Op-Ed: Arts Improve Quality of Life, Boost Our Economy

New York State prides itself on being “The State of the Arts.” The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) was established “to insure that the role of the arts …will continue to grow and will play an ever more significant part in…maintaining the paramount position of the state in the nation and in the world as a cultural center.” The arts are an integral driver of the state’s economy and a transforming agent of people and places.

According to data released in March 2018 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and National Endowment for the Arts, the arts and cultural sector generated over $114 billion to the state economy, employed over 450,000, and paid over $46 billion in compensation statewide.

New York’s arts and culture sector accounts for almost 8% of the value added to the state’s economy, more than retail, construction, or transportation. It is also important to note that our arts and culture sector ranks second in the country in both economy and jobs. The economic impact of the arts on our economy is staggering. We see this clearly in Huntington. People who attend arts events patronize local restaurants and stores during their visits. The arts are a catalyst, drawing people in, and improving both our quality of life and keeping our local economy healthy.

The role of NYSCA in keeping non-profit arts organizations operating and growing is critical. An increase in funding is necessary so that the arts will continue to not only enrich lives, but to enrich local economies as well. I passionately encourage everyone to reach out to our State elected officials in support of increased funding for NYSCA’s local assistance program.

Thank you in advance for your support of the arts.

Marc Courtade is executive director of the Huntington Arts Council

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