Creative Minnesota Local Economic Studies

by SMAC

Attention cities, counties, or organizations expressing interest in conducting a study! In addition to the long-term benefits such as policy and funding shifts that result from learning about a study’s findings, the report on economic impacts might be more important than ever this year since they will be based on 2018 data – and therefore, represent a pre-COVID view of how important arts and cultural activity is to each community.

**This opportunity does require payment; if you are an arts organization, consider applying to SMAC for an Arts Organization Development grant to help with the funding! Find out more here: https://swmnarts.org/…/smac-grants…/facilities-grants/

Click here to view the letter from CreativeMN, which has some great talking points to benefit you in advocacy – and to help others see the benefits of conducting a study, or read on:

Set a Solid Foundation for Arts and Cultural Recovery

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) and its partners are ready to enroll organizations, cities, counties, and regions for its next round of local economic studies. Let MCA provide you the tools you need to recover and grow your area’s arts and cultural activity and economy.

MCA has conducted over 40 Creative Minnesota Economic Studies which have helped advocates achieve:

  • New arts and cultural plans
  • New or revived arts and cultural planning commissions
  • Supportive resolutions with chambers of commerce, business organizations, and city councils
  • Funding for new development and renovations
  • Stronger partnerships with economic development agencies and business and workforce development groups
  • New programming for events and education
  • New public art works and memorials

Over the past year, arts and cultural venues shuttered and in-person activities ceased. The impact of the global health pandemic has been devastating to the creative sector. Nationally, over 94% of artists and creative workers reported lost income. Arts and cultural nonprofits estimated financial loses at over $10.2 billion. In Minnesota, 69% of arts and cultural nonprofits reported high levels of disruption due to the impacts of the pandemic and uprising. Amid the upset there are efforts to reassess and pivot to new practices, but we also know that this is an increasingly important sector, one that outperformed many other sectors in the recovery following the 2008 downturn.

Our economy relies more and more on creativity and innovation. Arts and culture are at the center of the growing knowledge economy where creative skills fuel the design and performance needs of the digital age in communications, marketing and promotions, and entertainment. A report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows that in 2017, arts and cultural activity outperformed the transportation, construction, and agriculture industries. Arts and culture contributed 4.5% of gross domestic product, or $877.8 billion, representing an increase of 3.6% over 2016. Further, the sector generates a trade surplus and employs over 5.1 million people nationwide.

So, while we know arts and culture beautifies our landscapes, provides exciting experiences, and offers interesting learning opportunities it is also an important economic engine because while enlivening places, creativity improves property values and tax revenues and draws people to events, producing customers for nearby restaurants, bars, and shops. And, rich in for-profit businesses, entrepreneurship, and non-profit organizations that produce solid revenues, arts and culture fosters business and organization growth, leases and owns space, purchases supplies and services, and hires, develops and improves the skill sets of workers.

You recognize the value of the multifaceted arts and cultural sector. A Creative Minnesota Economic Study can set the foundation you need to help others understand and support this sector, ensuring a solid arts and cultural recovery and future. Let us quantify the state of your sector, based on 2018 data, giving you the foundational data and the economic language you need to plan for future growth in your creative sector.

The Creative Minnesota Economic Study quantifies and celebrates your important arts and cultural sector, empowering you to continue to celebrate the unique vibrancy and benefits artists and cultural bearers bring to your community.


Questions? Contact: Brenda Kayzar, PhD
Economic Research, Creative Minnesota Economic Study Project
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Brenda@artsmn.org, 612-730-7913

Urbane DrK Consulting: urbanedrk@gmail.com

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