Creativity Connects: Trends and Conditions Affecting U.S. Artists

The purpose of this report is to update the findings of the Urban Institute's 2003 study Investing in Creativity, which identified support systems necessary for artists, including material supports, validation, markets, networks, training, and information. While the framework outlined in that report remains useful, it is clear that many aspects of the environment and market for artists' work have changed profoundly in the past decade, including developments in technologies, public perceptions of creative workers, marketplace opportunities, demographics, and aesthetic practices. The NEA collaborated with the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) to explore the major changes and trends affecting artists. To develop the report, NEA and CCI staff undertook extensive information-gathering and analysis, including conducting 65 in-depth interviews, convening ten roundtables across the country, reviewing more than 300 documents, gathering 30 field experts to review the initial findings, and commissioning 18 essays written by leaders in the field. Creativity Connects uses a wide lens to consider who is an artist, how artists are working, what factors influence their work, and what we can do to better support them.