michigan a creative state: you can take that to the bank

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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.

In terms of how the report will help strengthen the arts and cultural sectors in Michigan, Latvis said it will be used by many people across the state.

“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.

3 Responses to michigan a creative state: you can take that to the bank

  1. This is great news for the Detroit area and all its creatives!

  2. There’s no doubt the Michigan Cultural Data Project shows that the cultural components of our state prove to be good for business but there is also information in the study that may show that Michigan’s non-profit art organizations may not be so good to the artists who make the culture they profit from.

    The MCDP provides some interesting data for artists to consider. It shows that the Total revenue generated by organizations is a little over $904 million dollars and their total expenses were $597 million dollars.

    The interesting figure for artists to note is that art organizations only paid out $56 million in Artistic/ Programing expenses. That is all the money paid to the artists who provided the programing who were paid for that programing. Art organizations paid almost 5 times more in employee salaries and fringe benefits than for the artistic programing for their organization. They paid more in all their Professional Services than they did in Artistic Programing. They paid over 1/2 as much for promotion and advertising than they did for the programing itself.

    And when you start comparing Michigan to other midwest states that participated in the Data Project, Michigan is on the low end of the scale when it comes to paying for artistic programing. Illinois which has almost twice the total art organization income as we did- $1.7 billion- paid out 4 times as much for artistic programing. Ohio which is roughly on par with Michigan in total revenue, paid out $20 million more.

  3. tim burke says:

    Where is the money to help individual artist’s. the to main ones that come to mind are the Kresge Grant,and Art Prize witch leaves artist’s chasing after a carrot on a stick. 9 out of 400 applicants will get a Kresge Grant and theres about 1700 artist’s competing for the big Prize at art prize. this is very disconcerting for the individual artist’s that struggle to do there work and have to work a nine to five. when are other Corporations and or government going to step up to the plate and help support the local individual art community. not every artist can set up a nonprofit to be able to then do there work and have others on their board raise money for them. we need financial help Michigan needs to step up to the plate and find a way to retain it’s artist’s. as i am writing this another supporter just popped into my head Red Bull thank you for stepping up to the plate.