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Five Reasons to Support the Arts in Arkansas

Arkansas Arts Council - Monday, November 26, 2018

 

We love the arts for the sake of arts, but did you know arts are an important part of Arkansans' health and of the state's economy? Here are five reasons to support the arts in Arkansas.

1. Arts promote healing. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, researchers have found a link in “positive outcomes” and healing for patients involved in four areas of art: music, dance, writing and visual arts. Involvement in the arts aid mental and physical recoveries.

2. Arts bring people and communities together. Art helps communities start conversations they might not have otherwise. Arts can help people confront and solve social issues. A Princeton University study found the arts “increase a sense of collective identity” in communities and get people engaged with each other.

3. Arts improve education. Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs, standardized test scores and lower drop-out rates than their peers who are not involved in the arts, according to Americans for the Arts. Further, a National Assembly of State Arts Agencies report found “students who took four years of arts coursework outperformed their peers who had one half-year or less of arts coursework by 58 points on the verbal portion and 38 points on the math portion of the SAT.”

4. Arts strengthen our economy. A 2017 study found arts industries in Northwest Arkansas alone bring in more than $130 million in revenue to the area. Since 2013, arts and culture employment in Arkansas has grown 2.1 percent compared with 1.3 percent nationwide, Arkansans for the Arts has found. Arts help build a workforce of creative thinkers, too. At least one study found companies that encourage a creative culture are 50 percent more likely to report a “commanding market leadership position over their competitors.”

5. Arts attracts tourism. Arkansas’s tourism industry is growing, that includes travelers seeking experiences in our arts and history. People are coming to experience everything from the William J. Clinton Presidential Library to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Tourists are also interested in visiting localized arts districts and touring historically significant places such as the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home.