Arts Alert: Creative Minnesota 2017 Study Reveals What Artists Need to Make a Living and a Life in Minnesota

2/28/17

    Contact: Sheila Smith, (651) 251-0868

Executive Director, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts

And Chair, Creative Minnesota 

Creative Minnesota 2017 Study
Reveals What Artists Need to Make a Living and a Life in Minnesota

SAINT PAUL, MN: Creative Minnesota and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts released a new study today indicating that Minnesotans strongly believe the arts and culture are important to their quality of life, and that Minnesotans attend and participate in the arts at a rate exceeding the national average.

“Nonprofit arts and culture organizations contribute to the vibrancy of Minnesota’s economy and quality of life and make our state a magnet for jobs and businesses. Now we can quantify that,” said Sheila Smith, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. “In addition to providing life changing experiences, educational opportunities and accessibility to audiences of all ages in their stages and museums, arts and culture organizations are important employers and economic engines.

“If the (nonprofit arts and culture) sector were regarded as a single employer, it would be larger than Mayo Clinic, 22 percent larger than the state of Minnesota, and 77 percent larger than Target Corporation,” said Arleta Little, Program Officer and Director of Artist Fellowships at the McKnight Foundation. “Artists make many generous contributions to our communities and they deserve to be valued and compensated for their time and expertise like any other professionals.”

As the most comprehensive report ever done of the state’s creative sector Creative Minnesota fills in the gaps of available information about Minnesota’s cultural field and seeks to improve our understanding of its importance to our quality of life and economy. Creative Minnesota 2017 quantifies the impact and needs of Minnesota’s artists and creative workers, updates previous studies on the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations, and reviews other research about the arts sector in the state.

The report includes both new, original research and analysis of data created by others. All of Creative Minnesota research is available for free at creativemn.org.

HIGHLIGHTS:

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE SECTOR:

 

  • The study found that the combined economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations, their audiences and artists and creative workers is over $2 billion annually. This includes $819 million spent by nonprofit arts organizations, $564 million spent by audiences, and the direct spending of artists in their communities, on things such as art supplies and studio rental, of $644 million.
  • Every region of the state was found to have a robust arts economy, with the Arrowhead coming in second and Southeast Minnesota coming in third in size of impact behind the Twin Cities Metro Area. State and local government revenue exceeded $222 million, including income and sales taxes.

IMPACT AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF ARTISTS AND CREATIVE WORKERS:

 

  • Creative Minnesota 2017 found that there are over 104,000 artists and creative workers in Minnesota. Creative workers are defined as people who make their living wholly, or in part, by working for for-profits, non-profits, or self employed, in 41 creative occupations. These occupations include:

architects, choir directors, curators, librarians, art directors, craft artists, fine artists including painters, sculptors and illustrators, multimedia artists and animators, commercial and industrial designers, fashion, graphic and interior designers, set and exhibition designers, actors, producers and directors, dancers, choreographers, music directors and composers, musicians and singers, editors, writers and authors, sound engineering technicians, photographers, camera operators

 

  • The most common creative worker jobs are photographers, musicians and singers, writers and authors and graphic designers.
  • The study found concentrations of creative workers in every region of the state, with about 70 percent of these workers in the seven-county metro area:

ARTISTS AND CREATIVE WORKERS IN MINNESOTA BY REGION:

Northwest MN

956

North Central MN

939

The Arrowhead

4,099

West Central MN

2,826

Brainerd Lakes Area

1,967

Southwest MN

3,217

East Central MN

1,710

Central MN

4,846

South Central MN

3,069

Southeast MN

6,721

Seven County Metro Area

73,798

TOTAL ARTISTS AND CREATIVE WORKERS

104,148


  • The Twin Cities rated much higher than other cities of comparable population size around the country as a good place to be an artist
    , tied with Chicago. When combined, the artists responding that the Twin Cities are ”Good” or “Very Good” place to be an artist placed the Twin Cities nearly as high as New York and Los Angeles.
  • 24 percent of self-identified artists in Minnesota are employed full time as artists, 42 percent are employed part time, and the rest, 34 percent, are retired, hobbyists or students.
  • The total economic impact of artists and creative worker spending in the state is $644 million annually.
  • The generations are changing. The most commonly practiced artistic discipline is visual arts, followed by theater and music/opera/musical theater. However, the younger an artist is the more likely they are to practice theater as opposed to the visual arts. Millennials are the only generation that chose theater as their most popular artistic discipline.
  • Artists volunteer more in their communities than other Americans, at 88 percent, compared to 35 percent of all Minnesotans and 25 percent of all Americans.
  • Creative worker wages varied across the state, with the highest wages in the Twin Cities Metro Area. The study found that women and artists of color had lower wages than other artists, similar to wages in the larger workforce.
  • High density clusters of creative workers unsurprisingly included Hennepin and Ramsey counties, but also Benton, Carver, Cass, Cook, Martin and Marshall counties had high densities of creative workers per 1000 employed residents.
  • The most dramatic change from a previous survey of artists in 2007 is that 95 percent of 2016 survey respondents reported having health insurance. In the “Artists Count” 2007 study we found 14 percent of artists were uninsured, double the uninsured rate of all Minnesotans. The uninsured rate has dropped dramatically, to 5 percent, most likely because of the Affordable Care Act passed by congress in 2009.

IMPACT AND NUMBER OF NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS:

  • 1601 nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Minnesota served 22 million attendees at arts and cultural events in 2014.

NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS IN MINNESOTA BY DISCIPLINE:

PERFORMING ARTS

695

ARTS MULTI-PURPOSE

262

HISTORY AND HISTORICAL PRESERVATION

232

VISUAL ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE

156

MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS

49

LITERARY ARTS

30

HUMANITIES

10

OTHER

167*

TOTAL

1601

*OTHER includes science and children’s museums, zoos,

and arts and culture programs housed in non-arts nonprofits and local governments.

  • These organizations serve 3.8 million K-12 students, hosting 29,318 school group visits each year. There are approximately 900,000 K-12 students in Minnesota, so on average every student is participating four times a year in arts and culture activities provided by these nonprofits.
  • The economic impact of just the participating organizations and their audiences totaled $1.4 billion, an increase of $185 million since our previous study in 2015. This is primarily due to an additional 332 participating organizations, but also includes a 1.5 percent increase in impact by the organizations participating in both studies.
  • Just looking at the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations, Minnesota has double the arts economy of Wisconsin even though we have nearly the same population, ten and a half times the arts economy of Kansas and twelve and a half times the arts economy of South Dakota.

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANZATIONS BY REGION

Northwest MN

$2,405,000

North Central MN

$6,009,000

The Arrowhead

$63,200,000

West Central MN

$11,010,000

Brainerd Lakes Area

$3,192,000

Southwest MN

$6,576,000

East Central MN

$8,540,000

Central MN

$24,160,000

South Central MN

$22,574,000

Southeast MN

$36,535,073

Seven County Metro Area

$1,197,765,000

STATEWIDE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS

$1.4 BILLION

PUBLIC OPINION POLLING:

Minnesotans strongly believe the arts and culture are important to their quality of life, and Minnesotans attend and participate in the arts more than other Americans.

  • of Minnesotans, compared to 68% of all Americans, attend arts and culture events
  • of Minnesotans, compared to 49% of all Americans, are personally involved in creative activity in their everyday life
  • 91% of Minnesotans believe that people who create art are contributing something important to their communities
  • 90% of Minnesotans believe that arts & cultural activities help make Minnesota an attractive place to live and work
  • 82% of Minnesotans believe it’s important to have the opportunity to express themselves creatively or to experience the creativity of others every day

STRONGEST NEEDS FOR ALL MINNESOTA ARTISTS:

From the Minnesota State Arts Board “Artists Thrive” Survey

  • SPACE TO WORK: Artists desire spaces and tools of their own in order to do their work – but not in solitude.
  • CONNECT: Artists have strong interest in opportunities to form connections and serve communities.
  • LEARN: Artists embrace and are seeking more learning experiences, experienced artists would like to pass on their skills, younger artists are looking for mentors.
  • EARN: Artists remain ambitious about developing paying audiences and generating income from their work, but their identities as artists and the non-monetary value they derive from their practice are strong regardless of earnings.
  • AUDIENCE: Artists desire to reach wider audiences and markets.

STRONGEST NEEDS FOR:

  • Greater Minnesota Artists: more access to markets and audiences, more reliable access to work spaces and equipment, greater access to fellow artists for peer learning.
  • Artists Identifying as People of Color: Education for “gatekeepers” and others in the sector about their work, and particularly its cultural context, community respect for the value (both the cost and expertise) of their work, better access to space, technology and materials.
  • Emerging Artists: Access to markets, adequate work space and equipment, a variety of learning opportunities and professional skills and mentors

ABOUT CREATIVE MINNESOTA

Creative Minnesota was developed by a collaborative of statewide arts and culture supporting organizations in partnership with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA). The report leverages in-depth research made possible because of Minnesota’s participation in the Cultural Data Profile (culturaldata.org) at DataArts. Creative Minnesota’s first round of studies, released in February 2015, looked at the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture organizations in the state’s 11 arts regions and at the state as a whole. The second round in October, 2015 looked at the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations in 17 Minnesota cities and counties.

The Creative Minnesota team includes Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota, Target, Bush Foundation, Mardag Foundation, and Jerome Foundation, with in-kind support from the Minnesota Historical Society and others.

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Highlights of Creative Minnesota 2017’s Data Sources:

ORIGINAL RESEARCH:

  • “Artists Count” Survey of 2100 Minnesota artists by Creative Minnesota done with 194 organizational partners in 2016.
  • “Artists Thrive” Survey of 800 Minnesota artists by the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2015.
  • Analysis and Update of economic impact data of 1601 nonprofit arts and culture organizations

ANALYSIS OF OTHER DATA SETS WITH MANY PARTNERS:

  • Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota analysis and mapping of “Artists and Arts Workers in the United States” from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
  • Minnesota Compass analysis of Integrated Public Use Microdata Series from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2010-2014, on arts participation
  • Minnesota Center for Survey Research, University of Minnesota, Public Opinion Polling, 2014 and 2015 State Surveys
  • Center for the Study of Art and Community, literature review, synthesis and analysis by Bill Cleveland.
  • For a full list, download the report at www.creativeMN.org

The Legacy Amendment

The Legacy Amendment was passed by a statewide vote of the people of Minnesota in 2008 to dedicate a portion of the state’s sales tax to create four new funds for 1. land conservation, 2. water conservation, 3. parks and trails, and 4. arts and culture. The legislature appropriates the dollars from the Legacy Arts and Culture Fund to the Minnesota State Arts Board, Regional Arts Councils, Minnesota Historical Society and other entities to provide access to the arts and culture for all Minnesotans.

Major Sponsoring Organizations: