Montana Non-Profit Association

I don’t want to get into advocacy issues but below I’ve reposted Montana Non-Profit Association’s most recent email. They have a couple of nice reports about the economic stimulus. If you are interested in receiving their emails you can sign up on their website.

Dear Members and Friends:

These are challenging times for many of us in the nonprofit community and for those we serve. At MNA, the Obama transition, legislative session, and economic recession, have kept us very busy as public policy has dominated our days. With the economic downturn as context, I write to share with you important and time sensitive information regarding the stimulus bill, new resources on our website, and advocacy efforts that are underway on your behalf. S

timulus Analysis Special Reports – Grant Opportunities for Nonprofits
Available for your immediate review are two new Special Reports on the economic stimulus legislation from the National Council of Nonprofits and the Montana Nonprofit Association. The first Special Report (click here) analyzes from a nonprofit perspective the 407-page economic stimulus legislation that President Obama recently signed into law: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The second Special Report (click here) focuses on grant information, tips, and considerations for federal stimulus bill grants.

We are pleased to share this analysis and information so you can better understand this historic piece of legislation and consider ways your nonprofit might qualify for grant funding. Future Special Reports will explore not only the stimulus bill, but also promote a deeper understanding about the intersection between the nonprofit sector and our nation’s economic recovery.

Stimulus Advocacy – Communications to Governor Schweitzer and Legislative Leadership
Many thanks to all of you who responded to our request (through the Listening Post Project) regarding Montana “shovel ready” projects waiting in the nonprofit sector. We have sent a letter, shovel ready fact sheet, and nonprofit economic impact fact sheet to Governor Schweitzer and Legislative Leadership highlighting the nonprofit sector’s critical role in economic recovery. Our main “50,000 foot” message is that nonprofits are critical to this nation’s economic recovery and that we stand ready as partners with government and business. We are now working towards securing a meeting with the Governor to explore these issues. Look for updates in our monthly Public Policy news on the outcomes of this work.

MNA Nonprofit Economic Resource Center
To facilitate information sharing, we have established a new resource home on our website focusing on the economy and nonprofits. The Nonprofit Economic Resource Center (NERC) provides additional information and resources on the federal stimulus bill, Montana nonprofit economic survey (soon to be released), resources and strategies to strengthen your organization during this recession, and news articles across Montana on the impact of the economic downturn on nonprofits. Please let us know if you come across resources in your work that are worth sharing with others. All of the documents and tools referenced in this email are posted on the NERC. Click here to visit the NERC.

***

We know that many of you are facing difficult and uncertain circumstances. Going forward, you have our commitment to serve you to the best of our ability, keep you informed of opportunities, and assist you in meeting the challenges ahead. While there are many aspects of the economic recession that are beyond our control, we do know that Montana’s nonprofit community is home to the knowledge, experience, and services that will bring us through to a better tomorrow. The nonprofit community has always been resilient – we may need to dig much deeper this time, but we will come through stronger.Please call on us if we can be helpful in any way.

Sincerely,
Brian MageeExecutive Director

Advertisements
Montana Non-Profit Association

This is from Rick Newby….. he’s on our council and he says it better…..

Please help the Montana Arts Council broaden the nominations for the state Poet Laureate position. You will find the necessary information for nominating your favorite Montana poet below:

Poet Laureate Nomination Form: http://art.mt.gov/resources/resources_plposition.asp
Montana Poet Laureate Nominations Due May 4

The Montana Poet Laureate is a position created by the Montana legislature, which recognizes and honors a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. Applications for the state’s next Poet Laureate are due May 4, 2009 at 5 p.m. Applications are available at http://art.mt.gov or by calling 406-444-6639 or emailing Kim Baraby Hurtle at khurtle@mt.gov.

