By Dac Collins
Arts advocates were thrilled when the Kentucky Arts Council released the Kentucky Creative Industry Report this winter, the first report of its kind to fully acknowledge the contribution of the creative industry to the state’s economy.
The creative industry accounts for $1.9 billion in annual state revenue and approximately 2.5 percent of all employment in the state, providing about 60,000 jobs. That is roughly equivalent to the amount of jobs created by the information technology and communications industry and it is significantly more than the estimated 12,000 workers directly employed by Kentucky’s coal mining industry.
This 2.5 percent includes traditional artists, such as painters, musicians and writers, as well as non-traditional artists, such as web designers, advertisers and architects.
Bob Stewart, secretary of the state Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, says the report finally gives supporters of the arts “the data we need to prove the arts’ significance economically.”