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Jason Rapp

Pandemic impact to S.C. arts, creative sector totals $1.2B

Devastating numbers revealed in new report


A Brookings Institution report released this month says South Carolina's arts and creative sectors lost $1.24 billion from April to July this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the report, "the COVID-19 crisis hits hard at arts, culture, and the creative economy" which includes industries like film, advertising, and fashion and the arts/creative sector occupations you would expect: musicians, artists, performers, and designers." From the report: We estimate losses in sales of goods and services, employment, and earnings for creative industries and creative occupations at the national, state, and metropolitan levels over the period of April 1 through July 31, 2020.
  • Based on our creative-industry analysis, we estimate losses of 2.7 million jobs and more than $150 billion in sales of goods and services for creative industries nationwide, representing nearly a third of all jobs in those industries and 9% of annual sales. The fine and performing arts industries will be hit hardest, suffering estimated losses of almost 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion in sales. These estimated losses represent 50% of all jobs in those industries and more than a quarter of all lost sales nationwide.
  • Based on our analysis of creative occupations, we estimate losses of more than 2.3 million jobs and $74 billion in average monthly earnings for the creative occupations. These losses represent 30% of all creative occupations and 15% of total average monthly wages. Again, creative occupations in the fine and performing arts—which include the visual arts, music, theater, and dance—will be disproportionally affected, representing roughly a third of wage employment losses.


Southern states hit hardest

“While all regions, states, and metropolitan areas of the country will be seriously impacted, the effects of the COVID-19 crisis will hit some places harder than others. The South is estimated to suffer the most losses in employment for both the creative industries and creative occupations, followed by the West and the Northeast, respectively,” Brookings said. South Carolina was 14th in percentage change in estimated cumulative losses in creative occupations, slightly above the national average of 30.3%. In all, the report says South Carolina's COVID-19 financial impact was $1.24 billion in cumulative revenues (sales) and a total loss of 32,161 jobs. Click here to read a summary and download the report from Brookings.

Submitted material

Flock and Rally awarded two ADDY’s for S.C. State Fair ad campaign

Flock and Rally, a women-owned integrated communications and marketing firm based in Columbia, earned two 2020 ADDY Awards for its advertising and creative work for the 2019 South Carolina State Fair. The American Advertising Federation (AAF) of the Midlands presented the awards at its annual American Advertising Awards gala last month in Columbia. [caption id="attachment_44535" align="alignright" width="250"]South Carolina State Fair posters designed by Flock and Rally South Carolina State Fair posters designed by Flock and Rally. Click image to enlarge.[/caption] More than 75 awards, which honor exceptional work in creative and engaging advertising over the past year, were presented to Midlands’ professionals and students in a variety of print, interactive and broadcast media categories. Flock and Rally won a Silver ADDY award in consumer campaigns for the South Carolina State Fair’s 2019 advertising, as well as a Silver ADDY in ambient media for the campaign’s series of four posters illustrated by designer Cait Maloney. Flock and Rally shares the consumer campaign award with Maloney as well as Forrest Clonts Photography, Cinema Couture Films and voiceover talent Joe Pinner. “It was such a pleasure working with the S.C. State Fair as it celebrated its 150th anniversary,” says Merritt McNeely, vice president of marketing at Flock and Rally. “It was a fun campaign that yielded nearly double the advance ticket sales and the largest opening day crowd ever, both of which are a direct reflection of this campaign’s early, targeted marketing and advertising. We are proud to celebrate these achievements with our partners and clients.” The 12-day S.C. State Fair offered several unique exhibits and experiences including a new, free daily circus, as well as more than 70 rides and 90 food vendors. Flock and Rally already is hard at work with the S.C. State Fair team on the campaign for the 2020 event, which runs from Oct. 14 to 25. The American Advertising Awards is one of the industry's largest creative competitions, attracting nearly 35,000 professional and student entries each year through local club competitions.


About Flock and Rally: Integrated Communications for a Brave New South Founded in 2010, Flock and Rally is a full-service, women-owned creative agency based in Columbia, South Carolina. The firm integrates branding, public relations, marketing, traditional advertising, digital advertising, social media and more into campaigns for a diverse base of clients, ranging from regional nonprofits to large-scale businesses across South Carolina and beyond. Serving industry sectors ranging from lifestyle and tourism to business, technology, real estate, economic development and more, Flock and Rally’s mission is to rally the community around great ideas. Learn more at www.flockandrally.com.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/flockandrally Facebook: www.facebook.com/flockandrally Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flockandrally

Jason Rapp

These suds are no duds

It's mid-day on a Friday. What's on your mind?