The term of service for the position is for two years and the award is honorific. The Montana Arts Council will convene a panel of poets and literary experts, among others, to select three finalists from among the nominations. These names will be submitted to the Montana Arts Council for approval and finalization. The Poet Laureate of Montana will then be chosen by Governor Schweitzer from among these nominees in July.

The Poet Laureate will be chosen on the basis of three criteria:

• Excellence as evidenced by the submitted poetry sample.

• Exemplary professionalism as evidenced by an established history of substantial and significant publication and special honors, awards, fellowships, or other recognition.

• Advancement of poetry in Montana communities.

Nomination applications, eligibility requirements and program guidelines are available at the MAC website at http://art.mt.gov or by phoning Kim Baraby Hurtle at (406) 444-6639.

Sandra Alcosser was Montana’s first Poet Laureate, appointed by the Governor in 2005, and Greg Pape is the Montana Poet Laureate through July 2009.

AIA PROGRAM

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release

February 26, 2009

Contact:
Arlynn Fishbaugh, Executive Director, Montana Arts Council

MONTANA ARTS COUNCIL SEEKS APPLICATIONS FOR ARTIST’S INNOVATION AWARDS

Helena, Montana – The Montana Arts Council, an agency of state government, announces a new program, the Artist’s Innovation Awards, to honor the innovative ideas, practices and contributions of Montana artists. The application process is now open and the deadline is May 1, 2009.

The Artist’s Innovation Award is an honorary designation and includes a $3,000 cash award. Visual artists residing in Montana who show extraordinary innovation and originality in their creative pursuits are eligible to apply for the award.

Montana Arts Council Executive Director Arlynn Fishbaugh states, “This exciting new program fosters an environment where the innovation and creativity of artists are valued and celebrated. We look forward to showcasing Montana artists who contribute so significantly to our state’s vitality.”

Up to five visual artists will be selected in the first group of awards. The second group of grants will go to performing artists and literary artists, who will be eligible to apply next year. That deadline has not been set.

This program is administered online, through an electronic submissions system. Full details are at the arts council’s website www.art.mt.gov. Artists who wish to apply but do not have access to computers with high-speed connections are encouraged to call Montana Arts Council Grants and Database Director Kristin Han Burgoyne for assistance before April 1, 2009.

# # #

AIA PROGRAM

ARTS EDUCATIORS 2/24/2009

Arts Educators,

Below you will find information on MAC’s new Artist’s Innovation Awards and MT Poet Laureate nomination forms are now available.

Information about unsubscribing to this email newsletter is at the end of the email.

Regards,
Beck

Beck McLaughlin Education & Web Services Director Montana Arts Council PO Box 202201 Helena, MT 59620-2201 406-444-6522 Arts in Education Hotline 800-282-3092

MONTANA ARTS COUNCIL SEEKS APPLICATIONS FOR ARTIST’S INNOVATION AWARDS

The Montana Arts Council announces a new program, the Artist’s Innovation Awards, to honor the innovative ideas, practices and contributions of Montana artists. The application process is now open and the deadline is May 1, 2009.

The Artist’s Innovation Award is an honorary designation and includes a $3,000 cash award. Visual artists residing in Montana who show extraordinary innovation and originality in their creative pursuits are eligible to apply for the award.

Montana Arts Council Executive Director Arlynn Fishbaugh states, “This exciting new program fosters an environment where the innovation and creativity of artists are valued and celebrated. We look forward to showcasing Montana artists who contribute so significantly to our state’s vitality.”

Up to five visual artists will be selected in the first group of awards. The second group of grants will go to performing artists and literary artists, who will be eligible to apply next year. That deadline has not been set.

This program is administered online, through an electronic submissions system. Full details are at the arts council’s website www.art.mt.gov. Artists who wish to apply but do not have access to computers with high-speed connections are encouraged to call Montana Arts Council Grants and Database Director Kristin Han Burgoyne at 406.444.6449 for assistance before April 1, 2009 or email her at khan@mt.gov .

