Cutting Arts is an Insult

There is a very well thought out letter to the editor in the Press of Atlantic City this morning:

Gov. Jon S. Corzine has chosen to devalue the significant economic and social benefits of New Jersey’s cultural sector. An unfortunate and constant target of budget cuts, the arts sector in the coming fiscal year is not only again subjected to steep cuts, but also to the governor’s insulting rhetoric. The proposed cuts were explained as a decision to maintain health care for residents rather than frivolous cultural activities. As disturbing as the budget cuts are, the foundations of the governor’s actions – casting arts and culture into the roles of discretionary elements in the state’s economy – are even more disturbing.

The state must begin to see the arts and culture as economic engines. The economic impact of this sector is documented. According to ArtPride NJ, arts and historical industries contribute more than $2 billion each year to the state’s economy. There are more than 17,000 arts-related businesses employing more than 80,000 residents in New Jersey.

We have seen a microcosm of that influence in Millville, where $22 million of private funds was invested in the Glasstown Arts District and where a $150 million motorsports facility is attracting national attention. This progress has in part been anchored by the award-winning WheatonArts and its 40-year track record of stimulating millions of dollars of economic activity through cultural tourism. The governor’s proposed budget erases economic stimulus at a time our community needs it most.

The arts and culture do much more than bring visitors and patrons to a community – they are an economic force that generates revenue and attracts creative industries and a skilled work force. Arts and culture deserve to be part of the state’s economic development strategy.

KIM AYRES

MILLVILLE

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2 Responses to “Cutting Arts is an Insult”

  1. Nisp Boseman Says:

    now in my rss reader

  2. yo, great name for site)))

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