Keene’s creative economy includes many interlocking industry sectors that provide creative services and goods, such as advertising, film, arts, design, and architecture. In the last year, Americans for the Arts conducted an economic impact study for the Monadnock Region that identified the overall impact non-profit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences have on the local economy. It found that arts and culture is a $16.6-million industry in the region, supporting 477 full-time-equivalent jobs and generating $1.3 million in local and state government revenue. It also concluded that non-profit arts and culture organizations spend $13.1 million yearly and leverage $3.5 million in additional spending by audiences, directly placing this money back into local restaurants, hotels, retail stores and other businesses.
Since the creative economy also strengthens traditional economic sectors by creating new jobs in the technical, service, and management areas and also promotes community vitality and quality of life, we should pursue ways to support creative industries, cultural non-profit organizations and individual artists to further expansion of the creative economy in the community and region. Support could include providing public art throughout our community, creating new events that draw people to Keene and highlight local artists, and developing facilities and space for performance, living/studio space, and other artistic activities.