Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why the arts are good business for Tucson

[Source: Roberto Bedoya, Tucson Citizen] -- The Tucson area's rich arts and cultural assets make our community unique and contribute greatly to our economy. Those resources must be preserved, protected and enriched. That's the aim of our new Pima Cultural Plan, crafted with the involvement of 500 local citizens, as well as artists, arts administrators and civic leaders, after months of intensive study coordinated by the Tucson Pima Arts Council.

Consider what is at stake:

  • The University of Arizona's arts programs, coupled with four of our region's major nonprofit arts groups, have a total economic impact of $96.8 million, a 2001 UA study says.

  • A recent Americans for the Arts study found that 41 small and midsize arts organizations in the Tucson area generate $57.54 million to our economy.

  • Our creative sector accounts for 3.4 percent of all jobs in Pima County, and that sector's job growth rate exceeds the rate for overall employment, an analysis by Mount Auburn Associates says.

  • Experts say our "creative sector" economy is key to attracting a talented, highly skilled and young work force to Tucson.
    While the Tucson area is home to Arizona's first university, first symphony, first opera company and first repertory theater, support for our rich array of cultural and artistic resources remains a challenge.
[Note: To read the full article, click here.]