The following letter to the editor was written by Rochelle Mucha, PhD, the chairwoman of the Roswell Cultural Arts Board. And don't forget that the Roswell Arts Festival takes place next weekend, Sept. 21-22:
Vibrant communities are recognized as exceptional places to live. They create cultural vitality, attract business, strengthen tourism, offer high amenity value, and enhance property value. The Arts are a measure of a community’s vibrancy.
The Arts touch our economy at crucial leverage points, such as
innovation, entrepreneurship, revitalization, and education.
The Arts means business! Museums, orchestras, dance and theater performances, art galleries and community festivals are a magnet for talent, and talent is a magnet for business investment. These creative enterprises are the engine of our economy.
The Arts create jobs, stimulate consumer spending, pump millions of dollars into state and local economies, and strengthen our civic pride.
The creative industries are our nation’s leading export with over $60 billion annually in overseas sales. According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia is home to 12,768 creative businesses, employing 199,921 people, and generating nearly $29 billion in annual revenue.
Congressional District 6 in Georgia, of which Roswell is a part, is home to 4,018 arts-related businesses that employ 12,747 people.
93% of Americans agree the Arts are vital to a well-rounded education. The Arts are essential to igniting our children’s imaginations, invigorating teaching, and improving learning outcomes in fundamental school subjects.
The Arts foster inclusion by building bridges between diverse people to promote cultural understanding.
Research shows that children who study the Arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, consistently score higher on standard exams such as the SAT, and are four times more likely to participate in math and science fairs. However, due to cuts in funding, Arts Education currently makes up less than 7% of school programs, a 20% decrease since 2000.
85% of businesses claim they cannot find enough skilled applicants to fill the jobs of the 21st century. The positions of the future demand motivated, well-educated people who can think creatively, solve problems innovatively, exercise individual responsibility and interact effectively with others.
These are the skills that a robust Arts Education curriculum teaches.
Emerging research links the Arts to improving cognitive function and memory, general self-esteem and well-being of older adults, as well as reducing stress and common symptoms of dementia, such as aggression, agitation, and apathy.
With 10,000 boomers turning 65 every day, organizations across the country have developed engaging arts opportunities for this growing demographic.
The Arts offer outcomes no pill can provide.
The Arts are essential to a better future for us and our families. Funding and ensuring the ongoing presence of the Arts in Roswell and as a critical component of education is a sound investment of public and private dollars.
This investment provides significant returns in the form of stabilized, revitalized communities, a better quality of life, and an education system that engages our young people and prepares them to succeed in our rapidly changing world.
Yet, Georgia is ranked last in the nation in funding for the Arts. With federal, state and local funding dwindling, it is imperative for private enterprise and individuals to stand up and work together to support the Arts in Roswell.
Doing so will feed our spirit, fuel our economy, celebrate our strengths and foster a culture of creativity.
All citizens are stakeholders in ensuring Roswell’s prosperity, livability and vibrancy. Join us for a Public Conversation on the Arts, October 10, 2013 at 7 PM at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center!
In Roswell, The Arts Matter!