Artists and Creative Workers: Engage artists and creative workers in the City enterprise and support their capacity to earn revenue.

The city experienced 5.1% job growth in the creative sector between 2014 and 2016. Regionally, creative jobs have grown by 14.4% since 2006. This growing sector of the overall knowledge economy is unique. Artists and creative workers frequently generate their income by combining contracted opportunities in the for-profit sector with grant opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors. Small creative businesses also straddle these two worlds, combining for profit and nonprofit revenue streams in order to operate. 

While the creative sector is cited as an important factor in promoting the city as a destination on a national and global scale, sustainability and growth in this sector face particular challenges. Artists, creative entrepreneurs, and organizations do not see themselves as small businesses or fit in traditional small business models. They are often configured differently in terms of their labor force and capital and space needs. To sustain the creative sector the resources that support small businesses need to be tailored and targeted to their unique needs.      

Racial and gender disparities that persist in Minneapolis’ economy also persist among creative workers. The 2018 Minneapolis Creative Vitality Index shows that in the region only 7-9% of jobs in the top-earning creative job types are held by people of of color, and women are making very limited progress in gaining parity in many creative job types. Community input for this plan emphasized the need to engage artists of color and indigenous artists in providing training and mentoring as a means of addressing these disparities.


The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to engage artists and creative workers in the City enterprise and support their capacity to earn revenue.

  1. Make City programs for new and small businesses available to artists, art organizations, and creative entrepreneurs, particularly emerging artists, artists of color and indigenous artists, and women.
  2. Engage artists of color, indigenous artists, and arts and cultural organizations in providing training and mentorship.
  3. Provide artists and creative workers with competitive compensation.
  4. Encourage government partners to engage artists and creative workers and provide them with appropriate support and compensation.
  5. Provide opportunities for artists and other creative entrepreneurs to earn revenue.
  6. Focus on highlighting local talent.
  7. Engage artists and creative workers in City projects, training, planning, research, development, and community engagement.
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