Valuable research about arts and culture in Minnesota – and the statewide impact – is presented in the biannual CreativeMN Study, made possible in part by Minnesota Citizens for the Arts

This collection of short videos brings the data to life, outlining how the Arts Give Back.





Artists and creative workers are an important part of Minnesota’s workforce, and attracting and retaining creative people is important to Minnesota’s future. More than 108,000 Minnesotans make their living as artists in every corner of the state. Not only are they starting small, innovative businesses every day, their work also contributes $644 million to our economy. In addition, 91 percent of Minnesotans believe that people who create art contribute something important to the communities in which they live.




Minnesotans are connected to the Arts and are 20 percent more likely to attend arts events than people in other states. And they are 14 percent more likely to become artists, dancers and musicians. Minnesota thrives because we place a high value on creativity. in fact, 82 percent believe it’s important to have the opportunity to express themselves creatively or to experience the creativity of others every day.




In Minnesota, the arts comprise more than $2 billion of our state’s economy. Arts and culture nonprofits pay workers and support local businesses. Artists and creative workers are local businesses that have a lasting impact on our neighborhoods.

Audiences attending arts events spend more money in our communities: They buy gas, pay for parking, dine in restaurants and bars, and shop along the way. They spend nearly $23 per person per event, in addition to the cost of their tickets.

The arts make an economic impact in every region of the state. Minnesota has double the arts economy of Wisconsin, 11 times that of North Dakota and 12 times that of South Dakota, making the state the arts epicenter of the Midwest. In addition, 70 percent of Minnesotans believe that arts and culture are important sectors in our economy.




Minnesotans are great audiencesAll in all, they are 20 percent more likely than people in other states to attend an arts event to order to be delighted, surprised, educated and inspired. Minnesota nonprofits serve 23 million attendees participating in arts and culture events every year. That’s more than 4 occasions per year for every Minnesotan. Young people under the age of 18 attend more than 6 arts events every year, sparking imaginations, empowering new voices and building better lives through creativity. Minnesotans attend more arts and cultural events than other Americans.




Across Minnesota, communities are creating cultural plans, installing public art, taking their kids to art classes and performing on stages themselves. Why are we so engaged with the arts? Because the arts bring our communities together. Americans believe the arts unify communities regardless of age, race and ethnicity, and that they help us to better understand other cultures. The arts lift us up beyond everyday experiences and are a positive influence in an often-troubled world.

Access to arts and cultural organizations improve our quality of life: 90 percent of Minnesotans believe that arts and cultural activities help to make Minnesota an attractive place to live and work.




Studies show that access to the arts is a boon for young people. Students consistently involved in music and theater show higher levels of success in math and reading. Music education stimulates nearly every region of the brain, and improves complex math and abstract thinking skills. Dance education increases awareness of the body and movement. Drama education inspires empathy and understanding of others.

Music training has also been shown to reduce the achievement gap. Students with arts involvement performed better on standardized tests, had higher GPAs and were far less likely to drop out of school. Even more, 91 percent of Americans believe that the arts are part of a well-rounded education.

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is a statewide arts advocacy organization on a mission to ensure opportunity for all people to have access to and involvement in the arts.

Production Team: Sheila Smith and Ashleigh Rowe, Writers; Ashleigh Rowe, Producer; Ryan Klabunde, Editor


This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.