UMass Creative Economy Fund

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Creative Economy and Massachusetts

"Massachusetts defines the creative economy to include without limitation the many interlocking industry sectors that center on providing creative services such as advertising, architecture or creating and promoting intellectual property products such as arts, film, computer games, multimedia, or design. Our Commonwealth is on the leading edge in supporting our cultural non-profits, individual artists, and creative industries, which we see as among the most important keys to economic development in the Commonwealth." (

"New England's creativity is a critical asset when it comes to employment, community empowerment, enhanced quality of life and education - we have the opportunity, and the tools, to maximize it."
(The Creative Economy Initiative: The Role of the Arts and Culture in New England's Economic Competitiveness. The New England Council, June 2000)

UMass Creative Economy Fund

The Creative Economy Initiatives Fund was established in 2007 to support faculty initiatives in the arts, humanities and social sciences that benefit the State's economy and improve its quality of life. During its first eight years, the Fund has made a total of 73 awards. Among other projects, the Fund has supported preservation of the W.E.B Du Bois boyhood home in Great Barrington, helped establish the Lowell Youth Orchestra and a permanent Jack Kerouac education and tourism site in Lowell, and generated major studies of the film and electronic gaming industries in Massachusetts. It has brought UMass Dartmouth students together with Durfee High School students to create a photographic history of Fall River's neighborhoods, promoted a workers' upholstery coop in Springfield, and sponsored numerous music, dance and theatre performances in Boston, Amherst, and Lowell.

Criteria for Awards:

  • High quality research, scholarly, or professional activity
  • Potential for additional external funding
  • Likely positive impact on economic and/or social development of local community, region, state or beyond
  • Presence of strong project leadership
  • Endorsement of Chancellor and evidence of campus commitments - submission of concept papers and final proposals via campus Research Offices will be presumed to indicate approval of Chancellor
  • Collaboration among disciplines, within a single campus or multi-campus, or with external constituencies, where appropriate

Each year the fund is available, the Request for Concept Papers and schedule are sent to each campus via the Chancellor or Chief Research Officer's Office for campus distribution. Announcements of awards are made on or around June 1st.
For more information: application and review process.

Creative Economy Fund

Application and Review Process

Funded Awards