JENNIFER BAUM | JANUARY 31, 2013
The power of Michigan’s creative industry was heard nationwide with the release of ArtServe Michigan’s first Creative State Michigan report in 2012 and inspired increased support from Michigan lawmakers. Just released, this year’s Creative State Michigan report draws from 346 arts and culture organizations across Michigan, 135 more organizations than in its first year, and their records from fiscal year 2010.
“Creative State Michigan continues to demonstrate, with verifiable evidence, the impact Michigan’s non-profit arts and culture organizations have in sustaining and creating opportunity in our state,” said Jennifer Goulet, president and CEO of ArtServe Michigan. “The impact goes beyond aesthetics, proving influences for our economy, social connectedness, educational enrichment and the attraction of tourism bringing significant revenue to the state.”
The report estimates that these organizations pumped more than $550 million in direct expenditures into the economy—a significant chunk. And in reality, the number is probably higher. Mike Latvis, director of public policy for ArtServe Michigan, estimated the organizations included in the study represent only 15 percent of the arts and culture sector in Michigan.
“Regardless, it’s a pretty big number in terms of expenditures,” Latvis said. “The research indicates the sector is responsible for more than 22,000 jobs supported through those organizations, with almost $194 million in salaries.”
And the sector’s effects on tourism are abundantly clear.
“These organizations brought in a little over $2 billion in tourism revenue,” Latvis said. “That represents 16 percent of the state’s total tourism revenue. It’s actually more than those visitors coming to play golf, go boating and sailing, hunting and fishing, or hiking and biking, combined.”
The insight on the impacts the sector has made on Michigan residents’ quality of life is noteworthy as well. Latvis noted that the study reported 15.7 million visits to the organizations included in the report, in fiscal year 2010 alone.
“Fifty-four percent of those were free visits,” Latvis noted. “And 2.7 million of them were school children. It’s about who we serve.”
Latvis went on to explain that the presence of those arts and cultural organizations within Michigan’s communities makes a big difference in terms of Michigan’s ability to attract and retain talent.
Goulet agrees. “Arts and culture contribute to the vibrancy of Michigan cities and communities and create captivating places to live, work and visit,” she said. “Further, this type of environment appeals to the talent and business investment that generates growth opportunities for Michigan’s future.”
Interestingly, the number of arts-related jobs and businesses in Michigan continues to rise. According to the Americans for the Arts’ annual Creative Industries Reports and 2011 tourism data from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, from 2006 – 2011, the number of arts-related jobs increased by 15 percent, and arts-related businesses increased by 65 percent. From 2010 – 2011 alone, arts-related jobs increased by 11 percent and arts-related businesses increased by 16 percent.
Latvis said he expects the findings to continue to shed favorable light on Michigan’s arts and cultural organizations each year, as data from additional organizations is analyzed.
The data presented in the Creative State Michigan report is compiled through the Michigan Cultural Data Project (CDP), which was launched in May of 2010. The online management tool provides funders with reliable, comparable data to inform grantmaking and helps arts advocates and researchers better understand and describe the sector’s impact.
“We’ll of course share it with key community members, business leaders and elected officials,” he said. “But we also want our local elected officials to have access to this data. When they try to create a city art council, they can use this report as evidence that arts and culture is important in the state.”
Latvis continued, “Overall, we want to make sure that we are able to use this report to show that arts and culture is a significant piece of Michigan’s continued recovery. It may not be the largest part of the economy, but it is a large part.”
To view the report, click here.