Creative Communities: Art Works in Economic Development

Brookings Institution,
15 April 2013, USA

Just released by the Brookings Institution, 'Creative Communities: Art Works in Economic Development' is a new publication based on a collaborative effort with the National Endowment for the Arts to stimulate more rigorous research on the arts and economic development. 

Urban and regional planners, elected officials, and other decisionmakers are increasingly focused on what makes places livable. Access to the arts inevitably appears high on that list, but knowledge about how culture and the arts can act as a tool of economic development is often lacking.  How do we look at the arts sector as an integrated part of local economies and not just as a source of amenities or diversions? Creative Communities uses original data produced through quantitative and qualitative research to provide a greater understanding of how art works as an engine for transforming communities.

This publication stems from a first-ever collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Brookings Institution. The two organizations co-hosted the May 2012 symposium titled "The Arts, New Growth Theory, and Economic Development,” where leading economists explored theories and empirical findings about the role of arts and culture in the U.S. economy. Archived video of the symposium is available at the Brookings website.

This event is part of a new direction for NEA research: to convene more gatherings and conduct more research on the value and impact of the arts in other domains of American life, such as education, health and well-being, community livability, and economic prosperity. Another recent economic research endeavor is a landmark partnership between the NEA and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to develop an "Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account" that will identify and calculate the arts and culture sector's contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

For the full list of contributors, see the NEA media release.
For information about purchasing the book, click here.