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COVID-19 Impacts on the Creative Economy in the Sacramento region 

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Sacramento’s Creative Economy is a significant contributor to the lives and livelihoods of Sacramento residents. Just over 50,000 people found employment in the creative industries in the Greater Sacramento region in 2019. It is a sector of the economy that drives tourism, influences social/emotional development, foster innovation, and influences overall quality of life. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on creative economies throughout the United States, and Sacramento is no exception. To further understand the present state of Sacramento’s creative economy, the Office of Arts and Culture commissioned a survey in partnership with Americans for the Arts. The survey findings help to illustrate the pandemic’s toll on artists, creative workers and arts organizations in the seven-county Sacramento metropolitan area.

Below are a summary of the findings with links to the full reports. 


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Artists and creative workers:

  • 86% have had to cancel events/had events cancelled on them
  • 48% have been unable to sell work/product
  • 30% have had pay cuts
  • The average total financial loss per artist is $38,000
  • 73% of artists reported applying for grants, 67% used savings, and 65% applied for unemployment to respond to these losses

Arts organizations and creative businesses:

  • Lost attendance of 1,660,424
  • $1.2 million in unanticipated expenditures
  • $28.4 million in cuts to expenditures
  • Net financial loss of $39.9 million since the start of the pandemic
  • 46% cut staff salaries, 37% terminated/laid off staff


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Take a deeper look and review real-time findings collected from March 24, 2020 onwards.

Artists and creative workers 
Arts organizations and creative businesses 


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Learn more about the composition and impact of Sacramento's creative economy pre-pandemic.