Norfolk Called One Of The Top Emerging Creative Hubs

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Norfolk is ranked third on a newly released list of the top Emerging Creative Hubs in the country. The index was created by WeTransfer, and this honor comes with an opportunity for funding for local nonprofits using innovation to improve their communities.

WeTransfer created the index by using, among other things, cities’ growth rate in creative jobs, revenue growth in the creative industry, the growth rate of new startups, the diversity breakdown, and the company’s own file sharing metrics. 

As one of the top three, Norfolk got a short write-up hitting on some of the things that make the city such a great place for creative types. Among those receiving shout-outs were creative and tech campus Assembly, and the NEON district’s Chrysler Museum, Harrison Opera House, and d’Art Center. Also getting a nod were some legendary Norfolk eateries and nightlife offerings, with a reminder that The NorVa was called the best live music venue in the country by Rolling Stone magazine in 2013.

Noteworthy Norfolk innovators Virginia Thornton and Zahra Ahmad (of Get Well Soon), Navid Rahman (muralist, professor, and illustrator), and Dani Meluski-Jimenez (Grow) were contacted to share what they thought made the city a creative epicenter.

That’s the great thing about Norfolk; it’s relatively big, but it feels as if you’re still in the suburbs. I can’t go a day without walking outside and seeing at least four or five people that I’ve worked with. Everyone sees everyone—by the end of the week, you’ve run into every single person you needed to run into.

If you’re wondering why a file sharing company is searching the nation for underappreciated creative hubs, WeTransfer’s Annie Malarkey said, “WeTransfer has always prioritized sharing unexpected stories about the lives of creatives and championing creativity as a force for good. The Emerging Creative Hubs Index not only gives lesser-known creative cities the opportunity to be recognized for the hubs of creative life that they are, but it also offers a roadmap for creatives looking to live and work among their peers.”

WeTransfer is serious about their commitment to helping people improve their communities, and has created the Emerging Creative Hubs Grant Program. The grants are available to nonprofits headquartered in cities like Norfolk who made the list, and applications are being accepted now. The requirements from the site:

  • You’ve been in operation for more than one year from the application deadline
  • You can identify a specific event, activity, or project that you will use the funds for within the next 18 months
  • Your nonprofit’s mission relates to furthering the arts, culture, or creativity
  • You can demonstrate how your nonprofit supports underrepresented groups in the creative industries
  • Your nonprofit has at least one full-time employee
  • The deadline for applications is June 7 at midnight.

You can see the terms and conditions here.

The top Emerging Creative Hub in the country according to WeTransfer was Atlanta, GA, followed by Madison, WI.

Emerging Creative Hubs

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Jamelia Todd

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