Creative Industries Are the Building Blocks of Communities
Up until a few years ago, the very word ‘industry’ conjured up visions of factories producing automobiles, steel, home products, and other hard goods. While those perceptions are still valid and intact today, ‘creative industry’ is a different view of the evolving economy centered on individual creativity and talent. This covers a broad spectrum of goods and services, including:
- Crafts and Antiques
- Research and Development
- Performing Arts
- Fashion and Design
- Video Game Creation and Marketing
While many cities are indeed well known for being breeding grounds of creative industries such as theatre (Broadway and off-Broadway in NYC) or music (Nashville, TN), there is a growing focus on incentives that will attract small creative businesses, talent, and entrepreneurs to targeted areas.
Performing arts, local symphonies, and other creative industries are being supported by a growing number of established businesses, to attract personnel that are in search of more options to add quality of life, intellectual stimulation, and entertainment to their routines. Families have begun to consider the creative environment of potential living choices to be nearly as important as job opportunities or cost of living.
Creative industry further contributes to economic factors throughout the community through the need for supportive businesses including supplies, housing, transportation, and other goods and services. While some utilize the terms ‘creative industry’ and ‘cultural industry’ synonymously, there are distinctions. Cultural industries comprise a sector of creative industries, including such areas as museums and libraries, culture-focused tourism, and area heritage. Creative industry covers more talent, intellectual, and individual creativity attributes.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of a creative industry, in any individual city or community:
Acceptance – Does the community welcome newcomers and foster change? Does the environment contribute ready access to media to promote creative industry?
Financial Encouragement – The availability of such financial stimulation as block grants or other incentives can help bring a small business to life. Direct financial support is critical to start-ups looking for capital and to assist with training and business development.
Is a Support Network Available? – Many communities, particularly in urban areas, have organized groups of volunteers (often referred to as business incubators) to counsel new businesses on areas outside their expertise, such as recruiting staff, obtaining financing, and business management. This contributes greatly to streamlining business success, and could be a consideration for the entrepreneur in locating the business.
Location – Is there a ‘creative zone’ set aside specifically for creative industries, establishing a safe and attractive ‘home’ for the business?
Environment – Is the proposed location open to a variety of ethnic, religious, and sexual orientations? This indicates a broad acceptance within the community.
Expectation for Creative Industry
Participation in creative industries continues to grow around the world. Employment and opportunities continue to increase, adding to economic conditions. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimated that creative industries account for 3-5% of the global workforce, with a compounded annual financial growth rate of 7%.
A recent study published by EY and released by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) reported that the global revenue produced by the cultural and creative industries contributes $2,250 Billion (USD) or 3% of the total global economy. These sectors also generate 29.5 million jobs, far surpassing traditional industries such as automobiles.
The Motion Picture Association of America places the value of creative industry in the US alone at $698 billion, creating 4.7 million jobs. This accounts for 4.32% of all US goods and services, according to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In the UK, creative industry accounts for 1 in 11 jobs, an impressive statistic.
This trend will quite likely continue to grow, as millennials have proven to be tremendous resources for creativity, drive, and creative endeavors.
In his 2002 book, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure and Everyday Life, Richard Florida surmised that ‘human creativity is the ultimate economic resource.’ With that in mind, it behooves every community to ensure that incentives are provided that support and encourage creative industries to thrive. Creative industry is a key component in the revitalization of our communities and economy.
Keywords: Creative Industry