Where can I find more information about the Index?

The methodology for the Creative Vitality Index can be found here. If you have any additional question please contact us at

What is the difference between the Creative Vitality Index and an economic impact study of the arts?

An economic impact study of the arts generally measures the ripple effects in a local economy of funds emerging from the expenditures of nonprofit arts organizations. Some arts economic impact studies also measure the economic impact of artists who live and sell work in a community. Still others include the economic impact of funds expended for travel, food, lodging, and other expenses by persons attending an arts event.

An economic impact study of the arts reports on the volume of funds generated by and related to an arts activity. It also evaluates the impact of the ripple effect of those funds in a local economy. The CVI aggregates data on a variety of economic factors and provides a summative value that reflects a wide group of variables.

Users of the CVI are encouraged to view the Index as an altogether separate approach to the task of understanding the elements of the creative economy from economic impact studies. Economic impact studies may be used to complement the findings of the CVI.

How can the Creative Vitality Index be used?

The CVI has a number of uses. 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 as a credible low-cost 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.

I know there are more artists in my community than are reported in the data. Doesn’t that fact skew the Index results?

The counts of artists and others holding creative industry jobs in a community are not census-type numbers. Rather, the employment numbers in the CVI are estimates built on a sample survey technique. Artist employment is difficult to capture because artists are frequently not employed full time in their professions as artists and thus often do not show up on surveys of full-time employees. Artists sometimes appear as part-time employees in non-art professions—jobs in which they actually participate but with which they do not necessarily identify as a profession. In spite of these limitations, the CVI compensates for the possible underreporting of artists by including music-store sales, gallery sales, and arts-participation data that the researchers believe effectively capture the presence of artists in a community.

My community has a low CVI number, yet this is one of the most creative places I have ever lived. How can that be?

The CVI measures the creative vitality of the arts dimension of an 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.

Region Selection

Why do I see two maps in the CVSuite?

The two maps serve very different functions in the tool. First the Region Selection is specifically for the user to change their region and the data throughout the site. Granting Map displays aggregated data for the current region selected.

How do I change my current region?

Region Selection is easily accessed throughout the site by clicking on the “edit” link in the region selection menu at the upper right of the screen. The menu will open up and the user will see the region they currently have selected. Changing the region is easily done on the map or in search by selecting from a list or entering in a specific region name in the search bar. Once a new region is selected and you exit region selection, the region is automatically saved and data throughout the site will update with the new region.

How do I know what regions i have access to?

At the upper right hand side of the site the user name has a drop down menu. Clicking on this then the account settings will bring the user to the Account History and Account Preferences tabs. Under the Account Preferences tab the first section is Account Permissions and will display all information the user has access to.


How do I buy/add additional regions to my account?

Adding a new region to your current contract is done by contacting westaf please call 303-629-1166 or email at

Data Questions

Can I add my local grants to the state arts agency grants?

No. Currently granting data are limited to state arts agency grants from Final Descriptive Reporting sent to NASAA and the NEA. In Fall 2014 we will add a new feature to CVSuite, allowing import and mapping of additional granting data.

What is the difference between occupational jobs and industry jobs?

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.

What industries and occupations are included in my data?

There are 59 occupations and 78 industries included in CVSuite creative economy data. From the dashboard, 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.