The creative economies of Philadelphia are still small but jobs in those sectors held relatively stable during the build up to the Great Recession, according to a William Penn Foundation-funded report released last week. The creative economy included jobs like graphic designers and animators and spanned from 2006 to 2008.
Commissioned by the Mayor’s Office of the Arts, Culture and Creative Economy and its chief Gary Steuer, the Nutter administration quickly trumpeted the research as showing a vibrant creative community.
Tech examples of the 36 employment types included in the research:
Job | 2006 employment | 2007 | 2008
Audio and Video Equipment Technicians 302 | 300 | 27
Broadcast Technicians 317 | 306 | 279
Film and Video Editors 74 | 70 | 8
Graphic Designers 1,170 | 1,172 | 1,143
Multi-Media Artists and Animators 362 | 363 | 375
Sound Engineering Technicians 87 | 83 | 106
The report showed a region that spent money on the creative arts above the national average but was still behind in those sector jobs. More up to date numbers, which will reflect more of the pains from the current recession, are due out in the spring.
The index consists of two parts: employment in the arts, and community participation in them through recipients of that consumer spending.
Philadelphia’s strength is the revenue generated by the nonprofit arts groups and other cultural institutions that incorporate the arts into their activities, such as museums and performing-arts schools. For example, Philadelphia nonprofit arts organizations generated 2008 revenue of $347 million, or $239.74 on a per-capita basis. That was good enough for an indexed score of 5.02, or five times the national baseline.
…For an 11-county Philadelphia region, the CVI score was 1.11, putting the region 16th on a list of metropolitan areas with vibrant creative sectors. I would not have guessed that No. 1 was the Washington area, with a score of 2.52. My money was on Los Angeles (No. 2 with a CVI of 2.32) or New York (No. 3 at 2.20). MORE
The index included 36 types of employment The report also featured profiles of organizations that exemplified the industries, including design and artistic manufacturing space Next Fab Studio and event series DesignPhiladelphia. [Full Disclosure: Next Fab is an advertiser.]
Find the full report here [PDF].
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