Creative Economy Development Initiative

growing 21st century jobs, businesses and quality of life throughout Wisconsin

The latest news about the advocacy for the arts and the Creative Economy Development Initiative (updated 8-8-16):

CASE STATEMENT

ABOUT THE INITIATIVE The Creative Economy Development Initiative is a public/private partnership to leverage and grow assets and resources throughout Wisconsin, providing:

  • „ local and regional creative economic development that creates and expands jobs, businesses and income, through downtown and community revitalization, civic engagement, and cultural tourism programs
  • „ arts and creativity in education as a deliberate strategy for workforce development, to expand skills training; stimulate creative thinking, idea generation, innovation and inspiration; and enable entrepreneurship – all qualities needed in the 21st century world and workforce.
  • „strengthening capacity and entrepreneurship for and in the state’s diverse arts infrastructure.

The Initiative will be administered by the Wisconsin Arts Board in a 2:1 matching grant program to support projects focused on any and all of the three issues.  For profit and non profit arts and community businesses, economic development organizations, and agencies of local government will be eligible to apply.

MAIN MESSAGE The state of Wisconsin should establish the Creative Economy Development Initiative, administered by the Wisconsin Arts Board, as a public/private partnership to leverage and grow assets and resources throughout Wisconsin, providing local and regional economic development through the state’s creative industries; supporting arts and creativity in education as a deliberate, pro-active strategy for workforce development and skills training, and strengthening capacity and entrepreneurship for and in the state’s diverse arts infrastructure.

“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” ~ Ronald Reagan

BACKGROUND Wisconsin has always been a place where the arts spring from the grassroots, a place where people of all interests, backgrounds, and perspectives, in communities of all sizes, are involved in creative endeavors.  We’ve been that way for a long time, because of the Wisconsin Idea and our progressive traditions.  “The arts” are not something that only some people are involved with or care about.  Wisconsinites are creative, entrepreneurial, imaginative and innovative.

Where Wisconsin has fallen behind in recent years – dangerously so – is in public investment in the arts and creativity as essential components for economic growth, educational advancement, civic engagement, and vibrant communities.  In our rapidly changing world, where creativity and innovation are key to economic, educational and civic growth and success, that’s unacceptable.    Wisconsin must seize the opportunity to grow its economy with a 21st century development strategy.

“Knowledge workers – the people who solve problems for a living, start new companies, and bring new ideas to market – rely on their communities’ arts and culture scene to recharge their intellectual and innovation battery. In this way, Arts = Economic Development.” ~ Rebecca Ryan, President, Next Generation Consulting, Madison

THE ISSUE The arts and creativity work for a vibrant, innovative, and successful Wisconsin.  Strengthening Wisconsin’s creative industry is a critical strategy for the state and all of its communities to compete in the global economy, educate our children, engage residents, and to develop, attract and retain entrepreneurs and a high skilled work force through healthy, vibrant communities where people want to live, work, learn, and play.  The Creative Economy Development Initiative will help Wisconsin identify, strengthen and expand its creative programs, workforce, and businesses on the local level, leading to sustainable job growth, a growing talent pool, and community vibrancy and vitality.

The Wisconsin Arts Board, as the state agency dedicated to creativity, culture, community and commerce, supports systemic and pro-active strategies necessary to:

  • „  develop, attract and retain a talented workforce
  • „  capitalize on a region’s distinctive assets and culture
  • „  deepen connections among residents, cities, and regions, and regions to global communities and economies
  • „  foster innovation and entrepreneurial commercial activity to build sustainable economies.

KEY POINTS Investment in the local, regional and statewide creative economy will move Wisconsin forward to gain:

Jobs and economic vitality: growing and sustaining prosperity.

  • „ Wisconsin’s nonprofit arts and cultural sector is a $535 million industry, resulting in $65 million in local and state tax revenues, 22,872 full-time equivalent jobs, $479 million in resident income
  • „ According to Dun & Bradstreet, Wisconsin’s creative sector encompasses nearly 10,000 businesses and employs over 40,000 people in full-time jobs – mostly with small, entrepreneurial companies.
  • „ The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)’s new Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector’s contributions to current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the final dollar value of all goods and services produced in the United States. According to these new estimates, 3.2 percent — or $504 billion — of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture. In comparison, BEA’s estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry was 2.8 percent of GDP.
  • „  Communities thrive through arts investment, involvement and infrastructure
  • „  Cultural tourism is a fast-growing segment of Wisconsin’s tourism economy
  • „  A vibrant community-based arts scene increases and strengthens capacity to:
    • attract, retain, incubate, and grow businesses
    • broaden the tax base
    • attract tourists interested in the arts and culture, who spend more time and money as visitors
    • improve quality of life for all residents.

“The positive value of arts and culture on society has been understood on a human level for millennia. With this new effort, we are now able to quantify the impact of arts and culture on GDP for the very first time. Better utilizing this type of knowledge and information is part of the Department of Commerce’s ‘Open for Business Agenda,’ through which we are seeking to provide more transparency and data to enhance decision-making, create more value, and better understand and grow our economy.”       ~ U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker

Healthy communities and engaged residents: Building better places to live, learn, work, play.

  • „  Stimulate economic, community and neighborhood development
  • „  Make our cities and towns attractive and vibrant places to live and work
  • „  Attract tourists and out-of-town visitors
  • „  Educate our children to succeed in school and beyond
  • „  Beautify livable neighborhoods
  • „  Provide important social and creative outlets for all residents
  •   Bring people of diverse backgrounds together in productive and cooperative ways.

Educational advancement, skills training, and improved academic performance: Preparing our children for the 21st century world and workforce.

  • „Research from around the world proves that arts education and the integration of creativity in the academic process is proven to keep students in school, increase high school graduation rates and prepare students for college and for the careers of the 21st century economy.
  • „The fundamental and permanent shifts in local and global economies require highly disciplined, entrepreneurial, collaborative, innovative, imaginative, creative and focused workers-the traits the arts teach.
  • „Arts in education, outreach and engagement programs are critical for success throughout Wisconsin.

True prosperity and opportunity: Enriching everyone, everywhere in Wisconsin.

  • „ Wisconsin residents value the arts for themselves, their children and their communities.
  • „ People who are involved in the arts are also more civically engaged – they volunteer and they vote.
  • „ State funding leverages a great deal of local and private funding, but many communities, particularly in rural areas, are unable to raise enough private dollars to sustain arts programs without state support.
  • „ The arts significantly increase the return on Wisconsin’s investment in education by addressing issues such as workforce development and childhood poverty and health, while broadening the tax base statewide.

“Museum visits increase test scores, generate social responsibility and increase appreciation of the arts by students.”     ~ New York Times, 11-24-13

ACTION REQUESTED The state should establish the Creative Economy Development Initiative, administered by the Wisconsin Arts Board in a 2:1 matching grant program, as a public/private partnership to leverage and grow assets and resources throughout Wisconsin, providing:

  • „ local and regional creative economic development that creates and expands jobs, businesses and income, through downtown and community revitalization, civic engagement, and cultural tourism programs
  • „ arts and creativity in education as a deliberate strategy for workforce development, to expand skills training; stimulate creative thinking, idea generation, innovation and inspiration; and enable entrepreneurship – all qualities needed in the 21st century world and workforce.
  • „ strengthening capacity and entrepreneurship for and in the state’s diverse arts infrastructure.