Key Industry Stakeholders See the Arts as Part of the Solution
U.S. Conference of Mayors
The U.S. Conference of Mayors made the arts one of the 10 points in its plan for building a strong America that was presented to President Obama in 2008:
#9. The Arts: The arts, humanities, and museums are critical to the quality of life and livability of America’s cities. It has been shown that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates over $166 billion in economic activity annually, supports more than 5.7 million full time jobs, and returns more than $12 billion in federal income taxes annually. Governments which support the arts on average see a return on investment of more than $7 in taxes for every $1 that the government appropriates.
Furthermore, federal, state, and local governments; private foundations; corporations; and individuals provide access to artistic activities for peoples of all races, creeds, and income levels. Recognizing the importance that the arts play, many countries throughout the world have established national cabinet level positions for culture and tourism. The nation’s mayors urge the creation of a cabinet level Secretary of Culture and Tourism charged with forming a national policy for arts, culture, and tourism. Federal resources must also be invested in nonprofit arts organizations through their local arts agencies with full funding of the federal arts and culture agencies.
Read the full report (pdf, 352KB).
Arts Resolutions Passed by The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Resolution in Support of Arts & Economic Prosperity III
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors supports the conclusions of the Arts & Economic Prosperity III study and urges mayors across the country to invest in nonprofit arts organizations through their local arts agencies as a catalyst to generate economic impact, stimulate business development, spur urban renewal, attract tourists and area residents to community activities, and to improve the overall quality of life in America's cities. Read the full Resolution
When making your presentation, be sure to display a copy of the report cover from organizations such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors or the Conference Board.
The Conference Board
Arts Seen as Key to Workers Who Are “Ready to Innovate”
U.S. employers rate creativity/innovation among the top five skills that will increase in importance over the next five years, and rank it among the top challenges facing CEOs. But, are the arts being connected to creativity? Ready to Innovate, a new study conducted by Conference Board (serving the fortune 1000 U.S. companies), Americans for the Arts, and the American Association of School Administrators provides the first research-based evidence that the answer is, yes. Business leaders identified “arts-related study in college” and “self-employed work” as the top two indicators of creativity, while school superintendents rank the arts degree study as the highest indicator of creativity. Yet, the study also reveals that less than 10 percent of companies provide creativity training to all their employees, and school superintendents provide arts classes primarily on an elective basis. Creative writing is the sole course required in more than half the districts; less than 1 in 5 requires a music class. The report offers this promising conclusion: “…both sectors see involvement in the arts and other work experience as markers of creativity…it is clear that the arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the third millennium.
Read the report (pdf, 629KB).
International City/County Management Association
In October 2008, the International City/County Management Association has as its cover, The Arts Industry: Economic Ingenuity for Local Governments.
Read the cover story: Harnessing the Power of the Arts: Capitalizing on the Economic Power of the Creative Industry.
American Association of School Administrators
AASA is the national organization for the nation’s K-12 public school Superintendents. Read their March 2008 magazine, which focuses on the importance of the arts to school success: The Arts at K-12’s Center Stage: Finding Ways to Increase Student Access to Creative Learning.
Immediate past AASA Executive Director Paul Houston writes, “What children are taught to value comes largely from popular culture and what schools emphasize is shaped by the economic culture of our country. The result is a generation of children who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Public policy leaders must convince an unmoved public of the peril of a narrowed academic focus in K-12 education.