Request for Letter of Intent: 2022 Creative Economy Research Study

Categories: Arts and Culture


We are soliciting letters of intent to conduct a research study that would comprehensively examine the current state and economic impact of the arts in New York State’s upstate regions, with an emphasis on the metropolitan areas of Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany. We would be looking for:

  • the latest data on employment and wages in the arts and creative industries in each region of Upstate, including both nonprofit and for-profit participants;
  • a profile of the growth or decline of the state’s creative industries over the past two decades;
  • examination of the impact and challenges facing established and emerging arts districts like NOTA in Rochester, Buffalo’s Art Park and Allentown Neighborhood, and the Near Westside in Syracuse;
  • analysis of the major threats and challenges facing the arts ecosystem across the state, with particular focus on the challenges facing arts organizations and working artists in communities of color; and
  • practical recommendations to spark sustainable growth in the arts and creative industries while advancing arts equity.

The study should be informed by interviews with arts leaders and artists, advocates, economic development officials, arts educators, government, philanthropic leaders and leaders of community-based organizations. We would be looking for qualitative and quantitative analysis that:

  • depicts the growth and impact of the arts and creative industries in key regions across the state;
  • spotlights the strengths and needs of the cultural ecosystems in the four major cities above and select other regions of upstate New York; and
  • includes profiles of artists and local arts organizations whose work is having an impact on their communities and beyond.

Background. It has been many years since Rochester assessed its creative economy. An arts impact study in 2007 was instrumental in driving local government and business investment in the arts, but there has been little benchmarking since.  We are sorely in need of comparative information on the creative economy, for both Rochester and other upstate communities that are part of the New York State economy north and west of New York City.

Typical Grant Size

Please specify the broad parameters of a budget of up to $100,000 to conduct, analyze, and produce the report within one year.

Eligibility Criteria

The successful research firm that responds to our request for letters of intent and any subsequent application requirements will be experienced not only in analyzing the creative economy but also in having used that work to foster awareness that led to policy change. This will require a set of astute communication and media relations skills as well as demonstrated impact from the promotion of prior research studies in the arts.

The New York State Council on the Arts is a partner in making this report possible and will be assisting in disseminating the findings.

Letter of Intent Requirements:

  • 3-5 page narrative with:
    • Summary of relevant experience as described above
    • Outline of critical factors for research process
    • Documentation of ability to launch the study quickly and complete it within a year
  • Attachments: samples of prior arts economy analyses and public response
  • Budget parameters as described above.

Application Due Date(s)

The deadline for submissions was April 1, 2022.


Annette Jiménez Gleason, Program Officer
Community Programs Department
Rochester Area Community Foundation
500 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607-1912

Please include a subject line of CREATIVE ECONOMY STUDY.


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