Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Creative Vitality Index (CVI)

The Creative Vitality Index compares the per capita concentration of creative activity in two regions. Data on creative industries, occupations, and cultural nonprofit revenues are indexed using a population-based calculation. The resulting CVI Value shows a region’s creative vitality compared to another region. Visit this page for more information about the index and methodology. If you have any additional questions contact us at

The Arts & Economic Prosperity Report is Americans for the Arts’ study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry’s impact on the economy. It documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In contrast, the CVI is not a study, but an index built from for-profit and nonprofit arts and culture economic data. Where a study only informs about the specific chosen metrics, an index tries to capture many variables using as few indicators as possible. Used in conjunction, a study and an index can more effectively show the smaller and larger picture of the creative economy.

The Index can serve as a diagnostic tool to identify strengths and weaknesses in an area’s creative economy. From that diagnosis, community leaders can strategize to encourage growth in a particular segment of the creative sector of their local economy. The Index can also be used to benchmark work in a certain segment of the creative economy and to track progress against that benchmark. Finally, the CVI is a credible source of data that can serve as a point of departure for a discussion about the scope and relative health of an area’s creative economy.

The Creative Vitality Index, as a measurement, is not meant to capture individual aspects of the creative economy. As a composite statistic, the CVI measures changes of a representative set of a population, which then infers possible changes on the population as a whole. The Index will use a sample of creative industries, occupations, and nonprofits to estimate the overall creative economy vitality.

The CVI measures the creative vitality of the arts within the overall economy. It does not measure the level of overall creativity in a community. Jobs in the arts, sales of arts-related goods, and ticketed participation in cultural activities are examples of the measures used to determine a community’s creative vitality in the CVI.

No, the CVI measures creative vitality based on a set of defined industries and occupations, and  these cannot change. However, users are able to adjust or change occupations and industries to better reflect their areas through the CVSuite system. This would allow them to measure the impact of the creative economy in their area but would not be comparable with the CVI. 

Region Selection

You can change your region by clicking the “Region Selection” link in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Once there, choose from previously saved regions or create a new region. To learn more about how to change your region, visit here

Click your name in the upper right-hand corner of the site and go to Account Settings. Find  Account Permissions and click each of the region levels to see what regions you have access to. 

Geographical areas can be combined to create new regions, but there are some restrictions.  There are four levels of geographical areas: State, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), County, and ZIP Code. Geographical areas can be combined with like geographical areas, except MSAs. Metropolitan Statistical Areas cannot be combined.

Data Questions

Occupational jobs only contain creative jobs within the designated occupational category; however, jobs in CVSuite that are listed alongside industry data include creative jobs as well as types of non-creative jobs in an industry. Non-creative jobs could include finance officers, maintenance, and executive positions. For a more detailed explanation, visit CVSuite Data.

There are 83 occupations and 98 industries included in CVSuite creative economy data. In the upper right corner of the tool, select Data Settings to choose the occupations and industries you want included. You also have the ability to change which class of workers you want. Changes made to data settings impact data seen throughout the tool. For a more detailed explanation, visit CVSuite Data.

You can change the codes that make up your creative economy in the Data Settings section of the CVSuite tool, located in the upper right corner of the tool. For more information on accessing Data Settings, click here.

Self-employed workers are people who consider their self-employment as their primary source of income. While extended proprietors are workers who do not consider the declared instance of employment as their primary source of income.

There are multiple ways of comparing previous years’ data throughout the tool. For a quick reference to aggregate changes over time, the Snapshot Report and the Data Charts are good places to start. 

Visit the Reports & Visualizations guide here to learn more.

Location quotient is a ratio that was used to compare the concentration of jobs in those locations to that of the United States as a whole. For instance, a location quotient of 1.50 indicates that the region’s concentration of jobs is 50% higher than the national average.

For a more in depth explanation of location quotient visit our blog Using Location Quotient to Measure the Creative Economy here.

Both indicators are measurements of an industry’s economic activity, but they impact the economy in different ways. Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) explains, “Sales may be bringing money into the economy, but until that money starts rippling through the economy, it has no impact. The allocation of sales dollars to employees in the form of [earnings] is the beginning of the ripple effect.” It can also be implied that the earnings brought home by a worker have a stronger probability of being spent within the region in which the worker resides, and thus have a greater local impact than industry sales. Note: Worker earnings may be spent outside of their region of residence, but the assumption is that the probability of that instance decreases the further the distance from the worker’s home.

Account Questions

Each organization is entitled to three individual logins.  User IDs and User Accounts may not be used by any person who is not registered with and assigned a User ID. Additional logins are available as a subscription upgrade. To request an additional login, contact us here.

The ability to swap out geographic regions will depend on the terms of your contract.  If you would like to swap out your comparison regions,  contact us here.

Yes, there are multiple customizable reports available. Users can create a Snapshot Report that gives an overview of their defined region’s creative economy. This report can be supplemented with downloadable charts found in the Data section of the tool. Click here to Visit the New to CVSuite guide for more information on how to locate these reports.

CVSuite also offers a selection of Specialized Impact Reports built in partnership with Emsi . These reports measure the economic impact of the creative industries in your region and are available at a reduced rate for current CVSuite clients. To see samples of reports available, click here.