According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts industry generates $22.3 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue annually — a yield well beyond their collective $4 billion in national arts allocations.
Because the National Endowment for the Arts supports artistic excellence and improves access to the arts by granting funds to nonprofit arts organizations, I encourage our federal officials to support an increase in funding for the NEA.
Our schools need more arts education. Students with an education rich in the arts have better grade-point averages, score better on standardized tests in reading and math, and have lower dropout rates — findings that cut across all socio-economic categories. Congress and state education leaders should support strong arts education programs so local school leaders can include the arts in all disciplines (dance, theater, music, visual and media arts) in their curricula.
Rural communities contain some of our country’s greatest cultural assets. Rural economic development should be strengthened to help these communities promote the richness of their heritage and assist local artists with their entrepreneurship.
I call on all lawmakers to support funding and policies at the federal level that would recognize the growth potential and direct benefits of encouraging cities and states to strategically invest in the arts in order to drive economic development.