MONTANA POET LAUREATE NOMINATION FORMS NOW AVAILABLE

The Montana Poet Laureate is a position created by the Montana legislature, which recognizes and honors a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. Applications for the state’s next Poet Laureate are due May 4, 2009 at 5 p.m. Applications are available at http://art.mt.gov/ or by calling 406-444-6639 or emailing Kim Baraby Hurtle at khurtle@mt.gov .

The term of service for the position is for two years and the award is honorific. The Montana Arts Council will convene a panel of poets and literary experts, among others, to select three finalists from among the nominations. These names will be submitted to the Montana Arts Council for approval and finalization. The Poet Laureate of Montana will then be chosen by Governor Schweitzer from among these nominees in July.

The Poet Laureate will be chosen on the basis of three criteria:
· Excellence as evidenced by the submitted poetry sample.
· Exemplary professionalism as evidenced by an established history of substantial and significant publication and special honors, awards, fellowships, or other recognition.
· Advancement of poetry in Montana communities.

Sandra Alcosser was Montana’s first Poet Laureate, appointed by the Governor in 2005, and Greg Pape is the Montana Poet Laureate through July 2009.

ARTS EDUCATIORS 2/24/2009

ARTS ORGANIZATIONS 2/24/2009

Arts Organizations,

Below you will find information on the MT Poet laureate nomination process, International Theatre Institute Travel Grants, support for arts presenters in the West from WESTAF, Board Cafe: Speed Up the Board Recruitment Process, free software available from Tech Soup, an article on turnover among volunteers and five reasons for why volunteers leave, the U.K. Institute of Fundraising makes recordings of conference sessions available on their website, 20 Bad Leadership Habits, several items from the Artful Manger blog, and Ben Cameron identifies 4 challenges more important than money that the arts face in Barry’s blog.

Information about unsubscribing to this email newsletter is at the end of the email.

Regards,
Beck

Beck McLaughlin Education & Web Services Director Montana Arts Council PO Box 202201 Helena, MT 59620-2201 406-444-6522 Arts in Education Hotline 800-282-3092

MONTANA POET LAUREATE NOMINATION FORMS NOW AVAILABLE

The Montana Poet Laureate is a position created by the Montana legislature, which recognizes and honors a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. Applications for the state’s next Poet Laureate are due May 4, 2009 at 5 p.m. Applications are available at http://art.mt.gov/ or by calling 406-444-6639 or emailing Kim Baraby Hurtle at khurtle@mt.gov .

The term of service for the position is for two years and the award is honorific. The Montana Arts Council will convene a panel of poets and literary experts, among others, to select three finalists from among the nominations. These names will be submitted to the Montana Arts Council for approval and finalization. The Poet Laureate of Montana will then be chosen by Governor Schweitzer from among these nominees in July.

The Poet Laureate will be chosen on the basis of three criteria:
· Excellence as evidenced by the submitted poetry sample.
· Exemplary professionalism as evidenced by an established history of substantial and significant publication and special honors, awards, fellowships, or other recognition.
· Advancement of poetry in Montana communities.

Sandra Alcosser was Montana’s first Poet Laureate, appointed by the Governor in 2005, and Greg Pape is the Montana Poet Laureate through July 2009.

GrantStation Announcements http://www.grantstation.com

International Theatre Partnerships Supported
Theatre Communications Group/International Theatre Institute Travel Grants The Theatre Communications Group (TCG)/International Theatre Institute Travel Grants are designed to support cultural exchange and artistic partnerships between professionals in the United States and their counterparts in Russia and Eastern and Central Europe. The program awards theatre professionals (artists, administrators, or educators) $3,000 grants, which may cover transportation and living expenses essential to the project, including research materials, communication costs, theatre tickets, and/or the services of an interpreter. Applying theatres must have nonprofit status and hire professional artists and administrators. Individual applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who wish to initiate or deepen relationships with artists and/or theatre companies in Russia and/or Eastern and Central Europe. The application deadline is March 23, 2009. Visit the TCG website to download the application guidelines.

