Annual creative report reveals Michigan’s dependency on arts and culture for economic development

Arts and culture are crucial to the vitality of Michigan communities.

Arts and culture are no strangers to being credited with the vitality of communities. It seems as if nearly all Michigan communities, both large and small, have some sort of festival or event highlighting arts and culture in a unique way that draws out crowds. Art festivals dot the calendar once the warm weather comes to Michigan. Museums around the Great Lakes State offer refuge from the cold while highlighting rural and urban cultures. In fact, placemaking even has a creative arm for fostering arts and culture tactics in both urban and rural areas. Arts and culture are central to communities, people, entrepreneurs and Michigan’s tourism industry, too. The bottom line is that arts and culture drive community and economic development in Michigan.

The 6th edition of “Creative State Michigan,” an annual collection of certified data from 419 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, highlights “the social and economic impact of the creative sector.” The report is based on DataArts data for the 2014 Fiscal Year and reveals arts and culture contribute significantly to strengthening the economy, employment and tourism.

Highlights of all 419 arts and cultural organizations include:

  • 88,761 jobs were contributed
  • $1.86 Billion in direct tourism spending by visitors to MI arts and cultural destinations in 2015
  • 205,761 live productions, exhibitions, workshops, films and other programming; 67% of the events were free to the public
  • 29,117,770 visitors to arts and cultural events

An earlier Michigan State University Extension article titled “Arts and culture impacts Michigan’s economy” provided a summary of results from the 2015 Creative State MI Report. In that article, the author highlighted arts and cultural venues and events received 25,785,806 visitors. Reported number of visitors for this year are approximately 3.4 million more than previous year, thus confirming arts and culture are growing and contribute to Michigan’s economy.

Additional information about the work being done by Creative Many may be found on its website. Articles and information about a variety of tourism-related subjects can be found on the MSU Extension tourism webpage.

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