Creative returns on investment: Funding the arts grows the bottom line -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog



From The Star.com
Published On Fri Jul 1 2011
Laura Eggertson

Creative returns on investment: Funding the arts grows the bottom line

Gone is the desperation in the arts community in the 1990s, when “we were all trying to prove the economic multiplier effect” of investing in the sector, says Tricia Baldwin, managing director of the internationally acclaimed Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir.


Now those economic multiplier formulas are well-established. For every $1 the City of Toronto invested, cultural organizations were able to leverage $17.75 in 2009, for example, Foster, Kain and Prentice report in Creative Capital Gains: An Action Plan for Toronto.

Thanks to the groundwork that thinkers like Florida and others laid, in this decade “there’s much more appreciation of the contribution of the arts to society, and not just the economic effect but the effect of creativity,” says Baldwin.

Arts organizations no longer have to justify their existence before getting money formerly viewed as a government handout, she says. They can also cite their overall contribution to society.

Common sense is also dictating that governments support these industries, says Peter Williamson, a partner and executive producer at Breakthrough Entertainment, a film and television production company in Toronto.

”Generally speaking, the governments we’ve had for the last 10 to 15 years have seen the benefits of being able to stimulate employment and economic growth,” Williamson says. Both a provincial and federal film and television tax credit have assisted the growth of the film and television industry in Toronto, he says.

[...]

Arts funding and the overall economy

• In the GTA, there are an estimated 8500 arts and culture organizations. They employ 150,000 people and generate $9 billion for the region’s gross domestic product.
• $1 in City of Toronto funding generates $5.15 from other levels of government; $5.48 from the private sector; and $7.12 in earned revenues from ticket sales, program fees, venue rentals, and bar and gift shop sales.
• 2.9 million visitors reported cultural activity as the reason they came to Toronto in 2009.
• The Toronto International Film Festival generated $131.7 million worth of GDP in Toronto in 2008-09, created 2,365 jobs and generated $1.8 million in municipal taxes.
• As a whole, Ontario’s cultural sector contributes more than $19.7 billion to the province’s GDP, or 4.2 per cent.
• The cultural sector employs 252,000 people directly in Ontario.

The evidence is overwhelming at this point. You want a recovery? You want jobs and increased tax revenue?  Increase Arts Funding!  GL

Link to article at The Star.com

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