The creative economy is an ecosystem comprised of the ideas, products, and knowledge imagined, manufactured, and supported by human creativity. It is an economic powerhouse with an immense footprint that touches the lives of every American and deserves robust government support at the national, state, and local levels.

If we include industries that also “produce goods and services relating to arts and culture,” research by the Brookings Institute states that the creative industries “employ 8.8 million workers and generate over $1.7 trillion in sales” EACH YEAR, representing 4% of ALL the goods and services sold each year in the U.S.
(Brookings Institute)

In 2019, arts and culture contributed about half as much to the American GDP as air transportation. But when the COVID- 19 pandemic hit in 2020, airlines received almost 45 times the amount of government support.

99.4% of employers nationwide in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation qualify as small businesses.

(U.S. Small Business Administration)

One early study shows that small towns that invest in the arts can see improvements in annual median wage, graduation rates, and employment, and decreases in poverty and crime rates.

While agriculture and transportation both have a seat in the U.S. Cabinet, the creative economy receives no such recognition, despite its larger footprint.

Each working American adult* spends only $1.54 each year in support for the NEA, but those contributions bankroll almost the entirety of federal funding for the arts, especially in rural areas.

*Employed, between the ages of 18-64

Catching up to inflation would only cost each working American adult* $3.26 a year to support the arts on a national level.

*Employed, between the ages of 18-64


If that same return on investment holds true in the U.S., then raising the NEA budget to cost an average of $10 a year per person would return $9.6 billion dollars to American taxpayers.



YOU CAN take it with you

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4A Arts will work to democratize, catalyze, and prioritize arts and culture in America.

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