In celebration of October as National Arts & and Humanities Month, the City of Salina and Salina Arts & Humanities recognize the economic and social impact of the arts.
The arts have long been recognized as a unifying and strengthening force. Partnerships between arts organizations in Salina and across the U.S. contribute to increased cultural and eco-tourism, higher tax revenues and greater awareness of the contributions that artists and arts organizations make.
In a politically explosive election year overshadowed by COVID, many agree that social stability is needed right now. According to Americans for the Arts, 72 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race and ethnicity.” Recently, the arts have been shown to provide critical social and emotional benefits for students who are in flux between classroom and virtual-learning settings.
Nationally, arts organizations are resilient and entrepreneurial businesses that employ and purchase locally and actively promote their regions. As of April 2017, more than 673,600 U.S. businesses were involved in creating or distributing the arts, employing 3.48 million people.
Five Reasons Why The Arts Matter
- Arts strengthen the economy. Nationally, arts and culture is a $730 billion industry, representing 4.2 percent of America’s Gross Domestic Product.
- Arts prepare students for jobs and the real world. “Arts education helps students adapt, become problem solvers and improve as communicators,” says SAH Executive Director Brad Anderson. Students who engage in arts learning have higher GPAs and college-going rates, plus lower drop-out rates.
- Arts involvement engages children, families, businesses and more. Local partnerships between the Salina Community Theatre and Kansas Wesleyan University or the Salina Symphony and dance studios are examples of how arts groups identify new participants, volunteers and audiences. St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church often partners with arts providers to offer to summer-camp and other local enrichment activities.
- The arts help us be healthier. Nearly one-half of U.S. healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families and staff. Nearly 80% of those say they deliver such programs because they believe it results in shorter hospital stays, better pain management and less medication.
- Arts are good for local business. When local events are no longer being cancelled or postponed, local arts-event attendees spend about $31.47 per person, per event beyond admission – on meals, parking, babysitters, etc. This is valuable revenue for local merchants across Salina and Saline County.
During National Arts & Humanities month, Salinans can enjoy exhibits at the Salina Art Center and Rolling Hills Zoo or attend virtual or live arts performances by the Salina Symphony and Salina Community Theatre. Arts lovers also can vote for their SculptureTour Salina favorites or visit the Smoky Hill Museum and the Museum Store downtown. Local merchants offer in-store and virtual First Friday exhibits and activities.
“Arts Create Hope’ is an excellent theme for celebrating the arts this year,” says SAH Executive Director Brad Anderson. “Salina is richly blessed to have an engaged and supportive community and an excellent variety of cultural-arts institutions and artists. Salina is a better place because of the strength of its arts and humanities.”
To support or get involved in Salina’s cultural arts, visit salinaarts.com, riverfestival.com or smokyhillmuseum.org. The SalinaAE.com online calendar is a one-stop resource for many arts, cultural and educational events and programs. The new riverfestival.com website will debut before the holidays. For details, contact Salina Arts & Humanities at 785-309-5770 or at [email protected].