Astrig and Steve are continuing their 6 week tour of South Eastern States looking for crafts in every corner of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We’re here in Asheville NC now after spending time on the Toe River Studio Tour…wow what a trip on windy roads and magnificent
mountain vistas. In North Carolina the craft industry is recognized for the economic driver and big business that it is. The most recent statistics tell us what we all know to be true in our own world:
The Economic Impact of the Craft Industry in Western North Carolina
The current estimated economic impact of the craft industry in Western North Carolina of $206,533,599 for 2007 represents an approximate $84,517,600 increase over the $122,000,000 economic impact originally computed in 1995 – an increase of 69%.
This total impact is the economic impact sum of: craft consumer tourism, craft artisan direct sales, craft gallery and shop sales, craft educators, craft orgainzations and the craft supplier and publisher impacts.
Assuming an average 3% per year inflation rate over the first 12 years (36%) then the adjusted economic impact growth is about 33% or about 2.75% per year industry growth rate (adjusted for inflation).
This increased economic impact is somewhat attributable to the increased size of the professional arts producers who have grown from 739 in 1995 to 2,200 presently, representing about a 198% increase over that time period. Producers represent crafts like: metal, wood, ceramics, jewelry, glass, fiber and basketry.
The Economic Impact of the Craft Industry in Western North Carolina, Dr. James E. Stoddard, Dr. Kinesh S. Dave, Dr. Michael R. Evans, DESS Business Research, LLC September 2008
As far as I can tell, Maine hasn’t done the same kind of detailed study but I’ll be checking with the Arts Commission to see what information we do have. A quick Google search using keywords “Maine, Craft Industry, Economic Data” only brings up our Micro Brewing Companies…not bad but certainly not fiber 😉