Now What?

Follow the money…

When the downturn in the economy occurred, citizens were left hanging by a small thread.  The current economy is slowly starting to make a recovery and communities are still fighting for scraps.  The government’s impeding “fiscal cliff”  is closely approaching, will Sesame Street and artists survive?  Hopefully this new “reality” will fade away so positive and creative endeavors can be properly funded again.

Before the economic disaster, most venues (galleries, museums, exhibition opportunities) would meet an artist 50/50 with costs.  Now, exhibition spaces can’t pay for return shipping and artists are expected to pay for delivery to/from a venue.  However, opportunities are very competitive and limited.  As a result, artists bear these costs.  Is this the new “normal”?  If so, it just got harder for everyone…

A new study proves that the arts dramatically helps a community socially and economically.  According to the  Americans for the Arts website: “Arts & Economic Prosperity IV is our fourth study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry’s impact on the economy.  The most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted, it gives us a quantifiable economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences.  Using findings from 182 regions representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, an input-output economic model is able to deliver national estimates.”

So what were the findings of the study?  Robert L. Lynch, President/CEO for the Americans for the Arts, to the Huffington Post discussing the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV study: “Of the $135.2 billion of economic activity generated by America’s arts industry, $61.1 billion comes from the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $74.1 billion from event-related expenditures by their audiences.  This economic activity supports 4.1 million full-time jobs and produces $22.3 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments every year — a yield well beyond their collective $4 billion in arts allocations.”  Not too bad for something that is considered to be an “extra” or “luxury.”

If the arts are proven to bring in revenue, I don’t understand the resistance to funding and support.  The computer used in typing this blog was designed by an artist.  The chair I’m sitting in was designed by an artist.  Every product we use on a daily basis was designed by an artist.  As a result, the arts are worth the investment.  For example, the United States government is projected to spend $851 billion dollars in 2013 for Defense (wars).  That is more than for Social Security and Medicare.  Big Bird and the arts deserve a tad bit more…

The Links:

http://www.soapboxconsulting.com/

http://www.americansforthearts.org/get_involved/advocate.asp

http://www.californiaartsadvocates.org/

http://www.cac.ca.gov/artsinfo/create.php

http://www.artsed411.org/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-l-lynch/arts-and-economy_b_1588034.html

http://useconomy.about.com/od/usfederalbudget/p/military_budget.htm

http://news.yahoo.com/big-bird-survive-fiscal-cliff-other-pressing-questions-102810853.html

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