Creative State MI

2018 Nonprofit Report

In its seventh edition, Creative Many’s Creative State Michigan Nonprofit Report details the impact Michigan’s arts and cultural nonprofit organizations have on the state’s economy and citizens. The report represents Fiscal Year 2015 data from 410 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations—representing an estimated 16% of the sector.

A Stronger Economy
The report affirms the creative economy as a significant financial contributor and strategic opportunity for Michigan’s economic development. In 2015 the nonprofit creative community contributed $1,248,251,067 Billion in annual direct expenditures.

This impact grows when we consider the for-profit and nonprofit sectors together. According to our Creative State Michigan 2016 Creative Industries Report, nearly 89,000 people in Michigan were employed in the creative industries in 2014, earning $5 Billion of wages and working across over 10,000 businesses.


Job Opportunities
The Creative State Michigan Nonprofit Report also details the nearly $291 million paid in salaries, payroll taxes and fringe benefits to support 25,144 jobs — a 4.3% increase in total compensation over the previous year. The nonprofit arts and culture sector engaged over 91,000 total people including paid employees, volunteers and contractors — providing meaningful work to communities across the state.



Cultural Tourism
Arts and culture attract visitors and create powerful connections to our history and cultural identities. $1.3 Billion in direct tourism spending by visitors to Michigan arts and cultural activities in 2016—12.6% of total direct spending for all Michigan leisure travel. Connecting with our common story through arts and culture draws a meaningful investment and attracts visitors to learn and grow in Michigan.

Vibrant Communities
Michigan communities thrive when creative people are empowered. The 410 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations welcomed 17,129,355 attendees in 2015, enough to sell out Comerica Park 415 times. A total of 76% of visits to arts and cultural venues and events were FREE (7,392,669). The organizations produced over 300,000 distinct events for their communities, including live productions, exhibitions, workshops, films and other programming.

Student Engagement
Across Michigan, 4.1 million schoolchildren experienced arts and cultural venues and events — a 14% increase over the prior year. At a time when arts education programs are being eliminated, the nonprofit arts and culture sector provides essential programs to engage and educate our youth, both in schools and in the community. A total of 73,694 students were served by 3,941 reported arts education programs in schools.



Methodology for Reporting
This report is produced by Creative Many using data provided by DataArts, February 2018. DataArts strengthens 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 the 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 
The Creative State Michigan reports have been a valuable resource to make the case for the arts, culture, arts education and the creative industries. Put the report to work for you by sharing it with community leaders, lawmakers, and decision makers. Let them know that Michigan’s creative 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.

Promotion and Social Media 
A toolkit is available to support your promotion of the data in your community. As you spread the word about Creative State Michigan, whether as one of the 410 organizations or someone who cares about arts and culture, you elevate the awareness of creative expression in Michigan.

Contact Creative Many 
Every year, Creative Many distributes hard copies of the Creative State Michigan Nonprofit Report to nearly 1,800 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 and Advocacy, Sarah Gonzales Triplett at Find the Creative State Michigan reports online at

Leadership and Funding
Creative State Michigan
is made possible this year through the leadership and generous support of Creative Many Michigan, Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Masco Corporation Foundation and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Media Partner
Thank you to our media partner Detroit Public Television for supporting promotion of this important data.