NASAA Notes: February 2021

February 2, 2021

From the Research Team

Arts and Economic Recovery Research

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 novel and important research effort in collaboration with Prof. Douglas S. Noonan of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and  Western States Arts Federation.

This new Arts and Economic Recovery Research shows how the arts strengthen the economy following periods of acute economic distress. Rigorous quantitative data and case studies show that the arts can improve—not merely reflect—broader economic conditions at the state and local levels. The findings reveal that the arts are an agile and resilient sector with the capacity to ignite job growth, reduce economic risk through diversification, stimulate commerce and attract tourism. Two separate studies reinforce these conclusions:

  • The Arts and Culture Sector’s Contributions to Economic Recovery and Resiliency in the United States: Conducted by Professor Douglas S. Noonan of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Paul H. O’Neil School of Public and Environmental Affairs, this empirical analysis uses federal economic data from 2001-2017 to examine the effects of the creative industries on economic productivity, employment and compensation. See the Key Findings as well as the full Technical Report.
  • Creative Economies and Economic Recovery: Case Studies of Arts-Led Recovery and Resilience: Based on Creative Vitality Suite(TM) data and in-depth qualitative research conducted by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), this collection of stories demonstrates how communities small and large are harnessing their creative assets to grow economic opportunities and rebound from hard times. Profiles of diverse communities in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia showcase the creative economy in action.

These reports were developed primarily for policy audiences, to highlight how the arts can be part of comprehensive economic development strategy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. They also provide timely tools for cultural leaders looking to participate in recovery initiatives and advocate for federal, state and local investment in the arts.

NASAA is grateful to our colleagues at Indiana University and WESTAF for their collaboration on this ambitious project. This work not only makes a valuable contribution to the scholarship on the creative economy, it also can empower important policy conversations beneficial to the American economy as a whole.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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