December 4, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama State Council on the Arts

Creative Industries In Alabama Is An $8.7 Billion Dollar Business

A press conference is scheduled for Thursday, December 5 at 1:30 pm. The event will be held at the Georgine Clarke Alabama Artists Gallery in downtown Montgomery (RSA Tower), 201 Monroe Street, Suite 110.  For additional info: call 334-242-4076, x223


A recent report released by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and South Arts, a nine-state regional arts agency based in Atlanta, profiles the creative industries in Alabama as an 8.7 billion dollar industry. The report highlights an industry representing over 4,700 businesses and employing 71,000 people earning over 2 billion dollars annually. The nonprofit arts and culture community is at the core of the data collected but the report also includes the for profit sector as part of the total industry profile.

In an introduction to the report Governor Bentley points out, “Creative communities and creative industries are important to Alabama’s economic future and strategy for growth.” The Governor added, “Increasingly, quality of life will determine where companies decide to locate, invest and expand business activity.” The report encompasses all regions of the state and provides detailed analysis of the metropolitan areas of Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile. The report makes clear all regions of the state are rich with diverse cultural resources.

Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, as a preface to the report stated, “Alabama has long recognized the importance the arts and culture play in economic development. Business officials don’t just work in a community; they want their families to have excellent quality of life in a community rich with opportunities.” Consistent with Secretary Canfield’s comments regarding opportunities the report highlights Alabama’s creative industry resources in the areas of design, film and media, heritage and museums, literary and publishing, performing arts and visual arts and crafts. Literary and publishing and film and media are particularly strong in Alabama with performing and visual arts also very prominent.

“It has been widely recognized nationally that the arts have a significant impact on the economy, contribute to the education of students, enhance downtown revitalization efforts and are the backbone of cultural tourism,” stated Al Head, Executive Director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts. “While Alabama may be known more for championship college football, NASCAR and hunting and fishing, our cultural resources are rich, diverse and always a pleasant surprise to in-state visitors,” Head added. It is the Council’s hope that public officials, city planners, business leaders, and arts organizations will use the report as part of plans for enhancing quality of life, recruiting talent and generally stimulating positive growth in the Twenty-First Century filled with both challenges and opportunities.     

The Creative Industries in Alabama report can be accessed by visiting the State Council on the Arts website at or for a print version (limited copies), by contacting Barbara Reed at the office, 334-242-4076 ext. 223. The Council is the official state arts agency of Alabama and is based in Montgomery. The fifteen-member council is appointed by the governor and reflects statewide


December 2, 2013

Contact: Barbara Reed

Public Information Officer, 334-242-4076, ext. 223

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