Is there value in arts and culture as an economic development strategy? More CEOs are seeing it that way.
Louise Kengott Stevens, president of ArtsMarket in Bozeman, Mont., says companies have become more involved in cultural economic development – and with good reason.
“They are doing it because they need to compete,”Kengott Stevens told an audience at a forum at the International Economic Development Council 2011 annual meeting.
Companies are recognizing the importance arts and culture play in attracting highly skilled and talented workers to their community. Kengott-Stevens noted that a community’s arts and cultural offerings can play a role in attracting entrepreneurs, bringing an in-migration of talented workers, promote innovation and help companies attract and keep people in high-value jobs.
Promotion of arts and culture is not just the province of local arts councils anymore and should be a component of a community’s overall economic development strategy, said John Bracey, executive director of the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs.
“Any economic development strategy in your community will not be as successful as it could be without arts and culture in it,” he said.