08 Wednesday May 2013
Rupert Christiansen of the UK’s The Telegraph has written a startling report on the findings of Britain’s Arts Council that “aims to show the economic value of public investment in arts and culture.” According to the report, the arts contribute 4X as much to GDP as they cost in taxes to support. Think about it: if you had a business and you knew that every dollar you invest in it would generate fourfold as much as you put into it, what is the only rational (and completely economic!) response to such intelligence?
The Guardian also reported on this same report. The culture secretary of the UK “recently called for the economic case to be made for the arts, “to hammer home the value of culture to our economy.’ She added: ‘In an age of austerity, when times are tough and money is tight, our focus must be on culture’s economic impact.’” The report underscores that “far from being a drain on public resources,” spending on the arts brings a huge (4X) return on investment, and that culture “plays a vital part in attracting tourism (£856 million a year); that arts centers and activities transform our towns and cities and drive regeneration, making the choice to maintain investment in culture a forward thinking one… and that the arts support the creative industries and improve their productivity.”