Happy Arts Advocacy Day 2011!

Today is Arts Advocacy Day! This year, the event feels critical. With many states eliminating or privatizing their arts agencies and NEA and arts education funding on the chopping block, the arts do need advocates.

I think what a lot of people miss when we talk about arts funding is the money side of the picture. There is a lot of focus on what the arts cost- federal and state funding, ticket prices, etc. But it seems rarely mentioned what the arts make. Here are some statistics from the Americans for the Arts and Economic Prosperity study from 2005/2006.

The $166.2 billion in total economic activity has a significant national impact, generating the following:
  • 5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs
  • $104.2 billion in household income
  • $7.9 billion in local government tax revenues
  • $9.1 billion in state government tax revenues
  • $12.6 billion in federal income tax revenues

I wrote on this a while ago too, when I addressed President Obama’s State of the Union. I feel that the President missed a great opportunity to bolster arts and arts education.

So, if you think the arts are important- as education, as an economic factor, as a creative outlet- please tell your lawmakers today. Visit AFA’s Advocacy Center here to find out how. If you are on Twitter, follow @Americans4Arts and the hashtags #AAD11 #TeamAADand #arts and retweet.

Happy Arts Advocacy Day! Let’s tell the world why our children, our communities, our world, need the arts!