According to new U.S. government data recently released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the arts and cultural sector contributed over $763.6 billion to the American economy in 2015…more than the agriculture, transportation, or warehousing sectors. Among the other findings, musical instrument manufacturing in Indiana added $42.2 million, 2.7 times greater than the national rate.
As for our neighbors to the left, graphic design, surprisingly, in Illinois added $589.5 million to the state’s economy, 69% above the national rate. But maybe it isn’t as surprising, if you think who graphic designers work for: entrepreneurs. As the country becomes more sole-proprietor minded, graphic designers are becoming more necessary, to create branding for would-be entrepreneurs in addition to the almost-required business cards, logos, and websites.
The biggest benefactor from the art sector are states New York and California, obviously, both hubs for television and movie productions, in addition to being the go-to proving grounds and dream factories for artists across the country. Related to that note, independent artists, writers, and performers (freelance folks) collectively added $22 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, a figure that saw a 2.8% average annual growth between 2012 and 2015.
The staggering evidence for the art sector’s economic relevancy doesn’t always translate to shifting public opinion on the matter.
Artsy.net contributed to this story.