Creative Economy Resource Center

Facts and figures
Toolkits and planning handbooks
Readings, talks, and inspiration
Wisconsin models
Models beyond Wisconsin
Creative placemaking

updated 8-19-18

Facts and figures about the arts, arts education, and creative economy in Wisconsin and beyond:

  • The Arts and Creative Economy:  21st Century Growth for Wisconsin information on the arts and creative economy in Wisconsin
  • Talking points about the arts, arts education and creative economy in Wisconsin – our state’s vibrant arts community makes us a strong recruiting draw in the 21st century economy and sets us apart from other states.
  • Wisconsin Creative Industries Map, 2017 – The most recent figures available for Wisconsin show that nearly 9,200 arts-related businesses employ over 50,000 people throughout the state.
  • America’s Creative Economy research from October 2015 on creative economies across America – especially focused on how regions and organizations conceptualize and track that segment of their local economy that fosters and taps imagination, creativity, and innovation to create and deliver goods, products, and services.
  • BEA/NEA Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA):  A collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the ACPSA is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector’s contributions to the U.S. economy.  New data reveals that in 2017 the arts & cultural sector contributed $760 billion to (4.2 % of) the U.S. economy. For the first time state level reports are available; Wisconsin’s report is here. Wisconsin’s impact is $9.1 billion.  
  • Culture Track – the largest national study focused exclusively on the ever-changing attitudes and behaviors of U.S. cultural consumers
  • Craftspersons and Artists in Northwest Wisconsin: Putting a Face on a Creative IndustryNorthern Center for Community and Economic Development |University of Wisconsin-Superior/Extension (.pdf)
  • Arts and Creativity in Education:  Global research and practice show that students with high levels of arts participation outperform other students on virtually every measure from standardized tests to community participation, and that learning through the arts has a significant effect on learning in other areas, particularly in the early years.   We know that Wisconsin needs more workers proficient in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) studies.  We must add the arts for 21st century STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) in Wisconsin.

Toolkits and planning handbooks:

  • Arts and Culture Toolkit: Created by the regional planning unit for seven Chicago counties to help municipalities incorporate art and culture into their planning.
  • The Cultural Mapping Toolkit reviews mapping as a valuable first step in generating new perspectives and preparing the ground for effective cultural planning.  From the partnership between 2010 Legacies Now and the Creative City Network of Canada.
  • The Cultural Planning Toolkit includes an overview of key characteristics of a good cultural plan and a step-by-step guide to getting there.
  • The Creative Community Builder’s Handbook: How to Transform Communities Using Local Assets, Arts and Culture by Tom Borrup, 2006.  Assesses 20 arts-centered community development projects and provides a step-by-step guide to building the economic, social, civic and physical infrastructure of communities through the arts. The book includes case studies from urban, rural and suburban communities and best practices related to ten successful community building strategies.
  • Effective Community Arts Development: Fifty Years, Fifty Tips by Maryo Gard Ewell “reminds us of where we’ve been, what we’ve learned along the way, and how to best equip ourselves for securing the future of the arts in America through effective community arts development by local arts agencies nationwide.”
  • Community Cultural Planning: A Guidebook for Community Leaders (Americans for the Arts) outlines five steps to developing a cultural plan, provides profiles of seven communities and their plans, and recommendations for effective planning.
  • The Arts in the Small Community by Maryo Gard Ewell and Michael F. Warlum, 2006.  An updated version of the seminal The Arts in the Small Community, a National Plan, developed in the 1960s, follows up on the original five test communities and adds contemporary examples.
  • A Toolkit for Starting a Non-Profit Gallery from the Macon Arts Alliance of Macon, GA. Based on their experience running The Gallery, a community-driven arts space, this toolkit helps prospective gallerists think through their conceptual and practical needs. Get it here.
  • From the Arts Extension Service, UMass-Amherst:

Readings, talks, and inspiration

Resources and ideas from thought-leaders, decision-makers and institutions:

Creative economy programs/projects/initiatives in Wisconsin:

Models beyond Wisconsin:  resources, ideas, and creative economy programs/projects/initiatives nationally and globally

Creative placemaking