CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NEA study explains financial effect of the arts nationally — and California's huge cultural economy

LA Times: Data released Wednesday by the National Endowment for the Arts, in a joint effort with the Bureau of Economic Analysis, offers an argument for keeping arts funding alive at a time when the Trump administration seeks to eliminate the NEA altogether.


Delaney Johnson said...

I think this article makes a point we already know: The arts are important. To take away the NEA is the equivalent of hooting our own economy in the leg. In my opinion, our economy is already in bad enough shape for us to add fuel to the fire by cutting the additional economic supplements provided by the cultural economy. As the article says, $730 billion to the U.S. economy in 2014 was provided by cultural corporations and productions. That is roughly 4.2% of the U.S. economy for that year, which means the cultural economy actual gives more to the economy than the National Endowment for the Arts. An example of this can be simply seen in our ever day media, which in and of itself benefits the arts economy. Because, who could imagine waking up and not seeing the huge profits made by movies over the weekend. Those millions of dollars benefit our economy and need to see.

Simone Schneeberg said...

I'm glad that there are numbers being put to this. It seems we have been fighting the NEA cut as a community by showing and asserting the the arts are important with their cultural impact, their educational merit, their developmental importance, and their ability to make statements. However, we've been fighting a numbers battle without numbers. People can see the benefit of the arts without seeing the benefit in funding them from government sources. Showing that the arts make so much more for the country than they take from the government (or rather are given) validates their funding much more than simply saying it is worth it. Showing also that there is growth in employment can also help silence skeptics who would think that because of their high return the arts don't need the government funds. It's not enough that we within the community know the importance of what we love, we need an objective standpoint from which to convince others as well.

John Yoerger said...

Well, of course, there are financial effects with the arts. For instance, theatre is a fairly popularized event (especially now with the works of some musicals like Hamilton). But you don't come see theater if you don't have money and we don't do a very good job. You do go to have fun and enjoy the arts. Literally, everyone needs to be entertained and that is what theatre artists do. One thing that I think is interesting is the weird tie of the National Endowment for the Arts into this publication. Rambling aside, my ultimate point is that everyone likes to watch TV and theater can sometimes just be TV but live. So there is always going to be an appeal to it. I am also not surprised by any of the figures mentioned in the article. It all sounds about right for a money sucking industry. If we continue to support the economic ventures of theatre artists, like, say, with the NEA, we might do some good and get things back on track.