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the arts make good business sense!

updated mon 2 jul 07


Linda - Pacifica on sun 1 jul 07

It took a study, but at least they studied it. =46rom the New York =20
Times, July 1, 2007. Send this article to your local governing =20

Study Makes It Official: Arts Help Local Economy

THE arts mean business in Westchester County, according to a new =20
report released by the arts advocacy group Americans for the Arts.

And Westchester is in the business of supporting the arts.

On Wednesday, the Westchester Arts Council announced that it had =20
chosen 39 local arts organizations to receive almost $1 million in =20
grants. Among the recipients were cultural destinations, including =20
the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and the Jacob Burns Film =20
Center; music series like Jazz Forum Arts and the Summit Music =20
Festival; educational programs like the Hoff-Barthelson Music School =20
and Youth Theater Interactions; and performing groups, including the =20
Westchester Philharmonic, the Chappaqua Orchestra, the Taconic Opera =20
and the Hudson Stage Company.

=93We=92ve seen a dramatic increase in business since we=92ve paid more =20=

attention to the arts,=94 said Sal Carrera, the economic adviser to the =20=

county executive, Andrew J. Spano. =93The more you pump in, the better =20=

return you get.=94

Mr. Spano called the arts =93an area of creativity which is going to be =20=

a defining element in worldwide competition in the 21st century.=94 He =20=

emphasized both its influence on quality of life in Westchester and =20
its dollars-and-cents benefits.

=93When we commit tax dollars to the arts, we can say to the public =20
that it=92s a real value, an investment for getting other revenues into =20=

the county,=94 he said.

=93Arts and Economic Prosperity III,=94 a national study conducted by =20=

Americans for the Arts, concludes that the nonprofit arts and culture =20=

sector is a significant industry in Westchester County, generating =20
almost $120 million in local economic activity in 2005, more than =20
double the revenues of a decade ago. The arts also support nearly =20
4,000 full-time jobs, an increase of 85 percent over the same period. =20=

Local and state governments collected some $17.6 million in tax =20
revenues in 2005.

The study also concluded that Westchester arts patrons spend an =20
average of almost $25, in addition to the price of admission, every =20
time they attend a nonprofit cultural event in the county. =20
Nonresident audience members spend even more =97 about $41 =97 =20
demonstrating the economic value of attracting cultural tourists to =20
the area.

Karina Ringeisen, the theater manager of the Tarrytown Music Hall, =20
which received a $5,000 grant from the Westchester Arts Council, said =20=

the Americans for the Arts study jibed with the hall=92s own e-mail =20
survey of ticket buyers.

=93We discovered that about 90 percent of our audience comes from =20
outside Tarrytown and 20 percent are from out of state,=94 she said. =20
=93Tarrytown has become a destination because of the music hall, and a =20=

majority of our audience members go to shops and restaurants before =20
the shows.=94

The new Americans for the Arts study is the third it has conducted =20
over the past decade on the economic impact of the arts in the =20
nonprofit sector. Westchester is one of 156 communities included in =20
the current analysis, which included more than 6,000 arts =20
organizations across the country. The Westchester Arts Council was =20
involved in gathering study data from 101 local groups.

Part of the mission of Americans for the Arts is to debunk the notion =20=

that investing in arts and culture is done at the expense of local =20
economic development. =93The arts inspire us, soothe us, provoke us, =20
involve us, and connect us,=94 writes Robert Lynch, the organization=92s =
director and executive officer, in the introduction to =93Arts and =20
Economic Prosperity III,=94 =93but they also create jobs and contribute =20=

to the economy.=94=