Supporting the arts is good for business. As Jay H. Dick, Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs at Americans for the Arts, states in a blog post for the National League of Cities, “cities of all sizes that, even minimally, invest in their local arts organizations can see economic benefits. “
This year’s GDP report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts found that the arts and culture sector represented 4.32 percent of the GDP – a higher percentage than tourism (2.6 percent), transportation (2.7 percent) and construction (3.4 percent).
In his blog post, Dick shares a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Ohio, which illustrates this economic contribution on a local level. The bank determined that for every one dollar spent in ticket sales at the Cleveland Playhouse Square, $2.20 is generated in additional expenditures to the local economy. In a five-year period, 79 new businesses moved downtown, and the cost of downtown office space nearly doubled.
“The great thing about the arts is they are already in your city,” says Dick. "The arts, unlike many industries, are not going to relocate overseas or to a different city. The arts are committed to serving your city’s residents and improving the quality of life. But what they do need are community leaders to recognize them as an industry worthy of both private and public sector support.”
For more information about the economic value of the arts in your community, check out Americans for the Arts’ Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts reports, which provide a research-based approach to understanding the scope and economic importance of the arts in America.