Thursday, June 07, 2007

You Heard That Right: The Arts Generates Dollars for Local Communities

What to do when local governments threaten to cuts arts funding, and blame the impending bloodletting on stuff like a poor ROI (return on investment)? Tell the spokesperson(s) to sit down, shut up, stop spreading lies and face the facts.

That's the headline on a recent editorial published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The editorial goes on to say, "The study by Americans for the Arts found that the Seattle groups and their audiences spend $330 million yearly in the city, create $26 million in revenues for local and state governments and support nearly 8,000 full-time jobs."

In other words, civic funding for the arts pays off, big time, for municipalities. And there's no reason to assume that Seattle is unique in this regard.

More from the editorial: "While direct local support needs careful review of the numbers (see: sports facilities*), the study shows why it makes sense to create conditions in which the arts can flourish."

So, hey, city fathers (and mothers) in the local governments -- Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties -- where I live: SHOW YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT for the arts, if not for the sake of the arts then for the sake of your communities' economic well-being.

*Can you say "Bucs training facility"?

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