Tips for the Busy Arts Advocate

Ohio Citizens for the Arts is a member of Americans for the Arts – our national arts advocacy organization.  Together OCA and AFTA provide a cadre of resources and tools you can use.  In this advocacy issue we want to share information with you about the Creative Industries report made available annually by Americans for the Arts.  Once again in 2011 the Ohio Citizens for the Arts’ Board of Directors has invested in the purchase of the Creative Industries report for your use in advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.

What is the Creative Industries Report?

Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts reports provide a research-based approach to understanding the scope and importance of the arts to the nation’s, and specifically for us – Ohio’s economy. While most economic impact studies of the arts have focused on the nonprofit sector the Creative Industries is the first national study that encompasses both the nonprofit and for-profit arts industries.

Putting the Data to Work

By documenting Dun & Bradstreet business and employment data for both the nonprofit and for-profit arts sectors, you can paint a picture of a powerful engine in your community’s information economy. What makes this data especially potent is that it can be localized to any city, county, state, region, or political jurisdiction in the country, and it is updated annually so that you can track trend data. View a list of key points (pdf, 41KB) on how this data provides a valuable visibility and advocacy tool for advancing the arts.

Defining the Creative Industries

Americans for the Arts has taken a conservative approach to defining the Creative Industries by focusing solely on businesses involved in the production or distribution of the arts. For the purposes of this study, the Creative Industries are composed of arts-centric businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and advertising companies. Americans for the Arts has guarded against overstatement of the sector by excluding industries such as computer programming and scientific research-both creative, but not focused on the arts. View a summary of the Creative Industries Classifications.

Americans for the Arts Data
The source of Americans for the Arts’ data is Dun & Bradstreet-widely acknowledged as the most comprehensive and trusted source for business information in the United States-which provides very specific and reliable data about employment and the number of arts-centric businesses in both the nonprofit and for-profit arts. Americans for the Arts’ analyses demonstrate an under-representation of nonprofit arts organizations in the Dun & Bradstreet database, and consequently, in our data. Additionally, many individual artists are not included, as not all are employed by a business.

Ohio Creative Industries Data

Ohio Citizens for the Arts has ordered the 2011 Creative Industries reports (statewide report, and individual House and Senate Legislative Districts) for Ohio and a selection of 25 cities in the state – they will be available in April and will be posted on our website.  In the meantime, take a look at the 2010 state data – it’s pretty impressive information and will get you thinking about the 2011 data release in just a few weeks!

Call to Action

Ohio Citizens for the Arts issued an Action Alert on March 15, 2011 – if you have not yet responded it is critical that you do so now.  Click here to take immediate action!  The Ohio Arts Council will be testifying before the Higher Education subcommittee of the Finance Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives next week and it is imperative that these members hear from you and all of your friends and colleagues!   Take action now – it’s easy!

We’ll be providing you with additional information each week and hope that you will be an active advocate for the arts in Ohio … it will take all of us doing our part to ensure every Ohio legislator is educated and informed about the value of the arts to Ohio’s economy, culture, and system of education. Click here for Talking Points!

Jeffrey A. Rich


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