Arts and culture-related industries provide direct economic growth for the state and local communities. They are important complements to community development and enriching local amenities. Arts and culture create job opportunities and also stimulates local economies through consumer purchases and tourism. Tourism centered on culture and arts contribute greatly to state economic growth by providing attracting revenues. This creative sector attracts young talented workers to participate in the contemporary workforce. Here are some ways on how the state can incorporate arts and culture for state economic development.
1. Understand your states cultural industries
Every state should measure its creative economy. For a better understanding about the economic benefit of these creative industries the state can map their cultural and art assets. This includes maintaining arts industry data and performing an ongoing inventory of art assets. Performing an ongoing inventory helps to gauge the contribution of art and culture on a state’s economy. This enables them to maintain important data on arts and culture that can be used to inform state economic development strategies. The collected data is used in formulating local economic development, tourism initiatives, and coordinate cultural development efforts. Creative industries are so important in states and local economic development and since this impact is always underestimated special attention should be devoted to them.
2. Develop strategies to support culture and art sectors
A state should adopt specific programs or initiatives designed to advance economic growth through arts. This can be achieved through the following essential parts of state arts infrastructure:
- Supporting individual entrepreneurs-Individual artists are important producers in any state’s cultural economy. To support their role states are using small grants to encourage creative individuals, entrepreneurs, and career advancement among artists. This artist entrepreneurial grant offers the opportunity for artists to improve their business acumen.
- Public-private partnerships-States partnership with any key area industries will increase their capacity to develop a creative workforce. Many local –levels successes suggests that such strategies are promising since they provide technical assistance in areas such as planning and marketing. This fosters significant growth in the country’s cultural sector.
- Target specific sectors- States have identified various creative industries that offer significant economic growth. They include film, crafts, design and environmental arts. This help in adopting different strategies such as training programs, to encourage growth in the industry.
- Strengthen the nonprofit arts and cultural infrastructure-Most non-profits serves as incubators, training, education or planning services for entrepreneurs and creative businesses. As the state tries to foster economic growth in the arts they should ensure that the nonprofits have the capacity to contribute to the economic development.
3. Include the art and culture into statewide planning
After analyzing cultural assets states should use that information to devise the economic benefits to the creative industries on a statewide basis. Such strategies will identify new opportunities and reveal potential partners to further art-driven economic development in the state. Here are the key elements of a good planning process:
- Seek input from stakeholders-This includes identifying the right people to lead to the success of the planning efforts. A common strategy is to establish office charged with advancing the state economy through arts. This office is charged with monitoring information about the creative economy and its impact on state’s economy. This really fosters creative industry development and tourism.
- Identify a vision-The leadership body should develop a specific vision for incorporating arts and culture in states economic development. This lays a foundation for business development and attracts creative workers. States have created economic development plans which are designed to use state’s cultural assets to spur economic growth.
4. The creative industries as economic assets
Arts and cultural industries are good examples of economic assets. This industry provides job and stimulates local economies through tourism and consumer purchases. Industries that comprise of art and culture sector includes crafts, advertising, graphic arts and cultural tourism. Creative industries contribute directly to the states economies through tax generation. The arts and culture industry offers the statewide economic benefits which include:
- Attracting tourism dollars -audiences drawn to arts and cultural events not only spend money on the events but also contribute to the local economies by dining in restaurants, purchasing gifts and services in the community.
- Helping weak economic areas -Creative industries can benefit residents in rural areas and urban core. This is achieved by linking artists with entrepreneurial opportunities both inside and beyond their region. This offers many economic development opportunities.
5. Incorporate the arts into a state tourism strategy
Strengthening tourism is the main state art strategy. Cultural tourism is becoming increasingly popular and thus becoming the key component of economic growth. According to Partners in Tourism culture, heritage and tourism are the main components of a sustainable economy. States have developed innovative strategies to encourage cultural tourism planning and marketing their unique arts. This attracts more visitors and multiplies the impact of tourism on state economic development.
States can use the arts to boost their economies in a variety of ways from community development and promoting arts assets as boosts to cultural tourism. They should also adopt strategies that support and strengthen their creative industries. States can support the inclusion of arts in community development strategies by offering grants and creating public space for arts. This way states will reap numerous benefits that help generate stable and more livable communities.