When the Alaska State Council of the Arts wanted a third-party assessment of the strength of Juneau’s creative economy — as well as the state’s — it turned to the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF).
Juneau’s Creative Vitality Index, a measure of the overall health of our city’s arts-related creative economy, came in at a robust 1.47 in 2009, well above the national baseline figure of 1.0, and a substantial increase from the previous year’s figure of 1.16. The latest CVI puts Juneau at the top level in the state, a position it shares with Anchorage, which came in at 1.48, up from 1.37. Statewide, the CVI was 1.08, up from .98 in 2008.
The 2009 figures were released earlier this month by the ASCA, and represent the latest data available.
The Creative Vitality Index, compiled by the Western States Art Federation, provides a concise way to summarize complex information and economic relationships. Updated annually for cities and states across the nation, the index is based on seven indicators of community participation in the arts, as well as on arts-related employment data from that region. The community participation indicators include sales from arts-related stores (such as book and music stores); museum, art gallery and individual artist sales; performing arts revenues; and income from nonprofit arts organizations. WESTAF gathers the raw data from two main sources: the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics, which collects information from the Internal Revenue Service’s 990 forms submitted by nonprofit organizations, and from Economic Modeling Specialists, a company that gathers employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Census Bureau, and other sources.
The national baseline of 1.0 is recalibrated every year based on overall economic trends and inflation.
More on EMSI’s work with WESTAF can be found here.
Illustration by Mark Beauchamp