The Arts Pay Dividends
The Arts affect every one of us, every day. The newspaper and books you read, the photos you see, the music you listen to, the logo of your business, the clothing you wear, the design of the building you occupy, the paintings you hang in your home, the uniforms for your favorite sports team, the lullabies you sing to your children at night. These are all the result of human creativity and the arts.
Creative endeavors and engagement translate into higher achieving students, an innovative workforce, an appealing quality of life and positive economic activity for our community. In Greeley, as in the rest of America, non-profit arts and culture organizations make their communities desirable places to live, work, learn, and play.
A comprehensive study of thousands of arts organizations and attendees, “Arts and Economic Prosperity 5”, measured the impact of the arts industry in a number of ways. The 2017 study revealed that arts and culture organizations generate over $166 billion in economic activity, supporting 4.6 million jobs, and generating over $27.5 billion in government revenue annually. Close to home, the Greeley Creative District tracks similar economic impacts and notes in its most recent review that Greeley has 150 creative industry businesses supporting 3,165 jobs, 32 non-profit arts organizations, and 640,591 event attendees within the district annually.
The economic impact of arts and cultural organizations is unique in another way. Unlike other industries, they also generate large amounts of event-related spending by their audiences. Did you add a meal or after-dinner drink to the show? Spend money on travel or a babysitter? Buy a new outfit, get your hair done, pay for transportation, lodging, or souvenirs in conjunction with the event you attended? If so, you are among those who on average spend a bit over $31 in addition to the event tickets, translating to an estimated $102.5 billion in event-related spending nationally.
The Arts affect our children in important ways as well. Longitudinal studies reveal that students involved in the arts have higher academic performance as measured by standard test scores, greater involvement in community service, and lower dropout rates. This translates universally across all socioeconomic levels.
How about the workplace? Creativity ranks as one of the top three personality traits most important to career success according to the U.S. employers. Another 85% of college-educated employees said creativity is critical to their ability to problem-solve in their careers.
A community’s unique identity and sense of place is also conveyed through the arts. From museums depicting local lore and the entryways welcoming travelers to town to the community’s architecture and public art. The arts distinguish one place from another in a memorable way.
To draw attention to this important aspect of community life, the Greeley Creative District joins the national promotion of October as National Arts Month and encourages residents to enjoy at least one arts or cultural event during the month as a celebration and in recognition of the importance of the arts. In addition, a copy-friendly logo has been created for use by businesses, individuals, and organizations to show their support for the arts by including the logo in their promotions, flyers, newsletters, menus, advertising, correspondence, social media, and other publications throughout the month of October.
Join your neighbors and friends in celebration of the Arts this month! It will be good for you, it will be good for your community.
For more information or to obtain an electronic copy of the logo, contact the District at www.GreeleyCreativeDistrict.org or call 970.373.5223.
Submitted by Becky Safarik, the Greeley Assistant City Manager and also the President of the 17-member Greeley Creative District Board.
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Also, don’t forget about GCD’s new festival coming in October…