Art and Culture
Art and Culture play a significant role in creating the atmosphere, ambiance and energy that appeals not only to artists, but also to the Greater Baltimore Region’s visitors, residents and the tech-savvy workforce our strategic growth industries need to attract.
It has long been recognized that art and culture significantly enhance community development and redevelopment by creating new jobs and fostering an environment and amenities that attract businesses and talented workers - those who seek the “value added” by art and culture to a high quality of life. As economic development professionals become increasingly aware of these benefits, art and culture - including tourism - is being elevated as an important component of a comprehensive economic development strategy.
To illustrate the Region’s rich art and culture assets, in 2017 the Americans for the Arts conducted a comprehensive study to better understand the scope and economic importance of the creative industries in the United States. The data for our Region, provided to EAGB by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, identified a region-wide total of nearly 6000 arts-related businesses employing an estimated 25,000 individuals. While there is a higher concentration in our more densely populated areas, each of the Region’s seven jurisdictions derives economic benefits from their art and culture assets.
These industries also provide significant indirect benefits to a broader economic development ecosystem and strengthen the connection between economic competitiveness and creativity. Creative and new media industries are growing in number and playing increasingly prominent economic and social roles. Creative collaborations between artists, designers and product and system engineers in a variety of manufacturing and high-tech industries are more the norm than the exception as the pace of technological advances influences the rapid, efficient and effective delivery of products and services.
This creative collaboration and the integration of art and technology is increasingly the focus of university curricula and programs. Two U.S.-based. universities known for their strong science and engineering programs have long infused creative elements into their curricula and, more recently, have formalized integrated curricula:
- Carnegie Mellon’s IDeATe program, or the Integrative Design, Arts and Technology network, offers undergraduate minors and courses in Game Design, Animation & Special Effects, Media Design, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Computing, among others. These disciplines merge technology and creativity and provide learning opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.
- In 2012, The Center for Art, Science and Technology (CAST) was established at MIT. CAST promotes research, teaching and programming at the intersections of art, science, and engineering. The Center brings renowned artists to campus as co-creators with faculty and students and sponsors international symposia focused on areas of deep, longstanding, or rapidly advancing research at MIT in various domains of the arts and sciences.
However, one doesn’t have to look at Pittsburgh or Boston to see how higher education institutions are increasingly incorporating creativity into multi-disciplinary programs. Here are but a few examples from the Greater Baltimore Region’s strong higher education community:
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Interactive Arts Program: Interactive Arts students learn how to build robots, make games and create sound art, all in a variety of media and materials through a process of creative inquiry based on learning by doing. Facilitated by dedicated practitioners in the fields of new media, robotics, games, and sound art, Interactive Arts welcomes students with a passion and commitment for exploratory, new media work.
MICA Students - Game Lab Fall Arcade
UMBC Department of Visual Arts: Faculty research and creative endeavors center on the interdisciplinary aspects of digital imaging, design, time-based media, and installation and performance art forms. With continuing commitment to innovative activities, the faculty has achieved success in both national and international forums of exhibitions and publications, in areas including Animation & Interactive Media, Art History & Museum Studies, Cinematic Arts, Graphic Design, Intermedia, Photography, and Print Media.
UMBC’s Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) is an interdisciplinary center of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at UMBC. Its mission is to inspire and promote inquiry and experimentation in and across the arts. CIRCA supports innovative project-based research in the Arts by faculty, students, and visiting scholars, and promotes the development of interdisciplinary and collaborative projects that advance the Arts in an environment of emerging technologies.
Creativity and design thinking are finding their way into the design of products and services in industries as diverse as Manufacturing, Cybersecurity, Life Sciences and Visual and Performing Arts. Region on Point will continue to highlight these and other of our Region’s growth industry sectors and how they are being impacted and transformed through creative collaboration.
Arts & Culture
The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance provides the following maps which reveal the economic impact of arts and culture in each of the Region’s seven jurisdictions. Through a research-based approach, “Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts” provides a clear understanding of the importance of the creative industries to the Region's economy. Click on the jurisdiction name to review the reports:
The EAGB Highlights a Job Portal in the Region Helping to Connect the Workforce to the Art and Culture Industry Sector.
Looking or know of someone looking for a career opportunity in the art and culture industry? Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance’s Jobs Plus website shares job openings, internships, workshops and more in the cultural community of Greater Baltimore.
To read the full EAGB newsletter online, please visit: https://mailchi.mp/greaterbaltimore.org/region-on-pointfostering-art-and-culture-is-essential-for-the-economy