Bonanza Valley Voice -

Support the Arts!

Central Square Cultural and Civic Center in Glenwood promotes arts across region

 

Central Square Cultural and Civic Center in Glenwood, viewed from the south.

We all know there are thousands of reasons to support the arts. Here are five from Americans for the Arts research guru Randy Cohen that you can keep handy for important occasions, like cocktail parties or debates about funding for the arts.

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us-fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community-strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically-benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.

1. Arts improve individual well-being! A full 63 percent of the population believes the arts "lift me up beyond everyday experiences," and 73 percent say the arts are a "positive experience in a troubled world."

2. Arts unify communities; 67 percent of Americans believe "the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity" and 62 percent agree that the arts "helps me understand other cultures better"-a perspective observed across all demographic and economic categories.

3. Arts improve academic performance. Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs, standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates. These academic benefits are reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status. Yet, the Department of Education reports that access to arts education for students of color is significantly lower than for their white peers; 88 percent of Americans believe that arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education.

4. Arts strengthen the economy. Arts and cultural goods in the U.S. added $764 billion to the economy in 2015, and included a $21 billion international trade surplus. The arts represented a larger share of the nation's economy (4.2 percent of GDP) than transportation, tourism, and agriculture (source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $166.3 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences), which supports 4.6 million jobs and generates $27.5 billion in government revenue.

5. Arts drive tourism and revenue to local businesses. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $31.47 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters-valuable commerce for local businesses. 34 percent of attendees live outside the county in which the arts event takes place; they average $47.57 in event-related spending. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences.

Don't miss the 2018 concert series season opening performance by Andrew Walesch and his big band April 21 at 7:30 p.m., celebrating 100 years of Sinatra. Tickets on sale now at The Box Office by Central Square at 18 E MN Ave downtown Glenwood, open Monday thru Friday 10-4 p.m. with our phone number of 320-634-0400. Find us online with a full listing of our upcoming events: http://centralsquare.org.

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