Creative State Michigan 2012: The D3 Experience

ArtServe Michigan, in collaboration with Data Driven Detroit, has released its latest Creative State Michigan report. For the second year running, the report reveals the economic importance of the arts and cultural institutions in Michigan’s economy. From the press release: “The report details economic and social data from 346 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, representing an estimated 17 percent of the more than 2,000 cultural groups operating statewide… Among its most compelling data, the report affirms the creative economy as a significant growth sector and strategic opportunity for Michigan’s economy. From 2006 to 2011, the number of arts-related jobs increased by 15 percent to 85,656 jobs in Michigan, while arts-related businesses increased by 65 percent to 28,072.”

The Creative State Michigan report makes use of the Cultural Data Project, which was founded by the Pew Charitable Trusts to collect information about the economic impact of cultural institutions at the state and local levels. In Michigan, the CDP collected much of its data through the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs. The Council is a major grantmaker for Michigan cultural organizations, and requires its grantees to submit information to the Cultural Data Project.

D3’s role in the Creative State Michigan project was the analysis and interpretation of the data collected by the Cultural Data Project. To help ArtServe find the most compelling illustrations of the creative sector in Michigan’s economy, we created interactive tools that allowed them to dynamically view a complete package of economic indicators for cultural organizations of all sizes across multiple years.

All of these factors – the Cultural Data Project’s creation of a powerful data set, assisted by the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs; D3’s cross-sectional analysis of that data across multiple years; and ArtServe’s design of the final report – have come together to advance ArtServe Michigan’s public policy campaign for culture and the arts. The opportunity to work with ArtServe Michigan to quantify the economic value of culture and the arts across our state continues to be a pleasure, and provides one component of an increasing D3 portfolio of research in the culture and arts sector.