The Arts

“The arts.”

Those two words roll off your tongue rather effortlessly and they sound ultra-cool too…the arts!

I have a very eccentric friend who has a passion for a multitude of creative entities so when she says “the arts” she does so in a very grandiose manner. She rolls one shoulder back, flips her auburn hair over her shoulders, points her face toward the sky and says “the arts” in way similar to that of a Hollywood actress in the 1950s.

While my friend’s enunciation of the phrase is a bit exaggerated, her effort speaks to the magnitude of art.

When I think of art in the general sense, I think of what it does for people, how it makes them feel. Despite the type of art — music, paint, dance, photography, etc. — it allows a person the freedom to express themselves and it fosters education and dialogue.

Art is pure. Art is vibrant. Art is cool.

Art also enhances lives…on so many levels.

The benefits of the arts in communities are plentiful, which is why it is imperative that communities embrace the culture of creative expression.

Here are some ways that the arts have a beneficial impact on the economy:

The arts attract visitors

Every city wants to attract visitors in hopes of ensuring repeat trips or better yet: new residents. Tourists primarily visit a community for an attraction and most attractions that cities provide fall under the arts. Having tourists come to our cities, increases our economy because visitors not only spend directly with the art/entertainment event, but they are also likely to shop, eat at a local restaurant and stay at a hotel…all contributing to an increase in dollars brought to our community.

The arts attract businesses and residents

Art organizations play a role in the businesses that decide to make Indiana their home. Many middle — large companies consider an area’s entertainment scene before deciding to take up residence. If a city has a vibrant local community with a positive image, that business feels more confident in not only hiring local residents, but also attracting highly-skilled people who would relocate because of the amenities and culture of a city. Such businesses generally hire highly-skilled and high-revenue earners, who will deposit money directly into our state.

The arts attract investments

A community rich in culture and areas that are considered up-and-coming are more likely to attract individuals willing to invest in real estate or other businesses. In addition, banks may be more likely to lend capital to areas that are considered thriving and secure.

Cities throughout Indiana can continually evolve if we embrace the arts and entertainment industries. We must be deliberate about forming innovative partnerships and strategies that place arts at the forefront of economic growth. American consumers spend $150 billion a year on arts/entertainment-related items…we should all be doing more to enhance the quality of life for residents and the growth potential of arts venues. Doing so is essential to the vitality of a city and state.