In celebration of October as National Arts & and Humanities Month, the City of Salina and Salina Arts & Humanities recognize the continued economic and social impact of the arts.
Unique partnerships with local cultural organizations contribute to increased tourism, local tax revenue, and greater awareness of the contributions cultural organizations and the arts make.
While some would say that America is in a time of political division, there is little disagreement about the need to support and “build” more jobs. Arts organizations are resilient and entrepreneurial businesses – they employ people locally, purchase goods and services from within their communities, and actively promote their regions. Employees of arts organizations such as a community theatre, a symphony or college or school-based music and theatre programs are rooted locally – their jobs cannot be shipped overseas.
Public and private investment in the arts supports jobs and has been a cornerstone of tourism. Across the U.S. as of April 2017, 673,656 businesses are involved in creating or distributing the arts, employing 3.48 million.
Five Reasons Why The Arts Matter
- Arts strengthen the economy. Nationally, the arts and culture sector is a $730 billion industry, representing 4.2 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Just the nonprofit portion of the arts industry generates $135 billion in spending by arts agencies and their audiences, which supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.
- Arts are good for local business. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $31.47 per person per event beyond the cost of admission, on meals, parking, babysitters, etc – valuable revenue for local merchants and the community.
- Arts are an export industry. The arts and culture industries posted a $30 billion international trade surplus in 2015, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The U.S. has exported more arts and cultural goods and services than it has imported, each year since 2006.
- Arts drive tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic experiences. Arts destinations grow the economy by attracting foreign-visitor spending. From 2003 to 2015, the percentage of international travelers including “art gallery and museum visits” on their trip grew from 17 to 29%, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
- Arts prepare students for jobs and the “real world.” “Arts education helps students learn to adapt, become problem solvers and improve as communica-tors.” says Brad Anderson, SAH Executive Director. “Arts education also helps students learn healthy work skills on their own or as part of teams.”
Across the state and in Saline County, those who work in the creative industries contribute in substantial economic and other ways. According to a 2012 Americans for the Arts study, Kansas is home to about 6,400 arts-related businesses that employ 23,600 people.
In Saline County as of 2012, there were at least 116 arts-related businesses employing 355 people. Among Saline County’s cultural entities are five arts schools, 26 design or publishing firms, 18 radio, TV or film outlets, four museums, 24 performing-arts organizations, and 37 non-profit visual arts, craft or photography entities.
Across Kansas, the arts make a significant impact. Of the 341 communities that participated in the Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study of 2017, three Kansas areas were surveyed – Wichita, Johnson County and Douglas County. In Wichita, estimated spending by nonprofit arts and cultural organization was nearly $44 million a year, with almost $51 million in extra spending by cultural audiences. About $9.4 million in local and state revenue was generated by that arts spending.
In Salina, leaders at the Cultural Roundtable monthly meeting address how to best plan for, implement and promote the arts and humanities. Its facilitator Brad Anderson says, “The Cultural Roundtable has helped me understand and appreciate how the arts are one of the best ways to reflect the history, humanity and spirit of the community. The arts also serve as a window to the soul of Salina—what we stand for and what we want to become. Having diverse choices of creative expression through the arts helps citizens and visitors understand and engage with their community.”
To support or get involved in Salina’s cultural arts, including visual arts, performing arts, public art, and more, visit salinaarts.com. The SalinaAE.com online calendar, launched in 2018, is a one-stop resource for many arts, cultural and educational events and programs