The Issue: Investing in the Nation's Workforce and Creative Economy

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) reintroduced the Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy (CREATE) Act  in both the U.S. Senate and House at Arts Advocacy Day on March 5, 2019. The CREATE Act aims to more thoroughly serve the people, places, and programs that make our nation’s creative economy prosper in all its cultural, social, and commercial forms. This sweeping legislation expands on the research of numerous economic studies, such as Americans for the Arts’ Arts and Economic Prosperity, our Creative Industries maps, and the CREATE Act issue brief in the Congressional Arts Handbook


Through minor adjustments to existing federal programs, the legislation takes steps to better invest in our country’s workforce and creative industries, while empowering the entrepreneurial spirit of artists and encouraging their role as contributors to the small business community.

The CREATE Act aims to support the people who comprise the creative economy, namely artists and creative entrepreneurs, by:
  • Expanding programs at the Small Business Administration (SBA) to increase microloans, business loans, and technical assistance for artists, and
  • Ensuring access to FEMA's disaster relief assistance for artists impacted by natural disasters. 
The CREATE Act supports creative community development, improving the places each of us calls home through provisions including:
  • Requiring the Economic Development Administration (EDA) ensure that traditional economic development tools, such as incubators and grant programs, support the creative economy throughout the country;
  • Expanding the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Administration to include arts-focused economic development;
  • Adding a new priority to the Housing & Community Development Act to include arts-based community development and creative placemaking; and
  • Creating an Artist Corps to increase national service through the arts, as called for in the Serve America Act.
The CREATE Act seeks to amend and enhance federal regulations surrounding the creative economy by:
  • Improving the visa processing time for foreign guest artists and U.S. nonprofit arts organizations; and 
  • Developing a model to promote the creative arts in local economic initiatives, such as cultural district planning.

Our recent Public Opinion Poll reveals that the majority of Americans see the importance of the arts and culture in their communities nationwide. The CREATE Act can directly support half of the top 12 priorities that Americans identified as being most deserving of government funding, such as funding individuals to make art; providing art in parks, downtown areas and public places; and increasing tourism throughout the United States. 


These infographics help illustrate the federal agencies and data related to the CREATE Act.  
Click the images to view and print larger versions.


Focus Forward Solutions:

An investment in the creative economy is an investment in our nation's economy. 

1. Find more legislative details in the CREATE Act Issue Brief in the Congressional Arts Handbook.
2. For a way to introduce this legislation to your organization, feel free to use this introductory letter.
3. Take Action! Take two minutes to call on your U.S. Senators and Members of Congress to co-sponsor the CREATE Act!
4. Want to learn more?  Senator Udall gave remarks about the CREATE Act at the Aspen Intsitute.  Hear the full panel discussion about The Arts and Government by clicking here.  
5. Join the CREATE Act Google group to stay updated on the bill's development.