Members of Illinois’ artist labor force—an estimated 89,280 workers—reside throughout the state, yet the sheer size and concentration of this labor force residing in the City of Chicago warrants a closer look. This brief extends the examination of the Illinois artist labor force provided in “The Artist Labor Force: a statistical look at Illinois in the context of the U.S.” (June 2022) by providing statistics on the artist labor force residing in the City of Chicago in a comparative perspective with ten other U.S. cities.
This issue brief provides insights on the size, density, composition, and earnings of the artist labor force. The research team used new data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which covers demographic information for communities throughout the United States, from 2016 to 2020. The report looks at the artist labor force in Illinois within the context of the U.S.
The purpose of this issue brief is to expand the current understanding of the status of individual artists and creative workers. Specifically, we focus on insights that can be garnered from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, the primary data source on employment and unemployment in the United States, and its Annual Social and Economic Supplement to offer an initial look at the following topics on the national level:
• unemployment and receipt of unemployment benefits,
• self-employment, and
• multiple job-holdings and mixed earners.
On September 30, 2021, the college hosted a panel discussion to facilitate a much-needed dialogue about the state of creative communities and the ever-evolving role of art and artists as they plan for recovery from COVID-19 and systemic racism. It featured Jamie Bennett, Interim President & CEO, United States Artists; Dr. Cynthia Oliver, Professor of Dance and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Humanities, Arts, and Related Fields; and Dr. Jennifer Novak-Leonard, Associate Research Professor and Research Director of Arts Impact Initiative; with Kevin Hamilton, Professor and Dean, as moderator. Watch the recording of the panel.
The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) gathers, analyzes, and reports on survey data from graduates of arts and design schools and colleges to understand the professional success, educational satisfaction, and personal fulfillment of arts alumni. The UIUC College of Fine and Applied Arts is a sponsoring institution of SNAAP.
To address the statewide issue of recovery from the economic and social toll of the pandemic on creative and cultural workers and cultural life in Illinois communities, this project will generate an expansive mapping of creative and cultural assets in Peoria, IL. Funded by the University of Illinois Extension, this project stands to make significant contributions to Peoria and Illinois by propelling reflection and connections across Peoria’s cultural ecosystem to identify strengths and opportunities, providing research-informed community-based cultural asset mapping products that can inform local and regional community and sustainability planning, and serving as a pilot project to inform and model how cultural asset mapping can be implemented in communities throughout Illinois.
This project leverages research faculty expertise in applied research spanning arts and culture, public policy and community planning, and Extension collaborators’ community engagement expertise and deep local networks through a highly iterative, community-engaged mapping and critical reflection process that will produce geospatial maps, a public narrative report and videos about Peoria’s cultural ecosystem.