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The Arts as Economic Development

LaxIn yesterday's edition of the Z-News (subscribe here, if you haven't), we shared the notion that what Destination Marketing Organizations do should not be limited to ROI. Instead, we should also look to the Cost / Benefit ratio to a community.

That same day, as if on cue, we learned that Tara Johnson, the County Executive of LaCrosse County WI, made the following comment in response to the news that a local dance studio had nailed a State grant to realize a $3 million expansion of their facilities: 

“What I think we are celebrating most today is that this is a cultural center. I think that we sometimes shortchange the impact that the arts and culture have, not just on economic development, not just communities, but our lives." She added a quote from Robert Lynch of Americans for the Arts: “The arts inspire us, soothe us, provoke us and connect us...but they also create jobs and contribute to the economy.”

True dat.

And, thanks to our friend George Tzougros of the Wisconsin Arts Board for the catch.

Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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