-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

The Arts are Important to Minnesota

The Arts are Important to Minnesota Citizens

67% of Minnesotans have attended an arts activity (at a theater, auditorium, concert hall, museum, gallery) within the past year
60% of Minnesotans are involved in the arts, by doing some creative activity like singing in a choir, doing woodworking or needlepoint, writing poetry, or painting in their everyday lives
95% of Minnesotans believe the arts are an important or essential part of the overall education of Minnesota children (e.g., classes in music, writing, dance, art, and drama)

The numbers tell us that Minnesotans care about the arts.

  • We care because the arts inspire us and spark our imaginations.
  • We care because the arts improve student’s overall academic achievement.
  • We care because the arts are a bridge between different cultures and ethnic heritages.
  • We care because the arts attract millions of visitors to our state and generate income for local economies.

The Arts are Important to Minnesota’s Economic Vitality

  • The arts attract businesses, visitors and new residents, and encourage consumer spending, all of which result in increased tax revenues. Cultural offerings enhance the market appeal of an area, encouraging business relocation and generation of new jobs.
  • The arts in Minnesota have over $1 billion in economic impact annually.
  • There are over 30,000 artists in the state of Minnesota and more than 1,600 arts organizations.
  • Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend an average of $22.87 per person, not including the price of admission, e.g. on restaurants, parking, hotels, etc.
  • In Minneapolis, arts organizations spend $171 million; audience spending adds another $98 million for total arts-related spending of $269 million.
  • In greater Minnesota communities, the arts stimulate business development. Small arts towns like Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, New York Mills, and Lanesboro, for example, “revive their town centers and reinvent themselves” through increased commitment to the arts. (Greg Myers, Corporate Report Minnesota)
  • In Saint Cloud, arts organizations spend $4 million; arts audiences spend another $5.8 million for total arts-related spending of $9.8 million.
  • “A vibrant arts community is critical to how corporations decide where to locate, and how people decide where to work.” (Megatrends and Megatrends 2000, John Naisbitt)
  • The arts drive tourism, an increasingly important industry in Minnesota. Travelers who come from other areas for arts-related tourism also spend money shopping, parking, and in hotels and restaurants. Cultural tourists spend more money per trip than the average traveler — $614 per trip versus $425.
  • Five of Minnesota’s top tourist attractions are arts organizations: the Walker Art Center, Guthrie Theater, Ordway Center, Orchestra Hall, and the Children’s Theatre.

The Arts Are Important to Young People and our Future Workforce

  • Research shows that children who study the arts demonstrate stronger overall academic performance. These young people are the creative thinkers that employers need in our increasingly complex workforce.
  • Arts education aids achievement of “core competencies” needed for employment such as thinking creatively, problem solving, exercising individual responsibility, sociability, and self-esteem.
  • In a national sample of 25,000 students, those with high levels of arts learning experiences earned higher grades and scored better on standardized tests than those with little or no involvement in the arts, regardless of socioeconomic status.
  • Learning through the arts has significant effects on learning in other disciplines. Students consistently involved in music and theater show higher levels of success in mathematics and reading.
  • An 11-year national study that examined youth in low-income neighborhoods found that those who participated in arts programs were much more likely to be high academic achievers, be elected to class office, participate in a math and science fair, and win an award for writing an essay or poem.
  • Workers with arts-related skills are critical to the industries of the new economy: software development and web design; advertisings firms; automobile design companies; architectural and engineering firms; and other fields seeking employees with high-level communication, computer, and creative problem-solving abilities.
  • Support of the arts is a workforce issue for companies—the arts develop the kind of thinker and manager that businesses must have more of if they are to remain competitive in the global marketplace.
  • A KPMG survey of more than 1,200 high-tech workers examined the most important factors associated with taking a new job. “Community quality-of-life” was the second most important factor—after salary—and more important than benefits, stock options, or company stability.

The Arts are Important in Making Minnesota a Place where People Want to Live

  • For the sixth year in a row, Minnesota was named the most livable state in the nation by Morgan Quitno Press, due in part to our citizens’ access to the arts.
  • Places Rated Almanac ranks the Twin Cities eighth out of 354 metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada for its variety and participation in the arts.
  • In large cities and rural communities, artists and arts groups have been a significant force in revitalizing neighborhoods and towns.
  • Artists and arts organizations are helping address the state’s need for low-income housing in the Twin Cities, Fergus Falls, Saint Cloud, Grand Marais, and other greater Minnesota communities. Average family income for artists in live/work developments
    in the Twin Cities is less than 60 percent of the area median family income.
  • Child magazine ranked the Twin Cities third on its list of the top ten best cities to raise kids, partially on the strength of the availability of arts programming and museums.
  • 62 percent of the artists in a community spend between one and four hours per week volunteering or performing community service, and another 18 percent spent between five and ten hours per week.
  • When the Children’s Theatre sends a production to Broadway; the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra tour in Europe or Asia; or the Minneapolis Institute of Arts hosts a major exhibition from an international museum, they help increase Minnesota’s visibility and prestige, nationally and internationally.
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