the music industry workforce, the more successful our questionnaires and town halls will be. From deeper and better engagement we can be more transparent and proactive stewards of the programs. CVSuite complements other research to arm our department with data on how artists, nonprofits, and creative businesses interact with economic structures in the community. As an organization we plan to leverage the data to apply the perspective of the creative economy to the most important issues facing our city, including climate change, equity, public safety, and income inequality.
Q: What data set within CVSuite has been the most effective for the organization?
Overall, the workforce data within CVSuite has been the most effective for my work. The tool provides the composition of different jobs and industries to help us fully understand who lives and works in Boulder. The data has been useful in filling gaps in our professional development programming for working artists. We noticed that there were far more photographers in town than the number that was showing up for our events or taking advantage of our scholarships. This has sparked a conversation with staff on how we might plan to communicate directly with this group and reach out to them in designing professional development to meet their needs.
Q: Would you recommend CVSuite to other organizations?
I would highly recommend using CVSuite to other arts organizations. One thing I’ve learned from using the tool is that you will always find out something new about your community. Every time I dip into the data I get some fresh or different insight that all-around improves my work. The economic impact data provides us a more holistic perspective on what is happening in the creative economy by analyzing the for-profit creative sector with other data sources on the nonprofit arts