Press Release
For immediate release: September 19, 2016
Contact: Lauren Bailey
New National Study on Artists and What They Need To Have Impact
Report "Creativity Connects: Trends and Conditions Affecting U.S. Artists"Describes a Vibrant, Latent Creative Workforce
Los Angeles, CA - Describing changing definitions of artists and their shifting roles in society are the focus of a new report launched by the Center for Cultural Innovation and the National Endowment for the Arts, with support from the Surdna Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
The year-long research effort was led by the Center for Cultural Innovation with a national research team of Alexis Frasz, Marcelle Hinand, Angie Kim, Heather Peeler, Holly Sidford, and Marc Vogl. The report is part of the NEA Chairman's 50th anniversary initiativeCreativity Connects: Trends and Conditions Affecting U.S. Artists, which examines issues familiar to the arts world such as funding and training, but also widens the lens to look at the effect of other forces shaping the environment for artists including technology, the gig economy, student debt, and the growth of cross-disciplinary work. NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, "This report is practical and well-informed, providing insights and implications for action that together can advance our nation's creative future. We thank the Center for Cultural Innovation for their work and look forward to sharing the report with our colleagues and those interested in welcoming artists to their sectors to share their creative practices and inspire innovation."
Report Findings
The report is divided into three sections, each with its own set of conclusions. 
  1. Shifts in the Artist Population and the Ways Artists Work
  2. Technology, Economics, Equity, and Training
  3. Implications of this Research
Regarding the findings of the research, the report describes significant changes that alter definitions of artists, how they sustain their practice, and yet-unrealized potential to contribute positively to social issues and apply creativity throughout all sectors. Specifically:
  1. The population of artists is growing and diversifying, with substantial numbers of artists working across disciplines and in entrepreneurial ways.
  2. Technology is profoundly altering the context, consumption, and economics of artists' work, and there are emerging new markets and demands for the creative labor market.
  3. Artists are part of larger economic conditions that require addressing high levels of debt, rising costs of living, and insufficient protections for "gig economy" workers.
  4. Structural inequities in society are reflected in the arts wherein artists also face race-, gender-, income-, and ability-based disparities.
  5. Training and funding systems have not kept pace with artists' evolving needs and emerging opportunities for artists' contributions.
Angie Kim, President and CEO of the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) said, "The arts sector is not alone in undergoing seismic shifts due to technological, generational, and demographic changes, but many of these shifts have opened up exciting new possibilities for artists to be at the center of social change. The Creativity Connects report describes what needs to be done to expand artists' potential contributions. CCI is proud to partner with the National Endowment for the Arts on this seminal research."
Report Background
The Creativity Connects report builds on a 2003 report by the Urban Institute, Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists, led by current National Council on the Arts member Maria Rosario Jackson. Since its publication, Investing in Creativityhas influenced the efforts of funders, policy makers, artist support organizations, scholars, and others interested in artists' creative capacities and extending artists contributions across local, state and national levels.
But the world has changed significantly since 2003, and the purpose of the Creativity Connects: Trends and Conditions Affecting U.S. Artists is to present an updated picture of the world in which artists operate, and to offer suggestions for addressing currently identified challenges to artists' success.
To develop the report, the CCI research team, with NEA staff, undertook extensive information-gathering and analysis over the past year. This included conducting 65 in-depth interviews, convening 10 roundtables across the country, reviewing more than 300 documents, gathering over 30 field experts to review the initial findings, and commissioning 18 online essays written by leaders in the field and available at and on theNEA Creativity Connects website.  Discussion about the report findings will be open to the public on and through #Creativz and #CreativityConnects.
About the Center for Cultural Innovation
Founded in 2001, Center for Cultural Innovation promotes knowledge sharing, networking and financial independence for individual artists and creative entrepreneurs by providing business training, grants and incubating innovative projects that create new program knowledge, tools and practices for artists in the field. For more information about CCI, please visit 
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America's rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with Creativity Connects events and activities through 2016. Please visit