Key Slide

The Omaha metro area has fewer opportunities for creative professionals than cities of similar size.

Let's Break It Down

We are losing creative jobs, but seeing a gain in earnings for creative professionals.

The region has over 5,000 creative jobs with industry earnings of $331 million, and industry sales of over $1.2 billion. The top creative occupations locally include graphic designers, musicians, photographers, and writersand on average professionals in the creative industry are earning $18.73 an hour.

Between 2015 and 2016, the area experienced a four percent loss in the number of creative jobs, while at the same time saw a six percent gain in industry earnings. Reasons for industry job losses include a lack of affordable and accessible space for artists and creatives to work and sell their crafts. Additionally, because there is no local Master of Fine Arts program in the area, many creatives leave to go elsewhere to pursue additional training opportunities.

Why Does It Matter

A strong creative industry can fuel economic growth, attract a creative workforce, and contribute to the overall identity of a community.

A robust creative industry is also essential in increasing visitors and tourism to a place. According to a 2012 local study, 47% percent of attendees at local arts and cultural events were tourists from outside the areaand these visitors spent more than $26 million annually while visiting Omaha to attend an arts or cultural event.

The creative sector contributes to an overall quality of life for all residents. To be successful, creatives and artists must not only have the training, resources, and support they need to be successful professionals and promote and sell their art, they must be able to earn a living wage within their professions.

How Do We Compare?

Our region has fewer creative jobs than cities similar in size.

The Omaha-Council Bluffs region has only 564 creative jobs per 100,000 people. This is lower than cities similar in size; Des Moines, Kansas City, and Lincoln all have more creative jobs per capita. We also have lower per capita industry earnings in the creative field than Des Moines, but higher earnings than Kansas City and Lincoln.

Data Source: Creative Vitality Suite


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The Landscape | A data-driven reflection of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area.
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Omaha Community Foundation
302 South 36th Street Suite 100 Omaha, NE 68131