Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19's devastating impact on America's creative economy

Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19's devastating impact on America's creative economy

In the wake of mandated lockdowns and social-distancing measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. creative economy likely suffered an estimated 2.7 million in job losses, or nearly a third of all jobs in those industries, a report from the Brookings Institution finds. According to Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19's devastating impact on America's creative economy (32 pages, PDF), estimated losses in sales of goods and services for creative industries total more than $150 billion, or 9 percent of annual sales. The fine and performing arts industries likely have been hit hardest, with estimated losses of nearly 1.4 million, or 50 percent of jobs, and revenue losses of $42.5 billion, or more than a quarter of annual sales. Job losses in creative occupations — musicians, artists, performers, and designers — are projected at more than 2.3 million, or 30 percent of all creative occupations, including roughly a third of those in the fine and performing arts. The fifty-three metropolitan areas with populations of more than a million are expected to account for 80 percent of total losses in sales and 68 percent of job losses, with cities in the South — including Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Memphis, Jacksonville, and Austin — likely to be the hardest hit in percentage terms. The report's authors call for "a substantial and sustained national creative-economy recovery strategy" that is bottom-up but led by local public-private partnerships, with support from federal and state government, national philanthropies, and large corporations.

(Photo credit: Brookings institution)

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