Include Arts in Economic Recovery Effort
Feb 11, 2009 | 1136 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor:

As Congress considers the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the arts and culture sector must be included. The arts are essential to the health and vitality of our communities. They enhance community development; spur urban renewal; attract new businesses; draw tourism dollars; and create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers and builds a robust 21st century workforce.

Nonprofit arts organizations are proud members of the business community – employing people locally, purchasing goods and services within the community, and involved in the marketing and promotion of their cities. In fact, there are more full-time jobs supported by the nonprofit arts nationally than are in accounting, public safety officers, even lawyers, and just slightly fewer than elementary school teachers.

According to Americans for the Arts, a $50 million investment to the National Endowment for the Arts will provide critical funding to save 14,422 jobs from being lost in the U.S. economy. This is based on the ability of the NEA to leverage $7 in additional support through local, state and private donations, for every $1 in NEA support.

In the U.S., there are approximately 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations, which spend $63.1 billion annually. Without an economic stimulus for the nonprofit arts industry, experts expect about 10 percent of these organizations (ranging from large arts institutions like museums and orchestras to small community-based organizations in suburban, urban and rural areas) to shut their doors in 2009 – a loss of 260,000 jobs.

In a report released in mid-January, the National Governor's Association stated, "Arts and culture are important to state economies. Arts and culture-related industries, also known as ‘creative industries,’ provide direct economic benefits to states and communities: They create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases."

Ultimately, I believe that it is important for the arts to be included in the national economy recovery efforts. Support of the NEA is simply not about art on gallery walls in New York City – that’s far from the truth of the matter. Art is here. It is in our communities of Southwest Colorado and currently plays an important and even essential role in helping our communities thrive and grow positively. Let’s keep our communities vibrant, creative and great!

Sincerely,

Sharra King, Ridgway Mountain Medical at Health Fair

Editor:

The Mountain Medical Center in Ridgway wishes to thank everyone for a wonderful turnout at our booth at the Ridgway Health Fair on Feb. 7, 2009.

Also, a huge thank you to the following businesses for their donations: Mountain Market – three cases of bottled water; Apple Shed, Cederedge, Colo., Connie Williams for four cases of apples; Safeway for flowers, winner Kathy Heinrichs; Alpine Floral for flowers, winner Ed Ingo; Willow Creek Flora for flowers, winner T.G. Bursk; City Market South for flowers, winner Rik Lane.

We appreciate all the donations and look forward to next year. Again, Thank you

Mountain Medical Center
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