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The Arts Aren’t in Kansas Anymore, Toto

Why publicly support the arts when the debt’s hitting its head against a $14 trn ceiling and unemployment’s at 9 percent? America’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 bn in economic activity every year, incuding $63.1 bn in spending by organizations (twice as much as aerospace) plus $103.1 billion in event-related spending by audiences, supporting 5.7 million jobs nationally and generating $29.6 bn in government revenue. The for-profit and non-profit culture industry generates nearly $30 bn in revenue to local, state and federal governments every year. The three levels of government collectively spend less than $4 bn annually to support arts and culture — a spectacular 7:1 return on investment; try getting that in mutual funds.

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