The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County has celebrated its Five Year Anniversary supporting Arts and Culture in the Region. The Board of Directors, staff and Senator Bob Duff of Norwalk gathered last month to toast the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County’s 5th anniversary. The group applauded the increasing impact, influence and recognition the Cultural Alliance has garnered while serving the cultural organizations, artists and creative businesses that contribute to the creative and economic vitality of the region. Along with the organization’s achievements, the Connecticut State Legislature approved a new line item for the Alliance in the state budget, further solidifying the stature of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.
The organization’s mission, to provide its over 250 members with unified marketing opportunities, professional and organizational development programs and advocacy, has helped Fairfield County become increasingly viewed as an accessible and thriving cultural destination. The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County was created from the One-Coast, One-Future regional initiative back in 2005.
A steering committee was created, comprised of Fairfield County business, cultural, and civic leaders who oversaw a regional cultural assessment. The end result was the formation of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County in July of 2008, and later, the creation of FCBuzz.org – an online event and calendar for all that is happening in Fairfield County’s arts and cultural realm. Today, at any one time, FCBuzz.org is promoting over 400 events and happenings generated by the county’s creative sector.
The achievements of the Cultural Alliance in five short years are not only impressive, but vital to support a thriving creative sector. This is demonstrated by a recent study conducted by Americans for the Arts which showed unequivocally that arts are big business in Fairfield County - generating $130 million in economic activity and supporting nearly 4,000 jobs annually. Event spending alone generated 46 million, excluding the cost of admission. In fact, when an event ticket is purchased in Fairfield County, an additional $25 plus is spent in the community.
In addition, to FCBuzz.org, the Cultural Alliance has expanded its support for professional development programs for those working in the creative economy. In the winter of 2013, the Cultural Alliance launched the “Make.Art.Work program”, a program for visual artists in partnership with the New Haven and Hartford Arts Council giving artists the tools they need to develop their craft and bring it to the marketplace. The Alliance also saw the FCBuzz newsletter over 26%, reaching thousands of individuals and organizations.
Importantly, the Cultural Alliance continues to advocate for the cultural sector in CT by speaking before legislative committees on important funding issues, creating “Calls to Action” to encourage civic engagement and serving on the board of the CT Arts Alliance to represent Fairfield County. The alliance also fosters collaborative processes among its member organizations with quarterly Executive Director and Marketing Roundtable meetings, attended by cultural leaders. Indeed, the growth and success of the Cultural Alliance is a testament to the fact that Fairfield County possesses a flourishing and prominent arts and cultural sector, critical to making Fairfield County a great place to live, work and play.
To learn more about the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, visit www.CulturalAllianceFC.org; to find arts and cultural events in the region, go to www.FCBuzz.org