National Assembly of State Arts Agencies logo with photos of a bar graph, the U.S. Capitol, and people celebrating in a meeting.

How the Arts Drive Economic Recovery

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, in collaboration with the Western States Arts Federation and Prof. Douglas S. Noonan of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, headed a research effort in light of the current challenges facing the United States economy to better understand the role of the arts sector.

From NASAA: 

“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.”

“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.”

Highlights from Prof. Noonan’s empirical research study, The Arts and Culture Sector’s Contributions to Economic Recovery and Resiliency in the United States, which explores how the arts economy fares through economic downturns and its influence on economic trends, can be found here.

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 can be found here.

Finally, based on economic data compiled through the Creative Vitality Suite from the Western States Arts Federation, a third report has been published that 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. The full report, Creative Economies and Economic Recovery: Case Studies, can be found here.