Creative EconomyCreative Economy

A 2010 Save America's Treasures awardee, a Butte Montana Mineyard Headframe, was the centerpiece of the three-year residency of the National Folk Festival, one of the country's largest celebrations of the arts.
A 2010 Save America's Treasures awardee, a Butte Montana Mineyard Headframe, was the centerpiece of the three-year residency of the National Folk Festival, one of the country's largest celebrations of the arts.
Artists contribute many things to a community. One vital role is to keep knowledge alive by teaching the skills it takes to shape a pot, weave a basket, or create other works that are part of a place’s unique cultural identity.
Artists contribute many things to a community. One vital role is to keep knowledge alive by teaching the skills it takes to shape a pot, weave a basket, or create other works that are part of a place’s unique cultural identity.
Modern American dance has inspired choreographers worldwide, entertained millions, and served as a magnet for visitors. Civic investment in caring for this work and in the infrastructure to showcase it is a vital part of the creative economy. Photo by Al Zanyk
Modern American dance has inspired choreographers worldwide, entertained millions, and served as a magnet for visitors. Civic investment in caring for this work and in the infrastructure to showcase it is a vital part of the creative economy. Photo by Al Zanyk
Portland's annual Blues Festival attracts thousands of people each year, which is one of many arts tools this Oregon city uses to infuse life into its downtown. Photo by Valarie K. Davis
Portland's annual Blues Festival attracts thousands of people each year, which is one of many arts tools this Oregon city uses to infuse life into its downtown. Photo by Valarie K. Davis

The arts and humanities are a powerful and positive force in the life of the nation’s economy. The interplay between commercial creative enterprises and non-profit institutions in our nation’s cities, towns, and communities form a dynamic economic base. The creative economy drives tourism and commerce, and supports thousands of American workers – from graphic and software designers to scholars, architects, artists, performers, and curators. The President’s Committee has led, with other agencies and the private sector, the movement to focus on the power of the arts and humanities as an economic driver, sustaining critical cultural resources, and fostering civic investment in cultural assets and infrastructure. These efforts help speed innovation and expand markets and consumers, directly benefiting local economies.

Cultural Tourism

Communities throughout the U.S. have developed successful programs linking the arts, humanities, history, and tourism. Travel industry research confirms that cultural and heritage tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry. The growth and investment in cultural heritage tourism has expanded markets, audiences, and consumers, as well as provided a means for sustaining cultural and heritage resources with vital revenue and awareness. The President’s Committee and its cultural partners—NEA, NEH, and IMLS—have catalyzed the growth of cultural and heritage tourism, which over time has evolved into a broader policy and development approach known as the creative economy.

Save America's Treasures

America's legacy, and ours as citizens, is made up of a fabric of buildings, places, documents, records, artifacts and artistic works. Each Save America's Treasures project makes a lasting difference to their communities and to the nation by preserving these structures, places and cultural artifacts that are the genius and language of America's democracy.