In Support of the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA)

Adopted at the 89th Annual Meeting in 2021

  • WHEREAS, the United States must help mitigate creative worker displacement, stimulate local creative workforce growth, strengthen connections for local arts, culture, creative small businesses and networks, create a pipeline for new arts, culture and creative jobs, enrich communities, increase access to culture, and invest in artists and other creative workers, as well as local economies, harmed by COVID-19; and

    WHEREAS, in addition to being an economic driver of 4.3% of the country's GDP, arts and culture have significant economic, social, and individual impact. The presence of arts and culture drives additional spending on local businesses, restaurants, and hotels, increase property values and improves education outcomes for students, boosts community pride and social cohesion, and inspires political and social activation; and

    WHEREAS, during the COVID-19 crisis, artists were greatly displaced. At the height of the pandemic, two-thirds of all creative workers (2.7 million people) were completely unemployed, and even now the unemployment rate of the sector remains 3-4 times the national rate. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, 63% experienced unemployment. Creative economy jobs employment dropped by 53%, and have only recovered about half of that to date; and

    WHEREAS, Congresswoman Teresa Leger-Fernandez of New Mexico has introduced a new bill entitled Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) that seeks to both support and employ artists and creative workers and strengthen local economies by galvanizing and investing in a civic infrastructure fueled by creative workers and a recovering creative workforce; and

    WHERAS, the CERA legislation will get creative workers back into jobs by creating a workforce grants program within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The legislation will require that grantees create art that is publicly accessible such as free concert series, large-scale murals, photography exhibits, published stories or dance performances; and

    WHEREAS, the grants proposed in CERA would go to local, state, and tribal agencies, workforce investment boards, and public or private nonprofit entities who would hire local creative workers and produce publicly-available creative projects that meet local needs and priorities; and

    WHEREAS, CERA was developed in collaboration with many partners in the creative economy, including the Get Creative Workers Working coalition, which is made up of 200 local, state, and national cultural organizations and agencies,

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors supports any and all efforts to get creative workers working again, including enactment of the Creative Economy Revitalization Act of 2021, or the "CERA Act".

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