Study Shows Los Angeles Has More Working Artists Than Any City in US

"Exits and Entrances" by Athol Fugard, World Premiere, Fountain Theatre

Did you know Los Angeles is home to more working artists than any other major metropolis in the United States, including New York? According to a 2010 report commissioned by the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), Los Angeles hosts the largest pool of artists of any metro in the nation. Surprised?

Fanny Ara, "Forever Flamenco", Fountain Theatre

The report, Los Angeles: Artists’ Super City, was authored by Professor Ann Markusen, noted research economist and Director of the Project on
Regional and Industrial Economics (PRIE) at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. She is currently serving as Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the MacIntosh School of Architecture’s Glasgow Urban Lab, where she is conducting a US/UK comparative study of creative cities. The study was funded by the James Irvine Foundation and the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.

Highlights of the report on Los Angeles include:

  • Los Angeles is the top attractor of young artists in the US.
  • Artists contribute to the Los Angeles economy in multiple ways.
  • Los Angeles County is the major employer of artists in the
  • Los Angeles supports more than five times as many
    performing artists (actors, directors, producers) as the nation,
    outpacing New York substantially.
  • The region’s record in home-growing, attracting and retaining
    artists is unmatched. Los Angeles is the nation’s premier place
    to pursue an artistic career.
  • Los Angeles has long been a leader in local public funding
    for individual artists.
  • Despite Los Angeles’ robust cultural ecology, artists still earn relatively low incomes.
  • The paradox is that there are so many artists in Los Angeles, yet no coherent plan or infrastructure to support them.

Read the full report.

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