21st Century Wisconsin

21st Century Wisconsin is a new report on exciting opportunities for growth and success throughout the state, produced by Arts Wisconsin and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

Wisconsin’s vibrant creative community sets us apart from other states. Our creative people, organizations, businesses and communities add energy to the economy, generate jobs, attract businesses, enhance education for all Wisconsin students, enliven public spaces, and support quality of life for everyone, everywhere in the state. From downtown development projects, to restored and rejuvenated historical theaters used as community centers and destinations in large urban and small rural areas; countless community-based arts, cultural, and heritage organizations; outstanding college and university arts programs, as well as community-based arts and education centers at our private colleges, public two- and four-year campuses, and tech colleges – all are examples of the creative economy at work in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin has all the assets it needs to lead the way as a 21st century economic powerhouse. Now we need to invest in the arts and creativity as a smart investment for Wisconsin’s future. This report is a snapshot in time, providing examples from all regions of the state; we aren’t able to describe every single creative activity in each area, but have provided a broad range of examples that are interesting, compelling, and serve as models, in many different ways, for many purposes.

The 21st Century Wisconsin report contains:

Recommendations for creative sector development and action

Regional profiles:

Research providing concrete data to support Wisconsin’s claims of significant creative economy impact, from the following sources:

  • A collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector’s contributions to the U.S. economy. The most recent data reveals that as of 2015, the arts contributed $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy, more than agriculture,  transportation, or warehousing. Wisconsin’s economic impact from its creative economy is $9.1 billion.  The arts employ 4.9 million workers across the country with earnings of over  $370 billion. Furthermore, the arts exported $20 billion more than imported, providing a positive trade balance.  Click here for more information.
  • A comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in Wisconsin in 2016 – Arts and Economic Prosperity 5  reveals that community-based nonprofit arts organizations generate $657 million in economic activity annually, resulting in more than $75 million in local and state tax revenues, 26,695 full-time equivalent jobs, and $555 million in household income.  The study was produced by Americans for the Arts and the Wisconsin Arts Board.
  • The Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts report provides a research-based approach to understanding the scope and economic importance of the arts in Wisconsin. The creative industries are composed of arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. The most recent figures available for Wisconsin (2017) show that nearly 9,200 arts-related businesses employ over 50,000 people throughout the state. The most recent figures available for Wisconsin (2017) show that nearly 9,200 arts-related businesses employ over 50,000 people throughout the state.   Click here for the Creative Industries map of Wisconsin.

The report’s facts and figures, interspersed with stories, testimony from Wisconsin residents, and photos from all areas of the state, demonstrate that Wisconsin is already using the arts and creativity to drive economic vitality, education for the 21st century, and vibrant communities. The opportunities are boundless with even greater investment.

For more information on 21st Century Wisconsin and creative sector opportunities for the state, contact Anne Katz, Executive Director, Arts Wisconsin, 608 255 8316 | akatz@artswisconsin.org.