Certified Arts Community (CAC)
Jefferson County is one of only seven counties in West Virginia designated by the WV Division of Culture & History as a Certified Arts Community (CAC). The designation is for communities that have realized the benefits of cooperation between arts and humanities groups, business leaders and jurisdictional agencies.
AHA! led the application process on behalf of Jefferson County and in November 2010 we received the CAC designation. In preparing the application for designation, AHA! relied heavily on its Cultural Plan for Jefferson County adopted by the County.
To be eligible for the CAC designation, communities must support arts organizations by providing volunteer governance, financial contributions and audiences for arts programming; adopt a resolution indicating recognition of the importance of the arts to economic development, educational quality and civic involvement; and demonstrate successful collaborations between arts, humanities and heritage groups, and business leaders and jurisdictional agencies.
AHA!, as the lead nonprofit arts organization in Jefferson County, is working to ensure that Jefferson County continues to fulfill the criteria required for designation as a CAC. To live up to the designation, AHA! has developed a CAC mission and vision that will expand our support of arts and culture in the community.
The Certified Arts Community designation encourages partnerships between government and cultural organizations to promote the arts as part of sustainable economic development efforts. The County’s investment in and support of cultural endeavors yields innumerable benefits, including the identification of Jefferson County as a cultural destination; an increase in arts and culture tourism; and motivation for community leaders in business, arts, education and government to work together to recognize the arts as an essential ingredient in economic development.
AHA! envisions providing the arts organization leadership necessary to build partnerships with business and government and to maintain the county’s CAC designation through:
Conducting market research in the arts and best practices for cultural promotion as an economic development tool.
Promoting the creative community within Jefferson County that defines our cultural and artistic diversity to attract tourism to support sustainable economic growth.
Supporting and nurturing emerging artists, artisans and nonprofit cultural enterprises through the county’s designation as a Certified Arts Community.
Increasing awareness of collaborations and partnerships that support cultural and artistic development in the county.
Providing educational and leadership development opportunities and partnerships that encourage creative growth and initiative.
Strengthening existing partnerships and developing new partnerships to enhance the arts footprint of Jefferson County in the region and beyond.
Access the Jefferson County Cultural Plan here.