What is the impact?

In Colorado, arts and cultural production in the creative industries accounts for $15.6 Billion and 4.5% of the Colorado economy, contributing 103,401 jobs, which is more than mining or transportation (US Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts, 2017).

From a study commissioned by Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), our state arts agency, it is estimated that the state’s creative sector will lose approximately 59,588 jobs and $2.6 Billion in sales revenue between April and July 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. This four-month period of estimated losses will contract the region’s creative economy by 31% in terms of employment and 8% in annual sales revenue. Read the full 2020 Colorado Creative Economy Report with Initial Highlights of the COVID-19 Crisis report and the Highlights Summary.

The Music, Theater, Dance, and Visual Arts cluster alone has lost an estimated 27,193 jobs and over $1.4 billion in sales revenue between April and October 2020. This seven-month period of estimated losses contracts the Music, Theater, Dance, and Visual Arts cluster by 41% in terms of both employment and annual sales revenue. Read CCI’s report update for this industry cluster between April 1st and October 31st, 2020

Honing in further on Colorado and Denver’s music industry presents an even starker picture. A combined report from CCI and Denver Arts & Venues conservatively estimates a 51% loss in total employment and 24% loss of its annual sales revenue statewide between April 1 and July 31, 2020. For the Denver metro area alone, the study estimates 53% of employment in the region’s music industry and 25% of its annual sales revenue. Learn more about Initial Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis on the Music Industry in Colorado and the Denver Metro Region.

It’s clear that, like the rest of the state, the Denver metro area’s last decade of creative growth has been decimated by the impacts of the pandemic. It is projected that, between April 1 and July 31, 2020, Denver’s creative industries lost an estimated 29,840 jobs and $1.4 billion in sales revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis. Check out the City of Denver’s Creative Economy and Initial Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis report.

Americans for the Arts is also tracking the national economic impact of COVID-19 on the arts and cultural sector. Their dashboard is regularly updated and currently estimates $14.1 Billion in total economic loss.

Colorado consistently ranks top in the nation for arts participation, boasting some of the most iconic and unique cultural venues and events.

The loss of earned revenue and employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is severe and relentless. Many organizations are facing permanent closures if financial support isn’t provided quickly and comprehensively. Several individual artists and gig workers have been further impacted as jobs in the service industry vanished and unemployment assistance wasn’t always available.