Ten Reasons to Support the Arts in 2018

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community—strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times. The arts are all about stories—often small, always meaningful. This advocacy season, find your stories and pair them with the research-based findings in the “10 Reasons to Support the Arts.” Yours will be an advocacy visit that is not soon forgotten.

Americans for the Arts Releases 2018-2020 Strategic Plan

Friday, January 19, 2018

The three-year planning document describes how the organization—in alliance with our members, partners, and stakeholders—will build recognition and support for the extraordinary and dynamic value of the arts, and lead, serve, and advance the diverse networks of organizations and individuals who cultivate the arts in America.

Dance for Brain and Body Health

As an undergraduate student at Wake Forest University studying Health and Exercise Science and aspiring to be a future physical therapist, I was excited when I learned about a pioneering Parkinson’s Disease dance class developed by Associate Professor of Dance Christina Soriano, which is now trademarked as her own IMPROVment™ method. Soriano has crafted a pedagogy of improvisational dance movement that aims to improve the mobility, balance, and overall health of older adults, giving participants a beautiful and joyous way to practice how to handle the challenges that a life with Parkinson’s—or any neurodegenerative disease—brings. 

Why I support Americans for the Arts

The arts are important to me, and if you’re reading this, I bet they’re important to you too. I know you’ll agree that the arts help communities heal, learn, and grow. And that’s why I'm proud to support Americans for the Arts: because they help make it possible for arts organizations and artists in communities all over the country to do what they do better, through education, advocacy, professional development, case-making research, and more. I hope you'll join me.

The Arts Are Part of the Solution

To recognize the important role of the business community in advancing the arts, Americans for the Arts annually presents the BCA 10 awards celebrating ten businesses for their innovative partnerships with the arts. These businesses range in size and location but share a passion for engaging with the arts to advance their companies and communities; and from our work around the country, we know that they are not alone and that there is increased engagement from the business community in support of the arts. That is why it is not surprising to see that the 2017 edition of Giving in Numbers produced by CECP, in partnership with the Conference Board, showed an increase in arts funding from the corporate community between 2014 and 2016.

Latest Giving in Numbers Survey Shows Corporate Sector Giving to the Arts on the Rise

Thursday, October 26, 2017


The latest report showed that arts funding increased from the corporate community between 2014 and 2016. The results align with Americans for the Arts and the Conference Board’s survey of Business Contributions to the Arts released in June. Both corporate giving surveys demonstrate that businesses are recognizing the role the arts play in advancing corporate goals, including increasing employee engagement and creativity.

Americans for the Arts Reports 673,656 Businesses Involved in Creation or Distribution of the Arts in America; Employ 3.48 Million

Americans for the Arts Unveils More Than 11,000 Individual Reports on Nation’s Creative Industries

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


A new research study published by Americans for the Arts uses statistical data to quantify the scope and economic importance of the arts across America. Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts in 2017 demonstrates that nationally, 673,656 businesses are involved in the creation or distribution of the arts, and they employ 3.48 million people. This represents 4.01 percent of all U.S. businesses and 2.04 percent of all U.S. employees. 

Researching the Benefits of Art Museums—A Nationwide Study

One of the most pressing needs in the cultural sector is to identify the difference that art museums make in people’s lives and to demonstrate this value with evidence that can withstand intense scrutiny. Without research-based data, art museums and art educators will not succeed in convincing policymakers and civic leaders that museums are vital to civic life, leading to the significant reduction or even absence of opportunities to engage with original works of art as an integral part of education and community experiences. That museums are more than nice—they are necessary. To begin to answer the question, The National Art Education Association (NAEA) Museum Education Division and the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) joined forces to conduct a nationwide, four-year intensive research study on the impact of single visit art museum school programs.

UPDATED! Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts for National Arts & Humanities Month

October is National Arts & Humanities Month, a time to celebrate and champion the arts locally and nationally. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community—strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times. The effective arts advocate needs a full quiver of case-making arrows to articulate the value of the arts in as many ways as possible—from the passionately inherent to the functionally pragmatic. To help fill your quiver, I offer an updated Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts.

Increased Corporate Contributions to the Arts Are No Certainty

Arts organizations are already in the right position to maneuver for a bigger part of the philanthropic pie, but they face a number of challenges—not least the fact that competition for philanthropic funds is likely to intensify. As the arts enter a heightened competitive funding environment against any number of other social issues, will artists be forced to stifle their creativity to attract funding from businesses that are increasingly nervous about entering the firing line of an unconventional administration?

New Resources Summarize IMLS Support for Museums and Libraries in Each State

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released reports with detailed views of IMLS funding for the past six years (FY 2011 through FY 2016) for every state across the nation and the District of Columbia, including total dollars and counts of IMLS grants and awards, as well as amounts of grantee matches or state government maintenance of effort levels.

From Jobs to Dinner to Even Milking Cows, the Nonprofit Arts Are a Multi-Faceted Economic Powerhouse

In 2015, Americans for the Arts set out to determine the economic impact of the nonprofit arts industry through Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5 (AEP5), the largest national study of its kind. It has been five years since the last such study, which came shortly after the Great Recession. We focused on 341 regions representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including 14,439 arts and cultural organizations, and an extraordinary 212,691 audience members. Surveys were collected throughout 2016, and results were revealed June 17 at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in San Francisco. The numbers are remarkable.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: How the Nonprofit Arts & Culture Industry Impacts the Economy in Your Community

When recently asked how best to advocate for the arts in the current environment, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM)—co-chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus and chief sponsor of the CREATE Act—was unequivocal: “Start by telling every one of your Senators about the economic benefits of the arts.” This familiar refrain is one we have heard for decades from city council chambers to governor mansions to the halls of Congress—and it works. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 does just that. It changes the conversation about the arts from that of a “charity” to one about an “industry” that provides both cultural and economic benefits to the community.

Americans for the Arts Unveils Findings from Fifth National Economic Impact Study of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences

Study Demonstrates That Nonprofit Arts Are An Economic, Employment Powerhouse

Saturday, June 17, 2017


A new national study by Americans for the Arts finds that the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity in 2015—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. 

Audience Demographics: The Complexities of Intersectionality

As an organization that has always been led by a majority of queer people of color, I knew that the National Queer Arts Festival (NQAF) survey needed to be able to capture the unique intersections of the organization’s artists and audiences. I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to neatly categorize the complexity of queer identity … but I could try. The underlying principle of the survey and its synthesis needed to be rooted in multiplicity and intersectionality; to allow complex gender and sexual identity to be celebrated rather than stripped down to fit into a single box.

Are You as Connected as You Could Be? Introducing our Member Briefing Series

On February 8, Americans for the Arts launched our Arts Mobilization Center, which serves as a hub for all of our position papers. The Mobilization Center is available to the public and is intended to be a tool to help you advocate for the arts. Then, to help our members be the most effective advocates they can be, we launched a regular member briefing series on March 23. These are 30 minute calls available exclusively to members around a specific issue statement, topic area, or program update. During each call, Americans for the Arts senior staff members and I provide background on a given topic, then we take your questions live!

Leveraging the Power of the Arts: Collaboration Between the Arts and Business is Transforming Palm Beach County

A few weeks ago, Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce released the results of a comprehensive cultural industry impact study. Florida, with 3.3 percent growth, is in the top five states for the fastest-growing arts and culture job markets in the nation. The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County has made it a priority to harness this economic power and put it to work to build more robust cultural facility infrastructure, promote arts districts, and cultivate an ever-stronger community of artists.


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