Montana: The Land of Creativity

The Power and Potential of Arts-Driven Economic Development in Montana

Montana: The Land of Creativity – The Power and Potential of Arts-Driven Economic Development in Montana is an 11-minute presentation meant to help educate board members, community leaders and others who may not be familiar with the significant economic impact that Montana artists and arts organizations have on our state’s economy. To order a free copy of the movie in DVD format, see below.

If you would like a copy to use for sharing on a larger screen, please contact the Montana Arts Council to request a complimentary copy in DVD format: 406-444-6510 or

To read a transcript of the narrative (PDF format) click here.

Montana has a wealth of artists and artisans located in every county of the state. Though many people think immediately of visual art, the arts also include literature, music, theatre, dance, fine handcrafts and traditional art, sculpture, and design – for landscapes, architecture, fashion and graphics, engineering, not to mention motion pictures, video and media arts. All the arts play a significant role in energizing Montana’s communities and invigorating their economies.

Business Week Online says: "Artists are significant and vastly underestimated contributors and generators of local economic growth. The more creative types working in a regional economy, the better is its outlook for improved earnings, productivity, and competitiveness."

Also, according to an extensive study by the Montana Arts Council in 2003:

  • One out of every 78 people in Montana's labor market is a working artist, nearly 6,000 Montanans.
  • Over the last thirty years, the number of artists in Montana's labor market grew three times faster than the rest of the state's labor force.
  • Artists produce an economic impact of close to a quarter BILLION dollars per year in Montana. Montana artists earn most of their income from out-of-state buyers.
  • There are over 400 non-profit arts organizations in Montana that generate an economic impact of 80 million dollars each year.

In Montana the arts complement our natural resource industries and spur economic growth by encouraging artists, cultural organizations and entrepreneurs. The arts generate benefits that help attract business firms and talented, skilled workers, and the energy and skill of Montana's arts industry represents one of our state's most efficient sources of economic growth.

For a PDF of the credits, photos and sources click here.

For a PDF of talking points for the DVD click here.

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