The new Kentucky Creative Industry Report is being hailed as a barometer of the economic impact of the arts industry. The state's Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary calls the report 'ground breaking.'
The study defines creative employment as positions in visual arts, crafts, music, dance, theater, and literature. Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart says the report is a critical analysis of the arts and various sectors of the economy. "It also shows what the average salary is for those involved in the creative industry. How many of those jobs are there, how does the creative industry impact other industries in Kentucky," said Stewart.
The report shows the creative industry accounts for 2.5% of overall Kentucky employment or 108,498 jobs. The industry, as a whole, generates almost $2 billion in earnings.
Stewart says a changing Kentucky economy, including a decline in coal jobs, needs to realize the benefits of arts–related businesses. "So, there's a lot of strategic thinking going on about what's Kentucky's economy gonna look like in the future. So the timing could not be better to come out with this report about the arts, to say the arts need to be at the table when we construct a new strategy for moving forward economically in this state," added Stewart.
Stewart would like to see more tax incentives to help arts-related businesses flourish.