James Wenzel & Matt Daniels | Polygraph
Using Kickstarter Projects to Identify Where Creative Communities Live in the US
Anecdotally, aspiring musicians flock to Nashville. Portland has a vibrant food truck scene. Theater is rooted in New York City. Yet what about other cities? What is the creative fabric of Cleveland? Where do comic book writers cluster?
Pretty much all existing attempts to map creative communities use census and jobs data. But creative efforts are often side-hustles. They’re garage/basement/cottage industries that will not appear in a census.
A different approach: use Kickstarter data, which is one of the largest archives of creative projects, ever. They gave us access to 100,000 projects, which means we can characterize every major city by the types of projects it launches.
First, let’s start with how NYC’s creative community compares to other cities.