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Creative Industries Report Paints New Picture Of Arts In Kentucky

One Kentucky Cabinet official says a new report focusing on the economic impact of creative industries in the state could reshape how policymakers interact with the arts community.

The Kentucky Creative Industry Report released last week paints a picture of the state’s arts-centric businesses, one that some officials say has never really been glimpsed before. It attempts to answer the question: How does the creative sector – that’s everything from painters to architects to advertising companies – stack up when compared to Kentucky’s signature industries?

According to the report, businesses with links to the artistic community account for more than 100,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. That’s a number Tourism, Arts, & Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart hadn’t heard before.

"I mean, I'm an arts supporter, and I love the arts and I understand its impact on our culture, education, brain development, and all those things, but we just have never had the data we need to prove the arts' significance economically," he says.

Now, he says creative industries in the state are better positioned to compete for the attention of lawmakers because officials have an idea of the current impact and potential future impact of the sector.  

Right now, the number stands at around $2B annually.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.