BUSINESS MODEL: All of Los Angeles is an Arts District, according to a National Endowment for the Arts study. The survey of nearly 2 million professional artists -- or 1.4 percent of the U.S. work force – shows there is a left coast lean. "California is still America's favorite artist commune," writes Katherine Boyle at the Washington Post.
Congratulations, California. You’re still an artist haven, with Los Angeles and San Francisco boasting the highest percentages of artists in their workforces, according to the NEA’s city-to-city comparison. Artists make up 4.86 percent of the Los Angeles workforce and 4.3 percent of San Francisco’s. The third-ranked city? That would be Santa Fe, New Mexico, with artists making up 4 percent of all workers.
The NEA study on creative professions includes fine artists, writers, performers, photographers, and architects.
IT"S NOT JUST FILMING: Creative industries is also subject of the Otis Report on the Creative Economy by LAEDC, commissioned by Otis College of Art and Design. Now in its 6th edition, the number crunching began in 2007 to clear the myth that Los Angeles is a one-industry town and document, that together, combined creative industries is what makes an economic force in the region.
The report covers architecture and interior design, art galleries, arts education (new to the 2011 report), communication arts, digital media, entertainment, fashion, furniture and home furnishings, product and industrial design, toys and visual and performing arts.
In total, creative industries ranks 4th out of 66 industry clusters in LA County in 2011, reaching $230 billion in revenues, according to the 2012 report.
Even with this impact of creative industries in the Los Angeles region, the report warns "this crucial sector of the does not receive the acclaim or the nuturing that it deserves," according to economist Ann Markusen. "In general, the task of cultivating our creative industries has been left to cities, regions and states, where the most prevalent tool is modest film tax incentives whose impacts have been forcefully questioned by researchers."
Yet, the economist is bullish on the creative economy of Los Angeles. Markusen writes: "Your diverse population offers you extraordinary resources for cultural content that will reach far around the globe."