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About Creative MN

Creative Minnesota was developed by a collaborative of arts and culture funders and statewide arts service organizations in partnership with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA).

The Creative Minnesota Project

The Creative Minnesota project is a collaboration of many partners whose goal is to create solid, hard data about the arts sector. We intend to fill the gaps in available information about Minnesota’s cultural field and to improve our understanding of its importance to our quality of life and economy. This project is a long-term endeavor to collect and report data on the creative sector every two years for analysis, education and advocacy.

Creative Minnesota 2017

Creative Minnesota 2017, released in February of 2017, is our second biennial report which is both statewide and regional.

Creative Minnesota 2017 shows that supporting artists and arts activity is a pathway to solving problems and achieving the goals of our communities. We also hope to empower artists to advocate for themselves. Creative Minnesota 2017 shows that there is an artist on every block, in every community, and that they are already contributing to the health of our economy and are already working to improve their communities. The 2017 study also updates the 2015 Creative Minnesota information about nonprofit arts organizations and adds additional in-depth analysis of the economic lives of Minnesota’s artists and what they need to build a career and a life in the arts. It combines both new, original research and Minnesota-unique data from the national studies.

It finds that our artists give Minnesota a competitive edge.

Creative Minnesota 2015

Our first Creative Minnesota report, released in March of 2015, was a snapshot of the health and impacts of the state’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations, which looked at their spending and their audiences, as well as other indicators of the sector’s health and impact on the economy. Both statewide and regional in scope, it leveraged new in-depth research made possible by Minnesota’s participation in the Cultural Data Project ( with DataArts.

Two Rounds of City and County Studies

In October of 2015 we released 17 city and county local studies that showed substantial economic impact from the nonprofit arts and culture in every corner of the state, from the Arrowhead to the plains of Southwest Minnesota and from the Red River Valley to the river lands of the Southeast. In January through March 2017 we released an additional 15 city and county local studies, for a total to date of 32.


Creative Minnesota was developed by a collaborative of arts and culture funders in partnership with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA). The Creative Minnesota team includes Minnesota Citizens for the ArtsThe McKnight Foundationthe Minnesota State Arts Boardthe Forum of Regional Arts Councils of MinnesotaTargetJerome FoundationMardag FoundationSpringboard for the Arts and the Bush Foundation, with in-kind support from the Minnesota Historical SocietyCity of Minneapolis and others. For a list of committee members, go to

We envision that arts advocates, legislators, local government officials and arts and cultural organizations will use this report to find new ways to improve their lives and economies with arts and culture.

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is a statewide arts advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure opportunity for all people to have access to and involvement in the arts. MCA organizes the arts community and lobbies the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress on issues pertaining to the nonprofit arts and conducts original research. MCA works with over 40,000 arts advocates in Minnesota.