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New OCA Report Shows Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Ohio's Creative Sector

Photo Credit: Bob Perkowski

Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA) partnered with eight regions across Ohio (including Cuyahoga Arts & Culture) and the Center for Regional Development (CRD) at Bowling Green State University to uncover the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the creative sector.

The preliminary results and analysis of the resulting "Creative Industries Economic Contribution Report" are now available here.

Key findings from the study show:

  • Creative Industries are a critical economic driver in the State of Ohio. In 2019, creative industries supported over 329,000 jobs, $18 billion in payroll, and $55 billion in economic output.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe negative impact on creative industries in Ohio. Between 2019 and 2020, creative industry employment declined by over 41,000 (-12.63%), while total creative industry economic output fell by over $8.6 billion (-15.74%).
  • The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected creative industries in Ohio. Specifically, decreases (as a percentage) in employment and economic output were four times as large compared to the overall Ohio economy.
  • The decline in creative industry payroll was over seven times as large compared to the overall Ohio economy, suggesting programs such as the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) did not provide adequate support to employees in creative industries.

Media coverage for the report includes:

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is pleased to support this work as a regional partner. CAC continues to provide updates and resources to help our grant recipients navigate the continued pandemic.

The Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit educational organization affiliated with Ohio Citizens for the Arts. Its mission is to advance the arts and creative impact in Ohio by providing research, engagement, and advocacy education opportunities. Learn more at

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CAC Staff