According to the World Economic Forum, there were 49 museums in all of China in 1949. After 25 years of unprecedented economic growth, there are now more than 3,800. That is a stark example of how economic development is connected to the arts.
Simply stated, the goal of economic development is the betterment of “place” through economic growth. While some of the benefits of economic growth are direct, like the availability of jobs and the opportunity for career and wage advancement, others are indirect, such as the ability to make investments in public infrastructure and the arts.
As with most benefits of economic development success, nurturing a thriving arts community begets even more economic growth. This has been true for centuries. Powerful countries have invested their riches in public art, architecture and music, and those investments play a role in showcasing economic strength and destination attractiveness. People flock to cities and regions to see these works, and the arts directly improve the quality of life a place offers its residents.
A community’s connections with works of art and the artists who create them have never been more important. A strong cultural community conveys that your place is engaging and open. Smart and creative people seek interesting work, interesting places in which to do their work and opportunities to work with interesting people. The presence of a dynamic arts scene is evidence of a community’s ability to serve the needs of top talent – and the presence of top talent helps to attract and retain top employers.
To learn about the impact of the arts in the Columbus Region, visit this page from the Greater Columbus Arts Council and join us at the GCAC Public Forum tomorrow evening, where discussions will focus on the role and economic benefits of arts in the community.
One Columbus Update