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Happy, happy, happy New Year

In November, Americans for the Arts Vice President of Policy and Research Randy Cohen spoke to Houston arts, tourism and economic development leaders, advising them on how to influence greater investment in the arts to expand tourism, create jobs and attract high-paying corporations to the region. His PowerPoint presentation (download it here ) used the glowing results of his organization’s study measuring the financial impact of the non-profit arts industry.
The study, Arts & Economic Prosperity III , is the third such national survey conducted by Washington, D.C. based Americans for the Arts, and is studded with astonishing figures: On the national level, the arts industry grew by more than 24 percent in the past five years, while the Gross Domestic Product grew at 12 percent.  In Houston, the non-profit arts are a $626.3 million industry, which generates $69.5 million in local and state government revenue. The non-profit arts in Houston support 14,115 jobs, nearly as many as the City of Bellaire or the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. “I want people to realize cultural and arts organizations in Houston are an industry,” said Cohen.

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