Over the past few months, questions about the creative economy have lit up the phone lines at Americans for the Arts. Members are interested in learning of examples of communities where efforts are thriving; others want to build successful initiatives to engage their local community in the support and promotion of the creative economy; and some members are just wondering what the “creative economy” is all about.
The discussion on the the topic has taken on a high profile around the country (and around the globe) over the past decade. In 2002, Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class highlighted the need for creativity as an asset in the economy. Communities across the country face challenges in attracting and retaining highly skilled workers, developing creative industries, as well as expanding for creative products and services.
A creative economy is dependent on a creative workforce and the presence of creative industries—for-profit and nonprofit businesses involved in the creation or distribution of the arts. They are businesses that we participate in for enjoyment (seeing a movie, attending a concert, or reading a novel); engage in for business (architecture, design, musical instrument manufacturing); and invest in to enrich community livability (museums, public art, performing arts centers). Creative industries contribute to economic growth by attracting a dynamic workforce, serving as a destination for cultural tourism, and creating exportable cultural products. Read the rest of this entry »