Funding for Michigan Arts Gives Back to the State’s Economy

In case you missed it on our Facebook page, check out this fascinating article in Craine’s Detroit Business about funding for the arts!

Report says think about this: state spends $1 on arts and culture, which spends $51 on economy

By Sherri Welch

The intrinsic value of arts and cultural organizations has long been recognized, but a new report reinforces what the sector has long trumpeted: They have significant economic impact, as well.

For every $1 the state invested in nonprofit arts and cultural groups in 2009, those organizations pumped more than $51 into Michigan’s economy through spending on rent, programs, travel and salaries.

“Creative State Michigan,” a new report from the Wixom-based advocacy group Art Serve Michigan, reinforces what ArtServe has known all along, said the group’s director of public policy, Mike Latvis.

“For a long time, we’ve heard that state funding to the arts is a handout, but it’s not. This report shows that investment is returned multiple times over to the state’s economy.”

The report was generated from data entered into the Cultural Data Project, a multistate database gathering national economic impact data from participating nonprofit arts groups in 11 states.

The project, launched in 2004, is administered by one of its initial funders, The Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia.

Michigan’s arts and culture sector joined the database in May 2010 with nudging and support from the Taylor-based Masco Corp. Foundation and other foundation members of the Council of Michigan Foundations‘ Arts Affinity Group. The Masco Foundation provided a lead grant of $200,000.

The budget for ArtServe’s three-year implementation of the project totals $854,215. Assisting ArtServe on the report was Data Driven Detroit.

“Here in Michigan, we have lacked an annual, consistent source of data … to be able to affirm the health and vitality of the arts and cultural sector,” ArtServe President and CEO Jennifer Goulet said. “Particularly as the economy has tightened, it’s been even more critical for us to (have) the data to build a case for support.”  (…)

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