Three Rivers Theatre Company

2020 was devastating to the arts here at home and around the world. As we enter our 2021 capital campaign, here are a few reasons why supporting the arts is important.

  • Arts strengthen the economy. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports the arts and culture sector represents 3.25% of the nation's GDP, which is a large share of the economy than tourism and agriculture. The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic acticity annualy.

  • Arts are good for local merchants. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. Attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts.

  • Arts improve academic perforance. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates -- benefits reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status.

  • Arts drive tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences.

  • Arts spark creativity and innovation. The Conference Board reports that creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders -- with 72% saying creativity is of high importance when hiring.

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  • Arts have social impact. University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates. A vibrant arts community ensures that young people are not left to be raised solely in a pop culture and tabloid marketplace.

  • Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation's healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and event staff. 78% deliver these programs to patients because of their healing benefits, which include shorter hospital stays, better pain managment, and less medication.

  • Arts means business. The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theatres to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. A 2014 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 750,453 bussinesses in the U.S. involved in the creationor disribtuion of the arts that emply 3.1 million people.

  • Arts are an export industry. U.S. exports of arts goods grew to $72 billion in 2011, while imports were just $25 billion.

  • Arts promote true prosperity. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us - fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts help us to express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. When times are tough, art is salve for the ache.

Adapted from a previous article by AmericansForTheArts.org