CODAworx Releases New Research Estimating the Size and Impact of the Creative Industry

May 30, 2024
Lighting Design Public Art

The Economic Power of Public Art demonstrates the significance of public art and features multiple works by The Art Studio at RDG Planning & Design.

CODAworx has released comprehensive data estimating the size of this creative industry and revelations about the economic impact of the public art sector. This first annual groundbreaking study reveals that in 2023, the public art sector made a substantial economic contribution, surpassing $4.4 billion. The Economic Power of Public Art includes research from responses to a survey conducted with the help of ThinkLab and data from the CODAworx Project Library, compiled by data analytics firm DataChat.

“We are thrilled to announce this eye-opening valuation of the public art industry,” said Toni Sikes, CEO of CODAworx. “This data underscores the economic significance of public art. We are excited to give readers a peek under the cover of this invisible economy – which is actually a flourishing ecosystem of creative magicians.”

The inaugural publication highlights the multiple pieces of work by The Art Studio at RDG Planning & Design. Each of these installations offers unique contributions, enhancing the cultural and environmental connections within their respective communities. The featured projects include:

  • Aguas Onduladas (Rippling Waters), San Antonio, Texas: "Rippling Waters" enhances the urban landscape of San Antonio, bringing the calming essence of water to the heart of the city. This sculpture not only beautifies the space but also serves as a communal gathering point that supports social well-being and fosters interactions among diverse groups.

  • Both / And – Tolerance / Innovation, Madison, Wisconsin: Situated in a culturally rich and academically driven community, "Both / And – Tolerance / Innovation" reflects Madison's dual commitment to inclusivity and progress. The artwork invites contemplation on the balance between preserving tradition and embracing new ideas, promoting dialogue and understanding within the community.

  • Do Something Good for Your Neighbor, Fort Worth, Texas: This piece is a vibrant celebration of community service and neighborhood collaboration in Fort Worth. Encouraging viewers to engage in acts of kindness and cooperation strengthens community bonds and fosters a culture of mutual support and civic pride.

  • To See Yourself in Nature, Huntington Beach, California: This interactive piece mirrors the natural beauty of Huntington Beach and encourages viewers to see themselves as part of the environment. Fostering a deeper connection with nature enhances public awareness about ecological stewardship and promotes a sense of responsibility toward environmental preservation.

  • Travelers, Huntsville, Alabama: "Travelers" serves as a gateway to the imaginative world of art, reflecting Huntsville's rich history in space exploration. By integrating elements of movement and discovery, this installation captivates and connects the community, inviting residents and visitors to ponder their journeys and dreams, thus strengthening local identity and pride.

“We believe that public art is not just a cultural asset but a dynamic force that enriches communities economically and socially. Our collaboration on projects like the ones featured in the CODAworx study exemplifies our commitment to enhancing public spaces through meaningful design. This new study underscores the tangible economic impact of these contributions, bolstering our dedication to fostering environments where art and community intersect for the greater good,” said RDG Artist and Senior Partner Matt Niebuhr.

The first edition of this publication has been printed, and copies are now beginning to ship to government leaders, economic development agencies, tourism bureaus, public art commissioners, and other decision-makers who influence the funding of public art. The Economic Power of Public Art documents the effects of public art divided into nine different impact areas: Tourism, Urban Revitalization, Infrastructure, Sustainability + Environment, Social Equity, Wellness, Public Engagement, Cultural Identity, and Memorials and Monuments. Numerous notable public art projects are also featured. The Economic Power of Public Art is a 200+ page publication containing charts, graphs, articles, and hundreds of stunning artwork photos.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director