Letters to the Editor

The arts help boost the economy

In times of economic hardship, conventional wisdom dictates we cut funding for arts programs because their benefits are often considered intangible. However, recent studies have yielded surprising results that throw conventional wisdom out the window: local arts organizations are proven generators of jobs and economic growth.

According to a multiyear study analyzing data from more than 6,000 nonprofit arts and culture organizations in all 50 states, arts organizations use $4 billion in funding to generate "nearly $30 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments every year." In other words, for every dollar our nation's arts organizations are funded, they give seven back. This same study polled more than 90,000 arts patrons and found that for each arts or cultural event attended, the average attendee spends $27.79 per person in addition to the ticket price. That number jumps to $40.19 if they come from out of town. That's music to the ears of local business owners.