More than $1 billion in compensation was paid to Rhode Islanders involved in the arts and cultural production sector in 2014, according to a new study released today through a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
"Today's report from the federal government shows that the arts and culture create jobs and represent a significant share of employment in our state," Governor Gina M. Raimondo said. "We are grateful to the work of the State Arts Council and the many artists and cultural organizations who contribute so much to the economic and cultural life of our state."
According to the report, close to 18,000 Rhode Islanders were employed in the arts and cultural sector in 2014, representing 3.7% of all employment in the state. Rhode Island leads the New England region in the percentage of state employment attributed to the arts and culture and ranked No. 2 in the percentage of total state compensation credited to the arts (3.6%), following Massachusetts.
Nationwide, the study reveals that the arts and cultural sector contributed $729.6 billion or 4.2 percent to the U.S. economy that year. Between 1998 and 2014, the contribution of arts and culture to the nation's gross domestic product grew by 35.1 percent. Rhode Island, along with six other states— Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Utah—exceed the national rate for arts and cultural workers by nine to 17 percent.
"The arts are a clear and substantial part of our state's economy," Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said. "The challenge we face is finding ways to grow this important sector, so that it can continue to employ more people and contribute economically to the welfare of our state."
Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, explained that this report only tells part of the story.
"This report counts the number of individuals employed in the arts and culture sector in Rhode Island, and tells us something about the compensation they receive," Rosenbaum said. "And while these are impressive figures, it doesn't take into account the many people whose employment depends on an active arts community. The hospitality, tourism and service industries are a significant part of the Rhode Island economy, and these sectors depend on each other for their livelihood. It's here where the state's investment in the arts is the key to a greater success for Rhode Island."
Copies of the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) reports and other information can be found at http://www.arts.ri.gov/economy on the RISCA website.
"Information from the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account has been invaluable for understanding the role of arts and culture in our economy, demonstrating that the arts are indeed part of our everyday lives," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "Now with the new state data, state leaders have a powerful tool to assess and advance arts and culture for the benefit of all their residents."
About the NEA Office of Research & Analysis As the federal agency of record on arts research, the NEA, through its Office of Research & Analysis, produces accurate, relevant, and timely analyses and reports that reveal the conditions and characteristics of the U.S. arts ecosystem and the impact of the arts on our everyday lives. The latest ACPSA findings add an important resource to the agency's collection of publications such as, A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings From the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002–2012, funding opportunities such as Research: Art Works, leading the Federal Agency Taskforce on Human Development, and producing other data resources.
About the National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America's rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Please visit arts.gov
About the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders. Visit www.arts.ri.gov for more information.