Sunday, November 15, 2009

Creativity Drives Employment, Economy in Los Angeles Region

As the U.S. economy continues to transition from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy, the Los Angeles region will see an uptick in employment for artists and designers, according to a 2009 report from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).

Data show that the “creative economy” is one of the largest business sectors in Los Angeles and Orange
Counties, generating nearly 1 million in direct and indirect jobs and almost $140 billion in sales/receipts from the arts, design and entertainment industries combined. Over $5.1 billion in state and local tax revenues are generated by art and design-oriented businesses found in the following industries.
Entertainment, Toy, Digital Media, Fashion, Architecture, Interior Design, Industrial Design, and Communication Arts, as well as Fine and Performing Arts.

These findings and more were revealed today at a presentation of the 2009 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region, hosted by Otis College of Art and Design which annually commissions the report to put real numbers to the business of creativity and to spotlight an under-recognized driver of the regional economy.
“Our current economic challenges mandate long-term solutions. It is time for us to join forces in a creative offensive for economic recovery and a better future,” said Samuel Hoi, President of Otis College. “At Otis, we look forward to partnering with leaders from across sectors to take practical steps in unleashing the creative potential of the Los Angeles region.”

The 2009 Otis Creative Economy report was presented by Dr. Nancy D.

Sidhu, Vice President and Chief Economist of The Kyser Center for Economic Research at the LAEDC. “Excluding the manufacturing segments, employment in the service-oriented creative industries of Los Angeles grew by 21,500 jobs, or 9.9%, between 2003 and 2008, and by an estimated 2% in Orange County,” stated Sidhu. “And Los Angeles County is projected to grow by 4,000 more jobs, or 1.6%, by 2013.”

Other findings in the report.

- The Digital Media sector is expected to grow the fastest between 2008 and 2013, with employment of digital artists rising by more than 10% in both Los Angeles County and Orange County.

- Projected declines in Fashion, Furniture and Toy employment by 2013 are due largely to expected losses in the manufacturing sector; however, employment growth is still expected here in the “other specialized design services” category, which includes fashion designers.

- Little if any employment growth is projected for the Communication Arts and Entertainment sectors overall. However, job counts will increase in certain segments of both sectors, including graphic design and post-production services.

The full report is available at :

A panel discussion, moderated by Frances Anderton, KCRW’s on-air host and producer, followed the presentation of the report. Panelists were Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products; Sir Ken Robinson, creativity expert and author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything; and Laura Zucker, executive director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

At the end of the presentation, with over 350 of Los Angeles’ business, philanthropic, art and design leaders looking on, Mattel International President Bryan Stockton presented a $1,850,000 gift from Mattel, Inc. to Otis College of Art and Design to support student scholarships, art and design curriculum and facility enhancement. “To be competitive in the world and in this age of ideas and innovation, we must embrace creativity in our schools as well as our workplaces,” said Hoi in accepting the check. “Mattel clearly understands this important issue by responding with this generous gift.”

This year’s event was sponsored by the California Community Foundation, the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, toy maker Mattel, and City National Bank. “To us, the data in the 2009 Otis Report are more than the facts of creativity’s economic impact,” stated Hoi. “They also tell the story of possibilities made real by a combination of education and talent.”


Founded in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design prepares diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, their skill, and their vision. The College offers an interdisciplinary education for over 1,200 full-time students, awarding BFA degrees in advertising design, architecture/landscape/interiors, digital media, fashion design, illustration, product design, painting, photography, sculpture/new genres, and toy design; and MFA degrees in fine arts, graphic design, public practice, and writing. Continuing Education offers certificate programs as well as personal and professional development courses. More information on Otis College of Art and Design is available at : or by calling (310) 665-6800

For Otis College of Art and DesignSheri Mobley,

323-668-0874 :

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