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        Art is Work: Policies to Support Creative Workers


        American Academy of Arts and Sciences

        Art can be many things, but it starts as work. Sadly, that work is consistently undervalued in American society. While a recent national survey found that 81 percent of Americans believe the arts are “a positive experience in a troubled world,” a separate survey conducted for this report found only 22 percent of Americans believe artists contribute “a lot” to the general good of society.2 This gap between American feelings about the personal value of the arts and their perceptions about the value of those who create that art undermines the work artists and cultural workers are able to do, the value they are able to contribute to the health of our communities, and who is able to make a life as an artist. In this report, we address a central question: How can we better recognize the value of artists in our national policy in order to enable the essential work they do?

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