[caption id="attachment_44373" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Creative Impact beer can label Click image to enlarge. Art by Brelyn LeCheminant.[/caption]
The weekend. The weekend is on your mind. We at The Hub are but humble state employees and, as such, are given to bourgeois proclivities as, well, "taking it easy" on a Friday here and there. Thoughts of the weekend can (sometimes) creep in while doing our best to maintain our professional composure—and your trust—on the work week's ultimate day. But still. Weekend. It's, like, here. Or at least tantalizingly close. Weeeeekend. Feel it swirl around in your brain silkily, just so. Ahem. At some point during yours, if—and only if—you're 21 or older, consider checking out a new offering on South Carolina's craft beer scene. Creative Impact is the result of a collaboration between the South Carolina Arts Alliance, our near and dear drinking buddies friends (to the extent a state agency has them), and Frothy Beard Brewing Company in Charleston. (With additional contribution from #SCartists Brelyn LeCheminant who designed the label art.) The new pale ale made its debut last week with Arts Advocacy Week in South Carolina and pays tribute to the 115,000 creative professionals in our state. That describes us and, well, we say cheers to that. You can learn more about Creative Impact here from the alliance's GP McLeer, LeCheminant, and representatives from Frothy Beard in the latest episode of the alliance's podcast, "The Dive."  

The geographic divide in American creativity

From The Washington Post Article by Christopher Ingraham

Urbanist Richard Florida popularized the term "creative class," describing the millions of workers in fields such as the arts, sciences and technology whose work largely involves coming up with new ideas and innovating on old ones. The creative class has, for better or worse, primarily been associated with big American cities along the coasts: out of Richard Florida's top 20 creative-class cities in 2015, only one — Dublin, Ohio — was located in a non-coastal state. But new data recently released by the National Endowment for the Arts suggests that there's an awful lot of creativity happening far inland from America's coastal tech and arts hubs. Among other things, the NEA worked with the Census to poll residents of all 50 states on their participation in the arts, particularly whether they performed or created works of art in 2014. Those data reveal a somewhat surprising pattern: America's Great Creative Divide isn't between the coasts and the center, but rather between North and South. Take a look. Nationwide, 45 percent of American adults said they personally performed or created artwork in 2014. "Art," in this case, was defined by a wide variety of activities. Rather than recite all of them, I'll just leave the definition, from the NEA's report, here: As you can see from the map, the study found a surprisingly wide range of arts participation between states. At one end of the spectrum, folks in places such as West Virginia, Oklahoma and Florida seemed to have little interest in doing art — participation levels there hovered around 30 percent. By contrast, people in states such as Colorado, Vermont, Montana and Oregon were roughly twice as likely to personally create or perform artwork. You can see that the states are heavily sorted by geography, with the dividing line at parallel 36°30' (by chance, the line that delineated the boundary between new slave and free states in the Missouri Compromise). In no state to the south of that line do a majority of people say they personally create or perform art. Conversely, in only three states above that line — Kentucky, Delaware and West Virginia — do fewer than 40 percent of residents create or perform art.
What's driving these differences? A separate analysis by the NEA has some answers. Education is a big part of it. The percent of state residents with a bachelor's degree or higher is positively correlated with creating artwork: in other words, more education, more art. This relationship is even stronger in some of the other categories the NEA looked at, such as attendance at art exhibits or performing arts events. Conversely, poverty rates are a strong negative driver of arts participation. If you're working three minimum wage jobs, you're probably not going to have a lot of time to indulge in crochet or creative writing. Of course, education and poverty are big drivers of each other, too. States with more money can spend more on better education, which leads to higher wages, which leads to more education, in an ongoing virtuous cycle. Unfortunately, the reverse holds true as well. Rates of participation in the arts are a powerful and under-appreciated proxy for human well-being. "Self-actualization," including creative activities, are all the way at the top of Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs. If you're able to spend the time and resources necessary to, say, practice with the local theater group or join the local community band, it's highly likely that you've got all the basics like food, shelter and safety taken care of. The NEA numbers suggest that a lot of folks in Southern states are falling behind their Northern counterparts on some of those measures. This mirrors what researchers see in other domains too, such as child well-being. Geography, again, is destiny. Statistically speaking, a kid born in a state such as Florida is likely to have a harder time reaching the pinnacle of Maslow's pyramid than one born in, say, Minnesota.