Sun Editorial: Arts, crafts and big money

When you take in a play, concert or art show, you’re boosting the economy.

We’re going to throw some numbers at you:

It’s a $519.8 million a year industry that creates 14,342 jobs while adding $41 million to state and local tax coffers and generating $340 million in household income.

Now, what if we told you we’re not talking about industrial hog farming or nuclear waste storage, but an industry that, in addition to being a huge economic boost, actually improves our quality of life?

According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 — an economic impact study recently released by Americans for the Arts — the nonprofit arts and culture sector in the state not only is keeping us entertained, but also is adding big bucks to our economy.

So this is a “thank you” to the men and women who keep these groups going and the patrons who support such endeavors, and a plea to everyone to take in a play or concert, visit an art show and, in general, enjoy the arts. It’s money well spent.

Of note: According to the study, in 2015, more than 14,000 people donated more than 700,000 hours to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in the state. A special pat on the back goes out to them.

As for the economics, a lot of these arts events aren’t, in themselves, big-dollar productions. But there’s a massive ripple effect. Nonprofits spend money to make the events happen, purchasing everything from building materials to advertising to signs and programs. Patrons spend money getting to the event, grabbing some food and drinks, perhaps staying in a hotel or visiting other businesses, etc. Those dollars trickle through a local economy, providing jobs, supporting businesses and generating tax revenue.

This summer will be filled with artistic and cultural opportunities throughout the state. Show up. Spend a few bucks. Have a good time. And keep the arts economy in the state rolling along.