Good news for Santa Fe: Arts-related jobs expected to grow - August 31, 2011

"Arts jobs are expected to grow at a faster rate than other occupations"

In the midst of the doom and gloom of the nation’s economic news, there is a ray of sunshine for Santa Fe. Arts jobs are expected to grow at a faster rate than other occupations.

A recent report by NEA examines information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows faster than the average 10% job growth for certain arts related jobs.

Of the artist occupations, museum technicians and conservators are projected to increase the most between 2008 and 2018 (by 26 percent), followed by curators (23 percent), landscape architects (20 percent), interior designers (19 percent), architects (16 percent), writers and authors (15 percent), and actors (13 percent).

Other arts-related professions will grow at about the average rate or slightly less. Artist occupations likely to increase at the average rate of the labor force are: fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators (12 percent); music directors and composers (10 percent); producers and directors (10 percent); and commercial and industrial designers (9 percent).

Preparation for many of these arts jobs requires a college degree or technical training. Fifty-five percent of artists and creative workers nationally have a bachelor’s degree or higher. That is nearly twice the rate of all other U.S. workers, according to the NEA.

The other good news for Santa Fe – we have the colleges and a charter high school for the arts to provide the education needed to fill these arts jobs.

IAIA and St. John’s College have been preparing students for creative careers since the 1960’s. Santa Fe Community College began in 1983 and redesigned its curriculum to create the School of Art and Design a couple of years ago. Now, rounding out the arts and creative educational programs in our community are the New Mexico School for the Arts , a charter high school that opened in 2009, and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design opened in 2010.

Richard Florida writes about how important universities are to building a creative hub in a community that attract talented faculty, researchers and students who in turn help attract other highly educated and talented entrepreneurial people and businesses that can strengthen regional creative economies.

There is no question that Santa Fe’s creative economy is benefitting from the educational institutions in our community. Thanks to the visionaries who made these schools' reality -- our future looks bright.

Maybe it’s not just a ray of sunshine poking through a cloud, but a full sunny day in our creative city.

Kris Swedin is a community activist, writer, and staffs a 21-year-old calico cat.

She also consults with Creative Santa Fe, a non-profit organization working to strengthen Santa Fe’s creative economy.

Photo caption: A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed at Santa Fe University of Art and Design 2010

Photo credit: Eric Swanson