The Creative DC Action Agenda examined ways to support creative employment and business opportunities, to promote revitalization and enlivening of underserved areas through arts and creative uses, and to better utilize and connect the District’s creative economy assets and support systems (such as education and workforce development). The Action Agenda also sought to leverage planning and public investment efforts, such as neighborhood and revitalization initiatives.
The Creative DC Action Agenda frames the District in a new light - as a 'top-tier' creative city where creativity and talent combine to enliven neighborhoods, contribute to economic stability, and create an even more distinctive sense of place. The District’s creative base includes building arts, design, film and media, communications, performing and visual arts, museum management and culinary arts. The study found that there are more than 75,000 direct jobs in the District’s creative sector, which generate more than $5 billion in income each year. These jobs amount to more than 10 percent of the city's employment base; many of these jobs are in the media, culinary, museum and design industries.
The study also found that the District has a rich and diverse creative economy upon which to build. Arts and cultural institutions and activities span the range from traditional to contemporary and off beat. DC has the key assets to sustain and create a robust creative sector: a significant federal presence, foreign missions that sponsor cultural events, visual and performing arts non profits, the location of major national organizations and associations related to arts and culture, and diverse creative talent.
The study was undertaken in the context of growing realization around the role that the creative economy can play in supporting globally competitive cities and in providing employment opportunities for a diverse workforce. The study also recognized that the District’s creative base faces challenges, and in many ways is not leveraging its full potential. The Creative Action Agenda yielded a blueprint of strategies designed to strengthen this sector.