Why should the strength and growth of the nation's 100,000 cultural arts institutions be a national priority?
The answer is multi-layered. Not only do these institutions help to "define who we are as a people" and offer insight into our societal past, present and future, they are a positive driving force of our economy.
According to a 2007 Arts & Economic Prosperity report, the arts have an annual total economic impact of $166 billion, not to mention the 5.7 million jobs and nearly $30 billion in tax revenue the industry generates as cited in the June 8, 2009 issue of Time Magazine. In Boca Raton alone, the annual economic impact of the collective non-profit cultural institutions is $94.7 million, according to the 2007 Economic Impact Study conducted by the Boca Raton Cultural Consortium.
Furthermore, countless studies have demonstrated the positive educational benefits for students. A large majority of the country's top technology-based CEOs report that having various arts disciplines as an integral part of their scholastic backgrounds allowed them to expand cognitive thinking and rise to top positions within their organizations.
One subject that has scarcely been acknowledged in recent times is the value of cultural arts exchange. And as recent world events have demonstrated, it is imperative that the United States regain moral ground and restore our international standing as a world leader. This can, in part, be accomplished through further participation in global cultural exchange. This exchange has the ability to remind us that we are all a part of one human family. It also has the potential to go a long way toward establishing greater understanding and commonality among divergent cultures.
Our nation's well-being depends upon the positive impact produced by the arts sector, both domestically and internationally.
By: Bruce Herman, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Boca Raton Museum of Art