On May 24, the Creative Vitality Suite hosted the Arts and Culture, An Integral Element in Economic Development webinar. Kyle Wiese, project manager at Thurston County Economic Development Council, and Debbie-Maranger-Menk, director of consulting at Emsi, discussed the trends on culture and the creative industry’s impact on economic development.
- How arts and culture is influencing economic development strategies
- Explore the intersection between cultural and economic development trends
- Evaluate creative assets to leverage economic growth
Economic Development Measurements:
Click here to be directed to a list of measurements and indicators mentioned in the Arts and Culture, An Integral Element in Economic Development webinar. Also included in the PDF are questions and type of analyses to consider and where to find the data. For questions about what is available in CVSuite or to sign up for a free demo, please contact the CVSuite team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more webinars about the creative economy view our YouTube channel.
Q. Where does the data in the CVSuite come from? How do you capture and enter into the tool for use?
A: CVSuite’s data comes from federal national data sources such as the BLS, BEA, and the IRS. Our data provider Emsi, collects and cleans this data for the CVSuite. We update the data twice a year, which includes updating historical data with more accurate data and adding a new data year to the tool. The online tool requires a subscription to access. You can find more information at cvsuite.org and sign up for a demo.
Q. What are examples of or ways in which the arts and culture sector have successfully integrated into economic development efforts?
A. There are a number of state arts agencies that are being combined with economic development and tourism offices. This move is set to strengthen the partnership between arts and culture and economic development.
The City of Austin Cultural Arts Manager Meghan Wells shared how Austin has integrated arts and culture into economic development efforts. She states, “I think a good example is how arts and economic development are part and parcel of the affordability issue for cities’ creative communities. In Austin, we recently completed a community-driven Cultural Asset Mapping Project, which provided 3,000+ data points that show, geographically and demographically, where our community sees clustering or gaps in cultural assets across the city. We also published a companion policy guide, Thriving in Place, to lay out economic development tools and approaches that can be applied to the data to produce location-based stabilization for arts groups and artists seeking relief with displacement. We consider all arts activity that we support to serve as economic and community development, so it’s hard to discuss one without the other!” You can view the Thriving in Place and Cultural Asset Mapping Project on their website, found here.
Q. How can you get residents to see the value of art in economic development?
A. Communities respond to creative placemaking, public art, and efforts to improve quality of life. By sharing your efforts to improve these assets with the public, you can build community buy-in to economic development. Showing the effects of economic development in nearby areas can demonstrate the positive benefits toward bringing in new businesses and workers.
Q. How can I measure street markets, fairs, festivals, and farmers markets? The CVI Value does not include these industries.
A. The CVI Value includes a fixed number of creative industries in the Index calculation. There are disaggregated data available in CVSuite that you can use to measure fairs and festivals directly and indirectly. CVSuite offers NAICS code 711320 – Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events without Facilities and other NAICS codes that may be relevant to the products offered at fairs, such as fine art, crafts, and performances.
Q. Can I get information for small towns with a population of the less than 6,000?
A. The challenge with smaller regions is finding data that is detailed enough. The Creative Vitality Suite offers creative economy data down to the ZIP Code level. Depending on your region, this might be helpful for describing a town with a population less than 6,000. When investigating economic activity in a small region, you should also look at the larger region or neighboring regions to better understand the economic landscape in which your small town exists. Sometimes understanding the broader economic dynamics can better inform you on how a small region may contribute. Smaller towns and regions, such as creative districts, may find it is necessary to collect such data through surveys in order to assess exactly what is happening within the region’s boundaries.
Q. As a small nonprofit, what are the tools and partners we can look for to help us connect with the data?
A. I would first check with your local and state arts agencies for data they may have on your region. These larger nonprofit arts organizations may already have a subscription to the CVSuite tool. The next place to look would be one of the data providers in the arts, the CVSuite, NEA/BEA, AFTA AEP, and DataArts. Each one of these providers has their strengths and weaknesses and can address different components of the creative economy, such as for-profit versus nonprofit.
Q. How do you measure arts impacts when other economic development strategies are implemented at the same time?
A. Often many factors are at play when various projects and economic strategies are being implemented. It is often difficult to correlate that this action resulted in this effect. Sometimes we have to infer that our efforts contributed to the growth in the creative sector. Measuring trends over time is another way to capture the subtleties in the data, along with community stories that will better support the reported results. Measuring impact can be difficult, but with concise and reliable data you have the best tools at your side for advocating creative economy impact.