The creativity of the creative workforce fuels our local and national economies. At the height of the pandemic, it was creativity that inspired us to try new things, entertained us, and eased our anxiety and sorrow. Creativity thrived, but creative workers faced unemployment at unprecedented rates. According to a study done by John Hopkins University, the creative worker unemployment rate was at the height of 63% during the pandemic and continues to be 5-6 times above the national average. This totals to an overall income loss of around $60 billion nationwide.
Arts and culture advocate, Americans for the Arts, is leading the effort to get creatives back on their feet and jump-start our economy. These unpredictable times provide an opportunity to recover economically while addressing the many social issues facing our nation. Creatives are the ones who challenge our notions and thoughts and shift them toward innovative solutions that support our entire community.
In September 2020, Americans for the Arts, supported by 775 cultural organizations and creative workers, launched the Put Creatives to Work initiative. The arts community called upon the Administration to act boldly and show their support for creative workers and their art. The plan lays out 16 actions that can be achieved through executive action or additional federal funding.
The plan calls for:
- Engaging in and encouraging the direct employment of creative workers.
- Driving local, state, and private sector implementation of creative workers.
- Adjusting existing policies to recognize creative workers as workers.
- Integrating creative interventions into response, recovery, and resilience programs.
- Supporting access to arts, culture, and arts education.
The art and culture that creative workers contribute help build communities. Their contributions include forging opportunities for other creatives, streamlining civic dialogue to bridge community divides, and soothing our emotional turmoil. They also create gorgeous works that inspire their neighbors, educate those unfamiliar with social issues, and fuel the intellectual growth of others. Creative workers assist in building a strong society for all of us.
There is no recovery without creativity. To rebuild, we must Put Creative Workers to Work both nationally and right here in Fairfax County. We encourage all members of the community to read the full Americans for the Arts proposal and consider how we might integrate the proposed policies into our own local recovery. You can find the full details of the 16 actions on https://www.creativeworkers.net/.