Arts Help our Local Economy

Can the arts actually make money? According to statistical analysis, yes they can!  The Arts of Clark County crunched the numbers and proved it. For the last two years, they have researched and written the Creative Vitality Index report (CVI), which documents exactly how much money the arts generate in our community.

According to the CVI, Clark County independent, full time artists (including writers, musicians, performers, and visual artists) grossed over $25 million in 2012, up from about $20 million in 2011. That’s locally made, non-outsourced income generated by our community- impressive. In 2012 there were $1.3 million in sales in arts galleries in Clark County and $9 million in book and record sales.

Income generated in the arts comes from organic entrepreneurship. When good things happen it’s because the private and nonprofit sectors make it happen. Individuals and small groups are making a thriving emergent creative economy with boot-strappiness and good vision.

Clark County residents support arts by attending events, purchasing art work, services, and materials, and donating to nonprofits like Arts of Clark County and Battle Ground Arts Alliance. Three of the main art galleries in the Vancouver Arts District are nonprofits too: Art on the Boulevard, North Bank Artists, and Gallery 360. Residents can choose to support the arts in sales and tax deductible donations.

A thriving arts scene can generate money sustainably in Clark County. When clusters of galleries locate on a Main Street, more events take place and sales improve. Businesses like restaurants and wine bars move in, and folks hang out locally, spending recreational dollars in their home towns.

Arts help the economy in clear and measurable ways. To get a copy of the CVI, contact Arts of Clark County at


Maureen Andrade

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

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