It’s Official: The Arts are Vital to US Economy

Newly Released Federal Data Show Arts Account for 3.2% of Gross Domestic Product

Washington, DC (December 6, 2013):  For the first time ever, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the federal agency charged with calculating our gross domestic product, has released official data measuring the impact of the arts and culture sector on our nation’s economy.

The BEA’s report, released this morning, finds that the arts and cultural industries account for $504 billion, with 3.2% of our total gross domestic product (GDP) flowing from our arts and culture sector.  The data also notes that the arts have been hard hit by the recession and accounted for 3.5% to 3.7% of GDP in the years 1998 to 2006.

“That’s a huge and under-appreciated impact,” said Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition.  “The arts are an essential component of a healthy American economy. From film and television crews to designers to tourist spending related to museums and arts festivals, the arts are creating good jobs and powering local economies around the country.  Today’s report finds that more than two million Americans work in our creative industries.”

Despite the fact that the arts account for 3.2% of our GDP, federal investment in the sector accounts for only .004% of our federal budget.  Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee voted to cut arts funding by an additional 49%.

“This should be a wake-up call to Washington,” said The Creative Coalition’s Bronk.  “Our federal investment in the arts is not in line with today’s numbers.  With so many jobs at stake, we should be investing more, not less, in our arts and culture sector.”

For Immediate Release
Nick Maduros