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Are We Actually Underestimating the True Value of the Arts?

Mr. Swanson is trained to look at such studies with a healthy skepticism, and to point out problems in the methodology. But rather than overstating our case, this leading regional economist is saying that, if anything, we are underestimating the true value of the arts to the community and to area economic vitality. Whoa! That’s criticism we can all live with. $135 billion in economic expenditures nationwide is only a glimpse of what art adds to our nation as a whole. I knew that we were unable to get information from a large percentage of eligible organizations, and I also was well aware that the for-profit sector—private art galleries, production companies, professional artists—were not part of this study, both of which would add to the final report on economic impact. But I did not expect a top-level economist to make an argument that sounded like one we might make, essentially preaching to the choir.

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John M. Eger: ArtPlace Could Make the Difference In Communities Across America

John M. Eger: ArtPlace Could Make the Difference In Communities Across America. from HuffPost Arts

After some months (it could be argued, years), Rocco Landsman, Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has put together a national organization dedicated to building creative places in cities around the country, demonstrating the vital link between the arts and economic development.

Called ArtPlace, it continues the work of the NEA to fund a li grants, ranging from $25,000 to $250,000, for “creative placemaking.” These projects, the NEA believes, “contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core.”

Landsman, among others in the Obama administration, philanthropies and corporations alike, have argued that creative places or “creative clusters” as they are also called, are the incubators of creativity and crucial to development of a creative and innovative workforce.

But the

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Kansas Makes a Fashion Statement

Once again, Kansas has distinguished itself as a “trendsetter.” Yes, those are the words of Kansas Governor Brownback when he refers to his action to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission and put in place a private foundation to fund the arts in Kansas. Sorry to break the news governor, but those of us who live […]

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Your Mayor Can Be Your Greatest Arts Ally

Yesterday, I participated in working sessions with mayors, city planners, and architects to develop a series of recommendations to federal officials of how to streamline partnerships to create economic development and improve city infrastructure.

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