How important is the arts in a community?
To co-opt a famed playwright, “Let Me Count The Ways:”
Improves Academic Performance: Students engaged in arts and culture have improved academic performance in areas of reading and math. These students organize ideas more clearly, behave better and stay in school. As an example, Cleveland School for the Arts and the Newton D. Baker School of the Arts consistently produces reading, writing and math proficiency scores at the top of the Cleveland Municipal School District as well as higher attendance rates. But it’s not just Cleveland School for the Arts. Bodwin’s Peter Manos has helped coordinate area Shakespeare competitions, bringing out bright and talented from throughout the region.
Strengthens our Economy: Arts and cultural organizations provide nearly 4,000 jobs in the region and generate $1.3 billion in regional economic activity. Visitors to a sampling of organizations in Cuyahoga County alone generate $94 million in gross regional product and sustain over 2,000 additional jobs outside of the arts and culture sector.
Transforms Neighborhoods: Arts and culture are a magnet for retail districts and restaurants, small businesses and professionals, and new residents seeking lively locations and safe populated streets. Northeast Ohioans need only look to neighborhoods like Fairfax, Tremont, the Warehouse District, Asia Town, East 4th St. and Detroit Shoreway for local examples of such positive impacts.
Improves Community Attractiveness: As our region competes for the best and community the brightest in the knowledge economy, our arts and culture assets provide a critical edge. Entrepreneurs, their companies and their staffs want to live in places with diverse populations and creative thinkers. In fact, in a 2001 study conducted for the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, area business leaders cited availability of arts and culture among the key reasons for living in the Cleveland area.
Source: The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture
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