The Creative Sector Project

Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class climbed to Amazon's bestseller list and is still being discussed six months after publication. The New England Council has a public-private investment blueprint for the region's creative sector, which employs a quarter-million people. Americans for the Arts recently published a study that shows nonprofit arts alone generate some $134 billion in economic activity. In the United Kingdom, the government has committed to the nation's creative sector by forming new public policies in training, venture capital, education, and trade.

More and more cultural, corporate, and government leaders are recognizing the scope and impact of the "creative sector" in the United States. From commercial enterprises such as publishing, design, music, and theater, to vital nonprofit organizations such as museums, dance companies, concert halls, and folklife centers, to the arts schools, conservatories, and humanities departments that feed them -- this cluster of enterprises is gaining recognition as an important engine of the 21st century economy. And it provokes important policy issues about training and workforce development, government and private investment, and preservation and access.

The Center for Arts and Culture has identified an opportunity to work with the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) at the Department of Commerce to get a better sense of the economic impact of those organizations whose primary work is in arts, humanities, and culture. The Center is working with stake holders across the cultural and creative industries to explore how the BEA might measure the "creative sector" as have several European nations, most notably the United Kingdom.

The Center for Arts and Culture is currently working with national trade associations, arts advocates, scholars, and experts to discuss how the United States might better measure the economic impact of artistic, cultural, and creative industries and activities.

Suggested readings:

Creative Assets and the Changing Economy
by Steven Jay Tepper

Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, Summer 2002

The Creative Engine
by the Center for an Urban Future
November 2002

Cultural Transactions
by Frank Hodsoll
Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, Summer 2002

Culture, Creativity and the Economy: An
Annotated Bibliography of Selected Sources

by Kieran Healy

The International Creative Sector: Its Dimensions, Dynamics, and Audience Development
by the University of Texas-Autin

Let's Get Creative
by Geoff Williams
Entrepreneur Magazine, October 2002,1539,303148----1-,00.html

What's New for Culture in the New Economy?
by Kieran Healy
Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, Summer 2002