Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts
Arts have a huge affect on our lives, whether we know it or not. Studies have proven that students who participate in the arts in school engage better in learning and are more active thinkers. Arts also thrives our economy and allows us to understand more diversity throughout each country. The arts also help us at our jobs as employees become innovative.
As funding for arts education continue to get cut in our school systems internationally, the Americans for the Arts has compiled the top 10 reasons to support the arts and art education.
1. True prosperity . . . The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering
creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and
bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. When times are tough, art is salve for the ache.
2. Improved academic performance . . . Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and
standardized test scores, lower drop-out rates, and even better attitudes about community service—
benefits reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status. Students with four years of arts or music
in high school average 100 points better on their SAT scores than students with one-half year or less.
3. Arts are an Industry . . . Arts organizations are responsible businesses, employers, and consumers.
Nonprofit arts organizations generate $135 billion in economic activity annually, supporting 4.1 million
jobs and generating $22.3 billion in government revenue. Investment in the arts supports jobs, generates
tax revenues, promotes tourism, and advances our creativity-based economy.
4. Arts are good for local merchants . . . The typical arts attendee spends $24.60 per person, per event, not
including the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. Attendees who live
outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts
($39.96 vs. $17.42)—valuable revenue for local businesses and the community.
5. Arts are the cornerstone of tourism . . . Arts travelers are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend
more. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that the percentage of international travelers including
museum visits on their trip has increased from 17 to 23 percent since 2003, while the share attending
concerts and theater performances increased from 13 to 16 percent (only 7 percent include a sports
6. Arts are an export industry . . . U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) grew to
$64 billion in 2010, while imports were just $23 billion—a $41 billion arts trade surplus in 2010.
7. Building the 21st Century workforce . . . Reports by the Conference Board show creativity is among the
top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance
when hiring. The biggest creativity indicator? A college arts degree. Their Ready to Innovate report
concludes, “…the arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of
the 3rd millennium.”
8. Healthcare . . . Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for
patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to
patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.
9. Stronger communities . . . University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high
concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child
welfare, and lower poverty rates. A vibrant arts community ensures that young people are not left to be
raised solely in a pop culture and tabloid marketplace.
10. Creative Industries . . . The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums,
symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. An analysis of Dun &
Bradstreet data counts 905,689 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts
that employ 3.35 million people—representing 4.4 percent of all businesses and 2.2 p