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The arts sector’s contribution to S.C. economy tops $14 billion

New S.C. Arts Commission report shows 45% growth in five years


COLUMBIA, S.C. – A new South Carolina Arts Commission economic impact report using 2021 data estimates an annual $14.1 billion impact is made on the state’s economy by the arts-related economic cluster.

Like other large sectors of the state’s economy, arts and creativity form a cluster. The research reviewed 2021 data from the portions of the state economy associated with the performing arts, individual artists and artisans, design arts, crafts and further related activities. The SCAC engaged Joseph C. Von Nessen, Ph.D., research economist with the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, for the report. He analyzed data from the U.S. census and economic analysis bureaus and commerce department. The research discovered across-the-board increases in the arts-related economic cluster’s annual economic impact in South Carolina from the previous study released in 2018.
  • 123,550 jobs paying $5.7 billion. That is the total number of local jobs supported by the arts-related cluster. This level of employment represents 5.5 percent of the total employment base in South Carolina, generating $5.7 billion in wages and salaries. It is a 7.5 percent increase from the 2018 study.
  • $360.2 million in estimated annual tax revenue generated for the state of South Carolina that arises from the arts-related cluster. That is a 33 percent increase from the 2018 study.
  • A $14.1 billion total economic impact, which represents both the direct and indirect demand generated by the local spending activity of all arts-related businesses, their suppliers, and their employees. This is a 45 percent increase from the 2018 study ($9.7 billion).
“This report illustrates clearly the powerful impact of our state’s investment in the arts,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “The Arts Commission currently receives an annual appropriation of around $8 million, 70 percent of which is returned directly to artists and arts organizations in communities across the State in the form of grants which fund arts experiences for our citizens, fuel the creativity of emerging and established individual artists, and address pandemic-related learning loss for students. And the resulting economic activity generates more than $360 million in tax revenue which comes back to the state. It is truly a win-win for all South Carolinians.” The SCAC is seeking to increase its recurring base appropriation by $3 million starting in FY2024 to sustain and grow arts learning programs. Much of those are directed by its Arts Grow SC program, a federally-funded partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education. Funding for the three-year partnership will expire after FY24, and additional state funding would allow its work with national, state and local partners to continue. “Since it began, we have been proud of the work accomplished by Arts Grow SC. The arts, and especially arts learning, do so much to help our students learn to be creative problem-solvers. We are especially proud that this work reaches rural and underserved communities because the Arts Commission works to ensure everyone has access to the arts’ benefits,” SCAC Board Chair Dee Crawford said. The study utilized an economic multiplier model to determine the extent of the arts-related cluster’s impact. Researchers first analyzed the number of direct jobs in the sector and then assessed its economic impact using a model of South Carolina’s economic linkages—how spending in one sector spreads. The complete report is available from the SCAC website: https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/why-arts-matter/arts-the-economy/.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in artist development, arts industry, arts learning, creative placemaking, and folklife and traditional arts. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

Intellectual Property for the Arts Workshop

Artists, authors, journalists, script writers, singers/song writers, musicians and others working in and managing the arts are encouraged to attend the  Intellectual Property (IP) Workshop for the Arts Community on Wednesday, May 29 from 1 p.m.  - 5:30 p.m. at the Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Highlights of the workshop include the creation and protection of copyrights and the realities of royalties, marketing, setting financial goals and structuring agreements. The structuring of deals in the arts and entertainment industry can be unique and creative, and workshop participants will learn how to extend their creativity to the business aspect of their careers and how to market the value of their creative works. The program will feature a mix of national and state leaders and their success stories, as well as provide the opportunity for participants to interact with state and local entertainment industry business leaders and executives. The registration cost of $65 per person covers the half-day workshop and the reception that follows. The workshop is produced in association with the City of North Charleston, City of Charleston, the National IP Taskforce, South Carolina Film Council, Youth Endowment for the Arts, the Darla Moore School of Business, and the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts. “The collective mix of co-producers who have stepped forward are vital partners in the event’s success," said North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey. "Bringing focus to the knowledge of intellectual property will help build a much stronger arts and entertainment community with more opportunity for commercial success and prosperity." Program details and registration information are available online. Via: City of North Charleston  

The economic impact of South Carolina’s creative industries

How many dollars are generated by the creative industries in South Carolina? How many jobs are supported? The answers can be found in "South Carolina's Creative Cluster: A Catalyst for Economic Development." This 12-page report presents results from a study of the creative economy associated with the arts, design, craft and related activities in S.C. This activity revolves around a "creative cluster," or set of interrelated industries, that thrive together. Researchers at the Darla Moore School of Business at USC analyzed 2008 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, to develop the report. Dr. Doug Woodward, director of the Division of Research at the Moore School, wrote the report. The major finding? Creative enterprise in the state has a core impact of $9.2 billion and 78,682 jobs and a full impact of $13.3 billion and 107,614 jobs. The report can be downloaded from the South Carolina Arts Commission's website. South Carolina's Creative Industries