Support for Arts Presentations in the West
Western States Arts Federation: TourWest The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) is a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to the creative advancement and preservation of the arts in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. WESTAF provides TourWest grants of up to $2,500 for the presentation of out-of-state touring performers and literary artists in underserved communities within the 13-state WESTAF region. Projects should include at least one outreach activity, such as lecture-demonstrations, master classes, in-school educational activities involving students with the artist, etc. Applications must be submitted online through the WESTAF website by April 1, 2009.

Speed Up the Board Recruitment Process!
Board Cafe • By Jan Masaoka • February 14, 2009 •
Imagine getting excited about volunteering for something, and then waiting six or seven months before you actually get to do it. Can we accelerate the process by “pre-qualifying” candidates?
One of the most frustrating parts of board recruitment is the length of time — often months — between talking with a prospect and then bringing him onto the board . . . months during which the candidate usually becomes less interested. For instance, a person might be tentatively asked in January, discussed by the governance/nominating committee in February, have her name brought to the board for discussion in March, officially interviewed/asked in April, elected by the board in May, and her first board meeting is in July! Some boards invite potential recruits to observe a board meeting before deciding whether to join, which adds even more time.
To accelerate this process, some boards invite candidates to the board meeting at which they will be voted on. The hitch, of course, is that it makes it very difficult for a board NOT to approve someone who is already in attendance (albeit asked to sit in the hall for a few minutes).
Instead, think about “pre-approving” some candidates. Often a few names arise of people who are already known well by several other people on the board: perhaps a community leader, a mayor, a long-term activist, and so forth. In such cases, the board can have a preliminary discussion about the candidate and provisionally approve him or her as a board member. To read more: http://www.blueavocado.org/node/281

Dear Nonprofit Colleague,
We know you’re working harder than ever right now to bring your services to the people who need you. And we’re working, too, to help make sure that you have the tools to be as effective as possible.
Today, I’m writing to tell you about some new software that Adobe, Microsoft, Symantec, and MYOB have donated to support the valuable work you do. These new tools, which are highlighted below, join the hundreds of donated software, hardware, and hosted products already available through TechSoup that can empower your organization to do more good.
Read on to learn more:
Get your message out with new Adobe software
Collaborate across your organization with updated Microsoft server tools
Symantec helps you protect your valuable data
Take charge of your organization’s finances with new MYOB software
For the rest of the message see attached Word doc “Tech Soup” – Beck

Nonprofit Online News: http://news.gilbert.org/ Weekly Edition for Monday, February 16, 2009

+ The New Volunteer Workforce

The Stanford Social Innovation Review is apparently publishing articles in conjunction with the Foundation Center’s Philanthropy News Digest. Last week’s piece on The New Volunteer Workforce is a worthwhile read. The four authors pull together the findings of several reports from the last few years about high turnover among volunteers and offer five reasons for why volunteers leave: (1) not matching volunteers’ skills with assignments, (2) failing to recognize volunteers’ contributions, (3) not measuring the value of volunteers, (4) failing to train and invest in volunteers and staff, and (5) failing to provide strong leadership. They offer several fairly high-level recommendations for how to turn this around.

http://news.gilbert.org/clickThru/redir/6945/5286/rms

+ Institute of Fundraising Conference Session Recordings

The U.K. Institute of Fundraising makes recordings of conference sessions available on their website. Topics include: Working with Volunteers for Community Fundraising Success, Global Perspectives on Major Donor Fundraising, Fundraising and Campaigning, Direct Marketing, and New Media.

