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Arts Council Introduces New Statewide Creative Economy Measurement Tool


Alaska’s creative economy is relatively good, according to the 2009 Creative Vitality Index report commissioned by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.  The report just released, based on 2008 calendar year data, ranks Alaska at .98, just below the national index of 1.00.

The Creative Vitality Index, or CVI, draws from existing census, employment and other available data. It also measures public participation and arts related employment beyond the nonprofit arts and culture sector.  The Alaska State Council on the Arts plans on commissioning the CVI each year from the Western States Arts Federation, which pioneered this concept in partnership with the Washington State Arts Commission.

The CVI  goes beyond the traditional arts nonprofit economic impact studies to include employment in the much broader creative economy, in such areas as broadcasting, floral design, architecture and even public relations.  For the participation portion of the index, data is drawn from sources including cd and bookstore sales and movie theater ticket sales. By using existing data, the CVI offers a faster and less expensive way to track changes year to year.

“This new measurement tool is an exciting advancement in our sector”, said Charlotte Fox, Executive Director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts.  “The CVI demonstrates what we have known all along, that the nonprofit arts and culture community does not work in a vacuum, but supports many other sectors of the economy.  We hope that this Index can be used by many communities and organizations throughout Alaska to measure creativity growth but also as an economic development tool.”

Other  interesting facts:

· Nonprofit arts organization data came in at $23 million, with $15 million in Anchorage;

· Arts active organizations, which include tribal, cultural and historic organizations, came in at $87 million, translating to an index of 2.42;

· Book and record sales were also above the national index.

The CVI also measured six economic regions of the state, and their 2008 respective indexes follow:

Anchorage,  Mat-Su:   1.16

Gulf Coast Region:     .69

Interior Region            86

Northern Region         54

Southeast Region        1.07

Southwest Region       .37 

The three largest boroughs were also surveyed separately:

Anchorage: 1.37; Juneau: 1.16; Fairbanks: .92

The CVI  summary “Alaska’s Creative Vitality 2009”,  includes stories from around the state to illustrate the people and organizations behind the CVI.  They include:

· Peter Brondz and his ceramics studio in Indian;

· WM Spear Design in Juneau;

· Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival;

· The community of Halibut Cove;

· Oomingmak, the musk ox producers’ statewide co-operative;

· Uncivilized Films and Rachel Edwardsen of Barrow.

The 2009 Summary Report is available at www.eed.state.ak.us/aksca Print copies of the summary may be requested by calling the Alaska State Council on the Arts at 907.269.6610 or 1.888.278.7424.  The full report is available by calling the above numbers.


The mission of the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA)  is to foster the development of the arts for all Alaskans through education, partnership, grants and services. ASCA is a division of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, and is governed by eleven council members appointed by the Governor. It is supported with general funds appropriated by the Alaska State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support for arts education programs from the Rasmuson Foundation.

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