The Arts and Economic Recovery Research


In recent years, data have emerged that reveal that the arts and related creative industries are a substantial economic force, comprising 4.5% of the U.S. gross domestic product—more than construction, transportation, mining and agriculture—and adding $877.8 billion to the nation’s economy.

In light of the current challenges facing the U.S. economy—unprecedented in many ways—the need to better understand the role of the arts sector has never been more acute. To do so, NASAA spearheaded a research effort in collaboration with Prof. Douglas S. Noonan of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Western States Arts Federation.

This collaborative research effort provides further evidence that arts and creative industries offer a powerful strategy for states and localities aiming to reignite economic growth. In addition to the healing value of the arts to communities and individuals, the arts have proven economic value and offer vital economic development strategies for diversifying and stimulating local economies in all types of communities.

The Arts And Culture Sector’s Contributions to Economic Recovery and Resiliency in the United States

Key Findings

Highlights from Douglas S. Noonan, professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis empirical study to explore how the arts economy fares  through economic downturns and its influence on economic trends

Technical Report

A companion report that describes the statistical methods used to conduct this analysis and shows the relationships observed between the arts, gross state products, employment and compensation trends

Creative Recovery Case Studies

Based on economic data compiled through Creative Vitality Suite® from the Western States Arts Federation, this report examines communities in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia, revealing how the arts are a springboard for local economic growth