By David Currence
You might think about arts and culture as only museums, galleries and theaters.
But here’s a new way of thinking of them – as job creators, economic stimulators and active contributors to the local business community.
Nonprofit arts and culture are a $202.8 million industry in Charlotte-Mecklenburg – one that supports more than 6,200 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $144.6 million in household income for local residents and delivers $18.1 million in local and state government revenue.
Don’t worry about those facts and figure, just remember this: the arts mean business.
The common misconception is that communities support the arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. But the reality is leaders who care about their community and its economic vitality should feel good about investing in the arts.
It’s an investment in an industry that creates local jobs, generates government revenue and spends its dollars in its own backyard. As Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s chief advocate and supporter for arts and culture, the Arts & Science Council (ASC) is the primary investor for many of the cultural experiences that enrich all of our lives. Therefore, supporting ASC is the wisest investment of all because ASC is you and me.