Creative Workforce Research Specialist, University of Illinois

The announcement of a new research position for an arts policy specialist marks a unique new collaboration in Illinois, where working together across sectors has long led to the deeper embedding of the arts in civic life. The arts colleges at the University of Illinois’ Chicago and Urbana-Champaign campuses are joining with Arts Alliance Illinois under the auspices of the university’s Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) to expand and deepen understanding of the nature and shape of arts labor in the state. Beginning with the work of a new embedded arts researcher within DPI’s workforce research initiative, the new collaboration will contribute to both the visibility of arts labor in the state, and new partnerships to support the education and employment of artists.

As part of the Illinois Workforce and Education Research Collaborative, the new researcher role will support DPI’s ambition to improve education and training for tech jobs by first understanding/underscoring the essential roles of creative workers in Illinois to help guide its workforce development. The goal of the fellowship is to serve as “proof of concept” in support of deeper collaborations across these and other organizations toward achieving nation-leading and transformative improvements in how Illinois identifies, prepares, supports, trains, and employs creative workers.

“The arts are everywhere in our state’s workforce,” said Kevin Hamilton, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts at UIUC. “Yet planners and policymakers only see them in their most familiar forms across design, performance, fine art, and architecture. By providing new research on arts labor, this partnership stands to make study in the arts a more viable path for many, and support for artists more undeniably essential to the health of our state.”

The responsibilities of the Creative Workforce Research Specialist role will include issuing briefs on the arts workforce, based on key data sets with population and economic surveys of the Department of Labor, workforce, and arts policy. This individual will support associated research for the Illinois Creative Workforce Activation project, including workforce pathways, skill mapping, cross-training needs in high-growth creative industries in Illinois, as well as high-growth, well-aligned roles outside of the creative sector. DPI is currently accepting applications for the position. Read more at https://dpi.uillinois.edu/news/discovery-partners-institute-announces-fellowship-role-to-examine-the-social-and-economic-impacts-of-the-arts-across-illinois/