Governor Heineman Endorses New Economic Report on the Arts
Posted on 05/03/2012
•Read and share the National Governor’s Association report: New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture and Design
The National Governors Association recently released a new report: New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture and Design Provides Insight to State Arts Economies. The report, prepared in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, focuses on the role that arts, culture, and design can play in assisting states as they seek to create jobs, boost their economies and, over time, transition to an innovation-based economy.
“As Chair of the National Governor’s Association, my initiative is Growing State Economies through job creation, innovation and economic growth,” said Governor Dave Heineman. “As we work to attract new businesses, research shows that the arts and culture serve as a magnet to attract educated young professionals and companies to our state. As the arts flourish, so will creativity and innovation.”
Specifically, the report identifies five ways in which arts, culture and design can assist states with economic growth by:
1. Providing a fast-growth, dynamic industry cluster;
2. Helping mature industries become more competitive;
3. Providing critical ingredients for innovative places;
4. Catalyzing community revitalization; and
5. Delivering a better-prepared workforce.
The information contained in the National Governor’s Association report not only directly affects the arts industries, but also stands to benefit a broad spectrum of agencies in state and local government, such as state and local officials in commerce, economic development, tourism, education, workforce development, labor, historical, and cultural affairs, as they review their strategic objectives and goals.
State arts agencies are acknowledged throughout the report as having established many of the featured programs and policies that embrace these strategies to enhance states' economic growth. The Nebraska Arts Council serves as Nebraska’s state arts agency, providing funding for state arts organizations and other programs for communities, schools, and individual artists.
“Healthy cultural organizations have long been cited as indicators of economic stability,” said Suzanne Wise, Executive Director of the Nebraska Arts Council, “Through our state agency’s grant programs and services, the Nebraska Arts Council provides funding and support for Nebraska’s arts organizations, allowing them to better realize economic development goals.”
The National Governor’s Association Report reflects findings from other economic analysis of the arts. According to a recent study commissioned by Omaha Performing Arts, an arts organization which oversees the Holland Performing Arts Center and the Orpheum Theater in Omaha, $31.6 million in economic activity was generated through its operations in Douglas County last year. Omaha Performing Arts receives annual operating support from the Nebraska Arts Council. Read more about the report and Omaha Performing Arts in this Omaha World Herald news article.
The impact of the arts as an economic generator is also being evaluated by other organizations. The Americans for the Arts, via affiliated state organizations, is currently compiling art industry and economic impact data nationwide. Nebraskans for the Arts, the state’s citizen-based advocacy organization for the arts and arts education, is coordinating the data collection for Nebraska.
“Nebraskans for the Arts recognizes the value of the arts as a key economic driver. Early this summer we’ll be releasing state and national data to underscore this important point for lively, thriving communities,” stated Marjorie Maas, the organization’s director.
The data provided by these reports is encouraging news for Nebraska’s artistic and cultural industry, the communities they support, and for state and local arts agencies and other service organizations. Ongoing data collection and analysis will further benefit non-profit and civic leadership by providing resources and tools for fostering the development of creative communities.