Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Creative class, cities, people, neighbourhoods

Business & Employment in the Arts: Measuring the Scope of the Nation’s Arts-Related Industries

This brief report summarizes data on not-for-profit organizations and businesses “involved in the production or distribution of the arts”. Included in the definition are organizations and businesses such as not-for-profit orchestras, museums and theatres as well as “for-profit film, architecture, and advertising companies”. Overall, the report finds that there are just over 700,000 arts-related organizations and businesses in the U.S., employing 2.9 million people. “This represents 3.9 percent of all U.S. businesses and 1.9 percent of all U.S. employees—demonstrating statistically that the arts are a formidable business presence”.

This report provides a brief overview of key concepts regarding the term “the creative economy” as well as an extensive bibliography of reports related to the creative economy (as of 2013).

This study examines worldwide revenues and employment in 11 cultural and creative industries: advertising; architecture; books; gaming; movies; music; newspapers and magazines; performing arts; radio; television; and visual arts and design. Worldwide revenues in the cultural and creative industries totalled $2.25 trillion in 2013, or 3% of global GDP. (All figures are provided in US dollars.) The worldwide revenues of the cultural and creative industries exceed those of the telecommunications services industry ($1.6 trillion).

Based on Canadian, American, and United Kingdom employment surveys, this report compares the creative economy in the three countries. Based on the definitions used in the report, Canada’s creative economy is comprised of 2.2 million workers, including 534,000 creative workers in creative industries, 815,000 creative workers in non-creative industries, and 893,000 non-creative workers within the creative industries. Comparisons between the three countries show that Canada has the highest share of total employment on three related measures.

Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture

Arguing that “creativity is a desirable and necessary element for a thriving community”, this American report attempts to identify cities with particularly strong artistic vibrancy among 937 metropolitan areas in the U.S.A.

This report examines perceptions of the arts and community attractiveness based on surveys of 500 Ontario-based skilled workers and 508 Ontario-based businesses with more than 20 employees. Among skilled workers, 65% of survey respondents were in agreement that “a thriving arts cultural scene is something I would look for when considering moving to a new community” (31% agree + 34% somewhat agree). Similarly, 64% of businesses agreed that “a thriving arts cultural scene is something that makes it (would make it) easier to attract to talent to the community” (35% agree + 29% somewhat agree).

Key elements, effective strategies & why it's worth pursuing

This report, based on a literature review, over 40 expert interviews, and two international focus group sessions, aims to provide a “roadmap” for the development of music, especially the commercial music sector, in municipalities of any size, anywhere in the world. The report outlines five essential elements of “music cities”:

  • The presence of “artists and musicians;
  • A thriving music scene;
  • Access to spaces and places;
  • A receptive and engaged audience; and
  • Record labels and other music-related businesses”.
Understanding How Participation in Arts and Culture Can Affect our Values

Taking the form of a core essay and a number of critical responses, the report attempts to start “a dialogue about how arts and culture impact on our values”, including “deep values” such as “self-acceptance, affiliation, community feeling, freedom, creativity, self-respect, equality, [and] unity with nature”.

Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture

The Arts Vibrancy Index attempts to identify cities that possess artistic vibrancy, which is defined to include per-capita measures of arts supply, arts providers, and government grant activity in the arts. The highest rankings among the largest cities (population of 1 million or more) went to the metropolitan areas of Washington (D.C.), Nashville, New York, Boston, and San Francisco. Among cities with a population under 1 million, three of the top five cities were in Colorado: Glenwood Springs (#1), Breckenridge (#4), and Edwards (#5). Rounding out the top five were Santa Fe (New Mexico) and Jackson (Wyoming, including parts of Idaho).

Based on interviews with 14 technology professionals as well as a literature review of evidence related to music and skills development, this report (supported by Music Canada) contends that rich music environments help attract high-technology jobs to local areas. According to the study, music helps develop many skills that are critical for high-tech workers.