Arts Alert: Creative MN 17 Study Reveals What Artists Need to Make a Living and a Life in NW MN

 

SAINT PAUL, MN: Creative Minnesota, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and the Northwest Regional Arts Council 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.” 

As the most comprehensive report ever done of the state’s creative sector Creative Minnesota 2017 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. Creative Minnesota research is available for free at www.creativemn.org.  

NORTHWEST MINNESOTA HIGHLIGHTS:

Although 11th in population, this region is over-performing by being 9th in number of attendees, 9th in creative worker hourly age and 8th in density of creative jobs in the workforce. This region has the highest percentage of artists with retirement plan, at 86%. This region is a little better than the statewide average in artist health insurance coverage, at 3% uninsured compared to statewide 5%. This region also has the second highest rate of volunteerism by artists at 92%. Polk county has the 13th highest creative worker average wage in the state at $19.45/hour out of 87 counties.

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 in Northwest Minnesota is $5 million annually. This includes $1 million spent by nonprofit arts organizations, $1.4 million spent by 90,392 attendees, and the direct spending of artists in their communities, on things such as art supplies and studio rental, of $2.5 million. 

IMPACT AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF ARTISTS AND CREATIVE WORKERS:

  • Creative Minnesota 2017 found that there are 956 artists and creative workers in Northwest 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 in this region are photographers, graphic designers, and musicians and singers.
  • 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 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.
  • The study found that women and artists of color had lower wages than other artists, similar to wages in the larger workforce.
  • 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.

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.
  • Artists have strong interest in opportunities to form connections and serve communities.
  • Artists embrace and are seeking more learning experiences, experienced artists would like to pass on their skills, younger artists are looking for mentors.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Emerging Artists: Access to markets, adequate work space and equipment, a variety of learning opportunities and professional skills and mentors

IMPACT AND NUMBER OF NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS:

  • 50 nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Northwest Minnesota served 90,392 attendees at arts and cultural events in 2014.

NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE

ORGANIZATIONS IN MN

BY DISCIPLINE

 

PERFORMING ARTS

14

ARTS MULTIPURPOSE

15

HISTORY & HISTORICAL PRESERVATION

3

OTHER*

13

VISUAL ARTS & ARCHITECTURE

2

MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS

1

HUMANITIES

1

LITERARY ARTS

1

TOTAL

50

 

*OTHER includes science and children’s museums, zoos, and arts and culture programs housed in non-arts nonprofits and local governments. There was an overall increase of 24 participating organizations since the last study in 2015, which accounts for some of the larger audience.

  • The economic impact of just nonprofit arts and culture audiences in this region totaled $1.4 million. Adding in the economic impact of arts organization spending, the total economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations in this region totals $4.9 million.

Participating organizations included:

Ada Chamber of Commerce, Fosston Community Library and Arts Association, Kittson County Historical Society, L’Association des Francais du Nord, Middle River Community Theater, North Country Fiddle and Dance, Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, Palmville Press and Publishing, Inc., Polish National Alliance Lodge 3060, Polk County Historical Society, Roseau Area Arts Association, Roseau County Historical Society, Stephen Arts Council, Summer Arts Stages, Twin Forks Chorus, Valley Crossing Arts Council, Warroad Summer Theatre, Ada Summer Children’s Theater, Argyle American Legion Post 353, City of Crookston – Arts Programs, City of Fertile – Arts Programs, City of Karlstad – Arts Programs, City of Kennedy – Arts Programs, City of Newfolden – Arts Programs, City of Red Lake Falls – Arts Programs, Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce, Crookston Community Theater, East Grand Forks Campbell Library, General Federated Women’s Club, Goodridge Veterans Memorial Park, KSRQ-FM Northland Community & Tech College, LifeCare Medical Center, Malung Community Center, Marshall County Fair, Marshall County Historical Society, Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing, Red River Children’s Chorus, River Walk Artists, Roseau Area Friends of the Library, Roseau Scandinavian Festival, Sons of Norway Snorre Lodge 70, Stephen-Argyle Central Community Education, Thief River Care Center, Thief River Falls Area Community Theater, Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce, Thief River Falls Education Foundation, Tri River Pioneer Museum, Tri-Community Living at Home, University of Minnesota-Crookston, Warren Senior Nutrition Council

STATEWIDE 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.
  • 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.
  • The total economic impact of artists and creative worker spending in the state is $644 million annually.

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.
  • 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.

STATEWIDE PUBLIC OPINION POLLING ON THE ARTS:

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.

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: