The Ohio creative arts industry is a dynamic economic engine, generating more than $41 billion in activity statewide, including $1.4 billion in the Akron area, a new study says.

The Columbus-based Ohio Citizens for the Arts on Tuesday released the findings of the report, called "Ohio's Creative Economy: The Economic Impact of Arts and Creative Industries."

“This study shows conclusively that the arts sector impacts Ohio’s economy in a big way — in both the rural areas and metropolitan areas,” Ohio Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Bill Behrendt said in a prepared statement. “We see that the arts are a powerful economic driver that provides jobs, develops the workforce, attracts talent, and contributes to the health of the state by generating revenues that support Ohio’s infrastructure.”

The report, done in collaboration with the Center for Regional Development and Bowling Green State University, examined everything from performing arts to museums, zoos, advertising, radio, television and publishing — any type of job or industry considered creative.

Overall, the creative economy supports 290,000 jobs in the state.

"As technology and outsourcing continue to displace manufacturing workers, the technology, service, and creative sectors have emerged as drivers of regional economies," the report says. "The educated, highly skilled workforce propelling these emerging sectors has become an increasingly important factor in regional economic development strategies. Creativity, innovation and knowledge creation are now central to economic prosperity."

The study not only looked at the impact statewide but also targeted six metropolitan areas: Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo and Youngstown. It noted that 70 percent of the impact was in those markets, but it also extended outside urban areas.

The Cleveland and Columbus markets tied at the top among the highlighted metro regions with $9.1 billion each in economic impact.

The report will help the arts community advocate as state legislators develop the biennial budget and the National Endowment for the Arts for financial support, said Nicole Mullet, executive director of ArtsNow in Akron and a board member of the Ohio Citizens for the Arts.

"The arts and culture sector aren't just nice to have but they are a smart investment to make," she said.

In addition to contributing $1.4 billion to the Akron metro area, which includes Portage County, the study says:

• The creative sector supports 17,608 jobs in the region and supplies more than $768 million in wages and proprietor income.

• Advertising and public relations lead the creative industries in financial impact. The sector is responsible for $339 million and supports 1,766 jobs. Periodical publishing was second at $203 million.

In addition to Mullet, Jarrod Hartzler of Tuesday Musical in Akron serves on the Ohio Citizens for the Arts board.

To read the full report, go to: www.artsimpactohio.org.

 

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.