HARRISBURG – October 16, 2012 – Calling the arts “an essential part of the fabric of Pennsylvania,” state Sen. Jay Costa said today that investing in arts is prudent because there is a discernible job creation and economic return.
“The arts represent a significant economic boost and a job creation tool,” Costa said at a news conference held in the state Capitol by Citizens for the Arts. “I have supported the arts for many years as a member of the Council on the Arts and on the boards of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Civic Light Orchestra so I know how important the arts are to the quality of life and marketability of a region.”
The media event was called to detail the economic impact of the arts. The Arts and Economic Prosperity study by the Americans for the Arts drew a direct correlation between investment in the arts and job creation and economic growth.
According to the study, the arts generate $2.55 billion in total economic activity and $1.8 billion in household income to local residents and support more than 81,000 full-time equivalent jobs. The arts deliver $360 million in local and state government revenue.
The Democratic leader also announced that he is going to form a bipartisan, bicameral arts and culture caucus in the General Assembly that will support the arts through the budget process among other things.
“The arts community is an essential part of the fabric of Pennsylvania – both economically and culturally – and we will continue to find ways to support it in the General Assembly,” Costa said.
The Forest Hills lawmaker also said that involvement in the arts also has a measurable education component.
Costa cited statistics indicating that students who take four years of music and art score 102 points better on their college entrance exams. Students with four years of art and music averaged 40 points higher on the written portion of their SATs than students with half a year or less.