City’s creative economy continues to grow

The Walker Art Center. Credit:

The Minneapolis area ranks fifth on a list of the most “creatively vital” cities in the country, according to a report to a City Council committee Wednesday.

The city’s creative sector contributed $831 million to the city’s economy in 2013, according to the Creative Vitality Index 2014 update.

Retail sales from the city’s creative industries are nearly equal to that of the sports industries. Sales from the creative sector were roughly $520 million in 2013 compared to $533 million for sports.

Meanwhile, sales from arts-related activities increased 20 percent from 2011 and sales from sports activities dropped 14 percent.

“We have a highly productive creative sector,” said Gülgün Kayim, the city’s director of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, during a presentation before the Council’s Committee of the Whole Committee.

Creative jobs continue to be centered in Minneapolis with about 26 percent of the region’s creative workers employed in the city.

Photographers rank number on the city’s top five creative occupations list followed by musicians, singers, writers and authors, graphic designers and public relations specialists.

The creative jobs that have seen the most growth since the 2013 Creative Index report include agents (10 percent), sound engineering technicians (8 percent), fashion designers (7 percent) and actors (7 percent).

The Western States Arts Foundation along with other arts groups in Washington state developed the Creativity Vitality Index as a way to quantify arts economies, which can be difficult to measure.

Kayim said the city has shared the information with a variety of community groups as way to spread the word about the city’s vibrant arts scene.


CVI Value by Metropolitan Area
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Los Angeles
3. New York City
4. Boston
5. Minneapolis/St. Paul
6. Seattle
7. San Francisco
8. Austin
9. Denver
10. San Jose