NASAA Notes: April 2018

April 5, 2018

New State Creative Industries Data You Can Use

As we anxiously and impatiently await spring in our nation’s capital (we can’t believe there’s more snow in the forecast!), NASAA is making sure policymakers recognize the economic importance of the creative industries in every state. On April 17, we are convening a Creative Industries Briefing on Capitol Hill. In addition to sharing new data from the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), this event showcases prominent business leaders who share their stories about how the arts and design drive product innovation, create a fruitful business climate and produce a capable, competitive work force.

The briefing features Idaho’s Laurel Sayer, president & CEO of Midas Gold, and Wisconsin’s Laura Kohler, senior vice president of Kohler Co., as well as Jane Chu from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Mauricio Ortiz from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

You are invited to tune into the live webcast of this event! Our video feed enables state arts agencies, cultural advocates and local policymakers from every state and jurisdiction to participate. Tune in via NASAA’s Facebook page on Tuesday morning, April 17, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Eastern. Please invite your staff, council members, advocates and partners to take advantage of this great opportunity.

The critical new ACPSA data is available because of the vision and fine work of the NEA. As members of the state arts agency family, I know you join me in acknowledging Chairman Chu and the NEA team for developing such an important partnership with the BEA. Their collaboration has produced objective and irrefutable new data about arts and culture in the economy, and NASAA is proud to assist and provide dynamic state level dashboards to showcase the research findings.

The recently released data highlights the following:

  • The arts contributed $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, accounting for 4.2% of gross domestic product and 4.9 million American jobs.
  • The arts added four times more to the U.S. economy than the agricultural sector and $200 billion more than the transportation sector.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, the growth rate of the arts and cultural sector was 6%—higher than the 4% rate of the nation’s overall economy.
  • The arts saw a $20 billion trade surplus in 2015.

We know that the value of the arts goes far beyond the economic. Nevertheless, the evidence is irrefutable that the arts are a major part of our economy. And the arts work in different states in unique ways. Although our field has produced some great and productive economic impact research in years past, this work is different, and here’s why:

  • ACPSA data presents an amazing opportunity for state arts leaders. No other industry has a BEA satellite account available with data broken out by state. With this, the arts have a powerful advantage to communicate their role in job creation and economic development at the state level.
  • This isn’t just another economic impact report; this is the official data produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, articulating the actual value of arts and cultural production to our economy.
  • Having data is essential, but the data doesn’t go anywhere if we don’t use it. The Creative Economy State Profiles, developed by our team at NASAA, highlight this information in ways that are compelling to state arts agency constituents, policymakers and stakeholders.
  • State level ACPSA data provides the headlines you need to make the case for the arts as a major industry in your state. Did you know that Colorado’s arts industries contribute $13.7 billion to the state economy? How about your state?
  • Our profiles show how arts and culture in your state stacks up against other major industries. This tale will be different across the nation, and every state has something to tout. Did you know that in Washington, arts and culture is bigger than retail? How does your state compare?
  • Our profiles also show where your state may have a competitive advantage in a certain creative industry. Did you know that Indiana is a hotbed for musical instrument manufacturing, and Louisiana is a top state for film production? What is your state’s top creative industry?
  • These data can provide educational opportunities for those in your state who may not yet buy into the economic power of the arts. Highlighting the fact that the information comes from the BEA can be an effective way of getting this message across to naysayers.
  • These data open partnership opportunities with business and industry that you may not currently be taking advantage of. Knowing where arts industries are thriving in your state can be an entrée to those conversations.
  • The data go back for a long period of time. You can use the information to see how different creative industries and jobs have fared over a 10-year period. You can compare your state’s creative economy to your overall state economy and benchmark your state with your neighboring states. All of these comparisons can inform your internal strategic planning.

As I reflect on NASAA’s dynamic dashboards that put this new data to use, I can’t help but think about my own history with arts economic impact reports. Our field has come such a long way in the past 25 years, and the new ACPSA data takes our economic work to a bold new level.

In addition to thanking the NEA for its leadership and investment in this work, I’m also proud to thank NASAA Research Director Ryan Stubbs and Research Associate Patricia Mullaney-Loss. Their work and dashboards make the new state level data sing! Get to know and use your state’s ACPSA dashboard—and don’t forget to join us live via Facebook on April 17 for NASAA’s Creative Industries Briefing.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA

Legislative Updates

Research on Demand




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