Earlier this week, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development released a study that found the arts generated $1 billion in economic impact across the state in fiscal year 2010. As impressive as that is, some other stats in the study caught my eye...
More than 5 million people attended free arts events in 2010, a number that says a lot about arts organizations' commitment to engaging audiences in touch economic times.
Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore saw increases in arts-related hring and direct spending on the arts.
The arts generated $36.5 million in state and local taxes and $385 million in salaries.
The arts provided 10,600 full-time jobs.
Every dollar in an arts organization's budget generates nearly $4 in additional economic activity.
And when Governor O'Malley claims that “by investing in the arts, we are making a commitment to the most important modern investment we can make in the talents, skills, education, creativity and ingenuity of our people,” he isn't just blowing smoke.