picture of Christine Harris
"Christine’s diverse background, deep and practical knowledge of nonprofit arts administration, and national leadership in researching and communicating information about the creative industries, all make her a perfect teacher/mentor for the students of the Arts Extension Service at University of Massachusetts/Amherst."

George Tzougros, Executive Director
Wisconsin Arts Board and Board Chair, National Creativity Network
News and Resources
These are articles, websites, blogs and publications
we think are of interest to the thought leadership
of our creative community.

Client Activity

National Endowment for the Arts


The creative economy profile research as funded by the NEA is almost complete. Twenty-seven communities from across the country have participated in this inventory of how they have defined and strategized their creative economies in this first ever research. Under the auspices of the National Creativity Network in collaboration with Creative Alliance Milwaukee. This report is due to the NEA on August 30, 2013.

The creative economy research was completed with the publication of America's Creative Economy: A Study of Recent Conceptions, Definitions, and Approaches to Measurement Across the USA (Click here to download pdf of America's Creative Economy full report)


In May, the research grant application we designed for Creative Alliance Milwaukee was approved. The grant is to support an inventory an analysis of datasets and definitions used to profile creative economies or industries. The results will yield a 'core' definition and dataset that national and local policymakers can adopt to understand the relationship between of arts and culture sectors to other creative industries. We also seek to place creative industries in a broader economic policy context.

In addition to Creative Alliance Milwaukee, other partner organizations include National Creativity Network, Center for Creative Economy, N.C. and other members of the National Creativity Network's Creative Economy Coalition.

This was the first ever research grant program and the Alliance grant was one of 15 out of 400 applicants, and one of only three given to a non-academic institution.


On June 24 Christine was honored to participate in the National Endowment for the Arts' quarterly meeting of the National Council on the Arts in Washington, DC. The Council advises the Chairman of the NEA, Rocco Landesman, on agency policies and programs. As part of that, they approve all grants.

As a recipient of a Mayor's Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary grant, she was invited to report on Creativity Works! Milwaukee Regional Creative Industries Project, along with Mayor Cedric Glover from Shreveport, LA and Lorna Jordan, the artist involved in a public art project in Madison. Each had 10 minutes to give a powerpoint on our 'creative placemaking' work. These presentations were given in front of the Council, an in-room audience of over 100, and a national webcast. All three presentations were very well received and Chairman Landesman wrote me that our presentation 'was very compelling'. They very much like the work being done in Milwaukee.

You can watch the Council meeting HERE. The panel presentation starts at about 34' and the Creativity Works! presentation starts around 50'.

Mount Mary College, Milwaukee

In September 2012, Christine published a report entitled Creative Community Engagement for the New Center for Arts and Design. The purpose of this project was to recommend a conceptual scope and outline of space for a creative community engagement interface at Mount Mary College as spearheaded by the new Center for Arts and Design. This new Center is the catalytic initiative for Mount Mary College's emerging creative campus strategy as it becomes Mount Mary University in summer, 2013.

United Performing Arts Fund, Milwaukee

Christine is helping UPAF design a new arts education grant program for 2013. This program is designed to provide application-based funding for arts education programs that expand access, strengthen quality, and meet outcome measurements based on increased creativity capacities.

Arts Alliance Illinois

After Illinois Governor Quinn declared that the state would provide a focus on growing their creative economy, AAI began planning to develop a statewide creative economy initiative. On April 25, 2013 we were pleased to present to the AAI board a review of what is happening in other states who have profiled their creative economy and then implemented strategiesto grow and support them.

In June 2011, we were invited to present on our 'creative industries' work to the state arts advocacy agency, the Arts Alliance Illinois. They have been wrestling with creative economy development for some months. They are fortunately at the table as part of Chicago's regional strategic planning effort and they are looking to see how they can contribute to the conversation, including their 'regional vitality index'. The audience included their board, members of the Chicago Cultural Trust, and the Chicago Community Foundation.

An overarching concern we hear in all of these 'cultural community' dialogues is understanding the role and how to best support the nonprofit community with this work. While not the only answer because the dialogue is big, one of the answers is to not focus on the different IRS business classifications but instead focus on the greater picture of increasing the creative capital of our communities together.

Alverno College, Milwaukee

In April, 2012, Christine gave a keynote on "Unleashing Your Creativity". This was designed to set the stage for a full day of workshops on maximizing your creativity and resilience. The keynote included both personal and professional creative development opportunities. (Click here to downoad powerpoint presentation)

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Creativity Works! Milwaukee Regional Creative Industries Report 2010, Executive Summary and Full Report (Click here to download pdf of Executive Summary) (Click here to download pdf for full report)

Greater Milwaukee's Regional Cultural Assets: An Inventory of Pride, 2008, Executive Summary (Click here to download pdf)

The Role of Creative Education in Preparing Tomorrow's Talent, 2012, Executive Summary and Full Report (Click here to download pdf)

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Americans for the Arts – leading nonprofit organization advancing the arts in America

Berkshire Creative – the resources support network for Berkshire County, MA.

Center for Creative Economy - North Carolina's network for innovation

Creative Alliance Milwaukee – the resources and services hub for Milwaukee's creative community

Mt. Auburn Associates – an economic development consultancy service with expertise in analyzing creative economies

National Creativity Network - sparking national dialogue on creativity and developing a grassroots and grasstops network to facilitate the exchange of ideas

National Endowment for the Arts – supporting the integration of the creative assets of a community through multiple programs, including "Our Town" and "Design: Art Works"

Regional Technology Strategies,Inc – helping measure the impact creative enterprises have on their economies

WolfBrown Consulting – significant expertise in arts and culture development

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The Artful Manager: Andrew Taylor on the business of arts and culture

Arts Journal: Arts, Culture Ideas

ArtWorks: the Blog of the NEA

Creativity at Work: Linda Naiman, Vancouver, Canada

The Creativity Post  - quality content on creativity, innovation and imagination

Innovation Daily - the daily pulse of global innovation

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