Getting Creative: How Connecticut Office of the Arts Partners With TEGNA’s FOX61 to Promote the Arts

“Our job at the CT Office of the Arts is to foster the creative ecosystem,” says Liz Shapiro at the CT Dept. of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts. “The community of artists and creative workers in the state is so big and we want to see those numbers continue to grow.” She adds, “TEGNA and FOX61 are perfect partners because they have a broad audience reach, can help to target our message, and to report back to let us know who is watching and how effective the campaign is.”

Meredith Cunningham Published: April 7, 2022

From murals to music, poetry, and performances, dance and fashion, to everything in between, the arts are the heart and soul of so many communities across the country – especially in Connecticut, a state where there are more arts organizations than there are towns. It’s also a $9B industry that represents more than 57,000 careers in the state.

“The arts are at the center of healthy communities with strong economies and vibrant neighborhoods,” says Liz Shapiro at the CT Dept. of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts. “Our job at the CT Office of the Arts is to foster the creative ecosystem. The community of artists and creative workers in the state is so big and we want to see those numbers continue to grow.”

To help reach this goal of growing the arts community, Shapiro partnered with TEGNA’s FOX61 on Connecticut Creative Futures, an arts-based initiative highlighting local artists, educators, advocates, and regional cultural districts in order to promote the many valuable and viable career options for young people in Connecticut.

“By highlighting practicing local artists, who represent the fabulous diversity of our population, as well as the many career paths that artists follow, we hope to encourage kids on their artistic career path and reassure parents that the arts are alive and well – and lead to great jobs right here in the state,” says Shapiro. 

Connecticut Creative Futures includes a high-frequency, unified message across broadcast, OTT, digital, and community outreach initiatives. In the messaging, key influencers, organizations, and community events such as the CT Creative Futures Art Award, ​are highlighted to inspire and create engagement. FOX61 also leverages Student News to help reach its target audience of school-aged children and teens. 

“TEGNA and FOX61 are perfect partners because they have a broad audience reach, can help to target our message, and to report back to let us know who is watching and how effective the campaign is. And, it doesn’t hurt that FOX61 is already deep into supporting community events, schools, and students,” says Shapiro. 

“Most importantly, their team across the board is available to us, they are knowledgeable guides to the process, they are responsive and willing to work with us and support our work every step of the way. Having a partner who is willing to listen to what our needs are, and make suggestions and recommendations based on really hearing what we say, is invaluable.” 

Trish Hesslein, Community Marketing Manager at FOX61, agrees wholeheartedly on the partnership and the impact the campaign is having on the community. 

“This is a great partnership and I have to say I’ve really learned a lot,” Hesslein says. “These are wonderful people to work with and we’ve met some extraordinary people across Connecticut that are living their best lives through the arts and really helping a lot of folks make an impact.”

She adds, “This campaign absolutely fits into the ‘Be in Good Company’ mold because we are making sure that we can represent many different people in our community,” adds Hesslein. “It makes me feel really proud to know that we are able to help a really broad spectrum of wonderful people share their stories and see the positive effects of the campaign.”

Sound Good? 

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