http://news.gilbert.org/clickThru/redir/6952/5286/rms

+ Marshall Goldsmith’s 20 Bad Leadership Habits

There are so many leadership books out there. Is this another sign of what happens when you spend other people’s money? Or are people hungry for ideas? I imagine it’s both, of course. Anyway, until recently I was unfamiliar with Marshall Goldsmith. I don’t think his work is groundbreaking, but it’s a really good example of the “quick tips” method of teaching. For example, his 20 Bad Habits list (for some reason a 1 page PDF), is really quite useful. (My reaction to reading some of these was “ouch, yeah I do that one”.) Go ahead and read his full explanations, but here they are in summary: (1) Winning too much. (2) Adding too much value. (3) Passing judgment. (4) Making destructive comments. (5) Starting with NO, BUT, HOWEVER. (6) Telling the world how smart we are. (7) Speaking when angry. (8) Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”. (9) Withholding information. (10) Failing to give proper recognition. (11) Claiming credit that we don’t deserve. (12) Making exc uses. (13) Clinging to the past. (14) Playing favorites. (15) Refusing to express regret. (16) Not listening. (17) Failing to express gratitude. (18) Punishing the messenger. (19) Passing the buck. (20) An excessive need to be “me”.

http://news.gilbert.org/clickThru/redir/6949/5286/rms

THE ARTFUL MANAGER WEEKLY SUMMARY FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009 a weblog on the business of arts & culture by Andrew Taylor, ataylor@artsjournal.com

THE PROS AND PERILS OF THE EMBEDDED INSTITUTION…
Many bloggers are spinning out the story of Brandeis University and its imperiled Rose Art Museum. But I’m particularly focused on the part of the storyline related to embedded institutions, which make up a large part of the arts ecology in the United States.
http://www.artsjournal.com/artfulmanager/main/the-pros-and-perils-of-the-emb.php
Posted: Monday, February 9, 2009

DO ARTS JOBS COUNT AS JOBS?…
Scott Lilly at the Center for American Progress floats a timely reminder to the good folks in Congress currently bristling about the stimulus package: arts jobs are jobs, regardless of your opinion of what they produce. How have we all lost focus on that rather obvious fact?
http://www.artsjournal.com/artfulmanager/main/do-arts-jobs-count-as-jobs.php
Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2009

FOLLOWING CRUMB TRAILS…
On-line social network systems and user-curated music services have created a new way for individuals to share their thoughts, their favorite music, and their random travels. But they’ve also created something else — a trail of evidence of decision behavior that’s manna for the cultural manager.
http://www.artsjournal.com/artfulmanager/main/following-crumb-trails.php
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2009

OF ART AND INNOVATION…
I’ve grown a bit weary of our lofty but vague advocacy of the arts. In our rhetoric and our strategy, we’ve become interchangeable with any other industry in search of public money, favorable legislation, or civic priority. This article, at least, offers some specific evidence in support.
http://www.artsjournal.com/artfulmanager/main/of-art-and-innovation.php
Posted: Friday, February 13, 2009

Barry’s Blog
FOUR BIG ISSUES http://www.westaf.org/blog/archives/2009/02/four_big_issues_1.php BEN CAMERON IDENTIFIES FOUR CHALLENGES MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY THAT THE ARTS FACE.

ARTS ORGANIZATIONS 2/24/2009

ARTISTS 2/24/2009

Artists,

Below you will find an announcement about MAC’s new Artist’s Innovation Awards followed by one opportunity each for writers, visual arts and theatre.

Information about unsubscribing to the this email newsletter is at the end of the email.

Regards,
Beck

Beck McLaughlin Education & Web Services Director Montana Arts Council PO Box 202201 Helena, MT 59620-2201 406-444-6522 Arts in Education Hotline 800-282-3092

MONTANA ARTS COUNCIL SEEKS APPLICATIONS FOR ARTIST’S INNOVATION AWARDS

The Montana Arts Council announces a new program, the Artist’s Innovation Awards, to honor the innovative ideas, practices and contributions of Montana artists. The application process is now open and the deadline is May 1, 2009.

