Research

North Carolina's Creative Economy is a Growth Sector

There’s no question that arts and culture stimulate economic growth. The growth of the creative sector — both nonprofit and the private sector creative businesses — has contributed to the strength and resilience of North Carolina’s economy. Communities with a strong arts presence draw people who want to live, work or visit there.

Understanding the creative economy – what it is, how it is measured, and how it impacts the community development conversation – allows the N.C. Arts Council to make connections between arts and economic development.

The state’s nonprofit arts and culture sector alone are a $2.12 billion industry, supporting nearly 72,000 full-time-equivalent jobs and returning $201.5 million to local and state government.

Our strong nonprofit arts and culture infrastructure is an important foundation for North Carolina’s creative industries, which generated more than $25 billion in revenues. Jobs in creative occupations have increased by 14-percent since 2016. This is more than art for art’s sake. This is art creating more prosperous communities, and a stronger and more competitive North Carolina now and for years to come.

Learn about other research projects and facts about the arts in North Carolina compiled by the N.C. Arts Council.