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When most people think about the eight county Capital Region of New York, which  includes Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties, they rarely focus on its diverse and world-class creative assets—where cutting-edge technology converges with design, arts, and culture. This is about to change.  The Capital Region Creative Economy Project set out to better understand and assess the nature of the region’s creative economy.  What we found is a region with world-class creative assets and communities that are teeming with creative energy.  It is a place where arts, culture, and creative enterprises contribute not only to the quality of life, but also to the economic vitality of the region.

In January 2013, a large set of stakeholders, led by The Community Foundation of the Capital Region and the Center for Economic Growth, retained Mt. Auburn Associates to conduct an in-depth assessment of the region’s creative economy.  During the last year, Mt. Auburn has conducted its research using the following quantitative and qualitative methods:

  • analysis of economic data provided by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl (EMSI);
  • data from a survey of 599 creative freelancers;
  • 100+ stakeholder interviews;
  • focus groups in each county throughout the region, reaching 150+ individuals;
  • county tours/site visits;
  • working group meetings on six key recommendation topic areas; and
  • web-based research and review of relevant research studies.

Leveraging Regional Assets for A Vibrant Future: The Regional Alliance for a Creative Economy presents the results of a six-month-long research study on the greater Capital Region’s creative assets, and gives recommendations for leveraging those assets as economic drivers.

The following appendices contain supplemental material and more depth on the following topics (click on titles to view/download):

Measuring the Creative Economy: Detailed methodology of the economic analysis use for the study, along with additional data points and trends related to both the creative industries and the creative talent that contribute to the region’s creative economy.

Creative Industry Segments: Characteristics and strengths and challenges in the five creative segments: design, media, visual arts and handcrafted products, performing arts, and heritage and preservation.

Creative Places: The importance of place-making and quality of life, as well as a brief snapshot of the feel of each of the eight counties in the region.

The Creative Talent Pipeline – K-12 and Higher Education: Details of the extensive arts education available to youth via both the school systems and through other organizations that offer out-of-school arts education directed at youth, and an overview of the wealth of creative degree programs offered by the region’s higher education institutions.

Creative Convergence: The relationships other key industries have to the creative economy.

Support Systems: Businesses, Artists, and Cultural Organizations: Regional entrepreneurial and business support systems, the support systems for creative freelancers, and the support systems offered by the region’s cultural organization.

Creative Freelancer Survey: Detailed aggregated survey results of the creative freelancer survey.

News About the Capital Region Creative Economy:


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