Panelists at a recent discussion hosted by the Wisconsin Technology Council called for greater investments in the arts and creative industries.
“We need to get more creators and entrepreneurs to realize that they have the potential to make money,” said Max Fergus, chief executive officer and co-founder of LUM streaming service. “If we’re not fostering that creativity in the schools like MATC, area high school or UW-Madison, there’s nowhere for that money to go.”
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Commerce found the creative industry had an economic impact of $804 billion last year in the United States, according to Anne Katz, executive director of Arts Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, the industry impact for 2019 was $9.7 billion. And the state gained 94,000 creative jobs — more than the beer, biotech, and papermaking industries, she added.
“We need angel investors in the arts to invest in creative industries,” she said.
Tom Still, president of the Tech Council, explained the concept of “creative lens investing” falls under the umbrella of social impact investing, which typically aims to create social or environmental change.