According to the latest study, the annual economic impact of non-profit arts and culture organizations in north-central Minnesota is more than $13.9 million and continues to grow.

"Creative Minnesota 2019" is the third biennial report about the state's arts and creative sector. The project is "a long-term endeavor to collect and report data on the creative sector every two years for analysis, education and advocacy."

Creative Minnesota, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and the Region 2 Arts

Council released the 2019 study.

"The passage of the Legacy Amendment in Minnesota allowed the Region 2 Arts Council and

Minnesota State Arts Board to increase support for the arts and culture in this area, and that

has had a big impact," said Sheila Smith, executive director of Minnesota Citizens for the

Arts, in a news release. "It's wonderful to see how the access to the arts has grown in this area over time."

The Legacy Amendment was passed by a statewide vote of the people of Minnesota in

2008 and created dedicated funding for the arts and culture in Minnesota. The legislature

appropriates the dollars from the Legacy Arts and Culture Fund to the Minnesota State Arts

Board, Regional Arts Councils, Minnesota Historical Society and other entities to provide

access to the arts and culture for all Minnesotans.

The Creative Minnesota report "includes statewide, regional and local looks at nonprofit arts and culture organizations, their audiences, artists and creative workers. This year, it also looks at the availability of arts education in Minnesota schools," said Smith. "We also include the results of 15 local studies that show substantial economic impact from the nonprofit arts and culture sector in every corner of the state, including $1.6 million in Hubbard County in this region."

North-central highlights

Although 11th in population size among the state's 11 regions, north-central

Minnesota is fourth in economic impact per capita, outranking more highly populated areas, according to "Creative Minnesota 2019." The region also outperforms in several other metrics, ranking eighth in economic impact from nonprofit arts and culture organizations, 10th in overall attendance and ninth in total youth attendance.

The study found that the combined economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations,

their audiences and artists and creative workers in north-central Minnesota is over

$13,941,318. This includes $5.6 million spent by nonprofit arts organizations, $3.3 million

spent by attendees, and $5.1 million in direct spending by artists in their communities for things such as art supplies and studio rental.

This is a growth of $3.1 million in economic impact since the 2017 Creative Minnesota study, and $6.8 million in economic impact from arts organizations and their audiences since the passage of the Legacy Amendment in 2008.

Fifty-seven nonprofit arts and culture organizations in the north-central region served 155,963

attendees and 44,985 students at arts and cultural events in 2016. Attendees in this region spend $20.87 per person above the cost of their ticket.

Among the study participants were the City of Park Rapids, Helga Township, Hubbard County Commissioners, Hubbard County Historical Society, Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers,

Park Rapids Area Community Education, Park Rapids Downtown Business Association, Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council, Nemeth Art Center, Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council and Heartland Concert Association, among others.

"Creative Minnesota 2019" found that there are over 997 artists and creative workers in

north-central Minnesota.

"Artistic occupations" were defined as those who make their living wholly, or in part, by working in 40 creative jobs. The most common in Minnesota are photographers, musicians, singers, writers and graphic designers. Other examples include architects, choir directors, curators, fine artists, librarians, actors, dancers, public relations, multimedia artists, animators, sculptors, and fashion, graphic and interior designers.

State and local government revenue from arts organizations and their audiences was $908,221, plus another $711,339 generated by artist spending. This includes sales, income and property taxes as well as licenses, utility and filing fees, etc.

Arts in education

New data from Minnesota's Department of Education have allowed the study to take a look at

students' access to arts education in Minnesota's K-12 schools.

"Creative Minnesota 2019" covers one year of data from the 2016-17 school year, in grades 9 through 12, from 482 public and charter schools serving 252,181 students.

High schools must offer at least three and require at least one of the following arts areas:

media arts, dance, music, theater and visual arts. Students must take one credit of the

arts to graduate.

"Unfortunately, our first report on the availability of arts education in Minnesota schools is

incomplete because so many schools have not complied with the mandatory reporting

Requirements," according to the news release. "We cannot definitively say what percentage of students do not have access to the three arts courses that should be available to them in high school."

The full report can be downloaded at creativemn.org.