New initiative shines a spotlight on–and sends funding to-under-the-radar creative epicenters in the United States
NEW YORK -- WeTransfer, a leading provider of creative productivity tools announced today the launch of its newest research, the Emerging Creative Hubs Index, and a significant funding initiative, which will be available as the Emerging Creative Hubs Grant Program.
The Index shines a light on where creative progress is happening and calls out the top 10 emerging creative epicenters in the United States. WeTransfer teamed up with strategic insight and brand studio, TRIPTK, to dive deep into a wide range of data sets, including anonymous WeTransfer user data, to uncover the stories hiding in plain sight. The list is packed with under-the-radar locales, celebrating the people and places that challenge conventional wisdom about who, where, and how creativity strikes.
In addition to the Index, WeTransfer has launched the Emerging Creative Hubs Grant Program. This grant program will distribute $100,000 to nonprofit organizations working to support and empower the creative communities within Index cities. As a certified B Corporation on a mission to use business as a force for good, WeTransfer is motivated to help these kinds of critical nonprofits reach their goals. Interested organizations will be able to apply for the grant program through a simple form on the Emerging Creative Hubs website.
The 10 cities named to the Emerging Creative Hubs Index are:
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Norfolk, Virginia
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Denver, Colorado
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- San Antonio, Texas
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Memphis, Tennessee
To find which cities would be included in the index, WeTransfer and TRIPTK evaluated a host of data sets including each city’s growth rate in creative jobs, revenue growth in the creative industry, the growth rate of new startups, and the diversity breakdown in each city. WeTransfer merged this research with proprietary data from 87 million people using its service, who largely identify as creative, to uncover interesting spikes in product usage to zero in on where the most creative people were producing work. Empowered with the knowledge of the most creator-friendly environments and the most active creative hotspots, WeTransfer developed the list of places to be for ambitious, inspired creative thinkers.
“WeTransfer has always prioritized sharing unexpected stories about the lives of creatives and championing creativity as a force for good. The Emerging Creative Hubs Index not only gives lesser-known creative cities the opportunity to be recognized for the hubs of creative life that they are, but it also offers a roadmap for creatives looking to live and work among their peers,” Annie Malarkey, WeTransfer Brand and Products Communications Lead said.
“We’re especially excited to couple the Index with funding through our new grant program. Creativity is flourishing in these ten cities because of the work that countless nonprofits are doing within them. We’re honored to send much-needed funding to those organizations that lift up the underrepresented artists that make their communities shine.”
Despite nominal increases in total public funding for the arts, rates have actually decreased by 19% in the last 20 years when adjusting for inflation. Similarly, as the population increases, the average per capita investment continues to decrease, severely limiting the services and programs available to the public. With the Emerging Creative Hubs Grant Program, WeTransfer hopes to help reinvigorate support for the arts and the creative community.
“In a time when creatives are re-imagining where they choose to do their work, we joined the WeTransfer team in identifying these new hot spots and unpacking what makes them so magnetic to the creative community,” says Sam Hornsby, TRIPTK founder and CEO.
“The result is an index that’s completely unique from anything that’s been built before. The groundbreaking mixed-methods analytics that sits behind the index included a ‘creativity factor analysis’ of thousands of data points connected to the things that matter most to creative professionals. Scoring cities for things like ‘the cost of inspiration factor’ or the ‘activism energy factor’ yielded a city index that sees these amazing hubs through the eyes of creatives.”
The index also showcases local insiders who are propelling creativity forward in their respective cities, including Pea the Feary, an Atlanta-based illustrator; AJ Juarez, founder of Barrio Dance in Madison; and Dani Meluski-Jimenez, a creative director in Norfolk. To learn more about these cities and artists and to take a quiz to see what city best fits your creative spirit, visit the Emerging Creative Hubs Index website here.