Issue-Specific Resources: Building Creative Economies

Creative communities are places with the kinds of recreational and cultural amenities and create milieh that are considered "cool" and therefore attract talent, which in turn fuels a creative economy." – Stuart Rosenfeld (2005)









  1. Americans for the Arts (2007). Arts and economic prosperity III: The economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences. Washington, DC: Americans for the Arts.

    This study "documents the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry in strengthening our nation’s economy. This study demonstrates that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities — a growth industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism."
    Publication. 314 pages.
    Accompanying Toolkit. 23 pages.

  2. Americans for the Arts. (2003, March). Building creative economies: The arts, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development. Monograph. Washington, DC: Author.

    " Small and rural communities across the country continue to face drastic population shifts and economic upheaval. Many efforts are under way in these areas to create and implement economic revitalization and community development strategies. In analyzing resources, strengths, and needs, communities are increasingly seeing the potential of their existing creative economies — sectors of the economy that include arts, cultural and heritage organizations, businesses, and workers—as strong revenue, employment, and quality of life generators, or 'creative industries.'" 16 pages.

  3. Christopherson, S. (2004). The divergent worlds of new media: How policy shapes work in the creative economy. Review of Policy Research 21(4): 543-558.

    In some economies, new media work is becoming more professional. In the United States, however it is better described as an entrepreneurial activity in which new media workers sell skills and services in a market. 18 pages.

  4. Cleveland, W. (2005). Making exact change: How U.S. arts- based programs have made a significant and sustained impact on their communities. Saxapahaw, NC: Art in the Public Interest.

    "Many of the finest artists and arts organizations in the U.S. have quietly established a remarkable record of innovation and success in institutional and community settings. These unlikely community/ arts partnerships have been established in factories, jails, condominiums, probation departments, senior centers, special schools and many other non-traditional sites. This work has challenged traditional ideas about the arts in America. It has also created successful models from which those concerned with the health and vitality of American communities can learn a great deal." 140 pages.

  5. Eger, J. M. (2006, March-April). Building creative: The role of art and culture. The Futurist, 40(2), 18-22.

    "Communities in which citizens are connected and creative will become stronger and more vital in the Creative Economy." 6 pages.

  6. Florida, R. (2003, March). The new American dream. The Atlantic Monthly.

    "The economy will prosper again when more Americans can do the work they love. The party that realizes this first wins…The American Dream is no longer just about money. Better pay, a nice house, and a rising standard of living will always be attractive . . . The new American Dream is to maintain a reasonable living standard while doing work that we enjoy doing." 9 pages.

  7. Florida, R. (2002, May). The rise of the creative class: Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race. Washington Monthly.

    This article provides a new look at emerging cities and explains why “cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race.” 12 pages.

  8. Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. (2003, April). The arts and smart growth: The role of arts in placemaking. (Translation Paper 12).Seattle, WA: Author and Grantmakers in the Arts.

    The arts have become a focal point for community building, while the smart growth movement has become a focal point for creating better places. In some communities, the overlap of these two movements is the key to a community-building strategy. In other communities, the two movements proceed along separate tracks. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role each plays in building communities and the potential they have to work together to this end. 16 pages.

  9. Grégoire, H., ed. (2006). The arts and community youth development: Drawing lessons from stories of practice. New York: Cornell University.

    "This book is a collection of stories by and for youth development practitioners. It is based on the belief that the arts can be a powerful tool for youth to develop life-skills and self-confidence while contributing something of public value." 126 pages.

  10. Kay, A. (2000, October). Art and community development: The role the arts have in regenerating communities. Community Development Journal, 34(4), 414-424.

    "The arts are often considered to be at the periphery of the community development process and only a minor player in regenerating areas. Despite increasing globalization, communities are beginning to recognize their own identity, culture, traditional art forms and the value of working together at a local level. This paper is based on a recent study which shows that the arts have a role in regeneration and at a local level can be used as a tool within a wider community development programme." 11 pages.

  11. NGA Center for Best Practices. (2002, May). The impact of arts education on workforce preparation. (Issue Brief). Washington, D.C.: Author.

    "This Issue Brief provides examples of arts-based education as a money-and time-saving option for states looking to build skills, increase academic success, heighten standardized test scores, and lower the incidence of crime among general and at-risk populations. It offers examples drawn from states that are utilizing the arts in education and after-school programs, and it provides policy recommendations for states looking to initiate or strengthen arts education programs that improve productivity and foster workforce development." 14 pages.

  12. NGA Center for Best Practices. (2001, June). The role of the arts in economic development. (Issue Brief). Washington, D.C.: Author.

    "Governors can position their states to use the arts effectively by promoting new partnerships among state agencies, communities, and the business sector and by harnessing the power of the arts and culture as tools that unite communities, create economic opportunity, and improve the quality of life." 9 pages.

Last Updated: July 18, 2012

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