The Artist’s Innovation Award is an honorary designation and includes a $3,000 cash award. Visual artists residing in Montana who show extraordinary innovation and originality in their creative pursuits are eligible to apply for the award.

Montana Arts Council Executive Director Arlynn Fishbaugh states, “This exciting new program fosters an environment where the innovation and creativity of artists are valued and celebrated. We look forward to showcasing Montana artists who contribute so significantly to our state’s vitality.”

Up to five visual artists will be selected in the first group of awards. The second group of grants will go to performing artists and literary artists, who will be eligible to apply next year. That deadline has not been set.

This program is administered online, through an electronic submissions system. Full details are at the arts council’s website www.art.mt.gov. Artists who wish to apply but do not have access to computers with high-speed connections are encouraged to call Montana Arts Council Grants and Database Director Kristin Han Burgoyne at 406.444.6449 for assistance before April 1, 2009 or email her at khan@mt.gov .

WRITERS

MONTANA POET LAUREATE NOMINATION FORMS NOW AVAILABLE

The Montana Poet Laureate is a position created by the Montana legislature, which recognizes and honors a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. Applications for the state’s next Poet Laureate are due May 4, 2009 at 5 p.m. Applications are available at http://art.mt.gov/ or by calling 406-444-6639 or emailing Kim Baraby Hurtle at khurtle@mt.gov .

The term of service for the position is for two years and the award is honorific. The Montana Arts Council will convene a panel of poets and literary experts, among others, to select three finalists from among the nominations. These names will be submitted to the Montana Arts Council for approval and finalization. The Poet Laureate of Montana will then be chosen by Governor Schweitzer from among these nominees in July.

The Poet Laureate will be chosen on the basis of three criteria:
· Excellence as evidenced by the submitted poetry sample.
· Exemplary professionalism as evidenced by an established history of substantial and significant publication and special honors, awards, fellowships, or other recognition.
· Advancement of poetry in Montana communities.

Sandra Alcosser was Montana’s first Poet Laureate, appointed by the Governor in 2005, and Greg Pape is the Montana Poet Laureate through July 2009.

VISUAL ARTS

“Treasured” Montana Artist Exhibit Original artwork from the Treasure State
http://sos.mt.gov/News/archives/2009/January/012809.asp
Secretary of State Linda McCulloch is providing Montana artists the opportunity to display their work in the lobby of the Secretary of State’s office in the historic Capitol building in Helena. The exhibit will be rotated two to three times per year in order to give artists from all over the state this special opportunity. The Secretary of State encourages the public to visit our office and view the “Treasured” Montana Artist Exhibit at their leisure. http://sos.mt.gov/Gallery/index.asp
If you are interested in becoming the next “Treasured” Montana Artist, please contact Kima Rosling by phone at (406) 444-4195, or by email at kima@mt.gov .

THEATRE

GrantStation Announcements http://www.grantstation.com

International Theatre Partnerships Supported
Theatre Communications Group/International Theatre Institute Travel Grants The Theatre Communications Group (TCG)/International Theatre Institute Travel Grants are designed to support cultural exchange and artistic partnerships between professionals in the United States and their counterparts in Russia and Eastern and Central Europe. The program awards theatre professionals (artists, administrators, or educators) $3,000 grants, which may cover transportation and living expenses essential to the project, including research materials, communication costs, theatre tickets, and/or the services of an interpreter. Applying theatres must have nonprofit status and hire professional artists and administrators. Individual applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who wish to initiate or deepen relationships with artists and/or theatre companies in Russia and/or Eastern and Central Europe. The application deadline is March 23, 2009. Visit the TCG website to download the application guidelines.

ARTISTS 2/24/2009

In tough economic times, arts groups are often viewed as dispensable luxuries. In fact, they’re vital to the US economy

Here’s an article I was sent recently (thanks Wilbur!):

QUOTE from below: “Economic activity connected to the arts generates $30bn in tax revenue annually,
while local, state and federal government spend only $4bn to support the arts — a 7 to 1 return on government dollars.

