Arts Alert: New Creative MN Study of Becker County Shows Big Impact of Arts & Culture

3.2.18
Contacts: Sheila Smith, 651.251.0868
Executive Director, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
Amy Stearns, 218.844.4221 x104
Executive Director, Historic Holmes Theatre

New Creative Minnesota Report about Becker County Shows Big Impact on Local Economy From Arts & Culture

SAINT PAUL, MN: Creative Minnesota, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Historic Holmes Theatre, City of Detroit Lakes and Lake Region Arts Council released a new study today indicating that the arts have a large impact on Becker County.

“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 in Becker County,” 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.”

A strong local arts presence helps to attract and retain businesses and their employees and is also good for those looking to make the Detroit Lakes area their seasonal, second or retirement home,” said Carrie Johnston, President of the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

“We were excited to partner with the Historic Holmes Theatre through the Creative Minnesota study to learn about the impact of the arts in Detroit Lakes,” said Kelcey Klemm, City Administrator for Detroit Lakes. “One of the goals of the city is to facilitate how the arts can have a larger impact on our community and region. We believe that the arts can help our city grow and be more attractive for businesses, residents and tourists.”

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

BECKER COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • BECKER COUNTY benefits from $4.7M in economic impact from the arts and culture sector. 
  • While ranked 9th in population size among the 15 areas studied, Becker County is outperforming its peers by ranking 7th in organizational spending. This higher than average economic impact from arts activities propels the county into 2nd place among counties studied for per capita economic impact from nonprofit arts and culture organizations at $292.93 per resident. Artist spending in the county raises this per resident impact to an impressive $353.91.
  • Becker County ranked 4th in artist density among the counties studied and generated over $2M in economic impact from artist spending alone.
  • Impressively, Becker County’s artists and creative workers are earning $20.11 per hour which is $3.28 above the average worker wages for Becker County of $16.83.
  • Together, Becker County’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations, audiences, artists and creative workers are generating nearly half a million dollars in state and local government revenues.

 “We know from conversations with residents and audience member stories that art adds to the quality of life and impacts individual reasons many people choose a city or region to call home. For 15 years, the Holmes Theatre has been bringing world class talent to our region, and it’s delightful to see the reactions on faces, especially kids, when they have a dynamic arts experience,” said Amy Stearns, Executive Director of Historic Holmes Theatre. “With the Creative Minnesota study, we are able to measure the impact economically on our community of what we do and offer. It helps us tell the story of the arts better and to show the importance that arts have – not just aesthetically or anecdotally – but financially to our region.”

OTHER LOCAL FINDINGS:

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE SECTOR:

  • In Becker County the study found that the combined economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations, their audiences and artists and creative workers is $4.7M annually. This includes:
    • $1.5M spent by nonprofit arts organizations
    • $1.2M spent by 72,197 attendees
    • and the direct spending of artists in their communities, on things such as art supplies and studio rental, of $2M.
  • This economic impact represents an infusion of $353.91 per county resident into the local economy from the arts and culture.

IMPACT AND NUMBER OF NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS:

  • 12 nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Becker County served 72,197 attendees at arts and cultural events in 2014. This number includes 24,363 K-12 students served annually.

NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE

ORGANIZATIONS IN MN

BY DISCIPLINE

 

ARTS MULTIPURPOSE

7

HISTORY & HISTORICAL PRESERVATION

2

VISUAL ARTS & ARCHITECTURE

2

LITERARY ARTS

1

TOTAL

12

*OTHER includes science and children’s museums, zoos, and arts and culture programs housed in non-arts nonprofits and local governments.

  • The annual economic impact of just nonprofit arts and culture audiences in this region totaled $1.2M. This spending at local businesses is above and separate from the cost of the ticket to the event, and includes spending in restaurants, gas stations, and other local businesses by attendees on the way to and on the way home from an event. The average spent by an attendee is $16.39, and is money that would not have been spent in the community unless the event had occurred. Nonlocals spend even more, bringing dollars to the community that would otherwise not be there. 
  • Finally, the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations alone in Becker County includes $252,972 in state and local government revenues and supports 72 FTE jobs which generate $1.6M in resident household income annually.

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS PARTICIPATING IN THE STUDY INCLUDED:

  • Becker County Museum & Historical Society
  • Cormorant Art Club
  • DEBWE Youth Organization
  • Detroit Lakes Public Library & Becker County Friends of the Library
  • Detroit Mountain Recreation Area music events
  • DL Community Education
  • DL Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Ecumen Detroit Lakes
  • Historic Holmes Theatre
  • Honor the Earth/Niijii Radio
  • DL Jaycees Northwest Water Carnival
  • Lake Park Area Historical Society

LOCAL ARTISTS AND CREATIVE WORKERS:

  • Creative Minnesota 2017 found that there are over 513 artists and creative workers in Becker County. 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 the county are in Photography, Music and Writing.
  • Surprisingly, the average hourly wage for creative workers in Becker County is $20.11, which is above the average worker wage of $16.83.
  • The direct spending of artists and creative workers in the community alone generates $238,851 in state and local government revenues.

OTHER STATEWIDE HIGHLIGHTS:

STATEWIDE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NONPROFIT ARTS AND CULTURE SECTOR:

  • Statewide, 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.
  • 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, state and local government revenue from the arts sector exceeded $222 million, including income and sales taxes.

STATEWIDE IMPACT AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF ARTISTS AND CREATIVE WORKERS:

  • Creative Minnesota 2017 found that there are over 104,000 artists and creative workers in Minnesota whose spending in the state totals $644 million annually.
  • 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.

STRONGEST NEEDS FOR ALL MINNESOTA ARTISTS:

  • SPACE TO WORK: Artists desire spaces and tools of their own 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.

STATEWIDE 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.

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:

  • 76% of Minnesotans, compared to 68% of all Americans, attend arts and culture events
  • 63% 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 is a long-term collaborative initiative of statewide arts and culture supporting organizations in partnership with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA). 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 2017 study expanded its scope to look at the impact and needs of Minnesota’s artists and creative workers. All Creative Minnesota research is available for free at CREATIVEMN.ORG.

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.

The statewide Creative Minnesota team includes:

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