Initial findings on region’s creative economy released

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:55 am

The Cultural Alliance of Greater Milwaukee recently announced initial findings about the value of Southeastern Wisconsin’s creative industries. The findings are part of the organization’s Creativity Works! The Milwaukee Regional Creative Industries Project and will be used to develop a strategic plan to grow the economic value of these industries for the benefit of the region.
“There will be a strategic plan developed that links and leverages our creative assets in order to help create new jobs, develop new business opportunities, attract and retain professional talent, help sustain our nonprofit arts and culture, and grow our region’s creative capital,” said Christine Harris, executive director of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Milwaukee. “One of the things that was most interesting to us and really, thrilled us was discovering how large of an employment sector the creative industry is.”
According to the findings, there are 67,000 people employed in the creative sector in the southeastern Wisconsin region making up more than $2 billion in wages. According to Harris, the study also indicated that nearly 46 percent of the creative professionals in the region are involved in the design industry.
“It really speaks to our heritage,” Harris said. “If you look at the strong industrial design development throughout our history and take a closer look at the role design has played in the manufacturing processes of Allen Bradley and Johnson Controls. We’ve always been a real ‘maker’ economy and the creative economy we have now just shows the shift from machine shop to design shop and places an emphasis on design innovation and creativity in the community.”
In addition to identifying and releasing these economic findings, Mt Auburn Associates, the national consulting team leading the project, has been collating the interviews of over 600 people throughout the region, inventorying and mapping the creative industries, conducting additional research about each of the creative industries segments, and drafting strategic goals and recommendations.
“Seeing the size of this creative industries cluster certainly demonstrates their significance,” said Julia Taylor, President of The Greater Milwaukee Committee. “This project is proving the importance of the development of a new economic cluster which will add to our region’s competitive differentiation.”
Mt Auburn will produce a full report of their findings by the end of 2010, Harris said.
“The findings are proving the significance of Milwaukee’s creative industries sector in the overall economy and we’re eager to see how it can be sustained and grown,” said Beth Siegel, president of Mt. Auburn Associates.

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