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Jacksonville Cultural Council Taking Artist Census To Improve Services, Outreach

Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville via Facebook

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is taking a new census of artists and arts professionals in Northeast Florida.

Through an online form, the council hopes to collect data from artists, including their career stage and what opportunities they’re seeking.

Council Community and Collaboration Manager Patrick Fisher says that will help focus efforts when asking for money to support them.

“The more data we can get about the variety and type of artists in Jacksonville, the better equipped we are to go out into our community and ask our partners for funding because we can have data that relates to what we are pitching,” he said.

Fisher says the census will also help the Council see where it needs to do more community outreach. He says he got a sense of where that might be after a recent council symposium attracted artists from 25 different ZIP codes.

“But there were a few ZIP codes that we saw no engagement from,” he said. They were the predominantly African-American neighborhoods just north and west of downtown.

“So what can we do in those specific communities to get more participation and engagement?” he asked. “Likewise, what do those communities need from us to make art and culture more relevant within those communities?”

The nonprofit Cultural Council gets city and state funding to serve all of Duval County.

Fisher says long term, the goal is to upgrade the artist census to a website that artists can log into and edit their own information to keep it up to date.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP