Creative Economy in North Carolina
The arts are essential to a diversified and innovative 21st century economy. In North Carolina the arts provide jobs, attract visitors, create products, influence consumer spending, and build community vitality.
Creative workers, creative enterprises and creative communities are, collectively, big business in North Carolina.
The N.C. Arts Council, through innovative research by Regional Technology Strategies, first documented the impact of the arts as a significant industry in North Carolina in 2007. The Creative Economy: The Arts Industry in North Carolina summarizes the contributions of our rich arts heritage to our economy and quality of life.
A highlight of the report included defining the "creative economy" in North Carolina. A panel of state and national experts convened in 2005, at the request of the N.C. Arts Council, to determine unique N.C. creative economy strengths that could be measured through available data.
The Creative Economy in North Carolina touches every community in the state. Creativity provides a competitive advantage globally.
Visit our Creative Economy website portal
Here are links to other important studies that document the state’s creative economy.
Creativity Means Business: Economic Contributions of North Carolina's Creative Industry
North Carolina Department of Commerce, November 2009
The North Carolina Arts Council is proud to have been an early leader in cultural tourism, gaining national attention for developing cultural trails that featured the state’s significant arts assets — Appalachian music, Cherokee arts and culture, literary heritage, N.C. crafts and African-American music.
The Arts Council was the recipient of the first Preserve America Presidential Award for the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area program in 2004 for demonstrating how “private, local, community, state, regional and national organizations can build, revitalize and redefine an area from the bluegrass roots up.” This project conserves and presents living cultural traditions of the Appalachian region of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia. Products of the Heritage Initiative include Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook and Blue Ridge Music Trails, published in 2003 by UNC Press.
Today we assist communities that want to utilize cultural resources in sustainable economic development. Click the links below to explore our cultural tourism trail websites:
Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa. Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Arts, 2010.