Creative State MI

2017 Nonprofit Report

In its sixth edition, Creative Many’s Creative State Michigan report details the impact Michigan’s arts and cultural nonprofit organizations have on the state’s economy and citizens. The report represents Fiscal Year 2014 data from 419 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations—representing an estimated 16.5% of the sector.

A Stronger Economy
Among its most compelling data, the report affirms the creative economy as a significant financial contributor and strategic opportunity for Michigan’s economic development. In 2014 the nonprofit creative community contributed more than $665 million in annual expenditures, a $55 million increase from the previous year.



Job Opportunities
The report also detailed the nearly $280 million supported salaries for 27,021 jobs. In 2015, Michigan was home to 19,694 arts-related businesses that employed 72,706 people—3.7% of total businesses in Michigan and 1.6% of total employment in Michigan. Nationally, 702,771 businesses are involved in the creation or distribution of the arts and employ 2.9 million people—3.9% of total businesses in the US and 1.9% of total US employment.



Cultural Tourism
$1.86 Billion in direct tourism spending by visitors to Michigan arts and cultural destinations in 2015—12.7% of total direct spending for all Michigan leisure travel in 2015. 6 of Top 25—Michigan’s arts and cultural destinations ranked in Top 25 of visitor activities by direct spending.


Vibrant Communities
The report also provides indicators for the resources the arts provide for Michigan’s schools and children, as well as residents of all ages. In 2014, over 3.6 million schoolchildren experienced arts and cultural venues and events—a 10% increase over the prior year—including 137,166 youth and school group visits to cultural venues and 35,800 cultural visits in schools providing valuable educational experiences at a time when businesses continue to increase the value of creativity and innovation in the workplace while many schools across Michigan have cut funding for arts programs. Michigan’s cultural groups are reaching growing audiences, reporting more than 29.1 million visits in 2014, 67% of which were free of charge.


Methodology for Reporting
This report is produced by Creative Many using data provided by DataArts, February 2017, an organization created to strengthen arts and culture by documenting and disseminating information on the arts and culture sector. Any interpretation of the data is the view of Creative Many and does not reflect the views of DataArts. Additional data resources included Americans for the Arts, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and U.S. Census Bureau.

DataArts offers an unparalleled longitudinal dataset, including financial, programmatic, and operational information from thousands of cultural nonprofits, which complete DataArts’ Cultural Data Profiles. An essential resource for a range of research studies, DataArts gives advocates the evidence to make a more powerful case for the value and impact of the arts. The new DataArts platform adapts to differences among organizations’ size, financial makeup, and programmatic functioning. During winter 2016-2017, DataArts was engaged in rebuilding its processes for exporting data from its new data collection system. Data export are once again available for use, and DataArts’ Research staff are working with partners who use the data to ensure continuity in analyses and data metrics that are used for research and advocacy. Visit to learn more.

Making This Report Work for You 
Over the years the Creative State MI reports have been a valuable resource to help make the case for the arts, culture, arts education and the creative and design industries. Put the report to work for you by sharing it with community leaders, lawmakers, and decision makers. Let them know that Michigan’s arts, culture and creative and design industries are critically important to our state’s economy, the vitality of our communities, the education of our children, and the lives of people statewide.

Contact Creative Many 
Every year, Creative Many distributes hard copies of the CSMI nonprofit report to more than 1,600 elected officials, community leaders, media outlets, participating organizations and many more. Additional hard copies of the report are also made available and can be ordered for a nominal fee to help cover printing and mailing costs. Requests for copies of the report can be made directly to Creative Many’s Director of Public Policy, Sarah Triplett at Find the Creative State Michigan reports online at