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Business & the Arts: Why They Need Each Other

By Karin Copeland and guest columnist Philadelphia Business Journal
|  Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014  |  Updated 7:08 AM EDT
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Business & the Arts: Why They Need Each Other

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The goals of the arts, culture and creative sectors are often viewed as separate from or counter to those of the business community. The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia is working hard to change this perception and build a wide, two-way bridge between these communities by creating awareness around the impact of creativity in the workplace and the contributions of arts and culture to a thriving economy.

The creative sector fuels exciting, vibrant lifestyles for citizens in the Philadelphia region; and the colorful, intriguing cultural life of Philadelphia drives people to move into the city, building a stronger hiring pool. Likewise, the business communities feed critical experience and resources into the lives of artists and art-making institutions. This is why the Arts & Business Council envisions a vibrant creative sector with strong leadership -- in terms of professional staff and volunteer board leaders -- and a cultural scene that continues to be one of our region’s greatest assets. Through our capacity-building services, we work every day to strengthen a creative sector that is already valued for how it enriches the quality of life in our region, the jobs it creates, the visitors it attracts, and the impact is has on our children. And we champion the cause of a creative sector that has the support of audiences, businesses, donors, volunteers and government agencies.

According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year -- $63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences across the nation. According to the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s 2012 report, Southeastern Pennsylvania’s cultural organizations and their audiences have a combined impact of $3.3 billion on the region’s economy. With such a massive amount of revenue generated by arts and culture; more attention should be paid to future planning in these sectors. The benefits of strong artistic sectors stretch beyond revenue, as recent studies from Greater Good show that involvement in the arts helps increase critical and creative thinking. Cities that have implemented creative sector plans have seen an increase in growth and support, including support from the private sector, according to research by the city of Chicago. Read more about this story on PBJ.com.

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