Front cover of The Jobs in New England's Creative Economy and Why They Matter featuring a blue ribbon on the right side and orange ribbon on the bottom
The Jobs in New England's Creative Economy and Why They Matter

Author: UMass Donahue Institute

Publication Year: 2017

Media Type: Report


This report builds upon our prior studies (The Creative Economy Initiative: The Role of the Arts and Culture in New England’s Economic Competitiveness in 2000 and The Creative Economy: A New Definition in 2007) as well as the real-time online community, CreativeGround, which we launched in 2014 to reflect the creative people and places at work in New England. CreativeGround serves as a tool to promote and connect creatives to each other and those who know that vibrant neighborhoods go hand-in-hand with a vibrant creative sector.


"At the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), one of our missions is to strengthen the region’s creative economy through research that informs public policy. That is why we partnered with the Economic and Public Policy Research group of the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI) to answer a few important questions. What are New England’s creative enterprises? Who are New England’s creative workers? How do they overlap? How do they vary by state and what role are they playing in the overall economy? By finding data on and accounting for creative sector employment, income, demographics, and socioeconomic attributes, this report aims to provide a full story of creative work and workers in New England.

What we know is that the creative sector is not just creative enterprises like museums and magazines, or artists such as musicians, painters, and dancers. It includes many industry sectors and occupations that contribute to the economic vitality and cultural attractiveness of a place. Creative enterprises employ workers with all kinds of expertise, and creative economy workers are employed in nearly every sector that powers New England, from the arts, to education, to technology and science, to major global brands. They create what we listen to, watch, read, wear and buy. And they play a key role in determining where we want to live, work, and go on vacation.

There are nearly 310,000 people employed by the creative economy of New England—working within an organization or freelancing—who combined earn nearly $17 billion a year. This group is a more prominent part of New England’s economy than the national average, and they comprise nearly as many as those who work in either government or construction in the region." [p. 6]

Arts & Intersections: Economic Development

Categories: Creative Economies, Creative Industries, Creative Workforce, Economic Impact


Series Title:




Pages: 210

Resources: Document


Name: New England Foundation for the Arts

Website URL: