The creative economy is a way to look at and measure the arts, says Dr. Lenore Shoults, curator for The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. The creative economy includes industries such as architecture, film, music, advertising, design, fashion, software, publishing, television, radio, baking, cosmetology, and more.
“Think of the arts as fuel,” Shoults said. “Think of big name entertainers, festivals, galleries, and all the people that attend.”
A lot of money goes into art-related events themselves, and when people travel to attend an event, they’ll spend money on food and a place to stay. Arts attract people.
Shoults also explained the importance of giving children in schools access to the arts. It gives them a chance to discover what they’re good at, a way to express themselves, and even an exercise which helps them to succeed in their other subjects.
“Student outcomes are higher when they are involved in the arts,” Shoults explained. The NEA has done a study showing that students involved in the arts “learn creative problem solving, tolerance, earn higher grades and better test scores, and are more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and achieve career success,” according to Shoults.
In a PowerPoint put together by Shoults, she states that “Since 2013, Arts & Cultural employment, in Arkansas, has grown 2.11 % compared with 1.26% nationwide.” Referencing information from a study by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Shoults continues, “Arts and Cultural employment, in Arkansas, is growing faster than total state employment.”