Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Case for Investing in Arts and Culture

Arts and culture can be a powerful engine for local, state and regional economic growth. This article reminds us jobs in the arts are good for local economies and will stay right here in the US.

The Drive for Decent Work supports greater public investment in arts and culture, particularly for unemployed artists, musicians and youth. Arts and culture enrich our lives and can help lead the way to economic recovery.

Investment in art pays off for the Houston economy Viewpoints, Outlook - Houston Chronicle

We know that Houston is an economic powerhouse in energy, technology, international trade and medical research. With its moderate climate and low cost of living, it has quickly accelerated to become the fourth largest city in the country with a diverse population and a highly educated work force.

But Houston is also an economic powerhouse in the arts. Nonprofit cultural organizations and their audiences in Houston alone generate $626 million annually and support more than 14,000 full-time equivalent jobs. These jobs and related audience expenditures return $33 million in local tax revenue and an additional nearly $37 million in state tax revenue.

When you compare this to the city of Houston's $10 million public investment in the arts and the state's symbolic $3.9 million investment, the citizens of Houston are getting a fifty-four percent rate of return on their tax investment.

Houston is one of the few cities in the country that has a full set of major cultural institutions — symphony, opera, ballet, museum and theater. And it doesn't stop there. Houston hosts a robust arts environment for both nonprofit cultural organizations and private arts-focused businesses to thrive. In fact, there are 5,342 creative industry businesses in Houston with more than 25,000 employees.

These creative industries, which include everything from art museums to graphic art studios, have not only contributed to Houston's economic bottom line but they have also been the first footprint for redevelopment.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


WPA Posters

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.