SEPTEMBER 20-21, 2021



WESTAF has a long history of conducting research on the economic impact of the arts and the creative economy. Our Creative Vitality Suite has become a distinctive tool for measuring the creative economy using a range of official statistics and a pioneering approach to comparing regional creative vitality, the Creative Vitality Index (CVI). WESTAF last brought together field leaders for a major convening to discuss the creative economy and state economic development in 2008. Over a decade later, in partnership with the National Creative Economy Coalition, ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Grantmakers in the Arts, and others, the Creative Vitality Summit brings together creative economy experts, economic development professionals, arts and culture leaders, solidarity economy advocates, and equity champions to share knowledge and practice in six interrelated areas: New Economic Models and a More Just Economy, Mapping Creative Vitality, Creative Vitality and Social Cohesion, Networks and Practice in the Creative Economy, the Future of Creative Work, and Creative Economy Policymaking and the Future 







The creative economy convening will bring together numerous panelists, a few speakers, and as many participants as we can manage in a virtual space over two days. This community will include creative economy enthusiasts and skeptics, new economy advocates, creative economy policy makers, philanthropy professionals, arts leaders, and trailblazers. 

Confirmed speakers, panelists, and facilitators include Laura Callanan, Upstart Co-Lab; Laura Zabel, Springboard for the Arts; Nadia Elokdah, Grantmakers in the Arts; Tariana Navas-Nieves, Denver Arts & Venues; Abdiel Lopez, Independent Curator; Dee Schneidman, New England Foundation for the Arts; Zannie Voss, SMU DataArts; Hakim Bellamy, City of Albuquerque; Hollis Wong-Wear,; Alberto Mejia, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures; Adriana Gallego, Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona; Susan Soroko, Arlington Economic Development; Althea Erickson, Consultant; Jessica Stern, Americans for the Arts; Hasan Bakhshi, Nesta; Jen Cole, ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts; Jonathon Glus, City of San Diego; Julie Baker, Californians for the Arts; Roberto Bedoya, City of Oakland; Felipe Buitrago, Commentator; Randy Engstrom, Consultant; and David Holland, WESTAF.