Creative Industries

Industries that combine the creation, production and commercialization of products which are intangible and cultural in nature. These contents are typically protected by copyright and they can take the form of goods or services.
– UNESCO

What are the Creative Industry Clusters?

There are many ways to define creative industry clusters, but a common approach is defining them by the following traditional arts related disciplines: fines arts, entertainment, design and communication.

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What are the Creative Industries?
Many of us think of ‘creative industries’ as a unique segment of today’s economy, both on our home turf and globally. Businesses that commonly are included in the creative cluster, by definition include:

  • Fine Arts – Venues for the Arts, Museums, Performing Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Arts Organizations
  • Design – Engineering, Architecture, Manufacturing Technology, Fashion
  • Support Services for Creative Industries – R&D Services, Consulting, Post-Secondary Education
  • Media/Communications – Advertising, Graphic Design, Marketing, Public Relations, Publishing, Broadcasting
  • Entertainment – Media, Educational and Training Film Development, Post-Production, Recreation, Video Gaming Development

And some of the more science oriented industries which may be included:

  • Data Sciences – Communications, Internet, Telecomm
  • Software and Hardware – Manufacturing and Retail Software, Healthcare Devices

These specific ‘creative clusters’ were designated in a review and analysis of one major US city (Pittsburgh, PA), in a study in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. Certainly, not every urban area will encounter the exact mix of creative segments in their particular region or country, but this study serves as a demonstration of the process for evaluating and measuring the potential impact of any creative industry in a particular geographic area.

An International Definition in the UK
The UK Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) has it’s own slant on clustering their creative industries, defining them as “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.”

DCMS nine-segment breakdown of creative industries:

  • Museums, Libraries, and Galleries
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Design, including Product, Fashion Design, and Graphic Design
  • Architecture
  • Crafts
  • Media, including the categories of TV, Video, Photography, Film, and Radio
  • Publishing
  • IT – encompassing Software and other Computer Services
  • Music, Performing, and Visual Arts

Although many analysts have questioned the above categories, suggesting replacements or additions, many others have widely accepted the segments and utilize them consistently when conducting further studies and measuring the economic impact of each group.

What type of workers are included?
The type of workers taking part in creative industries is nearly as diverse as the industries themselves:
  • Entrepreneurs with a new idea for a product or service that are willing to take lower wages while their idea takes shape and becomes a reality – maybe even the next ‘big thing.’
  • Actors engaged in live theater, film industries, and supporting industries.
  • Musicians of every conceivable genre, in every global culture and format.
  • Architects designing and overseeing the construction of buildings that are themselves works of art.
  • Museum curators and staffs making historic and beautiful works of art available for viewing and understanding by the masses.
  • Artists making an effort to express their individual thoughts in the form of graphics, sculpture, or other media.
  • Software designeres with a new slant for applying technology to our daily lives.

Food service workers, custodians, security, and other supportive teams in such venues as theaters, museums, and software houses are nonetheless classified as working in creative industries, and are in fact critical to the successful operation of the business.

The world is full of evening and weekend creatives. Musicians for example, anxious to display their talents whenever the opportunity arises, but possibly engaged in totally non-related employment for their subsistence. Many writers update their blogs and polish their literary works following a non-creative industry job throughout the day. It can become a welcome personal outlet and contribute to a better overall quality of life to take part in creative industries, even if only part-time.

Creative Industries in Nonprofit Arts Nexus

Although the nonprofit arts and culture sector has embraced research on the creative economy as a way to articulate the sector’s economic value, the nesting of nonprofit arts and culture data within broader research on the creative economy can raise some challenges. One is that there is currently no broad agreement on the definition of just what comprises the creative economy; including the nonprofit arts. Although creative economy studies generally include a wide range of nonprofit arts activities, there is no agreement on exactly which activities should be covered. As a result, cross-community and cross-state analysis can be difficult. Perhaps more problematic, the nonprofit arts and culture community that commissions studies on the creative economy often does a poor job of identifying and then arguing for the nexus, or connection between economic activity presented in the overall study and the activities of the nonprofit arts. As a result, research on the nonprofit originated creative sector can be dismissed as not arguing well for the role of the nonprofit arts in a creative economy.