It is from The Guardian (U.K.).

To see this story with its related links on the guardian.co.uk site, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/feb/03/us-economy-stimulus-arts-funding

Funding the arts economy
In tough economic times, arts groups are often viewed as dispensable luxuries. In fact, they’re vital to the US economy
Chloe Schama
Wednesday February 4 2009
guardian.co.uk

“The artist’s paycheque is every bit as important as the steelworker’s paycheque or the autoworker’s paycheque,” said Robert Lynch, the president of the non-profit group Americans for the Arts, last month. Really? Is an artist throwing paint at a canvas or a novelist toiling in obscurity the type of person who really needs taxpayers’ support right now? Yes ? and not just because that painter might be the next Jackson Pollack, or the writer the next John Updike, but because the arts are a vital economic engine.

The ability of non-profit groups to power this engine has already been hindered by the financial crisis. This month, in response to a budget shortfall caused in part by the recession, Brandeis University announced its intent to sell its several-thousand object art collection (including works by Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler). Because of a 30% drop in assets since last year, the Dodge Foundation recently cancelled its 2010 Poetry festival, an biennial event that has attracted more than 140,000 visitors over the course of its 20-year run. Last October, when the Argosy Foundation cancelled its grant, the Milwaukee Shakespeare Theatre Company had to shut down entirely. The Wall Street Journal has reported that sugar daddies are losing their sweet tooth and cutting back on charitable donations to all types of non-profits, including those connected to the arts.

In tough times, art collections, poetry festivals and Shakespeare might seem like dispensable luxuries. But the full economic impact of the arts goes far beyond ticket revenues and the intangible, enlightening benefits of art. According a report issued by American for the Arts (pdf): “The non-profit arts and culture industry generates $166.2bn in economic activity every year ? $63.1bn in spending by organisations and an additional $103.1bn in event-related spending by their audiences.” Beyond the price of admission, the average person spends $19.53 for food, parking, et cetera at each arts-related event. Out-of-town visitors spend more than double that amount.

In terms of government investment, arts-related industries justify their current funding. Economic activity connected to the arts generates $30bn in tax revenue annually, while local, state and federal government spend only $4bn to support the arts — a 7 to 1 return on government dollars. A similar ratio extends to even non-event-related arts endeavours. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, for example, provides an economic benefit of $6 for every $1 the City of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Regional Asset District spends (pdf).

In addition to generating economic activity and tax revenue, the arts support 5.7 million full-time jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. Artists constitute a significant segment of the American workforce, whose contribution to the overall economy should not be minimised. Making up 1.4% of the workforce, the number of artists exceeds the number of individuals involved in either legal professions (lawyers, judges and paralegals), medical professions (physicians, surgeons and dentists), or agriculture (farmers, ranchers, foresters and fishers).

Despite all this, arts funding is still seen as indulgent and impractical. In response to the $50m supplement for the National Endowment for the Arts included in the stimulus package, federal budget analyst for the Heritage Foundation Brian Riedl told National Public Radio that “there is absolutely no way this will stimulate the economy”. If any of the input-output research relating to the economy and the arts over the past few years is accurate, Riedl is, thankfully, mistaken. Injecting money into the arts might be one of the most effective — and most enjoyable — ways to alleviate this recession.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited 2009

If you have any questions about this email, please contact the guardian.co.uk user help desk: userhelp@guardian.co.uk.
Guardian News & Media has moved. Our new address is:

Kings Place
90 York Way
London N1 9GU
Tel: 020-3353 2000

Guardian Professional are based at 3-7 Ray Street, London EC1R 3DR and Ad Services are based at 3-7 Herbal Hill, London EC1R 5EJ.

In tough economic times, arts groups are often viewed as dispensable luxuries. In fact, they’re vital to the US economy