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Project Overview

Guided by the vital role of art and artists to the health of our state, the Illinois Creative Workforce Partnership seeks to advance our understanding of the realities and needs of arts workers and the larger cultural ecosystem to which they belong. A collaboration between Discovery Partners Institute; Arts Alliance Illinois, the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at the University of Illinois Chicago, it funds research at the intersection of artistic labor, education, workforce development, government policy, and the social and economic impacts of the arts. The partnership’s goal is to identify nation-leading and transformative improvements in how the state trains, educates, supports, and employs its creative workforce.

Illinois Creative Workforce Partnership

Where Do Artists work? Exploring the Careers of Arts Graduates in
Illinois and the U.S.

Do artists work in different fields? Many studies focus on artists who stay in creative jobs, but we need more research on those in other careers. This study uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau to look at what jobs are held by arts graduates in the U.S. and Illinois. Our findings show that arts grads work in various fields, not just in arts and design.




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Where do Artists work? Webinar

IWERC hosted a virtual webinar to discuss what research tells us about the careers of arts graduates in Illinois and the U.S.

The webinar included speakers from:

  • Arts Alliance Illinois
  • The University of Illinois
  • Illinois Workforce & Education Research Collaborative


The webinar took place on May 2nd, 2024 at 01:30 PM CT.

Portfolio Team


Aisha Motlani

Research Associate, IWERC

Project Lead

Research Advisory

Claire Rice, Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois

Kevin Hamilton, Dean of the College of Fine & Applied Arts, UIUC

Carolyn Randolph-Kato, Associate Director of the Arts Impact Initiative, UIUC

Jennifer Novak-Leonard, Director of the Arts Impact Initiative and Research Associate Professor, College of Fine and Applied Arts, UIUC

Rebecca Rugg, Dean of the College of Architecture Design & the Arts, UIC

Meg Bates, Director, IWERC